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New PC spontaneously powers off

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  • Windows Vista
Last response: in Windows Vista
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April 7, 2008 9:48:05 PM

I suspect that Vista is the culprit here, so I posted in the Vista forum, but maybe it belongs in hardware?

Anyway,

I just built a new PC for my brother a few weeks ago with the following specs:

AMD Athlon X2 4200 65W
Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI
2x2GB pqi DDR2 800
XFX GeForce 8800GT
Seasonic SS-500ES 500W PS
Seagate Barracuda 250GB HD
Sony-NEC-Optiarc AD-7191S DVD burner
Windows Vista x64

Once or twice a day, the PC spontaneously shuts down without reason. I can find no common activity happening at each occurrence - it has happened while gaming, browsing the web, and at idle. The only clue I have is the message in the Administrative Event Log: "The previous system shutdown at <time> on <date> was unexpected." Everything else appears to be running normally. Anyone have any ideas on what might be causing the problem or what I can do to track it down?

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April 7, 2008 10:04:35 PM

check your CPU temperature, many motherboards will automatically shutdown the computer if you're CPU reaches a "dangerous" temperature. I've had this happen before when the fan on the heatsink went bad, and the cpu was overheating. This is the most likely culprit.

run hwmonitor (there's a free 64bit version available) to check the operating temperatures.

my second guess would be the PSU. check that if the cpu temps are within spec
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April 8, 2008 12:29:50 AM

I checked CPU temps, and they are nonsensical. I get readings from 10-15C on air cooling in a room with ambient temp of 27C, so I know they're wrong, but I doubt that they get high enough to be a problem. One would think the CPU would start to throttle before the system shut down if heat was the problem. I'll check out the PSU to see if it is the culprit.

*sigh* ...I must be losing my touch; I should have thought of checking out the PSU first.
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April 8, 2008 3:30:07 AM

Yes you should have suspected the PSU first :)  (j/k)

If by chance it's not the PSU, check and make sure that his RAM is set to manufacturers specs. Voltage and timings.
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April 9, 2008 12:49:23 AM

My PSU tester says the power supply is bad, so I bought it a one-way ticket to RMAville. Here's to hoping that the problem really was the power supply...it would be just my luck that it turns out the PSU is good and the tester is broken.
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April 10, 2008 3:49:37 AM

At least you are going to rule out one if them!
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April 22, 2008 7:43:52 PM

Well, my luck strikes again. I got the replacement PSU in, which tested good, installed it, and stress tested the PC - no problems. Two days later, it randomly powers off again. Grrr...

Things are slightly different this time, as Vista is now asking for an update to the ACPI driver for the Asus mobo, but no updates exist, and uninstalling and reinstalling the driver achieves nothing. Any thoughts?
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April 22, 2008 8:41:56 PM

asgallant said:
Well, my luck strikes again. I got the replacement PSU in, which tested good, installed it, and stress tested the PC - no problems. Two days later, it randomly powers off again. Grrr...

Things are slightly different this time, as Vista is now asking for an update to the ACPI driver for the Asus mobo, but no updates exist, and uninstalling and reinstalling the driver achieves nothing. Any thoughts?


If it has taken two days with out problems then it could be a batch of faulty psus...

Or the motherboard is taking out the psu...

I would RMA both and demand a replacement on both.
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