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Computer Shutdown

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March 26, 2006 5:23:51 AM

Hi all,

Not sure exactly which forum to post this in, but I'm running into a bit of a problem with my comp and I'm not sure how to fix it.

The system randomly shuts itself down. One second it's playing perfectly fine, and the next it's like someone pulled the power plug. Instant off. Sometimes it doesn't do it for days, other times it will happen multiple times in a day (it's done it 3 times today). Often it occurs while playing games, but other times it will just happen while surfing the web.

The problem has only started occuring since my last upgrade (changed CPU, MB, Graphics Card, RAM & Power Supply), but prior to that I was having a problem where the computer was BSODing constantly to the point where if I could get it fired up and check my e-mails I was having a good day. That's why I upgraded.

When I upgraded I re-installed windows, but did it over the previous install so as not to lose my data (rather than formatting and doing a clean install).

I'm wondering if it's a software problem and thus may need a clean windows install (so I'll lose my programs), or is it likely to be a hardware component (thus costing me more cash)?

My system is as follows:

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ Processor "SAN DIEGO" Socket 939 (with stock CPU fan)

Asus A8N-VM CSM Socket 939 GeForce6150 nForce430 Dual DDR400 Dual VGA GigLAN SATAII PCI-Express IEE1394 uATX Motherboard

MUSHKIN EM PC3200 2GB Kit (2 x 1024Mb) DDR400 2048Mb 3-3-3-8

Antec TruePower 2.0 550W ATX Power Supply

Asus 7800GT 256MB PCIe Graphics Card

Western Digital 200GB JB Series HDD (Primary)

Western Digital 120GB JB Seris HDD (Secondary)

1 X DVD Write Drive (single layer)

1 X DVD Read Drive

Antec P180 Case

Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy 2

ADSL Connection

Windows XP Home Edition

Norton Internet Security & Systemworks


The system is not overclocked.

Any help would be greatly appreciated :) 

More about : computer shutdown

March 26, 2006 6:02:32 AM

Run Prime95 on it for 30 minutes, see if it detects any errors.

If it does the mainboard or RAM could be faulty, or simply have misconfigured timings: (Autodetect doesn't always work, esp on high end RAM).
================================================

Tabris - Recommended Prime95 settings.txt:

Min FFT size (in K): 128
Max FFT size (in K): 4096 (or larger if supported)
Run FFTs in place: Disabled / Off
Memory to use (in MB): 2048 MB *
Time to run each FFT size (in minutes): As low as 15 and as high as 60 minutes to personal taste. (15 min recommended though, even for todays systems)

Prime95 can detect errors in calculations (usually caused by faulty memory, or overclocking CPU to far), I don't know if SuperPI can though.

================================================

If that passes you've just isolated the problem to the Video sub-system, which still includes the mainboard.

It could also be the hardware monitor on the mainboard playing up, most h/w monitor chipsets are dirt cheap and tend to flex heaps on their reading when CPU load changes suddenly. There could be a BIOS setting to tell it to shutdown at say 85C, but it only takes one false reading for it to initiate shutdown.

Recommendation: Disable the 'Shutdown on X' option in the BIOS, and double check the CPU heatsink was installed correctly.

It could also be a rail on the PSU getting to much drain, but if it happens while surfing the web I doubt it.
March 26, 2006 6:02:37 AM

Go to newegg and find that motherboard. Read through the user comments. As I recall, there are issues with that board.
Related resources
March 26, 2006 7:12:45 AM

Turn off cool and quiet, see if that helps (Probably won't, but you never know).

Have you checked your temps? I think ASUS Probe can monitor temps in a log, and you can check later. Might even with on your video card since it's the same manufacturer (Probably not). An athlon will shut down with high heat.

As for the Prime95, you need more than 30 minutes. Give it a few hours to test true stability.

And yes, if the board has issues, then you may need to replace it or get it replaced by the maker.
March 26, 2006 10:43:46 AM

Hmmm, I looked up info on the mobo and it recommended updating the BIOS. I checked that the BIOS they had for it was newer than the one it was running (which it was) and then followed the prodedure to update the BIOS. All appeared to go correctly and it told me to reboot.

Now when I try to start my computer I'm getting one of two things:

1) Goes through normal load up until it gets to Norton Go Back (which runs before XP kicks in) and then won;t go any further (basically freezes with Go Back on the screen).

2) Goes through normal load up and gets to a black screen where it stops.

I tried booting the system with the XP disc, but the furthes it gets it to "loading fat32 system files" where it basically locks up, or alternativley it says it can't find some file and cancels out of the windows setup screen (this happens pretty much straight after the initial question where is says press f6 to load 3rd party scsi or raid drivers).

