Hard Shutdown

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Old 07-24-11, 05:00 AM
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Hard Shutdown

My PC has been shutting off and restarting abruptly the last few days. I have no idea what could be causing this. Is there some sort of log I can look at to determine what the problem is? I'm running Windows XP SP3.
 
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Old 08-06-11, 08:05 AM
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there is a free ware program called blue screen view. it scans your mini dump file and lists each BSOD and the error and device/driver that caused it.
Blue screen of death (STOP error) information in dump files.
 
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Old 08-08-11, 05:20 AM
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How old is the computer itself?
 
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Old 08-08-11, 12:20 PM
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Age might not have much to do with it components can go bad in a short period of time (unfortunately). It could possibly be a power supply going out or even an overheating issue. If this is a desktop try taking the side cover off and while it is running look (but don't touch) and see if the fans are running, particularly the one on the CPU (it will have a nice metal brick under it for heat dispersion). If it is not running then most likely it is an overheating issue. It doesn't take much time at all for a CPU to overheat. If the fan is running try putting a small fan next to the PC blowing on it (with cover off) and see if that keeps it running, could also potentially not have enough fans, though typically this is not the issue with stock builds. However if you have children or pets please do not try my last suggestion unless you are there the entire time, I don't want anyone to get hurt. Obviously if it is still doing it after that, then it is not a heating issue. My next guess would be a failing power supply. If you want to make sure its not the operating system or hard drive, download and burn a live version of Linux to cd/dvd. A good suggestion is Ubuntu. Boot from the disc (make sure you don't install it as you could potentially remove all of your stuff) and leave it set for a while. If you want play around with it for a while but see if it restarts during this time. If it does, then it is definitely a power supply. If it does not then it could be an issue with Windows or a failing hard drive.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 11:07 AM
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Thanks. I'll check into those things. I have two large cooling fans mounted to the case and one on the CPU. Pretty sure they are all working, but will double check. Computer is about 4 or 5 years old. Does shutting down the PC every day wear on the power supply? Should I just leave the computer running all the time?
 
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Old 08-10-11, 12:31 PM
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I am not actually sure about that. I know it has been much debated as with turning on and off all electronics. Basically it boils down to which is a higher rate of wear: the constant running of the PC versus the loss and start of electricity flowing from constant power ons and offs. Though with computer components it likely is more of the cooling from unpowered components to the sudden warming of powered components. Personally my PCs stay on all the time and occasionally sleep if not being used. I usually do not shut the systems down unless I will be gone for a few days.
 
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Old 08-10-11, 12:49 PM
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This is completely arbitrary and based on nothing scientific but I leave on any computer I use every day but shut off those which I may not use again for a while when done.
 
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Old 08-10-11, 01:00 PM
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During 24 yrs in the Navy....MOST (not all) of our failures came from either powering up equipment that had been off...or due to power fluctuations. That really doesn't include the old gear that relied on hundreds of vacuum tubes.

Our home PCs stay on 24/7 (though in standby of course when not used) except when we're going to be away overnight, then we turn them off in case of power issues.

In my last few years of service (and my time at HD)...we were told to just leave everything on, let it go to sleep....though some of that may have been for updates that they pushed out to us at night.
 
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Old 08-10-11, 01:31 PM
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I start my main computer in the morning around nine and put it to sleep whenever I will be away for more than a few minutes. I shut it down around midnight to one AM every night. No failures so far and I've been doing this for years.
 
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Old 08-16-11, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mossman View Post
My PC has been shutting off and restarting abruptly the last few days. I have no idea what could be causing this. Is there some sort of log I can look at to determine what the problem is? I'm running Windows XP SP3.
I agree that it sounds like it is blue-screening, and just rebooting before you actually see it (default behavior in XP). There is a setting to disable the auto-reboot so you can actually see what the STOP error is when it happens.

Right click on My Computer, then click Properties, then click Advanced, then click Startup and Recovery. Under System Failure, uncheck the box that says Automatically Restart, then hit OK. Next time it happens, the blue screen will show up. Write down the offending filename, the error message (for example IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL), and the STOP code (example: 0x000000C4) and post them here.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 05:53 AM
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Ventilation

Look for dust or lint clogging air intakes. Just in case, of course, these have nut been cleaned lately. Just in case.
 
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