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Random System Shutdowns.....

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November 25, 2006 12:15:46 AM

I posted this at the Motherboard section:
Quote:
=========
System Specs
=========
Mainboard : Asus A7N8X-X
Chipset : nVidia nForce2 400
Processor : AMD Athlon XP @ 1466 MHz
Physical Memory : 1024 MB (2 x 512 DDR-SDRAM )
Video Card : Nvidia Corp GeForce3 Ti 200 [NV20.1]
Hard Disk : IC35L060AVER07-0 (61 GB)
DVD-Rom Drive : ATAPI DVD DD 2X16X4X16
DVD-Rom Drive : SAMSUNG DVD-ROM SD-616F
Monitor Type : LT916s - 19 inchs
Network Card : Nvidia Corp nForce MCP-T Networking Adapter
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition 5.01.2600 Service Pack 2
DirectX : Version 9.0c (March 2006)
==========
System Temps
==========
Monitoring Chip : Asus ASB100
CPU Core : 1.79 V
+3.3V Voltage : 3.38 V
+5V Voltage : 4.92 V
+12V Voltage : 12.48 V
Processor Temperature : 61 °C
Mainboard Temperature: 23.5 °C
Hard Disk Temperature IC35L060AVER07-0: 40 °C
==========
After weeks of random shutdowns on my PC and searching forum after forum, I replaced my Power Suppy today (previously 300w) with a brand new 600w unit. I'm still getting random shutdowns. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

What should be the CPU processing Temp? I just looked again and it is now 67 C. Is this high? Maybe my CPU Fan?
November 25, 2006 8:09:13 AM

Could be CPU temp,
Your system is quite old btw, try re-application of CPU thermal compound (while off, unplugged, and all mobo power connectors unplugged), and confirm the fan speed on the heatsink is OK.
Could be Power Supply Unit ("a 300 watt replaced with a 600 watt" doesn't narrow it down much, there are plenty of dodgy ones on the market).

Could be lack of ventilation - Usually side panel of case above CPU(s) and Video Card(s) should have ventilation holes, sort of a 'grill' for airflow.

Most CPUs will work fine up to 75 C, past that is a grey area, many will work up to 85 C+. If you run SiSoft SANDRA Burn-In looped 25 times on CPU does it reveal any potential problems ?

My money is on power supply for now though - Until I know what model you have.

What are your full system specs ? (Remember PSU + Case in spec as this may be a overheat shutdown or PSU failure).

My recommended PSU lists (from SLI Zone, nVidia SLI Certified list):
http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/psu/List_of_Recommended_...

From AMD/ATI Crossfire certified list:
http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/buildyourown2.h...
November 25, 2006 1:21:36 PM

Case = Adamant Computers custom built ATX Mid Tower from February 2002 (purchased new when I came back from overseas) and has worked great up until the past couple of weeks.

Power Supply = POWORK (PSP701 Power Supply, Dual Fan, Retail Box)
ATX
Low Noise / High Efficiency
Over-Current / Over-Voltage Protection
Short Circuit Protection on all Outputs
Energy Star / Green Power
100v / 220v Switchable

Thanks again for any and all advice you have.
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November 25, 2006 2:23:56 PM

Quote:
Could be CPU temp,
Your system is quite old btw, try re-application of CPU thermal compound (while off, unplugged, and all mobo power connectors unplugged), and confirm the fan speed on the heatsink is OK.
Could be Power Supply Unit ("a 300 watt replaced with a 600 watt" doesn't narrow it down much, there are plenty of dodgy ones on the market).

Could be lack of ventilation - Usually side panel of case above CPU(s) and Video Card(s) should have ventilation holes, sort of a 'grill' for airflow.

Most CPUs will work fine up to 75 C, past that is a grey area, many will work up to 85 C+. If you run SiSoft SANDRA Burn-In looped 25 times on CPU does it reveal any potential problems ?

My money is on power supply for now though - Until I know what model you have.

