PC shuts down Randomly!

Note sure where this post was supposed to go as it involves several components, so bear with me. Let’s see if anybody here has an idea what is going on with my pc. I’ve tried most things and still haven’t solved the problem. First I’ll list the problem and the things I’ve tried so far. Hopefully some of you will have some more suggestions (system listed below).

The Problem.

Basically my pc switches itself off at any given time during any given operation (even nothing at all). No warnings, no error messages, nothing. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it crashes continuously. I’ve build this pc a while ago (roughly a year) and it worked fine until weeks ago. What happened then what my girlfriends pc had a harddrive failure (oops!). So I tried to rescue her data by sticking the harddrive into my pc and tried to access it. I couldn’t (yet). So I installed a new Windows XP an another old drive I had around, so she could at least use hers pc in the meantime. I also put SP2 on there (to try it out so I didn’t have to use mine as genuipig). Our two pc’s are networked and that when my pc started to have problems. That brings me to the first suspect:

1. Windows XP pro & SP2
On some websites it was suggested that SP2 checks your XP version and (if networked) compares them to the others available and if they are identical causes trouble. Although sceptical about that I thought I should check it out (after all, I’m dealing with the evil empire). So I installed a fresh version onto a fresh harddrive and disconnected the network. At first it seemed fine, but then this version started crashing as well.

2. RAM (Corsair XMS Twinx1024-3200)
Somewhere else it was suggested it could be faulty RAM. But as far as I can tell (system overview and other system tools) all of the RAM is accounted for and working.

3. CPU (AMD Athlon XP 3200)
As the Asus motherboard has an auto-shutdown feature to prevent overheating of the CPU I thought it would this, shutting down the pc as it seems quicker to shut down while performing an operation (although it also shuts down without performing anything), like converting a xvid into a dvd. I monitored the CPU temp while performing one of these operations and the pc would shut down every time at temps well below critical (43C-45C), so I’m not so sure if that is the problem.

4. Motherboard (Asus 7N8X-E-Deluxe)
Again, as far as I can tell from all the read outs, this is performing to peak (Temperature at 17 C).

5. PSU (QTEC 550 Watt PSU)
At the end this seems to be the most likely suspect by now, but I thought I’d check with you guys, to see what you think. As far as I can see the voltages are well within the proper ranges. However, I haven’t been able to test it with another PSU yet.

It would be great if you could share your thoughts with me and even better if it leads to a solution.

Asus 7N8X Deluxe 2.0
AMD 3200
1024MB Corsair Twin XMS PC3200
Leadtek Winfast A350, GeforceFX 5900
WD 160Gb/WD 250Gb/WD 120 Gb SATA
Plextor 24/10/12 / NEC 1300A
4 answers Last reply
More about shuts randomly
  1. You can try this...
    - Reset the bios

    Then try this ...
    - Unplug any unnecessary stuff for the test (sound card, optical drive, floppy, etc...)

    A7N8X / <font color=green><b>Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> <- <i>Is this affecting my credibility?</i>
    Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
    <font color=red>Radeon 8500 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290 <- <i>It's enough for WoW!</i>
  2. And what if you run the computer with the side panel removed?

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  3. Just swap psus with your gf. If hers starts to crash, and yours stops, sounds fine to me.
    If that dont fix the problem, try memtest86.<A HREF="http://www.memtest86.com/" target="_new">http://www.memtest86.com/</A>. Once you have downloaded it, run it and it will make a floppy with the prog installed. Just boot to it and run it.
  4. Thank you for all your suggextions!

    After a weekend of testing it looks very very likely that it was the PSU unit: at some point my pc wouldn't come on at all anymore. I then hooked up an old PSU unit (less power, but still enough to run most things) and everything worked fine even when I hit it with some video conversion work (something that would trigger the crash before). New PSU unit already in the mail (hopefully).

    Thanks again!

    Asus 7N8X Deluxe 2.0
    AMD 3200
    1024MB Corsair Twin XMS PC3200
    Leadtek Winfast A350, GeforceFX 5900
    WD 160Gb/WD 250Gb/WD 120 Gb SATA
    Plextor 24/10/12 / NEC 1300A
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