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PC randomly shuts down

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July 27, 2012 12:51:39 PM

First, here are my system specs:

ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 890GX Socket AM3
AMD Phenom II X6 Black Edition 1090T 3.2GHz with stock AMD fan
Antec 300 Three Hundred Case
Creative X-Fi Titanium SoundBlaster
G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz Ripjaws Memory
XFX 650W XXX Edition Single Rail Modular PSU
LG BH10LS30 10x BD-RE with DVD±RW
Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II
Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive
Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB
Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Samsung Syncmaster T240 monitor.

The GTX570 was added in Dec 2011, the 1TB Samsung was added about a week ago. The rest of the system was built by me in July 2010 and has been operating without fault since then. I do not overclock any components.
I monitor temps from time to time and they are all acceptable.

Last week I was watching a downloaded video and renaming files and the PC just shutdown - no BSOD, no error messages at all. At first I though there had been a power-cut. I switched the machine back on, but it did not boot properly. The power and HDD activity lights were on, but no signal was reaching my monitor. I held down the front power switch for several seconds, but the PC did not power down. I had to use the switch on the PSU to power off. I switched the PSU back on and pressed the front power switch and the PC booted normally. However, after several minutes, it just shut down again. I tried booting, but had to resort to the PSU power switch again.

I removed the GTX570 and ran the PC using the integrated GPU (an ATI 4290) and the system ran fine.
I decided to try the GTX570 again, but the same shutdown happened.
I have also set temp monitoring software to log the results. After another shutdown, I examined the logs an the temps recorded were normal (by normal I mean CPU about 30C and GPU about 35C at idle).
I have reinstalled Windows 7, but this did not help.
Also, I installed Windows XP Home 32-bit, and experienced the same shutdown.
I am as sure as I can be that no viruses or other malicious software is present on my PC.
I have also tried the PC with no HDD/BluRay and it has powered up, but sometimes, no signal is getting from the GTX570 to the monitor.
Also, the PC was given a good cleaning recently (dust removal, re-seating components, even re-applying thermal paste to the CPU fan).

I realise that a sporadic fault like this is difficult to pin down.
I can't try another PSU or GPU.
As I have not experienced a shutdown with the GTX570 removed, I am thinking that it is the culprit, although maybe it's the PSU (the integrated ATI chip obviouly doesn't demand as much power as the 570).
So, do you think it's the 570? As it's not a year old it should be within warranty.

Hopefully I've given plenty of info.
I'd be grateful for your feedback and for any input you might have.

Thanks.
Matt

[EDIT]
I forgot to add:
I've run memtest with no errors.
I've tried the GTX570 in both PCI slots and the sutdown has happened irrespective of which slot the card is in.

More about : randomly shuts

a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2012 1:54:46 PM

I think there are three possibilities here. In order of likelihood:

1. The GPU is bad. Try it out in a friend's computer and see if the same thing happens.

2. This also sounds like a CPU overheating. Are you running CoreTemp or a similar program to monitor the temperature? Do so and see if you're too high. Your stock heatsink and fan may not be cooling enough.

3. It's drawing too much power for your PSU to handle. It's possible but unlikely, as you should have more than enough power to run this rig.
Related resources
July 27, 2012 2:16:45 PM

Take the 1TB hdd out and see if you can recreate. It sounds like the PSU isnt keeping up or the GPU is bad.
July 27, 2012 2:18:39 PM

Thanks for your reply.

JMer806 said:
I think there are three possibilities here. In order of likelihood:

1. The GPU is bad. Try it out in a friend's computer and see if the same thing happens.


Unfortunately, that's not an option for me.

JMer806 said:
2. This also sounds like a CPU overheating. Are you running CoreTemp or a similar program to monitor the temperature? Do so and see if you're too high. Your stock heatsink and fan may not be cooling enough.


I've been running CoreTemp with logging enabled.
I see CPU temp's of 30C at idle, rising to 53C while using Handbrake to rip a DVD.
Even at 53C, that's well below AMD's Tmax of 62C for my CPU.
I had a shutdown while logging was enabled. The logs showed no sudden temp rise. If it's an overheat issue, then the temp is jumping so quickly (at idle) that the PC shuts down before the temp rise is recorded. I don't know if that's possible.

I do have an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2, but I removed it because:
a) Its exhaust fan goes up through the case which is a bit inconvenient.
b) It didn't give better temps than the stock fan and was also noisier.

I've been using the stock fan for about a week prior to these shutdowns happening. During that time I've put some long (a few hours) gaming sessions in. It's only since I added the new Samsung 1TB drive that the shutdowns occur (not that I'm suggesting that's relevant).

JMer806 said:
3. It's drawing too much power for your PSU to handle. It's possible but unlikely, as you should have more than enough power to run this rig.


