GA P35 DS3L problems

I recently bought this new MoBo and components, after building it I turned it on and it seemed to work great. Except that within 3 minutes of being in Windows XP (SP 2) the machine just shut off. No blue screen errors, it just shuts off. Here are my specs:
GA-P35-DS3L rev 2.0 BIOS version F7
Q6600 2.4 Ghz (FSB set to 266)
4gb DDRII PC2-6400 5-5-5-15 1.8v PC2-6400 (G.Skill 2x2gb)
600watt Rosewill PSU
Nvidia 8800GT
2x 160gb SATA HDD (reused from my previous computer)

After a couple of sudden shut downs I managed to get all the drivers installed for the MoBo, the onboard sound works, the USB slots & LAN works, I can connect to the internet via firefox (though IE7.0 won't work now for some reason). But of course after 3 minutes or less of being on the new machine it just shuts down. And if I try to bring it back on shortly after a sudden shutdown it shuts down even sooner.

I thought it was the PSU at first. I called Rosewill they had me run a test which involved making a U-shape with a paper clip, sticking one end in the green slot of the 20pin connector and the other end in a black slot, and making sure all other connections are unplugged from the mobo/components. The PSU then proceeded to run for 10 minutes so I shut it off fairly convinced that it might not be the PSU (not 100% though).

It shouldn't be the RAM slots themselves, I tried putting the RAM in slots 2&4 instead of 1&3 and the same thing happened. I tried it with one stick in slot 1,2,3,then 4 and the same with the other stick. And in each test the system crashed within 2 to 3 minutes. I've tried running Memtest86 but it will shut down halfway through, but I can't be sure it crashed because it is testing the memory or if it crashed because of whatever else non-RAM related that causes my machine to shut down did its thing at the appropriate time.

It shouldn't be anything to do with my HDD as I can keep the computer on the BIOS setup screen and within 5 minutes it will shut down.

The only thing I haven't tried is flashing the BIOS with a new version, but I definately don't want to try that when my machine will most likely shut off half-way through the flash.

Anyways before I send anything back I am curious if anybody here has some ideas for me to try because I am definately out of ideas.
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  1. Sounds to me like your overheating. You better reseat your heatsink, and when you do you will need to reapply some new thermal compound. Artic Silver maybe.

    Even after you get the heat problem fixed you might find yourself with alot of other trouble that is HDD related. Old HDDS with out a fresh Windows install is never a good idea. I know alot of noobs will flame me for saying that, but if you read these forums everyday you will see how many problems old HDDs bring to your new computer.

    But ya reseat because you most definately got a over heating problem the way it sounds. You should be able to monitor your temps in the Bios.
  2. In the BIOS, under "PC Health" section, what are your temp readings showing?
  3. That looks like the cause. Before my PC shut it self down I saw the system temp rise to 37ºC and the CPU skyrocket to 109ºC.

    Unfortunately I can't get any Thermal Compound until tomorrow, unless walmart sells it lol.

    I was kind of worried about how I had that heat sink layed in there, after laying it on the load plate I couldn't get the fasteners into the holes very easily, so I picked the heatsink back up (rookie mistake maybe?) and layed it down about three more times before giving the thing enough force, I'm sure that didn't agree to well with the thermal interface material.

    As for having future issues with my HDDs, that shouldn't be a problem for long. Since I bought a 64bit Vista to install, but this overheating problem is keeping me from making it a fresh install.

    Let's hope one of the local computer stores or best buy has the thermal compound I need. I'll post here what happens.

    Thanks again for the speedy replies.

    Also, what temperature should I be worried about, CPU or System? I noticed the booklet that came with the processor said to keep the temperature below 37 or 38ºC, but is that talking about CPU or System temp? My guess is CPU in case I can see why my PC is shutting down. But the system temp showed the 37 or 38 by the time it shut down.
  4. Your System temp should run in the 30s normally. If the CPU gets over 70 your introuble. Ideally your cpu shouldnt idle over 45 or less. 109 will definately cause problems. Your CPu life probably just got shorter as a result.
  5. wow, ur cpu is showing 107?

    is the heatsink cold if u touch it? if it is. then as raodrunner said, u have real issue of over heating.
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