Am I screwed?
March 26, 2006 5:00:51 PM

Boot into Safe Mode and disable auto startup for Norton and any other add-ons. Try to reduce startup to just the OS. No, you're not hardware screwed, I don't think, you're software screwed: this does't sound like a hardware problem. And certainly not the motherboard. This sounds like dinged software or one program interferring with another.

Before you do any of this, disconnect from the internet: work on this without any "outside" connection.
March 26, 2006 5:24:39 PM

You might be having overheating problems due to an improperly installed heatsink, too much thermal grease (or not enough) or poor use/not enough fans. Use the Asus Probe program that comes on the CD with your motherboard and check out your CPU temps. That CPU should idle between 35 and 40C. If it is getting up in the high 60s/lower 70s you have a heat problem.
March 26, 2006 6:01:52 PM

Heat doesnt sound like the problem by any chance when your computer would just turn off did you hear a nice click i mean like **click** as it died that would point to a dieing psu and the harddisk head retracting back after a sudden loss of power. Also here is somthing to do you should be able to get into safe mode with f8 once you get there completely uninstall anything that has the name norten there are reasons for this mainly because its useless compared to free antivriuses. if you cant get to safe mode try to downgrade your drivers this can be done by getting old firmware i believe. if you can get your computer to boot after downgrading try to get the latest drivers for anything built into the motherboard. install and try to upgrade firmware after that is done.
March 26, 2006 6:16:43 PM

You know, I forgot to ask this and that omission was dumb: did you install any of the nVidia software extras? Installing and updating the BIOS, chipset, video, and audio software is good, anything else is problematic. There are known issues with nVidia's firewall and as a matter of school-of-hard-knocks principle, I won't load fancy-smancy doodads. Too many of those gee whiz freebies cause problems. At the very least, you never use them, they clutter up your hard drive, and, if they load at boot, suck up system resources to no good purpose. If you installed any of the nVidia extra goodies, disable and uninstall. If you decide later that you just can't live without this or that utility--which nVidia swears its fixed to run correctly--you can always reinstall the latest and greatest.
March 27, 2006 2:50:46 AM

CPU is idling on the the low 40C's (around 43C).

How do I get the comp to boot into safe mode so that I can disable the start programs? Just by hitting f8 as the comp starts up? (I haven't had much cause to do this sort of thing for abotu 5 years :p  :D ). And will this circumvent Norton Goback (which seems to load prior to just about everything, before XP even trys to start)

No click when the computer shuts down, it's just running one sec then off the next. It really is like someone just walked up and pulled the plug on the box.

And yes, I did install pretty much everything that came with the mobo (and just about all other hardware). Assuming I can get into the comp I should uninstall all of it? Can I find it all in the start menu or windows program removal thing?

Oh, and thanks very much for the assistance guys :) , without it I'd probably end up having to go out and buy more bits and pieces for the darn thing.
March 27, 2006 4:28:28 AM

Quote:
CPU is idling on the the low 40C's (around 43C).

How do I get the comp to boot into safe mode so that I can disable the start programs? Just by hitting f8 as the comp starts up? (I haven't had much cause to do this sort of thing for abotu 5 years :p  :D ). And will this circumvent Norton Goback (which seems to load prior to just about everything, before XP even trys to start)

No click when the computer shuts down, it's just running one sec then off the next. It really is like someone just walked up and pulled the plug on the box.

And yes, I did install pretty much everything that came with the mobo (and just about all other hardware). Assuming I can get into the comp I should uninstall all of it? Can I find it all in the start menu or windows program removal thing?

Oh, and thanks very much for the assistance guys :) , without it I'd probably end up having to go out and buy more bits and pieces for the darn thing.


To boot into Safe Mode: Press F8 and at the menu pick Safe Mode (with networking) so you have Net access still.

It should be in add/remove programs cept for the drivers- they wil be in the device manager.
March 27, 2006 6:57:19 AM

I’ve been having the same problem, I apologise for hijacking your thread but I thought it might be better to keep a similar issue in the same thread rather than start a new one? If not my aplogies.

My system is pretty similar, I spent all weekend trying to troubleshoot it without much luck. What caught my eye here thought is that someone here said the CPU should idle at 43°C? Mine idles at about 50°C. I thought the issue was overheating at first though I read somewhere temperatures up to about 90°C under a high CPU load where quite normal so I ruled it out. Now I’m not so sure. What I found is the following:

My voltage is always slightly under the listed number say… 11,789v for 12v. The PSU (LC Power Crown) is 500 Watt and is a 24A.

I’m using a Zalman cooler on my PSU rather than the standard AMD one for my 4000+ San Diego. The cooler always stays about at about 1358 rpm, it doesn’t seem to want to spin any faster even when the temp goes up to 80°C.