What are your full system specs ? (Remember PSU + Case in spec as this may be a overheat shutdown or PSU failure).

My recommended PSU lists (from SLI Zone, nVidia SLI Certified list):
http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/psu/List_of_Recommended_...

From AMD/ATI Crossfire certified list:
http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/buildyourown2.h...


Could be some of those things yes... or it could be the most popular thing to affect the A7N8x series.. leaky capacitors.

Have a look at the capacitors.. some may very well have leaked or bulged. If so you need a replacement.
November 25, 2006 2:25:33 PM

I have used the same motherboard in a machine but with a faster overclocked CPU. In my experience once the CPU hit 60 degrees I was in trouble. I aimed to get full utilization temps down to about 55 to 57. In your case I have no idea whether that temp is during high cpu utilization or if at idle (I hope not !).

I suggest you look at your cooling method, and also consider dropping the multiplier on the CPU to see if the reduction in heat stress brings back stability. That way you can isolate the heat issue. As the previous post said it's important to check the thermal paste and make sure the fins in the heatsink are clean for efficiency.

I hope this helps. :) 
November 25, 2006 2:40:05 PM

He could try running the CPU at 1.65 V or 1.70 V in the BIOS.

Asus boards also tend to add 0.05 V (prob less now on newer boards) to every other voltage in the BIOS (Calibrated too high to make overclocking 'easier' on the end user). (Bit of a joke really IMHO).

Too bad about the capacitors, who else was affected ?
eg: What boards / brands / timeframe, and got any links ?

I heard MSI suffered from some bad capacitors awhile ago too, didn't think about it before (system is quite old).

The funny thing is I am damn sure Abit never had the capacitor problem, and they still went under from lack of marketing.
November 25, 2006 4:27:55 PM

======
CPU Info
======
Processor : AMD Athlon XP
Frequency : 1466 MHz - (current : 1469.95 MHz)
Support : Socket A
Cache L1 : 128 KB
Cache L2 : 256 KB
Voltage : 1.792 V
Processor Temperature : 53 °C
FPU Coprocessor : Present
Processor activity : : 30%

Going to try to manually set the voltage lower and see if that works. I was just on a few minutes ago and I'm running PC Wizard 2006 in the background to monitor my CPU Speed and Temp and I suddenly spiked to 68 deg C when I received another shutdown, so definitely CPU overheating causing the problem. I open the case back up and CPU fan and case fans (two of them) are both working properly.
November 25, 2006 4:37:53 PM

Went into my BIOS and changed the CPU Voltage setting from [Auto] to [Menu] and the lowest value it gave me was 1.75v and went up in .25 increments. I left it in manual, but when I logged back in, it is still at 1.79v...

:?
November 26, 2006 12:17:01 AM

.....And I still get random shutdowns as I randomly climb from around 55 deg C to 68 deg C.

Maybe the CPU cooler? I have a standard fan at the moment (checked it with case open and it seems to be working properly). Should I get something bigger?
November 26, 2006 4:41:33 AM

Try:

1) Reapply thermal compound

2) Replacing mainboard, and perhaps PSU (Stems from capacitor failure post above).
November 26, 2006 5:02:43 AM

Sounds wierd i have that exact same mobo with a athlon xp 3200 barton on it. Runs idle under 30c and about 34c under load. What kind of HSF are you using. defanitly replace the thermal compound like tabrisdarkpeace mentioned. I must say the only complaint i have about that setup is it got old but its still working flawless today.

Athlonxp 3200+ barton
9800xt
1gig corsaier
November 26, 2006 2:06:14 PM

My Athlon XP builds have needed serios CPU coolers when overclocked. And I mean big 100% copper coolers with decent 80 or 92mm fans. But I'll admit that overclocking those babies made the CPU really hot. I don't think you are overclocking your machine (although I don't recognise the 1466 speed you mention) but you need to check that your cooler is sitting snuggly on your chip.

