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Old Homebuilt/Prebuilt Turning Off

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December 19, 2012 4:02:43 AM

My father's computer has been turning off for the last few days. After turning it on, it works for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and then restarts. It's an old one, with parts upgraded over the years.

It all started after his Norton Systemworks couldn't be renewed, the anti-virus license part. Norton doesn't support Windows 2000/NT and that is what he has on it. It's also been working extremely slow and giving kernal errors when trying to install some programs.

Part of me thinks it is just a coincidence and that there is actually something wrong with his mobo, ram or hard drive.

Mobo: Biostar P4M80-M4 IGP Chipset
CPU: Pentium 4 - 3.06GHz Intel - 533FSB/Retail/478Pin/512 L2 cache
GPU: ATI Radeon VGA Sapphire X1950 Pro 512 MB
RAM: 2 GB, Rambus
PSU: 550WATXEG651P-VEFM(24P)RT (sorry I can't find the brand name)
HDD: WD, 160GB and a 40 GB
Sound: Sound Blaster Live 5.1 PCI Digital

We have a relatively new HDD, WD Caviar Blue that hasn't been used yet. I was thinking of installing his Win2000 onto that and seeing if the problem persists with the new HDD.

But do you have any suggestions for a new mobo and ram that will fit the rest of these parts (assuming the mobo or ram are shot)? We are short on cash at the moment (hurricane sandy) and would like to replace as little as possible. (under $200)

He uses it mostly for accessing email, internet, updating his blog, plays some older games, etc.

Thanks for the assistance!
December 19, 2012 4:38:54 AM

Hi, If you have a spare power supply, or one from another PC, try connecting it and testing.
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December 19, 2012 4:55:35 AM

try making a hirem boot cd. then run the anti virus scan from the cd. also run smart and hard drive tests from the cd and memory tests. if the mb goes south and it needs to be replaced your best best would be an h61 mb and a 530 to 830 intel cpu and some ram. the intel cpu has a built in gpu. there a few 2/4 core amd cpu that have built in gpu. i would spend a little extra and pcik up a fx-2 mb. if dad gets some extra cash in a year or two he can drop in a faster cpu with just a bios upgrade if amd does not kill off there new chipset. the cd-rom and hard drives if there sata can be reused. most new mb dont have ide ports on them.
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December 19, 2012 5:27:27 AM

Tried my power supply and it still shuts off.

If we wanted to keep the current CPU (assuming it is not the problem) is there a mb that is available that would be compatible with it and the graphics card?

I'll see if I can track down a download for the hiren. I tried using a LiveUSB linux but it kept giving me kernal errors, and freezing up.
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December 19, 2012 6:57:06 AM

pen check in the bios to make sure the cpu not over heating. look at the cpu and gpu fans make sure there spining...no sluggish but moving fine. if there a lot of dust blow it out. with the power off and unplugged from the wall make sure the ram and all the cards and cables are connected. look at the video card and mb look for burn spots or caps that are cracked or leaking.
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December 19, 2012 7:03:34 PM

Checked the bios. Supposedly the CPU is running at 30 degrees celsius. Already cleaned out all the dust (there wasn't too much), and all the fans seem to be spinning at normal speed. GPU fan as well as CPU fan, and all case fans. All cables securely connected.

I can't see any spots or anything that looks cracked. Everything in there looks like it should be in great condition.

Is it possible that the on/off button could be broken? Not completely broken since it turns it on, but where the wires, or button isn't functioning properly causing it to restart? I went to radio shack and asked them if they had any on/off buttons but they didn't.

http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

^is that an okay version to use? Updated Nov. 9th, Version 15.2 Or would I be better off tracking down an older version?
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December 19, 2012 7:15:15 PM

If you tested a different PSU, then more than likely it's the HDD. Since you have a spare, swap it out, install Win2000 and get ready for Christmas!
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December 20, 2012 1:02:44 AM

that the right version you have there.
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!