I can’t complete a memtest as it crashes before it reaches 100%. I can’t tell if that is because of the CPU temp or the memory however. It only shuts down when it’s been working at 100% CPU load.

I’ve installed Asus Probe and Rivatuner. My temperatures before it shuts down are around 80°C for the CPU and 39°C for the motherboard. When playing Oblivion the graphics card reached 61°C before the PC shut down with the same +/- 80°C for the CPU.

I’m not sure what it is really. :oops:  Could you guys point me in the right direction?

My specs
AMD 64 4000+ San Diego
Asus A8N-SLI
2 Ghz TakeMs Memory
1x MSI Geforce 7800GT

Many thanks.
March 27, 2006 7:49:30 AM

First up, as soon as you turn on the computer, start tapping F8. Not rapidly but steadily. Choose Safe Mode without networking. When you're disabling everything but the basics, you don't want an internet connection. In fact, I'd disconnect the physical wire, so's you know you're in secure isolation. Disable/uninstall whatever extra nVidia jazz you installed. The BIOS, chipset, audio, and video are OK, leave that code as is. Get into Norton and disable the Go Back feature, at least. I don't like Norton and don't use it, so were this my computer, I'd disable Norton altogether. But the entire disable is up to you, just get Go Back gone. Shut down and reboot. Hopefully, you've disabled the problem and you'll get up to the desktop without incident. If not, reboot into Safe Mode and disable everything but the operating system: what you want is a barebones installation, just the basics. Reboot. If you can get to the desktop at this point, you know something you've disabled is the problem. Add back one item at a time and see what sticks.

The methodology for software troubleshooting is the same as hardware: strip it down to barest minimum and rebuild a piece at a time. Tedious but effective. Never throw parts at an unidentified problem, it won't help. Trust me, I've seen it done many times by tech support and it doesn't work. I can't tell you why it never works, the law of averages suggests it should work at least occasionally, but maybe the god of computers won't have it. Whatever the reason, you'll waste a lot of money and time for no good results. Read the posts on this forum if you doubt it.

If you get through this exercise without finding relief, we'll go over to the hardware side. At that point, I'd guess a hard drive; but we're not there, yet. And, lest you despair of the time spent, you'll learn more doing this than anything else you could do. Promise.
March 27, 2006 10:46:11 AM

Hmmm, I've been hitting f8 on startup, but instead of the options where I can select to load in safe mode, it's asking me which boot device I want to use and is listing them in a window (FDD, HDDs and DVDs)?
March 27, 2006 12:08:04 PM

wiat for a beep from system start then tap f5 once
March 27, 2006 2:09:04 PM

Ok, basically I was completely unable to get the drive to go into safe mode on my primary rig. I took the HHD out of the rig and hooked it into my backup comp and was able to start it in safe mode. Deleted as much random stuff like Norton as I could.

When I then restarted the comp, it wouldn't have a bar of anything. Trying to start in anymode except "last know good config" simply rebooted the system instantly. Trying to star in "last known good config" brings a half second of XP load screen, followed a tiny BSOD and immediate reset. This is on the secondary rig. Plugging the HDD back into the primary just resulted in a computer that kept immediately rebooting after loading the bios.

Tried re-installing windows. On the primary rig it froze up same as on previous attmepts. On the secondary computer I was able to re-install windows and load up. Re-installed over the top of my last install (I know it's not recommended, but I have some stuff on there that's not backed up). Runs fine when plugged into the secondary comp. All the info is still there. Took the HDD out of the secondary and plugged back into the primary. No difference from the earlier problem. Won't do anything.

Tried taking the battery off the mobo to reset. No change.

Any idea what steps I can take next?
March 27, 2006 10:29:39 PM

put batt back in mobo
go download memtest 86+ from memtest.org run it see if you have bad memory... you do have a floppy drive right.
March 30, 2006 12:34:11 AM

Well, I ran the memtest and found my current problem to be that my RAM had completely committed suicide (or possibly died when I flashed the mobo bios). Swapped it out for some old RAM I had laying around (768mb) and I'm slowly getting the PC up and running again. The mobo bios is now updated to the newest revision, and I've removed quite a few programs (including Norton Goback and a number of the mobo programs).

However, the original problem of the computer randomly shutting down popped up again despite all that :( . At the time I had the following programs running: Firefox, Azureus (bit torrent) & was running a virus scan. None of these specifically seem to be the cause however, as in the past it has shutdown when none of these were running (i.e. when I was playing a game etc).

