Computer Periodically Shuts Off on its Own

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luckylavs

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Nov 11, 2011
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I will be doing something in an app or playing a game and the machine will just shut off.

I thought that maybe there was too much dust in the fans/heatsink area, so I took the machine in to a computer shop and had the guy remove the processor fan and the heatsink and clear out all the dust.
He also got rid of the dust in the other fans (my case has 3 other fans -- one by the Hard Drive, and two general fans to cool the case).

Still my computer has this problem. It may actually happen a bit more frequent now, after it has been cleaned. Any ideas as to what may be going on?

I live in coastal San Diego with pretty temperate weather

Thanks

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OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6850 @ 3.00GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 11
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 8190 Mb
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 5700 Series, 1024 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 715301 MB, Free - 47630 MB; E: Total - 4769177 MB, Free - 500197 MB; F: Total - 1430796 MB, Free - 48925 MB;
Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer INC., P5N32-E SLI
Antivirus: Webroot SecureAnywhere, Updated and Enabled
 

flavallee

Frank
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81,579
I will be doing something in an app or playing a game and the machine will just shut off.
I thought that maybe there was too much dust in the fans/heatsink area, so I took the machine in to a computer shop and had the guy remove the processor fan and the heatsink and clear out all the dust.
Still my computer has this problem. It may actually happen a bit more frequent now, after it has been cleaned. Any ideas as to what may be going on?
My first guess is the "computer shop guy" didn't properly clean and/or didn't properly apply thermal paste to the processor and heat sink/cooling fan unit.
Have you checked the temperature of the processor when your computer is running?
Hard Drives: C: Total - 715301 MB, Free - 47630 MB
Not to get off the subject of your issue.
The 750 GB(actual capacity is 698 GB) C: drive in your computer appears to be about 93% full.
Besides the fact it has too little free space for Disk Defragmenter to work properly, a too-full hard drive can cause various issues.
I'm guessing you have a lot of personal data(documents, photos, videos, music, etc.) stored in it.
Hopefully, you have it backed up to some reliable external media.

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luckylavs

Thread Starter
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Nov 11, 2011
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Is there a simple way for me to check the temp of the processor when it is running? I'm not sure I know how to do that.
 

flavallee

Frank
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Download and install the free version of Piriform Speccy.
Run it and then wait for it to finish scanning your computer's hardware - which will take less than a minute.
The temperatures will appear in the right pane.

Here is an example of what it looks like in the desktop that I'm currently on.
Capture.JPG
(Click image to enlarge and view)

Note: If temperatures are too hot, the numbers will appear in a red color.

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luckylavs

Thread Starter
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Nov 11, 2011
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38
I just cut and pasted from that Speccy screen. Doesn't look like any of these temps are in red, they are in yellow
My computer has been up all morning-- hasn't shut down. As the saying goes, "A watched pot never boils."

I'll keep monitoring it to see if the temps change-- for example later in the day. Here was the reading from about 5 mins ago.


Operating System
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 @ 3.00GHz 52 °C
Conroe 65nm Technology
RAM
8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (6-6-6-18)
Motherboard
ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5N32-E SLI (Socket 775) 40 °C
Graphics
SyncMaster ([email protected])
1024MB ATI AMD Radeon HD 5700 Series (ATI AIB) 56 °C
Storage
698GB Seagate ST375064 0AS SCSI Disk Device (SATA) 36 °C
4657GB Seagate Expansion Desk USB Device (USB (SATA)) 43 °C
1397GB Iomega E xternal HD USB Device (USB)
Optical Drives
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S203N SCSI CdRom Device
Audio
Creative X-Fi Audio Processor (WDM)
 

flavallee

Frank
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Those temperatures in Centrigrade equate to these temperatures in Fahrenheit:
Processor - 126 degrees F
Motherboard - 104 degrees F
Graphics - 133 degrees F
Hard Drives - 97 & 110 degrees F

Those temperatures all appear to be within their safe operating range. (y)

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luckylavs

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
38
My computer is still shutting itself off periodically. I can't predict when it will happen next, sometimes the shutdown happens in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes at night. Sometimes it has happened in fairly cool outside temperatures (it has happened with the AC on in my room). Sometimes the computer can be on several days without it shutting down.


It is entirely possible that there is an internal temperature spike just before these shutdowns, but if that were the case, I just wouldn't know about it -- because I can't guess when the next shutdown will happen. Every time I take a temp reading from speccy, my temps appear to be okay -- none of them are red.

I should point out -- these shutdowns were happening even before I took the computer into get the dust removed.

What else could it be, if not a temperature problem? Are people aware of any viruses that might cause this, i.e. trick my computer into thinking that the internal temperature of the CPU is hotter than it is, thereby triggering an unnecessary shutdown?

Or -- could it be related to my power bar not generating enough juice for all the devices that need it? For example, is it possible that too many devices drawing current from my power bar, and there's just not enough current to go around? Could that generate a shutdown?
 

Saturable

Mark
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
366
Random shutdowns could be caused by a faulty power supply unit (PSU). Do you know what power supply your system is using? If so, what is the make and model number?
 

luckylavs

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
38
The 650W PSU I have is this one:

PSU CM|RS-650-ACAA-A1 650W RT


I also have more data to report. For the first time I've noticed in Speccy the temp of my graphics card gradually increasing all the way up to 79 degrees celcius. All of the other temps were fine. So now I'm wondering if my graphics card is the culprit that's causing my computer to shutdown, or if what I've witnessed was just a one time anomaly. The outside temp (the temp in my house) was pretty cool when this happened.

That temp spike in my graphics card occurred just after booting up Windows 7. I wasn't running any graphic intensive programs/games. I watched it get 1 degree hotter every couple of seconds. It almost reached the top of the scale, but then I saw it slowly go back down again to 65 degrees celsius, which is where it is now. Not sure why it got so hot then later cooled itself off.

If the graphics card gets too hot, could that cause a computer to shutdown? Because now I'm still not sure if the problem is a faulty power supply unit or that graphics card. Or could it even be a failure occurring in the power bar that delivers the power to the PSU?

I don't have an extra power supply, power bar, or graphics card to swap and test individually. Might there be another way to test these units?
 

Saturable

Mark
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
366
Yes, overheating components can cause the computer to shutdown instantly. Some motherboards will provide you with a POST warning saying that the system has shut down due to overheating, but it doesn't look like yours does that. If the GPU is indeed the culprit, you'll want to check its fans and perhaps reapply some thermal paste.
 
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