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Computer shutting off without warning..

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January 30, 2013 6:16:05 PM

I'm at a loss. I recently had my own computer built by my father about four months ago, but he's no longer with us.

My computer has been having many problems although I've only had it approximately four months. I don't know much about them myself, so I've come to ask the community here.

Recently I've had problems with my computer shutting down without warning. Whenever I turn it back on it boots normally as of nothing ever happened. A couple of weeks ago, my dad had thought it may have been the power supply and that we were pushing it to the limits so he removed one of my graphics cards. It worked just fine for a little over a week and it's back at it again however, this time when it shuts down it won't boot back up for several minutes. Pressing the power button sometimes turns it on for a few seconds and the lights immediately go back out. When I finally do get it back on (this time around) it tells me that windows has shut down improperly and asks how I wish to proceed. Sometimes after I boot it up, even sitting idly will kill it..

I've done some searching around and it seems to me that it may either be my power supply being insufficient or overheating. I'm getting very stressed out because I've put so much into this (in my opinion) and it's breaking down on me and even more upsetting because I don't have the knowledge to fix it.


  • I'm not 100% sure on my parts because I'm not at the house right now but I've got
    AMD 8 core, 3.6GHz processor
    GeForce GTX 550 ti, only one. Previously running an SLI setup
    I can't remember the name of the motherboard
    The power supply is 550Watts. It was one that was recommended for the case I bought..
    I believe my mother board has a built in fan, my graphics card does, and I have like three case fans. One larger one on the side and two smaller ones in the back. I didn't think temperature would be a problem..
    That's all I know.

    Hopefully with your help, I can resolve this issue. Many thanks in advance.
    a c 188 à CPUs
    January 30, 2013 6:43:14 PM

    I have a had an issue lik this in the past and the issue was that the PSU (Power Supply Unit) was going out and overheating. Next time that it shuts down reach in and put your hand close to the PSU and see if you can feel the heat coming off from it. What is the PSU (Company and model) that you have?

    If you want to test this out if you have an extra PSU around you can simply replace the old one and run the system to see if it is still shutting down on you. Maybe borrow one from a friend or family member.
    January 30, 2013 7:41:59 PM

    Well, I just got home and here I am trying to turn on my PC and it will do nothing whatsoever. Only one of the many times I've just pressed the power button, the lights flickered but that was it. Something I find odd though.. My headset is a USB powered headset, Razer megalodon, still has power. Is it maybe there is power coming from the unit but not enough to power the entire computer? My PSU is...
    Apevia atx switching power supply model: atx-AS500W
    Related resources
    January 30, 2013 8:46:33 PM

    Do you know when the PSU was purchased and from whom? It sounds like your 12 volt rail(s) has died.

    If you have a MicroCenter nearby they can test the PSU for you.
    January 30, 2013 9:11:40 PM

    I bought everything from tigerdirect .com that's all I know.. I don't know what a micro center is, but I've got a millennium 3 here in town. That's the only computer place I think I've got around here.
    January 30, 2013 11:20:42 PM

    Here is MicroCenter's website:

    http://www.microcenter.com/

    You can check to see if there is one nearby.

    If you can find the receipt from tiger you should be able to contact them for a possible RMA or you may have to contact the manufacturer.

    You may want to drop by your local shop and see if they would test the PSU for you.

    If you don't want to mess with all of that you should be able to get a reliable replacement for $40-50.
    January 30, 2013 11:31:57 PM

    Well, the reason I came here is because I wasn't sure if maybe it was the power supply or an overheating issue and I wanted advice.. I don't have any receipts or boxes so unfortunately I can't send it back.. I do guess I'm going to try to get a bigger power supply.. I'll keep the box this time in case that's not the solution. Would you have any suggestion on how big of psu I should get to run the gtx 550 sli setup as well as a dual or tri monitor setup?
    January 30, 2013 11:38:20 PM

    How long ago was the computer built? I definitely sounds like a power supply problem. If you have two graphics cards (or want to put both of them back in) I would suggest a PSU that is rated from 750-850W. If you list the components used in the build particularly the graphics cards and the CPU then folks here will be able to make decent recommendations. I would go with a brand like Seasonic or Corsair as they are well made and will last forever - don't go cheap on your power supply - they invariably fail and in a worst case can fry all your other components as well.

    The only other thing I would check is the CPU temperature (a little program called SpeedFan is quite good for that). It will show if the CPU is running hot which may indicate an issue wit the seating of the CPU cooling fan.

    Good luck
    a b à CPUs
    a b ) Power supply
    January 30, 2013 11:42:47 PM

    The number of monitors in the setup doesn't matter as they have their own power supply. I would've thought you should be looking at 600-650W power supply for dual GTX550Ti. I would also be looking at a quailty manufacturer like Corsair, Antec or Seasonic. There are many more quality manufacturers of power supplies but those were the ones that came to mind.

    Best solution

    January 31, 2013 12:01:54 AM
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    The 550ti only draws 116 watts so you could get away with a high quality 450 watt PSU but as has been said you never want to cheap out on the PSU or push it too close to its limits.

    I found a 620 watt Antec and a 600 watt Corsair on Newegg that are both $40 after rebate with free shipping.

    Of those two I would personally go with the Corsair because it is a bit more efficient and includes two 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors where the Antec has a single 6 pin and a 6+2 pin.
    January 31, 2013 12:16:16 AM

    What does that mean? I'll check into them for sure, thank you.
    January 31, 2013 1:04:50 AM

    I looked at those links.. I really don't know anything at all computer.. The psu that I had originally said sli ready. Neither of those you linked say that.. Will that prohibit me from my sli graphics cards?
    January 31, 2013 1:28:44 AM

    No. NVidia will certify certain devices for SLI but as long as the PSU will provide the power and your MB supports SLI then you everything should be fine.

    A 550Ti only requires one 6 pin PCI-e power connector and both of those linked will support two cards.

    The PSU you linked looks okay but I am not familiar with that brand.
    January 31, 2013 1:30:13 AM

    lilcinw said:
    The 550ti only draws 116 watts so you could get away with a high quality 450 watt PSU but as has been said you never want to cheap out on the PSU or push it too close to its limits.

    I found a 620 watt Antec and a 600 watt Corsair on Newegg that are both $40 after rebate with free shipping.

    Of those two I would personally go with the Corsair because it is a bit more efficient and includes two 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors where the Antec has a single 6 pin and a 6+2 pin.


    Agree with lilcinw, the Corsair CX600 for $40 after rebates is good. Follow his newegg links.

    Added: SLI ready is just a marketing gimmick. Really means nothing, they are probably just saying it has in some test SLI'd some cards. Its more about the quality of the PSU than anything else, a quality PSU will provide the rated wattage, a cheap one wont.
    January 31, 2013 1:48:12 AM

    Ok. I'm just snatch up the corsair. Since you and anti-painkilla both recommend it and it's cheaper anyway. Thank you very much.. I'll be back if this new psu doesn't fix it :/ 
    February 8, 2013 10:51:18 PM

    Update: Bought a new PSU and hooked it up earlier this morning.. Problem solved! It's now up and running beautifully like new. Thanks to all of you who helped me!
    !