Help with Dell Desktop and Windows Vista

I am trying to fix a computer for my girlfriend's mother so she can have a family computer in her living room so her family will stay off of hers, but that's beside the point. Anyway, what computer I am trying to fix is a Dell desktop, not completely sure the model of it at the moment (although if it is required I can find out). When trying to start the computer up, it says disk read error: 0 or something to that degree. I shut off all of the disk drives in the system setup and what do you know the computer started right up into Windows Vista. However, it randomly shuts off (it was doing this from the beginning before I could get it to boot into Vista). I have since deleted the partition and to install Vista from scratch like I was intending to do, however I cannot complete the installation before it turns off. Forgive me if I am posting in the wrong section, it's just there are a few things that are going wrong for this disaster I didn't know where to put it. Any suggestions? My thought is a hardware problem, but it could be something so simple to fix that I have been overlooking it.
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  1. Best answer
    Have you verified all the fans are working? the random shut-off feature sounds like it could be an overheating problem (I had a machine that did that when the CPU fan died). The other thing is that there could be a drive problem since there was that disk error for a time and all. I would first check all the fans and verify they all work and maybe check temps and stuff in the bios if you can, and if that all seems normal, see if a different hard drive works (hopefully you have an extra or can borrow one to test).
  2. The weird thing about it is I went into the BIOS settings and set the drives from internal to off. That fixed it and let it boot into the OS, however I was only getting that one error for the hard drive.
  3. Yeah- that is strange. I would really check all your fans and check your temps (sounds like maybe you had 2 different problems). The fans and temps could be the shutoff problem, and the drive have the other error, or even I guess the mobo. Let us know how that turns out.
  4. That's what I've been thinking the temperature may be set to too high. However I've checked the BIOS settings I don't know how many times and I've yet to find anything that has something to do with the temperature. Believe me if I find it that fan is being set to maximum and everything else is being set below normal.

    I just now thought about this and it is also weird. When the drive error would normally come up, it now blinks where it normally would for maybe half a second and goes off, as if it notices the error then is told to ignore it. Have any idea why that's happening? It may just be something small but who knows it could be related to all of the problems this computer seems to have.
  5. Just wanted to give an update on the PC situation, maybe somebody will have something for me to try I have yet to try. I have finally succeeded in installing Vista on the PC; by some sort of miracle the computer never restarted itself during the 15th time of trying to reinstall it. I installed Speedfan to see what that might do but the PC still restarts itself. Now it is turning itself on even when the PC is shut off. Any ideas on how I might be able to fix this now that Vista is installed? I'm 99.9% convinced it has to be a hardware problem, but maybe something can be done within the OS to fix the restarts. Any suggestions?
  6. Never mind I threw the PC out. Received another one that I upgraded and made just as fast as the Dell.
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