Odd power off problem

I've got a MSI motherboard, AMD bios, Pentium 4 3.0ghz machine. It's had several issues with power supplies in the past (it was on it's 3rd when this new problem occurred). I leave it running all the time and the only problem I've ever had out of it is is the occasional dying power supply -- granted, I bought cheap ones from the local do-it-yourself computer parts store.

My new problem is that it runs for a while, then randomly powers off. I've replaced the power supply, I've also monitored the internal temperature and and chassis temperature. I've tried resetting the bios to the manufacturers defaults. I've tried removing all parts except for the mobo, 1 ram chip and CPU. This seems to run for a long time with no issues (I've let it sit for 15-20 mins). As I start adding devices (HDs, DVD, video card, etc) the length of time shortens (however, it's still very random... between 10 seconds and 5 minutes). Windows does not have to be booted for it to power off, in fact, I can't seem to tie the problem at all to windows.

Any thoughts? I thought it may be a ram chip going, or one of my drives pulling too much power, etc. The new power supply has more wattage than the last (500 vs 480). The CPU never goes over 59C even with the case on, which seems to be within tolerance. Do I just need to get a new motherboard and/or CPU?

Help!
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  1. amd Bios?
  2. Quote:
    amd Bios?


    Yes -- Think I should reflash?
  3. could be a faulty CPU also, CPU can decide to switch off due to temps/volts or just being messed up
  4. If it were the CPU, could I narrow that out by taking everything off the mobo except the cpu & a ram chip and seeing how long it will run for? The last time I did that it seemed stable, but I didn't go beyond 15 mins.
  5. well yes pretty much, take everything out apart from gfx card, cpu,mem and objiously mobo, go into the bios when you switch it on, and leave it there for several hours( if it will stay on ), if that works then it could be lack of power etc. if it doesnt work well youre up the creak and have to try and test with another cpu/mobo/psu which sux, but its what i had to do, i ended up rma'ing the mobo because of it
  6. Ho hum... I guess it's about time to re-install windows anyway. :(
  7. Heat can cause this type of shutdown. Try to run some monitoring software to get a rough idea of how high your processor temps get before the system shuts down, then compare them to the CPU's thermal "limits" as posted by the Manufacturer.

    It could be a poorly seated CPU that isn't making good contact with the Heatsink, and that can be solved simply by removing it, applying some thermal compound, and reattaching the HSF assembly. It would also explain why it takes 15 minutes for the system to shut down, normally it takes that amount of time to get the processor warm enough to cause problems if they are present. Try running an anti-virus scan and some other CPU-heavy applications at the same time, if it shuts down during, its' most likely a processor-related heat issue.
  8. Quote:
    Ho hum... I guess it's about time to re-install windows anyway. :(

    Dude, you will be very very very luck i the BIOS stays up without powering off. Anyways, give it a try and see i it powers of, if not its a temp issue, OR very very slim chance but something wrong with windows power management

    Best of luck with it
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