Of course look for capacitor leaks by checking the tops and sides. There could be fluid leaks (it's normally a rusty brown sludge) or you'll see bulging of the sides. There were a lot of faulty capacitors released onto the market a few years ago and many manufacturers were impacted. In fact I have even seen a few Dell motherboards with faulty capacitors. I am not convinced this affects you, but you can read an article about it here:

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=195

Anyway you should try touching the sides of your heatsink while the machine is running (watch your fingers in the fan) it should feel pretty warm if the CPU is running like that. If the cooler isn't that hot then either there's not a good contact between the CPU and the cooler, or something is wrong with the way the system is reporting the temp... and you might want to consider a new motherboard or PC.
November 26, 2006 4:28:24 PM

Thanks for all the good info. I'm going to run out today and get some thermal compound and a better cooler (Black Friday sales are still running in many places here in San Diego). Hopefully, between the two I can get the issue resolved. I just hate the hit-or-miss troubleshooting. Plannning to get a new rig when I get back from Iraq next year; just waiting for the new Quad's to stabilize in the market.

Thanks again for all the great suggestions!
November 26, 2006 4:40:28 PM

Quote:
Sounds wierd i have that exact same mobo with a athlon xp 3200 barton on it. Runs idle under 30c and about 34c under load. What kind of HSF are you using. defanitly replace the thermal compound like tabrisdarkpeace mentioned. I must say the only complaint i have about that setup is it got old but its still working flawless today.

Athlonxp 3200+ barton
9800xt
1gig corsaier

I haven't had a single problem with my system until about two weeks ago. At first, I thought maybe a virus or something (sister-in-law was here and kept installing chat programs... AACK!), but got those cleared with no problems. I did about 2 weeks of searching and finally concluded it was the Power Supply (also received a bunch of replies to this affect on many boards), but still no dice. I installed PC Wizard 2006 off of a Maximum PC disk and leave it runnning in the background to measure CPU Temp. For some reason, it always starts around 40 Deg C, but escalates RANDOMLY up to around 60 and hovers there. For no apparent reason, it will suddenly begin to spike upwards and once it reaches 67 Deg C, it shuts down. I've left it idle, played games and run internet trying to initiate the shutdowns to try and further pinpoint the problem, but can't seem to find any consistencies.

:x :x :x
November 26, 2006 5:04:57 PM

Judging by the temp of your HDD, and the fact that it's only a 61gb drive which means there's a good chance it runs at 5400rpm...(it should NOT be 40 degrees) I'd say you have a system cooling problem. You have ONE fan?

Reseat your CPU and try opening your case up and blowing a large room fan in the side. See what your temps are then. If they go down then your case may need better cooling. :-P One fan doesn't usually cut it unless you're Dell.
November 26, 2006 5:12:25 PM

I have two case fans; one is mounted on the side of the case panel that accesses the Motherboard. I'll try taking the side panel off and running a fan on it to see. Just seems kinda funny that it would have worked fine for the past 4 1/2 years and is just now acting up if it was the cooling of the case.

You are correct, the HDD is only 5,400 RPM. Like I said, I've had the system since it was the 'Top O' D Line' stuff back in Feb 2002. I'll be getting something better when I get back from Iraq next Fall.

Thanks for the suggestion!
November 26, 2006 5:43:06 PM

Iraq eh? Well then that's simple. Dust! :-P Try a can-o-air. Thermal compounds go bad after a time, they recommend reseating heatsinks after a year or less anyway. Pull that sucker off and reseat it. Is your comp in air conditioning? What are your ambient temps?
November 26, 2006 8:18:49 PM

I'm not actually in Iraq yet. I leave in Feb. I just don't want to drop all my cash on a system I'm only going to use for a couple of months (weeks, if the wife has anything to say about it) and have it already outdated by the time I have any time to really use it later. I just need to keep this one at operational capacity while I'm gone for the wife and then I'll get back to it when I return.

House isn't air conditioned at the moment due to Winter, but ambient temp is around 70 deg C.

