No sure if I should be at the WIN forum.
Just thought a place to start.
Machine is a Gateway Performance 1000 running Win98SE.
Machine is a 1GHz Pentium originally purchased with 128Mb RAM.
About a year ago it was upgraded with a PNY module of 256MB now running 384Mb.
The problem is a mystery to me. I have sought advice from various "Windows help" website, hardware advice websites, etc. but no useful advice.
The problem is as follows:
I can leave the machine switched on indefinitely and it does so without any problem.
As soon as I task the machine with a large or timely process, it begins the process, but simply and suddenly shuts down part of the way through. The shutdown is not a graceful Windows shut down. It's as if the power cord has been pulled.
I've set the power management in the BIOS and Control Panel to 'Never' but this has no effect.
Examples of the problem: If I format or try to write a lot of information to a CDR/RW - if I try to install a program that will take a long time, e.g. 15 minutes or more. - Another example is using the game Flight SImulator. There is an add-on which introduces other aircraft flying with you - sometimes I will break for a meal and leave the machine. In the meantime, the other aircraft are 'still flying around'. This activity will also cause the crash.
I thought it might be the CD drive, so I copied a cd program onto the C: drive first and installed it from there, or tried to! Still got a crash!
Have reinstalled the OS. Have scanned for virus contamination. Have defragged. Have tried various diagnostic tools - still crashing.
Heat is the easiest thing to check. But, I would put money on the power supply going out.
I would check in this order:
1) Clean out the inside off your computer with canned air, as Crashman said. Make sure all your fans are spinning, and test the system. If it crashes, touch the heat sink to see how hot it is. If it's so hot that you can't touch it, that is a problem. It will feel hot, but not hot enough to burn you.
2) Try taking out one of your sticks of RAM, and see if that helps anything. Take out the stick farthest from the CPU and test the system. Then test the system with the other stick. Make sure that you use the slot closest to the CPU. Test it again.
3)If you can use a power supply from another computer, try it. As old as your power supply is, it is probably way under powered anyway.
My Daddy used to tell me:
<b>It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid,
then it is to open your mouth and prove it.</b>
I never was good at taking advice!
Crashman fears the unmountable power supply problem. Gateway power supplies are usually a tiny bit narrower than standard. And if you open them up, you'll find standard power supply guts, turned sideways, so the housing can be made narrower.
I should go into the business of putting large capacity power supplies into Gateway housings perhaps?
A lot of Gateway cases actually had the mounting holes for a standard size power supply, but you had to notch out the large hole to clear the power connector (and power switch if included).
<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>