PC Powers off (I think when accessing the DVD-Writer)

My PC started acting weird, it just powers off, at first I thought it was the power supply - but then I started repeating what I was doing when it powered off, and it appears it happens when I access the DVD-writer: not immediately but after a while.

I can also recall times when it happened and I was not accessing the DVD-writer.

No blue screen its just as like someone pulled the power cord out of the machine.

As I said I'm pretty sure it also happened when I did not access the DVD-writer, funny thing is though when I repeat the sequence of when it happened today, then it will fail when it is accessing the DVD-writer for a while..

Anybody any idea?
LVL 17
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Tacobell777Author Commented:
It just happened while not accessing the DVD-Writer, I was trying to install MS SQL from the HD
Try changing the powercord in the back of the DVD-Writer to a spare one.
Could be the power supply. Sounds as if its drawing to much power from it. Try a new power supply also.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Tacobell777Author Commented:

if it was the power supply would it then not be something random? I thought it was th epower supply too, until I repeated my steps and it happened again around the same time.

I did switch the power cord for the DVD anyway.

There is also nothing in the event log before it happens, no red or yellow dot.

I had this machine running with more parts in it before, so I reckon it must be able to supply enough juice..

Any other ideas?
Introducing the "443 Security Simplified" Podcast

This new podcast puts you inside the minds of leading white-hat hackers and security researchers. Hosts Marc Laliberte and Corey Nachreiner turn complex security concepts into easily understood and actionable insights on the latest cyber security headlines and trends.

Tacobell777Author Commented:
I dont think software can cause this, right?
It can in some cases.

Maybe its your HDD over heating?
Tacobell777Author Commented:
yeah could be, but sometimes I can cause the power failure to happen, as I said before, I could cause it to happen by trying to install MS SQL 2000 (Data Analysis services). But sometimes it also happens at random.

I ruled a virus out because I reinstalled it and scanned it..
Is there a virus that acts like this?
Tacobell777Author Commented:
is there some kind of debugging software in Windows 2003 that I can use? Like something I can activate that traces every step I take and then lets me know exactly at what step the incident occured?
Could be any of a number of things: DVD drive, memory, hard disk, motherboard, power supply, etc.
However, you should check to make sure you do not have any spyware running. I have seen many occassions where such applications are the cause of pc errors and failures.

Tacobell777Author Commented:
The debugger is not for Windows itself but for custom written programs, as far as I can tell..

Looks like it could be a number of things, maybe I just to bring it in to the professionals and let them have a look at it ;-)

Any ideas on how to split the points guys?
Software can activate the shutdown procedure but it doesn't look like that in your case. I guess it is some hardware problems to cause it. Three possible things you can try to fix the problem.

1. replace memory.
2. CPU overheat
3. replace motherboard.

What hardware config are u using for your system? Do you have air con on in your place?
Tacobell777Author Commented:
Note: the machine had worked for over 1 year without any probs - only thing added was the DVD writer, but I am not 100%
sure anymore whether the problem occured before or after, I believe before but not sure anymore.

1. I swapped Memory
2. The temperature is not that hot at the moment, the fans all work
3. ...

I dont have an aircon in this room.
If you have a spare computer I still recommend trying another power supply. The power supply could be spiking causing the computer to shutdown/restart.

Tacobell777Author Commented:
I pulled out some other components (video cards) and its seems that it now goes past the point where the problem occured.
Will give it a little while before I close this thread (to be sure).
This sounds to me like the PSU is not giving sufficient voltage to the system, causing it to shutdown.
The core is usually 2.0 volts and for your I/O devices it should be 3.3v, check this and you will see that this is
probably the case, that your videocard, DVD-writer and CPU is simply taking it's toll on the powersupply. As with everyhing else,
even a PSU wears down with time.
Sounds like PS to me also.
If you suspect the DVD writer cause the problem, take it out and test see if it is the case. How many watt of PS are u using?
you can calculate your power supply needs :

One more thing: are you sure it is not the AC rail causing this?
Tacobell777Author Commented:
whats the AC rail?
Take in mind: some MB will power down, when CPU is overheating.
The power outlet where you get the AC from
I used to get this on a Compaq PC, and it was being caused by a bug in Adaptec DirectCD. There was a patch that fixed it.
Not very many software bugs/problems that can cause immidiate power off (not softw shutdown).
Most likely cause is a failing psu/device (sometimes a combo; have had a burner do this once; but only in
combination with certain psu, both of which worked ok when used seperately).

Possible causes;

- faulty device (mobo, pci cards, test all seperately by adding them one by one)
- faulty psu, or to high peak-load on 5V or 12V (for example on atapi-dev spin-up, atapi laser, hdd spin/activity, etc)
- feedback/shortage (build-up of power problems; bad/cheap caps, phone line on modem, etc)
- overheating of cpu/vga/hdd OR defect sensors or monitoring chip (can cause random reboots/shutdown)
- bios bug (important one!)
-... more suggestions?

Asus board by any chance? (have had this type of problem with asus a7v8x-x no matter what I did or what hardware
I used; bought 3+ psu's, last one being a 550Watt...only bios rev. 11 finally fixed it)

Good luck

Blue Rishi  
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.