Abrupt shut down

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Old 05-31-06, 06:37 AM
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Abrupt shut down

My computer has been shutting down abruptly off and on for some time now. I have unseated and reseated cards,cables,blown out dust,gently wiped off chips.
Powwer supply fan is running and fans on mother board and processor board( i think its the processor board).
Computer functions fine except for this annoying shutting down. Would the battery have any effect on this?
Machine is a Compaq Presario about 4 years old. Task manager doesn't show up anything odd. I defrag and disk clean-up regurely. Plenty of disk space. Virus scan every couple of days also. Anybody have some other things i can check or do?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-31-06, 10:08 AM
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CMOS battery is definitely a possibility; good (cheap) place to start.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for your reply. I'll try that cheap fix.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 12:12 PM
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I would suspect that the power supply is the culprit. The motherboard is also suspect.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 12:29 PM
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I'll check out the P.S. and Mother Board. I looked into changing the CMOS/RTC battery and saw that it can open up a whole new can of worms. To the novices like myself,i could do more bad than good in changing out the battery.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 12:42 PM
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Turn the machine off and unplug it.. Take an available pick of some type and free the battery from the clip.. Pop it out, pop in a new one.. Easy as the proverbial pie..
Many motherboards have a set of pins with a jumper that you short out to clear the CMOS to default.. Check yours for that..
 
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Old 05-31-06, 01:19 PM
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Thanks. I thought changing abattery should be a no-brainer till i read up on it on a trouble shooting site. I just got into the beast and checked connections on pwr. supply and mother board,checked battery type (Maxell cr 2032 3v). I'm running now with side cover to see if a heat problem. Fans are spinning.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 02:38 PM
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Well, the machine shut off after 1.5 hrs running. I may be chasing my tail on this one and am thinking if it would be better to just buy another machine,or have a computer guru take it and repair it. Its 4 years old,Compaq presario, updated to 256 k memory,video card,and CD burner. Pretty generic.
anybody have a favorite manafacture? I don't do any serious computer stuff. I have burned a CD with my favorite backup programs. Can i just load this into a new machine?
 
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Old 05-31-06, 03:59 PM
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I was going to suggest heat, but perhaps not.

What verions WIndows? Have you checked the event logs? They might or might not help.

When it shuts down does it Blue Screen or just die? If it just dies my guess would still be heat and/or power supply.
 
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Old 05-31-06, 05:13 PM
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It just shuts down. I turned the computer on at 3pm and it shut off at 4:30.
I opened up the machine and reseated the memory cards,reseated the p.s. power supply cable,the cpu cables at both ends,put the cover back on and turned it back on and it is still running at 7:15.
So i guess heat is not the problem.
I'm running windows XP home edition with service pac 2. How do i check event logs? I'm leaning towards the pwr supply also.
 
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Old 06-01-06, 08:47 AM
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hmm. question: you say it was still running at 7:15 pm. If that's longer than the 1.5 hours it ran before then having the case off might have helped. if so, then heat is the problem.

To check your event logs ( and this is a complete discipline unto itself-the tracking down of cryptic error messages ) go to Control Panel, then to Admin Tools. There you should see 'Event Viewer' ( I THINK home version goes this way too ) Open that applet and you should find three log categories on the left side

Application
Security
System


What you would be looking at are entries in Apps or System. I use Google to try to look up the errors... and use the advanced area of Google to target the one word or code once I have the general search return to look at. That really helps narrow it down, IF possible.

One thought just occured: are you working on the unit when it dies? A year ago we had a case here where a connection within the power supply went bad. Eventually it got to the point where you could force a reboot by typing lightly on the keyboard.. The keyboard sat on the desktop, about 5 feet from the PC, however it caused enough vibration to cause that break to open up in the P/S and reboot the system. The constant reboots eventually damaged the CPU/MEM so we basically had to trash the system.
 
