Windows 7 - Sudden Shutdown

I have a home built PC with a Gigabyte M61PM-S2 (about 2-3 years old) motherboard and 4GB of Crucial DDR2-800 memory. It is configured with one 500GB disk and dual booting with XP and Windows 7 Ultimate(64-bit). It worked fine in this configuration for about 3 months.

Several weeks ago, I noticed my PC developing a nasty habit of suddenly powering off for no reason while running Windows 7; pull the plug dead in a sudden moment. After running memtest86, I found that the memory had problems and so I swapped it under warranty. A few days later, it happened again, though the memory tested fine, so I updated my BIOS to the latest version. The interesting thing is that my PC never shuts down when running the XP OS. With XP it is solid and stable for weeks; never a sudden shutdown. So, the problem seemed isolated to Win 7 with my memory and power supply apparently working fine. After much troubleshooting and angst, I decided to bite the bullet and reinstall Windows 7 (32 bit) on a new clean partition; thinking that I had a bad driver or something like that. The install went fine and I was feeling reassured when all of a sudden it happened again about 30 minutes after boot. The only thing done to the clean OS was Windows Update. Upon reboot, the system sometimes lasts an hour or so and other times it shuts down a few seconds after coming up. Same story when booting to safe mode.

At this point, I am at a loss of what could be the root problem. Since it seemed to creep up over time, I tend to think power supply or CPU heat problems, or maybe even mobo compatibility issues. But with XP being solid on the same hardware, it's hard to speculate.

This is my first post on TH, though I have been an active lurker here for years. Any assistance that can be provided to help me isolate this issue is much appreciated! I really want to run Win7, but don't want to replace my computer to do it. Many thanks for your help!
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  1. When systems power off suddenly, always suspect - the power first. I would then look at heat and physical connections next as culprits. Memory errors almost always show up as blue screens.

    You cannot compare a 32 bit OS against a 64 bit OS in terms of how much power they draw. The issue is they are different and act different.

    I say try a new power supply and see what it does. Its not a lot of money either way.

    Run CPUID Hardware Monitor and watch your temps. You will have to turn logging on or you will lose the data in a crash.
    Make sure your CPU heatsink is still connected properly. Things have a way of working loose.

    Unplug and replug everything - things build up small amounts of corrosion over time.

    Good luck
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