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Need a GURU! VERY Strange issue.

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Last response: in Memory
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May 11, 2011 2:21:15 AM

Hey all.

So I've been having a very strange problem with my puter. It shuts off randomly with no warning, no notice in the windows Event Viewer, no POST codes, nothing to give me a direct clue what is wrong. (This is on Win7 x64 Ultimate).

I originally bought a 680W PSU to replace the stock 300W thinking it was a PSU problem. The only thing that seems to have done is prolong the amount of time before it shuts off. I have now removed all components leaving the bare minimum needed to run the system, and it still happens. I have run all kinds of virus/malware checkers (clean). I have run multiple memory tests (memtest86+, etc.) reported no problem. I have run SpeedFan to check for overheating (no overheating whatsoever), I have run hardcore GPU/CPU and Mobo tests, all come back fine in the reports. I can sometimes run gfx intensive games such as Mass Effect 2, and load up Firefox with 30+ tabs open, and work on it for hours, then I leave it running idle, and go to bed, only to find it shut itself off in the morning.

I was thinking it was a windows issue so I ran Ubuntu x64 Live from the DVD, and with only Firefox running in Ubuntu, it shut off on me, so it has to be some sort of hardware issue.

Sometimes it can run fine for 32hrs b4 it shuts off, sometimes it shuts off after 20 minutes. Whether in use or idle.

The strangest thing is, I decided to test the memory slots by using only one stick at a time and also alternating the slots (I have 2 sticks of 2gb ram)...

When I removed the stick ("stick2") from slot 2, so only the original "stick1" was in Slot 1; it shut off as usual. So thinking maybe I found the culprit (that stick1 of ram), I removed stick1 and placed stick2 in Slot 1. Here's where it really gets weird ... with stick2 of ram in slot 1, the system locks up and the gfx on screen go haywire, and the system is unusable until a reboot. So I take stick2 out of slot1, and put stick1 in slot 2 this time; same result, system freeze and gfx on screen go wacky. So essentially, unless I have those 2 sticks of ram in their original configuration (which caused a hard poweroff) I get a frozen system and wacky screen. The extra weird thing is, when the system is locked up like that, it'll run for DAYS without shutting off.

I have also tries some other things, such as replacing the power cord; using a different power outlet, carefully and meticulously cleaning all dust out of it, etc. There is no visible problem on the mobo or other components, no burnt smells or anything like that, that's obvious.

At this point I'm pretty boggled and out of ideas. Anyone else have any ideas?

All help MUCH appreciated. :o 

More about : guru strange issue

a b } Memory
May 11, 2011 3:26:19 AM

Based on what your testing has shown, I'd say the CPU, mainboard, and memory are having a three-way contest to see which can cause mayhem.

The only easy fix would be if the memory is the problem.

If it's the mainboard or CPU, there's no real way to tell which as the memory controller is on the CPU but the physical traces from the CPU to the memory are of course part of the board.

My advice: Try different memory. If the problem persists, RMA the mainboard and CPU.
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May 13, 2011 12:47:11 AM

Thanks for the reply,

So, I borrowed some different ram (Corsair) and a 530W PSU from a friend. First I replaced my ram with the borrowed ram and the PC still shut off, so I'm guessing it must not be a ram problem.

Then I replaced my PSU with his PSU. First issue was my board has a 24 pin connection, and the connector on his PSU was 20 pin, but I read on another tech forum that that's ok as long as you move the 20 pin all the way to the proper side, which I did.

Powered it up the first time and within about 10 seconds it shut right off again. Double checked all connections and turned it on again, within about 30 seconds, during the bios screen, shuts off. If it helps anyone, this is on a a HP m8000n.

Any ideas?

Thanks again for the help.
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a b } Memory
May 13, 2011 1:52:25 AM

Have you checked the caps on the board during any of this? Look real carefully, some can even bulge on the side. I'd move back to the new PSU you bought (and I hope it was a good one.) and run memtest on your ram. Before doing that make sure your bios is running the ram like its supposed to. (correct timings, voltage, etc.)
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May 13, 2011 3:24:29 AM

hey dude i m still in the learning stage regarding the pc problems and stuff!!! but i have faced the same prb of pc shutting down sometimes very quickly and sometimes after 4-5 hrs!!! and the later on my system was completely dead!!! the prb was in my smps!!!!! got it changed the pc worked fine!!! and then again there was a prb in my motherboard!!! one capacitor was faulty!!! got the motherboard changed and now it is working fine!!! DID U CHECK UR SMPS???????? DID U CHANGE IT AND SEE?
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a b } Memory
May 13, 2011 3:52:34 AM

He did. He went from a 300W to a "680W". No clue however if that 680W is any good.
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a c 106 } Memory
May 13, 2011 4:13:07 AM

1) Could you have a problem with your electricity source? Perhaps a power spike triggers a shutdown. An AC unit starting up?
Try a ups which can condition the electrical power you are supplying to the system.

2) Is there a bios update to the motherboard that might address the issue?

3) Could there be an intermittent short in the case? Can you run with the essential parts outside of the case? How about a short in the power on switch or wire?

4) Is the ram supported on your motherboard?

5) Exactly what parts are we talking about there?
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May 13, 2011 3:45:59 PM

I think i might know the issue. most HP, DELL, ACER, ASUS computers only support memory at JDEC standards. that means default voltages. If the memory you are trying is requiring more than JDEC standard voltages you will get random restarts/crashes. Also undervolting the memory could kill it. I would find out if the memory you are using is standard spec and if it is qualified compatible with the mobo manufacturer.

I also agree that if the machine is under warranty, sending the whole thing back for repair should be your first order of business. Put all the original parts back in the computer and RMA that biatch.
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