Dell Dimension 5150 randomly shuts down - failing PS?

I am trying to figure out what is going on with a Dell Dimension 5150 that keeps randomly shutting down. It occasionally shuts down immediately, and other times attempts to close programs prior to shutting down (a save dialog may pop up, etc prior to the power dropping).

I have cleaned the inside of any dust. Both the CPU fan and power supply fan seem to be running (slowly at that... neither is clicking or running fast). Neither the CPU heat sink or power supply case feel warm to the touch. System logs show no unusual errors (to my eye) prior to shut down.

The system will shut down on its on very frequently, and will often not start up again for a while. Occasionally the computer will run for half an hour.

Dell Diagnostics quick check came up with no errors. I tried to run a full test and it shut down again.

Unfortunately I don't have another PC around to swap the HD into....

Any thoughts? Thanks.

-D
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More about dell dimension 5150 randomly shuts failing
  1. The fact that it tries to shut down and begins to shut down processes is wierd. If you hadn't said that I would have definetly had said that your psu has failed, but safely shutting down at random points, I don't know...
  2. donlaoad SPEEDFAN to check temps and voltages, download cpu-z to check if the cpu is getting too hot and throttling its speed down.
  3. The fact that it tries to shut down and begins to shut down processes is wierd. If you hadn't said that I would have definetly had said that your psu has failed, but safely shutting down at random points, I don't know...

    Yeah.... it tries to safely shut down occasionally. By that I mean that you may see a "are you sure you don't want to save" or "you have windows open" type message and then the whole system powers down.

    It doesn't complete a shutdown cycle. Just goes black and everything turns off. I re-seated the RAM too.

    I'm confused for sure....
  4. Anonymous said:
    The fact that it tries to shut down and begins to shut down processes is wierd. If you hadn't said that I would have definetly had said that your psu has failed, but safely shutting down at random points, I don't know...

    Yeah.... it tries to safely shut down occasionally. By that I mean that you may see a "are you sure you don't want to save" or "you have windows open" type message and then the whole system powers down.

    It doesn't complete a shutdown cycle. Just goes black and everything turns off. I re-seated the RAM too.

    I'm confused for sure....

    u try my suggestion?
  5. ^ its a reasonable assumption
  6. shovenose said:
    u try my suggestion?


    Yeah, I installed both of them. Speedfan shows temps ranging between 25-35* (granted, I have been keeping the case door open). When I go to "Charts" the only thing it will graph for me is the temp - not voltage or whatever the other option was. The CPU and HD fans are testing fine using Dell Diagnostics and speedfan, etc.

    Computer shutting down is more arbitrary. It shut down again during an attempt at Dell Diagnostics extended check. It seemed to choke in the RAM tests, so I have been going through doing each RAM test one at a time. It will shut down part-way through one. I'll try it again to see if it is repeatable and it will make it through.

    Oddly enough.... tonight it has been much worse about refusing to turn on again after a shutdown. When I plugged in a USB mouse it tried to turn on without me hitting the power button. So that makes me think there is a general electrical problem... or maybe a motherboard issue?

    Every time I get closer to thinking I am heading down the right path it changes things up again.

    Thanks for your help.
  7. my friend bought a used dell that i looked the same (not sure if it was the exact same model tho), and it started doing wierd things, like artifacting, not recognizing usb devices, and such...
  8. try calling dell
  9. No luck with Dell as the computer is several years out of warranty.

    I ordered a refurbished power supply online and it seems to have done the trick for now. Thanks.
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