PC turns itself off :|

Posted on 2004-10-14
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi there!

Kinda this has been an old problem. Earlier used to happen once in a while and wasn't much of a problem. But off late its become frequent and difficult to get rid of.

My PC gets stuck when switched on. Its so irritating, it happens almost every time I switch it on. On some occasions it will boot normally and on other occasions will fail to take of. Sometimes I can see the POST screen and at other times even that won't show up. I can hear the sound of devices beginning to get initialized, but it doesn't complete. SOmetimes the system will remain ON for 1/4 of a second, somtimes 1/2, sometime 2/3 sec before powering itself off. I havent tried reading the post message yet (Quick boot is enabled and POST messages hidden behind OEM logo). Tonight I will unearth it and try to find if there is a common symptom.

First of all I suspected my electricity wiring and checked every point. I replaced all cables inbetween and I am certain that external power supplies are not at fault. Speakers remain ON, even motherboard light remains on. I even tried booting without other devices (disconneted my HDDs, CDROM etc). Only thing I havent tried yet is, removing individual cards (but then i don't really see a point, untill one of you can ask me to giving a justification).

I haven't installed any new hardware. I do use power management at OS level but don't remember tweaking BIOS for the same. Wierd thing is, you try it 10-20 times. Sometimes caress the motherboard cables gently, sometimes bang the mobo turn it off and back on from the mains and it will start working. Wierd, isn't it! Help me, I am stumped.

Thanks for reading teh long story. Hope solution be a short one :">

Question by:RanjeetRain
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LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 200 total points
ID: 12309391
I think you should try replacing the power supply - end of story ;-)

Assisted Solution

RedStreak earned 50 total points
ID: 12309481
If you haven't done so already ...

Try unplugging the power supply connection to the motherboard; put it back in. Contacts
might have become oxidized and not seating well. One of the lines from the power is a
"power good" line ... and if it's not connecting well, you get the symptoms you describe.

LVL 12

Assisted Solution

zvitam earned 50 total points
ID: 12309517
To me it seems like faulty Motherboard or a problem with one of the system fans, that is not working and the system shuts itself off to prevent overheating.

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LVL 19

Author Comment

ID: 12310378
Hi people,

thanks for your responses. I have suspected all of the above. And thought about them all less or more.

Callandor, I can go for a SMPS replacement. But only if you give me a money-back gurantee ;)

RedStreak, I kinda caress the cables and at times that helps. I will try to disconnect all cables and reconnect from scracth. Lets see. I really hope this is something so small.

zvitam, please don't scare me. My motherboard shouldn't be faulty :( You mean to say i should dump my pc. No, I am not gonna do that :| Yeah, CPU fan is a possibility. This is certainly one of the things to try :) But, i was observing, it was working well. But this one sounds to be the closest. I kept my PC open for a few days and then the problem increased by many fold and now became untolerable. SO, that may be a reason. Okay. Let me try cleaning the fan.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 12310500
I guess I'm in a more advantageous position - I sent buckeyes33 a power supply I had lying around for the cost of shipping.  I don't think I'll be able to do that with you ;-)
LVL 19

Author Comment

ID: 12310748
Okay, I will let you enjoy the position. But since we are talking, let me ask a few more questions. Stay tuned to "New post" sounds, I am coming!!!

Assisted Solution

Blue_Rishi earned 50 total points
ID: 12311862
I can tell you from personal experience it CAN be the mobo. Most likely cause is the PSU, I changed mine 3 times (350/350/550 watt) on an asus a7v8x-x, before realizing it was the mobo.

Blue Rishi
LVL 19

Author Comment

ID: 12313811
Scary s**t!!! Its looks like my Power Supply :|

I broke my electricity board and tore apart wiring only to find out that its my SMPS. Well, most liekly, still not sure. I checked everything. For the first time in my life detached CPU fan and cleaned it. I saw what the finest quality dust looks like. I touched and felt it. It was quite smooth. Hey, i have begun to realize i can work in a hardware shop as a trainee if I need to.

Story is still there. After an hour long clean up operation, PC still needed a lot of love before booting. But the loose end is discovered, hopefully. My SMPS's fan isnt moving :| Callandor, you hit it right. But please any of you explain to me -- why the light on my mothreboard still remains on, even as the CPU powers the system down? Its a Intel 850GB motherbaord, if that helps. Would you still say its teh power supply? Should the CPU be bothered with it if SMPS's fan isnt moving? Overall, how correct it is to conclude its the SMPS?
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 12316780
Well, if you find trouble in that corner, remember the saying : if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, then probably it is a duck.
There are power supply testers on the market if you want to test it :

For your conscience aese, you can test your memory also (bonus):      

enjoy, and have a nice day !
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 12318435
Behold the power of Borg Adaptive Heuristic Assimilation (AHA!)

Power supplies are not two state devices - there is a broad spectrum between fully working and fully dead, so it could be providing enough power to light an LED, but not enough to keep the CPU, memory, motherboard, and drives running.

I like and use this tester myself - more pretty lights to look at:

Expert Comment

ID: 12328853
Hey man
it's much simpler than that
probably ur power switch got damaged

detach the power switch connection from the motherboard
and detach the reset switch connection from the motherboard and put it where the power switch connection was

then u'll be able to switch on/off ur computer from the reset button

reset function is useless anyway

if everything works ok but u like to have everything doing what it's supposed to do
then u can buy a new power switch (if u can replace the old one) or else a new case

just try it

Assisted Solution

kpaske earned 50 total points
ID: 12329162
Hammadian's solution is worth a try, because I've had this happen before.  The simpler option is to just use the switch on the back of the power supply.

However, I'm going with Callandor.  The power supplies that manufacturers are putting out these days suck.  I just got done responding to two other people who have power problems.  I can't count how many cheap power supplies I've replaced in the last several years.

Just because there is a light on doesn't mean anything except that it's not completely dead (or not unplugged).  My motherboard light stays on regardless of whether the computer is turned on.  I think it's there to remind me to unplug the power supply before sticking my hands in there and messing around with things.

Before you go running out buying new parts, I would unplug everything, pop out the memory and all the cards, buy a can or two of compressed air, clean everything really well, and put it back together.  Sometimes reseating cards, memory, cables, and especially the old Slot 1 style (PII) processors can fix this type of problem.

But the fact that your PS fan has stopped working indicates that something is going wrong with it.  Heck, it could be overheating due to the fact that the fan is dead.  In any case, if the above solutions don't work, I would try to borrow a power supply from another machine and see if the problem goes away.  If so, you know it's the PS, and that you need a new one.  Be sure to buy a good quality power supply with a minimum of 400W, preferably 500W or more.
LVL 19

Author Comment

ID: 12337272
Its an ATX cabinet with a 350W PS. That should be fine for a P4. In fact it has served me well for about 3 years. But the suspision about the power supply's functioning is deepening. No its not a small thing like a faulty main switch. I checked those things much before coming here. In fact I had checked all connections thoroughly. Even clean up hasn't helped. It has to be the PSU. It has to be the PSU. It has to be the PSU.

Lets see. I'll update you.

Expert Comment

ID: 12337633
You are right in that a 350W PS *should* be fine for a P4.  But unfortunately they don't always work to spec, which is why I suggest going with a higher wattage.  Heck, I've got a 520W PS in my P4 box.  It might be overkill, but I expect it to last me a number of years.  In my experience, 3 years is a reasonable lifespan even for a decent power supply.
LVL 19

Author Comment

ID: 12725566
Thanks everybody!

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