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Desktop shuts down randomly without warning

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SethMajormi
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Hey.

I've been having this problem for about a month now, my PC will shut down after about 5 minutes without any warning. I've dust it often so dust can't be the problem and the fan seems to work fine. Sometimes after this happens the power supply will be really hot, other times not.

When the problem first started my PC would run for about fifteen minutes before shutting down by itself. I can't do a virus scan or anything due to the limited time.

So the real question is: Is this a hardware problem or a virus? I really need my PC back for school so can someone help me ASAP?

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Chaky
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Try installing some hardware-monitoring tool to monitor the CPU core temperatures, if the time limit allows it.

That way you will know if it is overheating and, thus, shutting itself down.
Clean heatsink and spinning fan don't guarantee cooling. Thermal paste might be old or the heatsink might be not tight enough.

If you don't manage to install it in that short period of time, you can always monitor the temperatures from within BIOS setup screen, but it will be only at idle load.

PSU getting hot? That is not a good omen. There might be a hardware failure or an extensive power drain. Maybe you left some power-hungry USB device plugged in, like USB hard drive? I doubt that it is a hardware failure, because it would happen every time.

And no.. it is most likely not a virus.

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SethMajormi
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If it is a hardware problem I can easly fix that, I just have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to viruses so I'm glad that isn't it.

I'll try and install that monitering device. I have windows vista so I believe I have a gaget that moniters heat. I'll check that out.

Thanks for all you help!

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sittas87
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hi SethMajormi and welcome

Start the machine and tap f8 or other key that will allow you to boot into safe mode. Once in safe mode youll be able to see how long the pc will remain on. That way youll et to see if its a virus or not. Ill diagree slightly with chacky (with all do respect though). Viruses can also cause this behaviour.
Go with the obvious suspicion, try another PSU to test if thats where the prob lies. Also apply new grease as it was previously suggested. That may very well get you to a happy computing afterall.

Cheers and good luck with that

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Chaky
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Grease? Do you mean thermal paste?

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sittas87
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Well Im from SA and we call it thermal grease, Grease, CPU paste, among some others. My apologies if I misinstructed anyone due to the way we name it here. :$

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Chaky
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I didn't know that it is also called "grease". Strange.. doesn't look like a grease at all.

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sittas87
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Yip
There you go Chacky. I guess we learn everyday

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caperjack
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_grease

it has many names, like most computer stuff!so confusing some time .

ithelp
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I had simmilar problem due to small cockroaches.

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caperjack
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I had simmilar problem due to small cockroaches.

problem here is computer shutting down ,not a ITCH .lol

non computer bugs are bad too.

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GaryOC
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Hi there,
In my experience this has mostly been caused by the Power Supply. It only has to drop a volt and the system will go into shutdown.

I would say that in the twenty or so times this has happened at work all but one of them was the power supply. The other was software related.

If you have an old machine somewhere, grab the power supply out of it and slip it into yours. Easy to do. Will soon show you if it's the problem and then you can get a new better power supply.

Gary O'Connor.

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Chaky
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Yip
There you go Chacky. I guess we learn everyday

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_grease

it has many names, like most computer stuff!so confusing some time .

I shall never.. never.. NEVER call it "grease" for it is not greasy.:D

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SethMajormi
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Thanks for all your help guys.

I did try it in safe mode and it still shuts down by itself. For some reason the BIOS post message doesn't stay up for long. It just flashes and then disappears. So I can't check the heat. I've also tried going to the last good configuration and that didn't work.

Is there any way to check the heat through windows? Also, what is the normal heat that it should be running at?

The computer with the most recent boot ups has wanted to do a disk check to check consistency. I tried running it but it takes tool long before the PC shuts off, so I’ve been skipping it. Does the PC wanting to do this a good sign or a bad one?

No matter what I do it shuts off by itself every time. I'll try and put in the power supply from an older PC of mine, which will hopefully fit. I'll also check the PSU, give the PC a good cleaning, add a second fan and check my water cooling. Perhaps here is something wrong wit that.

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caperjack
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Thanks for all your help guys.

I did try it in safe mode and it still shuts down by itself. For some reason the BIOS post message doesn't stay up for long. It just flashes and then disappears. So I can't check the heat. I've also tried going to the last good configuration and that didn't work.

Is there any way to check the heat through windows? Also, what is the normal heat that it should be running at?

The computer with the most recent boot ups has wanted to do a disk check to check consistency. I tried running it but it takes tool long before the PC shuts off, so I’ve been skipping it. Does the PC wanting to do this a good sign or a bad one?

No matter what I do it shuts off by itself every time. I'll try and put in the power supply from an older PC of mine, which will hopefully fit. I'll also check the PSU, give the PC a good cleaning, add a second fan and check my water cooling. Perhaps here is something wrong wit that.

because I have one ,i would try a live linux disk ,to see if the computer will boot to it ,this would rule out hardware ,and it would then have to be software causing the problem .
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

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Chaky
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If your BIOS post message isn't showing for long ("press del to ener BIOS setup"), then you must anticipate it an hit that "del" key and get into that BIOS setup..

Normal CPU temperatures would be 30-50°C at idle load, dependng on the ambient temp. Overheating starts at 80-90°C.

EJpabular
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I agree with Gary O'Connor. I have an Internet cafe business, and this is a very usual case for me. try replacing your power supply but try cleaning your current power supply first it might also work.. EJpabular

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