I opened the case up and put a house fan blowing into it and now the CPU Temp is pretty stable at 40-43 Deg C. Maybe my fan's are having intermittent failures? Gonna replace both the CPU and Case fans here soon and replace the thermal compound at the same time. Didn't know about redoing the compound annually. Thanks!
November 26, 2006 8:41:18 PM

Check any vent holes for dust as well. :-P A can of air can do wonders.
November 26, 2006 9:06:13 PM

I open the system about every 2 months and completely vacuum/blow out all the dust. Last time was as I was troubleshooting this last week and again Friday before I replaced the PSU.

Hmmmmm......
November 26, 2006 9:15:06 PM

Ya broke it. :-P What were you troubleshooting? Could it be related?
November 26, 2006 10:41:31 PM

I was troubleshooting the random shutdowns.

Definitely related.....

:p 
November 27, 2006 12:17:23 AM

Ahh, I thought it was some different problem. :-P
November 27, 2006 12:52:09 AM

Uh Oh... watch out for the vacuum monster. I have seen if said many times on this forum... DO NOT vacuum out your computer... EVER.

The trusty can-o-air mentioned earlier is by far the safetest way to go. Just make sure you don't use the canned air on a hot PC (as there's always the chance of squirting freezing propellant onto the motherboard).

A vacuum is one of the greatest creators of static charge, and you really don't want that spilling off the end of the vacuum nozzle into your PC.

Just worth another mention in case it saves somebody computer grief in the future.
November 27, 2006 2:10:02 AM

LOL, no the vacuum never touches the board or other components. My wife has a Kirby and I use it and the attachments to clean out the vents, fans and case areas. I know better than to let the static hit my MB.

Thanks, though! You're right. Good advice for anyone that might not put the two together.
November 27, 2006 2:45:55 AM

*Observes

Meh. I probably should've mentioned that. :-D
a c 140 à CPUs
December 6, 2006 4:28:40 AM

I just gave a quick glance at the posts....

I see mention of a 3200+(most likely 130nm) being cooler...it better be it's a newer core...we are talking about a 1700+(180nm based on the vcore) here. Same as the way that my friends Athlon64(939 .92nm) runs a good 10c cooler than mine(754 130nm)

Your temps are around normal if thats at load. Those suckers run hot.....Hell a friend of mine had a XP1800 model 6 and i had the model 8. guess what over 20c cooler. Die shrinks kick ass...

I am not about to rule out heat.

Did you try to run it with the side off?
In some cases the old Athlon XP's would generate enough heat that the heatsinks air would warm up the north bridge cooler to the point of overheating....causing issues similar to yours.....

I suggest you clean it up as best you can with compressed air(in a can....even tho i use an air compressor...i cant recommend it)

Make sure all fans a clean. carefully unscrew then and clean the blades with q-tips and rubbing alcohol(this stuff is good for everything)

Run the case open. and load er up.... see if it's better.....if it last longer than normal. it's most likely heat. Touch the north bridge cooler to see how hot it is.....if it's hot you can try to mount a 40mm fan on it with zip ties(around the ears it mounts with)... see if that helps...

Still happening?
Scan for spyware and viruses.
Google for
Ad-aware se - To look for spyware (please note it also bitches about browser cookies...those can be ignored)
Trend micro housecall - Scans for virus's and spyware

Still no go?
Try to leave it in the bios and see if it shuts down...if not maybe it's a windows glitch....they exist

Sorry...i am out of idea's now

Hope something helps...
December 6, 2006 7:12:12 AM

Turn off Power Down at CPU Temp: 67 C in your BIOS and all SysTray applications.

Having an alarm for 75 C on an Athlon XP makes sense, but power down is pointless especially if it fluxuates and goes over 67 C even for one interval
December 6, 2006 10:41:51 AM

damn my 3200+ was teh coolest running cpu i ever had aside my 3500+ 64. both idled at about 25c and hit about 32c under load.
!