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Hi there,

I'm a univ. student and recently moved back after the winter break. I brought back my machine, a 2.4ghz Athlon XP, 768mb RAM, Geforce 5700 LE, and set it up. I've been using this machine for about a year without any major troubles, but after about using it for an hour or two it suddenly shut down on me.

The shutdown was a bit abrupt, and when I attempted to restart it, the system would light up for about 4-5 seconds and then shut down once again. Past this point it would not even respond to my pushing its power button. I considered that for some reason, it may have been overheating, and decided to let it be for a little while. About 10 minutes later, it being idle for the most part, I heard a rather loud 'pop' come from my machine.

I am not sure from which component or device this 'pop' came from. For the most part however, the machine has stayed the same--if I let it be for a while, it will respond when I push the power button the first time, lighting up and starting up for 4-5 seconds before shutting off. It will then remain dormant and unresponsive unless I leave it alone for a time.

From what reading I've done on the subject, the three usual suspects to these frequent automatic shutdowns are the power supply, motherboard, and processor. I purchased another power supply to test with, my old power supply being 500W and this test power supply being 350W, and I find that the computer refuses to start for more than a few seconds with either one of them. I have inspected the motherboard and found nothing blown or burned to make me believe that it is inoperative. I have noticed some faint brown 'stains' around the area the processor is kept, however. I am not sure if this is due to the processor overheating and blowing or not, as if the motherboard/processor were blown, would the computer even light up for a few seconds?

Prior to returning and periodically throughout its life I had the entire computer blown out with a compressor, removing a fair amount of dust that had accumulated. And previous to this event I have not experienced any trouble from this machine. Any suggestions on how to go about fixing this problem without scrapping every major component (MB, CPU, PS) and starting from scratch?

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Last Post by Chaky
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I am using MSI RS 482M4-ILD motherboard for the following system config since 1yr.
Last 10 days I am facing typical problem. It is observed that after continuous use for more than 2 - 2.5 hrs. system restarts automatically and on successive boot up it shuts down. The CPU fan and Cooling Fans are working properly. After gap of hour or so system works fine for further 2 hours. The matter was referred to our h/w engg. Who recommended for the replacement of the motherboard.

Before going to h/w engg. I thought this may be because of some virus problem. In order to overcome that I have formatted my Hard disc and reinstalled necessary soft wares & Operating System (Windows XP). After doing this the problem persisted and on top of that I found my RAM (Transend 1GB DDR 400) also failed.

I replace the faulty RAM along with SMPS 450W. But to my surprise the problem persisted. Under the circumstances I referd the matter to our h/w engg. Who suggested that there might be some problem with motherboard. I also went to MSi service center & they told me that their is nessecity for updating BIOS. They also updated BIOS. But my problem still persist.

I hav same prob as above.......plz Help me out....

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OK, guys one problem per thread.. I'm replying to Ensis.

The pop probably came from PSU since it is the only part that has enough voltage to make a pop. But the pop could've damaged any component. My suggestion is that you pull everything out except VGA CPU and one RAM stick and try to boot (no HD nor any peripherals attached) using 350W PSU. This is long irritating process, but it is the only way to find out if your CPU mobo and VGA are still intact. If it doesn't come back to life, try changing RAM. You can also pull out the VGA. Without VGA a healthy machine would give you POST beep code (if you have beeper) for no-VGA. Usually 7 shorts and 1 long beep. Same goes for no RAM, only different code (continuous short beeps). That way you would know that the mobo and CPU are OK. Keep plugging in one thing at the time and reboot until you find the damaged one. My bet is that it is memory stick, but could be any one of those. Or every one...

BTW those faint brown stains near your CPU is dust blown by the CPU fan + cigarette smoke (otherwise it would be light-gray and not sticky). Blown processor would look exactly the same as healthy one, since the heatsink is obscuring the view of the circuitry.

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