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PC randomly turns off then quickly turns itself back on

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GreatCornholio, Apr 27, 2013.

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  1. GreatCornholio

    GreatCornholio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
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    Hello!

    I'm looking for some advice and guidance.
    I am not a technical expert on computer hardware. I understand the basics and that's about the extent of it.

    My current PC is a Dell desktop/tower; it runs Windows 7; it uses an Intel Core Duo processor. It is a few years old (I'd estimate 3 or 4 years old). I plug my PC into a Belkin surge protector/multi-outlet device, which plugs into the wall electrical outlet.

    My problem is that recently the PC randomly has been instantly powering-down and then a few seconds later powering-up again and rebooting. This happens twice or 3 times a day, on average. I have no explanation for it. I do know that it's highly annoying and I'm concerned and want to do something to fix this problem before any permanent damage occurs to my PC.

    Last week, I searched the internet briefly for advice, and the two possible causes that popped-up in search results were: A) overheating, or B) issues with the power cord. Given that, over the past week, in my spare time, I have totally rerouted all the cords and wires behind my computer desk, to ensure that no wires were tangling, pulling, or weighing-down on the power cord for my PC. I also totally dusted out the cabinet and backside of the PC tower, and gently vacuumed the "fan" area on the back of the PC, to ensure it was free of dust and lint. I removed some random objects from the PC cabinet (CD's, mice, keyboard, etc.) to ensure that there was plenty of "airflow" around the PC tower (presumably to ensure no overheating). I rerouted several electronics that previously shared the Belkin multi-outlet device to another electrical outlet in the room.

    I'm not sure if any of these actions was helpful or not, but I know that my PC is still having the same original power-off/power-on issue; no change.

    I also updated and ran the "Malwarebytes" anti-malware software, and the full scan showed no infections/problems identified.

    I am at a loss at this point, and would appreciate any help or advice. I've owned several PC's over the past decade or so, and I've never encountered this problem with any of them.
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    First Name:
    Wayne
    do you get a blue screen or any messages on the PC screen
    is the PC running hot at all - any hot air coming out of the vents

    does this happen when running any particular or a number of programs

    anything else connected to the
    Belkin surge protector/multi-outlet device
    have the issue of powering off

    as it happens so often in a day you could plug directly to an outlet and see if its OK _ assuming your area does not have frequent power outages , dont want to that as a test and have a surge or issue
     
  3. GreatCornholio

    GreatCornholio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
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    No blue screen.
    No error messages.
    No freezing.
    I have not noticed any hot air blowing out of the PC's vents, but I will check for that more often, just in case.
    I don't use many programs other than Firefox.
    The other devices plugged into the Belkin multi-outlet device do not appear to have this issue.

    I'm truly puzzled as to why this keeps happening. Any additional advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. dai

    dai

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,198
    try a cmos reset

    psu could be failing,does it list the 12v line voltage in the bios
     
  5. GreatCornholio

    GreatCornholio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
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    I'm afraid I don't know what a cmos reset, psu, or bios is. I apologize for being a bit naive on the technical terms.
     
  6. dai

    dai

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,198
    cmos reset
    turn the computer off
    remove the power lead from the back
    take the side off
    remove the cmos battery
    move the cmos jumper from pins 1 and 2 to pin 2 and 3 and the back to pins 1 and 2
    reinsert the battery
    put the side on
    replug in the power lead
    boot the computer

    you enter the bios usually pressing the del key when you see the post screens come up

    it will say on the bottom of the initial post screen
     
  7. w_tom

    w_tom

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    112
    Computers contain a power supply controller. It uses inputs to decide when to power on and power off a PSU. It even decides when a CPU can execute.

    To know more means consulting facts such as Window's System (event) logs. Windows ignores or works around problems. And stores problems in logs, for later study.

    You have a Dell. That means you have Dell hardware diagnostics. For example, is the controller told to power off by Windows? Or by hardware. Diagnostics test hardware without any Windows. Your strange behavior is exactly why better computer manufacturers provide diagnostics.

    Generally, on power up, press F12. A boot menu includes one option to boot diagnostics.

    Diagnostics are also available on a provided CD. And on Dell's web site when you enter your Service Tag numbers for that unique machine.

    Why is the power controller telling the PSU to power off? Then power on? Many other reasons can be discussed. This simply introduces simplest that anyone who knows hardware should be familiar with.

    Did CMOS change? Of course not. Deal with what the power controller sees to, therefore, decide to power off the PSU.
     
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