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glennbuchan

My PC turns off randomly

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Got a bit of a problem and taking it back to the shop tomorrow for checks but I was wondering if anyone had any advice or similar problems in the past?

I have a brand new custom built media centre PC (see specs below) and for some reason it keeps powering off when in use (Screen goes blank, fans stop and lights go out).

This generally happens when playing games. I was playing GTA IV and it turns off within about the first minute of gameplay.

Also with PES 2009 I played it for about 5minutes and the same happened.

After restarting my PC I also turned on DreamScene and it happened again (however this has only happened once).

I originally thought it was a overheating problem however this is now unlikely as 'speed fan' says my GPU is at about 55*c-62*c when playing GTA and even cooler for PES. (Normal temps for a GPU)

Also I can run Nvidia GeoForms and my GPU can go up to 68*C but has also just switched off my PC.

CPU temps are also fine at about 40*C.

Totally confused and I don't understand what's causing the problem? Also the PC doesn't boot on the first attempt, can take up to 4 or 5 attempts of pressing the power button to get it to load...

Maybe a PSU problem?

Any advice would be appreciated? I know this isn't a technology forum but it's helped in the past.

Spec:

INTEL CORE 2 DUO E7400 2.80GHZ

CONSAIR 4GB DDR2 RAM

GEFORCE 9800GTX+ 512MB

SEAGATE HD's

ASUS P5N7A-VM

Antec Fusion Remote Case

Thanks

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The only 2 things that jump out are:

1 - Check your graphics card for up to date drivers. It only seems to happen when the graphics card is being fully utilised, there may be a possible conflict that's been sorted in recent releases - quick search shoes latest drivers are from 22/01/09

2 - You say it's custom built? I'd open the case and check all the connections and cards are seated properly. Especially the graphics card and connections between motherboard and the power supply.

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I recognise those symptoms!

Your CPU temps maybe ok when not under load, but that's a fairly beefy Graphics card you have there.

I have a Quad-Core with cooling fans a'wyze and I encountered a similar problem when I doubled up my Graphics cards with SLI.

Got lots of advice, including corrupt FAT table, bad sectors on HDD etc.

The cure? - a 20 Thermaltake CPU heatsink/fan from North East Peripherals. It's a funcy affair with pipes and stuff, but it does the job and 18 months on the issue has never recurred.

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When you say it fails to boot sometimes, do you mean boot or reboot? If it has that problem from cold then I think you can rule out thermal issues since your GPU and CPU temps seem to be fine under load (I'm assuming your CPU temp was under load).

If it only fails to boot within a few minutes of shut-down then that points more to thermal issues.

The most common cause of non-application specific random shut-downs however, is a dodgy PSU. There's nothing much you can do about this except replace the PSU and try it out for a while.

I'd put hardware (could be drivers) and bad RAM as the next two culprits. So yeah, re-install/update your video drivers. you could also try something like memtest86 to give your RAM a workover.

Look in device manager to make sure all your other hardware is reported as functioning fine.

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Yep, sounds like the PSU is strugging to cope with the load. What's the power rating of the PSU? Going by your specs you would probably need a 500W PSU or better.

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Hey guys, once again fantastic advice so thanks a lot.

I have a 600watt PSU which would make me think that it would be able to handle the load however I've heard that it's also a lot down to the quality (model) of the PSU too.

Both GPU and CPU temps are whilst running GeoForms which pushes the rig pretty hard.

All drivers are the most up to date ones too.

The start up issues are only when I start it by pushing the power button. It manages to reboot fine just takes several attempts to boot. This is both from cold and from after shutting down.

It's in at Everst Tech just now so hopefully find out by tonight. I'll post the solution later but I am guessing that all of you are right in that it's a PSU issue. That would mean a new PSU would do the trick!

Thanks again!

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The start up issues are only when I start it by pushing the power button. It manages to reboot fine just takes several attempts to boot. This is both from cold and from after shutting down.

Hmm - could that possibly be a problem with one or more of your fans not kicking in? You should check your BIOS during the first successful boot-up and have a look at your core temps and the RPM of your fans. Your BIOS may also have an option to alert you if a fan is failing, usually by playing an annoying sound through the PC speaker.

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My laptop switches off when it gets too hot. Why is it getting ridiculously hot? It recently had a bit more RAM put in it (not sure of how much) and since then, it melted the battery (and now just has to run from the mains) and lasts about an hour before switching off.

I hate computers.

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Great news problem solved! I managed to get a New PSU and it's done the trick. Apparently I didn't have enough rails in my old PSU which meant there wasn't enough of a consistency of power (hence the reason why it was turning off when the GPU was demanding more power). Its now a 550watt PSU but more rails so more consistency... also a better make too.

Hopefully that will be the last problem for a while.

Thanks folks.

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Great news problem solved! I managed to get a New PSU and it's done the trick. Apparently I didn't have enough rails in my old PSU which meant there wasn't enough of a consistency of power (hence the reason why it was turning off when the GPU was demanding more power). Its now a 550watt PSU but more rails so more consistency... also a better make too.

Hopefully that will be the last problem for a while.

Thanks folks.

The cynic in me has to ask: was it the same people that built it?

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My laptop switches off when it gets too hot. Why is it getting ridiculously hot? It recently had a bit more RAM put in it (not sure of how much) and since then, it melted the battery (and now just has to run from the mains) and lasts about an hour before switching off.

I hate computers.

When is the last time you opened it up and cleaned out the fans? It is an absolute must for laptops (especially gaming ones) because there is hardly any space for air to circulate to begin with. Also, you might want to check you are running the RAM at the correct FSB speed - the higher the speed the more heat generated.

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Also, you might want to check you are running the RAM at the correct FSB speed - the higher the speed the more heat generated.

How do you check that sort of thing?

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