When this first started, I knew of only a few reasons it should be happening. I tested the ram and found one stick in particular that wouldn't even allow the machine to boot when installed alone (one of the factory-provided sticks). I removed it and it seemed to work better for a while.
I then replaced the power supply (the one listed is the new one), and was given a new video card (also the one listed). A day ago, and again, it seemed to behave better afterward, but it began again.
I have removed another faulty stick of ram (testing it singly, and moving it from port to port in order, checking to see if it was a fault of the port itself rather than the RAM.) and am down to 1 gig.
The shut-downs are random, from thirty minutes from boot-up to up to 10 hours. I can be gaming (WoW) or just diddling around on the internet. None of my system's devices show malfunction, and according to the BIOS the CPU is running between 34 and 40c, so it's not overheating.
I haven't tried disconnecting the restart button yet as the manual for this machine is... not so good on the internal diagrams. I'm not sure how I would go about it. I don't have the money to buy new ram, though it is beginning to look like I might need to. Either that, or it's a fault with the motherboard itself, and -that- needs replacing.
The machine is cleaned of dustbunnies and their ilk, it displays -no- errors before it shuts down. It just shuts itself off.
I am about at my wit's end. I just don't know what to do now, so any help would be appreciated. =)
It will pause for about three seconds and then shut off. It's not quite like the power just fails, but more like it's quickly shutting itself down to protect itself from being damaged. There are no error messages. It freezes for up to three seconds, and simply shuts down.
Whenever I have anything odd happening with my systems I reset the CMOS via jumper on the motherboard. So I'd do that.
While you're in there can you take a look at the capacitors on the board and see if any are blown. They're the cylinders you should see throughout your board, the tops of them should be flat and most likely look like a circle with an X in the middle. Are any of these pushed up so they make a pyramid, and/or any of them leaking?
Well that's a relief in regards to the capacitors, here's some instruction on resetting CMOS.
Look up in your motherboard manual (or you can probably google around and find it) the schematic for your motherboard to find the CMOS reset jumpers.
It should look like 3 pins in a line with the jumper (which looks like a thin cap) over 2 of the pins.
To reset the BIOS you take the jumper off, and put it back on one pin over (so it's still on the center pin but now also on the other pin that was not covered before). Leave it like this for a few moments and then return the jumper back to its original position.
I'm hoping I can get this post in before it does it again. Reset the CMOS, and now it goes through a shut-down process before shutting itself off. Still no error message, nothing showing in error logs. No viruses, malware, spyware found with Avast/Spybot S&D/Housecall.
I'm kind of at a loss, but I think there may be a chance it's software related still.
May want to reinstall windows, but before I'd go through that...
Download and burn a linux live cd (if you're unfamiliar, a linux live cd will let you boot and run a linux distro right off your dvd/cdrom drive without having to install it onto your hard drive) I'd think that ubuntu would still come as a live cd, or try slackware.
Once you boot off the cd, browse the web/let the machine idle as you usually would. I'd say leave it on for quite a while. If it doesn't shut down on you, it would indicate to me it's something with your windows install and a reformat/reinstall would be appropriate at that point.
Mmmkay, so I downloaded the iso of Slax and it booted beautifully. Configured, created it's path, booted to the desktop (which has a fun background of a Tux face on parts of the world map) Then it shut it down, ejected the disk, and shut the computer down.
I have to confess, watching it actually go through the shutdown process even in Slax made me a little O.o in the face. Heh.