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Spontaneous shut down

Posted on 2004-10-19
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Built a gamer for a client a year ago . . Gigabyte GA-7N400-L with Athlon XP 2500+ Processor, 1 Gig of Crucial memory ( 2 512's) and Chaintec 5600 Ultra video card. Operating System is XP Home ( now with SP-2)

Machine worked fine for a year, then lately started spontaneously shutting down . . suspecting a virus, did a clean install of XP ( with SP-2 slipstreamed) blew out the dust bunnies and cleaned the processor fan, reseated wiring connectors and memory. Updated BIOS and all motherboard drivers as well as the video card.

The spontaneous shut downs continued so I replaced P/S with Antec TruePower 430.

Shutdowns are still occurring with no noticeable common reason. I have set it to not reboot on error and when I look at event viewer, no events show up coinciding with the shutdowns. Temps are all within normal range. CPU 47 - 52, case 35 - 45. I ran the Sandra Burnin to stress it, with no problems . . everything passed. Ran Memtest86 overnite with no memory errors reported.

When it shuts down, I hear a click that sounds exactly like the one when I intentionally shut down. Fans continue to run and it goes to a black screen.

The shutdowns I have witnessed are not consistently, but occasionally: when opening IE . . when clicking on a download . . when opening a program . . sometimes after being on all nite . . but randomly, not every time.

I have tried everything I can think of short of replacing the Motherboard . . any other ideas before I do that?

Thanks . . wrs

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Question by:simpswr
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12 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Huseyin1
ID: 12347771
RAM!

H
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Expert Comment

by:Reathe
ID: 12347795
I suspect that the motherboard is faulty.

I had a similar problem with a friends PC, kept shutting down for no reason.  I 'think' that it was some kind of emergancy shutdown built into the board so if it got too hot it shut down (Nothing in the BIOS about it though), only it was not getting too hot but getting triggered anyway (faulty board).  It used to to just make that noise (I think it's the HDD when system hits the reset cycle) and then black screen, only this one would not boot again for 5 mins (timed it) every time.

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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:simpswr
ID: 12350359
RAM ?   even after a overnite memtest86 shows no errors?

wrs
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:adzip2001
ID: 12354366
It IS ram; Memtest sometimes will not show errors with both of the RAM sticks in; When I had this problem, it was coming up clean on both sticks.
Test ONE stick at a time, do an overnight cycle of standard tests (Tests 1-7 or 8, can't remember) I bet anything, test 5 will come out with anywhere from 10 to 200 errors, prob'ly on test 5.
Let it do at least 8 hours worth of cycles, ONE RAM STICK AT A TIME!!!
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Expert Comment

by:adzip2001
ID: 12354374
Even if Memtest comes out clean (It catches about 98%), still run the machine for a day at a time with ONE STICK AT A TIME... Trust me on this.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:simpswr
ID: 12354490
OK . . running an over nite test with just one stick in . . thanks for the tips . .

wrs
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LVL 19

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by:simpswr
ID: 12357624
First stick passed 21 passes of Memtest86 with no errors . . running on the second stick now.

wrs
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Accepted Solution

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adzip2001 earned 500 total points
ID: 12362110
Don't forget, even if memtest comes up clean, run the machine on one stick at a time... It's worth it , because after this you will have to actually start buying components to replace -- been there before too...
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:simpswr
ID: 12363820
Second stick passed 8 hours ( 31 passes ) with no errors . . I'm leaning toward a new board.

wrs
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LVL 19

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by:simpswr
ID: 12365047
Closing a question is apparently an IQ test that I failed . . please close . . answers were interesting nut did not change the original course of action.

wrs
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:simpswr
ID: 12381637
Well . . . I put a different pair of memory sticks in and the shut-downs went away . . ADZIP, thanks for being persistent on this! . . it seems that with four 256 sticks ( versus 2 512 sticks) the memory errors go away.  I put the old memory in a second board ( Asus ) and it is working fine.

wrs
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:adzip2001
ID: 12386448
My pleasure, glad you're up and running... That proves again that Memtest is good, yet there is nothing like physically swapping the hardware. Good luck and thanks for the points!
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