My parents have an older computer that they purchased from Best Buy three or four years ago. Recently they've had troubles booting into windows. Here are the steps that happen and the errors that they are running into, any help or suggestions you might have would be great:
Turn on the computer.
Motherboard information loads.
Windows logo appears and starts loading.
Computer shuts off, before getting to the log in or desktop screen.
It happens over and over again, until eventually it works like its supposed to. After 20 or so attempts (that can't be good), Windows loads and brings up the desktop. They are then able to use it regularly. However, recently, the problem seems to have gotten worse. In addition to just shutting down during Windows load, it now also shuts down randomly once it finally does load up. They'll be doing their banking and web surfing when the computer suddenly loses power and shuts down again.
My theories on it are that it's unlikely to be software related, but is possibly a power issue. Either the power supply has fried or maybe something else.
They brought it into the local Best Buy and, after asking how old it was, the Geek Squad attempted to start it and ran into the same problem. They seem to think it's the motherboard not allocating power appropriately. Before purchasing a new computer I wanted to check with my fellow, more experienced and knowledgeable than myself, tech geeks to see what other possibilities it could be. I don't have the computer on me right now (my parents still have it in their car) but when I get a hold of it I'll track down any specs that might be helpful.
Do you have another PSU you can test with the machine? You can leave it outside of the case and just plug in all the connectors and see if it boots then. If it has the same problem then you know its not the PSU.
quick update, haven't had a chance to check out the suggested solutions due to Bar exam studies, but will be able to this weekend and will let you know how I make out. Thank you everyone for the responses thus far.
check the thermal paste and make sure the plate of the heatsink is making proper contact like henydiah mentioned. A friend of mine had a similar issue which he trouble shot for days (including changing the psu) only to find that the thermal paste/bond was the issue
Ok, so finally managed to get into this and try your suggested solutions. Switched power supplies and the problem still remains. Checked thermal paste, there's still a good layer on it that remains moist. I ran the bios for about a half hour and the computer was stable the entire time. Upon rebooting, it again started to boot into windows and then crashed before reaching the desktop