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Spontaneous shut down

Posted on 2002-04-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I'm not sure of the problem, so I wasn't sure where to post this...  First off, specs on the computer:

Windows NT 4, with Service Pack 6
300w PSU
Dual P3 (800mhz)
256 ram (pc100)
2 DPS cards (PCI)
1 Amber card (PCI)
1 Sound card (PCI)
1 Video card (dual-monitor, AGP)
1 NIC (ISA)
2 HDs, 1 SCSI, 1 IDE
2 CDs

A couple of weeks ago the computer started spontaneously turning off...  Just like unplugging the thing.  Usually afterwords I have to hit the power supply switch and the power switch several times before it'll come back on again.  At first I thought it was heat, so I pulled off the case and let it run.  After it crashed I felt around inside but nothing was running hot, not even the power supply.

It will only do this when I'm in either Photoshop or Illustrator, both Adobe graphics programs.  I tried unistalling and then reinstalling Photoshop, but no go.  Photoshop is a memory hog, so I maxed out my memory with other non-Adobe programs, and it didn't crash.  I maxed out the processors (by making a huge render in 3D Studio Max) and it didn't crash.  I replaced the RAM, re-seated all the PCI, AGP, and ISA slots, and it still turns off.  I keep thinking it's hardware because of it just turning off and staying off for a while, but it only does it while in Photoshop...  As a last resort I'll reinstall Windows, which I really don't want to do.  

The PSU is about 6 months old, and I doubt it's the problem since even maxing out the processors and the memory it still wouldn't crash.  I've tried everything I know to try, there must be something I'm missing.  Let me know about any questions you have...
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Question by:vaX
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frache earned 600 total points
ID: 6964858
In my opinion it's a power supply problem or a cable problem, because no blue screen ...

Make a try with only 128Mo and without CD ( without scsi disk if you can ...)

Make a try with a "burning processor soft" ( soft to test overclock - processor is hot quickly).

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by:frache
ID: 6964861
link for CPU Burn-in
http://users.bigpond.net.au/cpuburn/
If your Pc crash (immediately) when you launch this program, it's a power problem.
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by:braddn
ID: 6965767
I agree with Frache about the Power Supply but I think it's not so much that somethings wrong with the PS but more that the PS is being maxed out.

Try using a higher wattage Power Supply (450 should be good). With 2 processors and all the other hardware you have I think your just maxing out and it's shutting itself off.

I had this exact same problem and I upgraded to a 450 and it worked fine.
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Expert Comment

by:sluggo140
ID: 6966029
Same with Braddn, upgrade to a higher power supply. You might want to check out your bios settings for power management, depending on the manufacturer you may want to turn the power save off. Some power supplies have a failsafe on them with the  output apporaches a certain wattage. The reason, the logic controller in the power supply thinks that there is a surge or fluctuation hitting the power supply and drops into failsafe mode turning the machine off.
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by:vaX
ID: 6966066
I ran CPU burn-in, but it only maxed out one processor, so I was ultimately only using about 60% of the processor.  When I ran my first test with the huge render it was running at 100%.  I'll get a new power supply and try that out, only I have to go online to get one over 350.  I initially ruled out the PS because it's never done it before and I haven't added anything on top of it.  As a temporary fix, would it be easier to just add a second power supply for right now?  I can get another 300 locally.  I actually probably have one at home.  I'll try it and let you guys know.  Thanks for the help.
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by:frache
ID: 6966195

Yes, you can add a second power supply.
Connect harddisks and CDRom to the new power supply.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6966339
I would also try upgrading to the latest video card drivers.  I have seen similar issues before in with some other clients where bad video drivers caused shutdowns (Instant OFF).  It may not be the problem.  But doesn't hurt to check.  Specially if it is only one program that is giving you the issues.
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Expert Comment

by:Sleew
ID: 6971206
Hi!

I have same problem.I thought it is power supply but i tested PWS at work and everything was fine.Then my collegue told me that he had same problem and he did next:
He took rubber for pencil and cleand contact on processor(Slot 1).
After that everything was fine.I have Celeron 300 clocked to 375 with via chipset.It is also happening that when i shutdown windows he goes down but mainboard does not turn-off PWS.I did not tryed "rubber" metod but i will.My advice is to test each suspicious component somwhere else.
Do not by power supply or anything until you are shure what you need to replace!
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by:vaX
ID: 6971366
Well it was the power supply after all.  A 300 is enough to power the whole machine, but there's something buggy about the one I had in there.  I ran two power supplies and it still crashed, and with 2 300's I know I have plenty of power.  So I hooked the one I brought in up by itself and it hasn't crashed yet.  I have no idea how, but I guess that was the problem.  Thanks for everyone's comments.
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Expert Comment

by:frache
ID: 6971432
It was a power supply problem ...
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