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Old 06-01-06, 09:40 AM
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Sorry to get back so late.
I started computer this morning after a abrupt shutdown last night. After a hour it shut off again.
I opened up the computer and proceeded to reseat cards(CPU)
and dusted the mother board and 2 fans on heatsinks on board.
At this point i left the side panel off and placed a ~4x4 inch "muffin fan" blowing into the chassis. its been running the last 2.5 hours. Hope i didn't just jinx myself!

I got into the event viwer per your instructions. APPLICATIONS recorded warnings for 'microsoftfax','userenv',and 'application errors' going back a couple months.
SYSTEM,recorded a red/white cross 'errors'. (5-6)
None of these didn't have any coding that i could decipher.

I plan on leaving the machine all day,and all night if it holds up

Thanks for your patience
 
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Old 06-02-06, 06:16 AM
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The 4x4 fan seemed to work blowing onto the components,but is noisy running. so i decided to install a CPU fan on the back inside of the case. The small fan blows across the components and the machine shut down. If it shuts down again i will probe around the components and see if it causes it to shut down. I guess i'm leaning to a serious heat problem or a bum power supply.
 
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Old 06-02-06, 10:42 AM
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I'm thinking the PS is bad..
 
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Old 06-02-06, 11:00 AM
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Computer stayed on all morning with above described configuration. Now i'm moving the muffinn fan externaly to the back of the case and putting the side cover back on to see if this scenerio works. The fan i bought is rated at 80mm,27 cfm, 2k rpm . It may be too small to move the air around. I'm still considering the PWR Supply though. Thanks for your input.
I'll post back with updates.
 
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Old 06-02-06, 03:46 PM
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It could very possibly be the Power supply causing the problem. Your power supply wattage may be plenty enough for your system, but old, dying Power supplies can cause crashes like that. The power advertised on your Power supply is the MAXIMUM it can exert, so a 4-year old PSU may not be working in tip-top shape. There are cases where a "weak" power supply is the source of the problem. Just go to a local Computer warehouse store, buy a cheap (but strong) power supply, try it on your computer, and if it doesn't work you can just return it.

If heat is the problem, you can try custom case fans (the ones you find in gaming computers). Fans made for gaming computers have been rigged to work better for their purpose.

I hope this helps!!

P.S. Can you post your computer information, with names of parts, amount of ram, etc? That may help us to formulate a better hypothesis.
 
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Old 06-02-06, 06:29 PM
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Thanks,
Compaq Presario, model 6300US, Intel celeron 1.4 GHZ processor, 256MB sram, 40GBhard drive, 3 D graphics 22 MB memory, windows XP, SP 2
 
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Old 06-04-06, 06:09 AM
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Follow up,

I replaced the power supply with another. Still shut off. May be a bad supply as it was a borrowed one.
I did find a loose outlet plug on the Surge Protector. Fixed that.

I put the old P.S. and am running computer now. 5 hrs. on so far. Put Cover on the computer also,so i guess heat issue can be ruled out.

I ran McAfee virus scan yesterday and the machine shut down
before finished. I don't know if this was just a fluke or a cause
of the shutdown along with A.C. plug connection.

If this thing stays on i may un-install McAfee and re-install.
I'll post back later with good news,or bad.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 06:46 AM
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Machine shut down acouple of times when i tried to run McAfee. Went to McAfee site and checked for trouble issues.
Seems there are acouple of shutdowns such as i described and fix was to un-install and re-install Mcafee. I logged into McAfee account access and it says i don't have a account. My subscription is up next month so i'm thinking to just un-install McAfee and go with one of the antivirus products recommeded here. Does that sound reasonable???
Thanks
 
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Old 06-05-06, 10:27 AM
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I like AVG, which you can get at free.grisoft.com . However there are a couple of other free AV products out there for home users which fare as well in the testing I read reviews of.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 10:31 AM
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Thanks,i'll keep that in mind
 
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Old 06-24-06, 12:50 PM
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Update:

Well i finally 'bit the bullet' and bought a NEW computer.
A friend of mine who was helping me with the old one, took it and declared he was going to fix it.
Again,thanks to everyone who answered my plea.

daswede
 
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