The GTX570 needs a minimum of 600W and 42Amps (according to the box). My PSU is rated +12V, 52A, 624W.
Even with 3HDD's and a BluRay, I'd have thought my PSU is good enough.
July 27, 2012 2:26:04 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
Take the 1TB hdd out and see if you can recreate. It sounds like the PSU isnt keeping up or the GPU is bad.


Thanks for your suggestion.

Yesterday after a shutdown, I disconnected all drives and could not get a signal to the monitor for a few minutes.
It seems that after a shutdown, the PC needs a few minutes before it will boot properly.
I'm no electrician, but do PSU's need some recovery time if they shutdown suddenly?
I'm willing to buy a more powerful PSU (say 750W) and see if that helps.
I also don't want to cry wolf with the GPU.
Money is a bit tight right now, so I'm trying to be as thorough as I can before spending.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2012 2:40:13 PM

Ok, your temps are totally fine. So yeah it's either a bad GPU or the PSU. Seems you're a bit tight with the PSU, and a new one won't hurt (you can always move it to a new build later on, so no worries about wasting money). If that doesn't work then it's definitely the GPU. You might consider RMAing it regardless.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2012 3:31:11 PM

Great PSU my son has it!
July 27, 2012 3:33:54 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Great PSU my son has it!


Thanks for that!
If (more likely - when) I go ahead and get one, I'll report back on how the system is doing.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 27, 2012 3:44:40 PM

Yep, that's a solid PSU from a good brand. You shouldn't have any problems with it, and you'll definitely know that it's the GPU if it still doesn't work.
July 27, 2012 5:24:31 PM

So here's an update.
The system just shutdown without the GTX570 :( 
I was using handbrake to rip a DVD.
I wasn't monitoring temps at the time, but I know from earlier that they are hitting about 53C, which is safe.

Now, without the 570, the PSU is not under much of a load, so can I rule out a fault there?

Also, just to be thorough, is it possible that the battery on the motherboard (I've not replaced it, so it's a 2 year old battery now) could cause this behaviour?
July 27, 2012 5:43:52 PM

Another update!

So I was just doing another rip and I had CoreTemp and HWMonitor open.
CoreTemp showed 55C at the end of a 7 minute rip.
HWMonitor showed 60C for the same rip! That's pretty close to Tmax and would likely go up even higher after an hours ripping.
So, I'm now convinced that its a CPU overheating problem.
I'm just going to replace the stock fan with my Arctic Freezer (and new thermal paste, etc) and then I'll get another rip going and monitor temps.
Fingers crossed... :) 
July 28, 2012 5:03:00 PM

So I ended up stripping the PC, giving it a good clean out and rebuilding it with the GTX570.
I also reinstalled Windows 7.
Things were fine overnight and today until about an hour ago when I had a shutdown whilst using a Linux live cd.
Here's a HWMonitor screenshot from a few minutes ago:



Temps are fine.
But what's up with that +3.3V reading of 2.17V? (Assuming the readings are reliable).
I don't know what the 3.3V is used for, but do you think that low voltage could be what's causing the shutdowns?
July 30, 2012 5:20:11 PM

I'm having a similar problem running on the same motherboard with a different but comparable setup (I need to dig up the specs). I haven't tested it out as extensively, but I did try swapping out the ram sticks, with no favorable results.
I'm going to try disabling the internal graphics now to see if that solves the issue.
I'll post with updates. I hope we can solve this!
July 30, 2012 7:38:25 PM

So, that didn't work, but I've been looking at the reviews of my psu on newegg, and a bunch of people have been having the same problem. So I ordered a new one and hopefully that solves the problem
a b B Homebuilt system
July 31, 2012 1:27:51 AM

I'm surprised but given the developments it sounds like it actually was the PSU.

Please let us know if the new PSU causes problems - if you continue to see issues, it's probably a MOBO issue.
August 2, 2012 5:45:45 AM

So I got the new psu, an antec hcg-750. Much nicer than the rosewill value 2 that I had before, and not an embarrassing piece of hardware.
The computer has been running fine for a good six hours now, so I think the problem is fixed!
Thank you everyone for the knowledgeable input
a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2012 10:17:27 PM

No worries - don't forget to choose a Best Answer.
August 12, 2012 11:18:55 PM

1) cesarcotta - I'm glad your problem is solved.
2) Since my last post on this problem, my PC has been operating without fault. So I'm considering this as 'solved' even though I have no idea as to what the problem was. I guess these things just happen sometimes.
So, many thanks to all of you who gave their time to help me.
August 18, 2012 1:26:07 PM

So here I am once more...
Yesterday morning the PC would not switch on. I disconnected and reconnected all devices and eventually got it to work.
But as I had a bit of cash I went ahead and ordered a Corsair AX850.
That new PSU arrived today (and thanks to Parcel Force for putting it on the wrong van and me nearly not getting it today!).
It's installed and everything seems fine so far.
I'll consider this problem as solved.
Thanks again for all your help.
!