I'm stuck again :( 
March 30, 2006 1:35:27 AM

Quote:
Well, I ran the memtest and found my current problem to be that my RAM had completely committed suicide (or possibly died when I flashed the mobo bios). Swapped it out for some old RAM I had laying around (768mb) and I'm slowly getting the PC up and running again. The mobo bios is now updated to the newest revision, and I've removed quite a few programs (including Norton Goback and a number of the mobo programs).

However, the original problem of the computer randomly shutting down popped up again despite all that :( . At the time I had the following programs running: Firefox, Azureus (bit torrent) & was running a virus scan. None of these specifically seem to be the cause however, as in the past it has shutdown when none of these were running (i.e. when I was playing a game etc).

I'm stuck again :( 


in bios, set the memory at 2.7v
March 30, 2006 1:09:55 PM

Hmm, where can I find the option to do that? I've looked around but couldn;t find it?
March 30, 2006 1:21:16 PM

Quote:
Hmm, where can I find the option to do that? I've looked around but couldn;t find it?


In BIOS, somewhere I guess.. I won't download the manual and look for ....
April 3, 2006 7:06:44 PM

I have the exact motherboard. A8N-VM

Mine is fixed!! Skip to the end to see how I did it.

1st: I thought it was a spyware/virus. I scanned and deleted and blah. Didn't work. Then I boot in safe mode to delete something i forgot.
Then WAAA the computer turned off before XP boot up.

2nd: So I unplugged sata hard drive and optical drives. O.O after that was done, it shutdown when I was in BIOS the 2nd time.

3rd: hmmm must be the RAM!!! so I unplugged one out and kept one in. (They were in dual). Then it worked!! ...I thought.(I probably didn't let it run long enough) Then just to make sure, I took that one out and put the other RAM into that same slot. and WALLAAA it worked also. o.O yea then I had messed around with the ram switching technique.
Then I took another RAM from a working computer (with same latency and everything). same problem. sad...

4th: Now...dead CPU or defected motherboard. I took out both RAM and let it just run. Nothing happened. obviously... lol.
at least the fan ran. But the power didn't turn off. Conclusion: comp only turns off with the CPU running.

5th: put back one RAM and go into BIOS and checked out the CPU stuffs. *stares* voltage? I rather not mess with that. Then I saw the temperature in the Hardware Monitor. I remembered what temperature it would shut down. It was around 55-56 for the first 3 times. I then looked around for the average temperature of an Athlon 64 3200+. lol mine was definitely too high (based on the BIOS). Then it turned off at 58. So I looked for a way to shut off or change the max temp. and I found this. The manual didn't say anything. no way to turn that option off.
I even tried turning off the Cool and Quiet lol

Final: then this forum mentioned about weak heat displacement. So I tried to fix the heatsink and fan. o.O too hard. but then I noticed how the PLASTIC piece (that you have to rotate to keep the the heatsink to the mobo. mine was facing the power supply) wasn't even aligned...it was kind of slanted outward. This must be the problem. So I rotated it back and forth, but it's still slanted. Then I just left it "open" (the two sides are enough to hold the heatsink...). I turned on the CPU and the cpu temp remained at 54-55. But it didn't turn off.

I have been letting it run for 30 mins now with Windows loaded. I ran the Probe II software and the displayed CPU temp has been at 46.

Moral of the story: who came up with the idea of putting that huge heatsink on the NorthBridge chipset? I had to put the clip on the other side.

Please tell me how to setup the HyperTransport stuffs in the BIOS: NorthBridge and SouthBridge.
April 3, 2006 7:15:24 PM

oops sry different topic.
but HyperTransport Geforce Configuration: LDT to NB Frequency and LDT to NB LinkWidth.
Nforce to NVIDIA Freq and LinkWidth

thank you.
December 4, 2007 5:45:56 AM

I had the same problem with A8N-VM shut down out of the blue.
First I updated bios from Asus download site to 0902.rom (beta bios)

Then I removed CPU fan and CPU cleaned old thermal compound off both CPU and Heat sink.

Then I applied a good coating of Silver Thermal Ultra to the CPU side only (so I dont have to worry whether it lines up correctly).

Reseated CPU and Heat sink.

Then go into bios/ go to section that shows CPU and Motherboard temp (voltage/fan speed etc..)

Highlight CPU Temp Hit Enter and choose: Ignore
Do the same with Motherboard Temp.

Never had a problem since.

Hope this helps,
Bozo :) 
December 4, 2007 6:02:44 AM

i have a board on the nforce 4 chipset and i had the same problem--it got sorted once i upgraded my bios.
try flashing ur bios use the asus easy bios flash tool u've got in the driver disc.
do check the temperatures/voltages using the asus tool--temperature and voltage measuring tool or alternatively u could install ntune from nvidia's site and then use nvidia monitor to check ur temperatures and voltages.
!