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desktop randomly switches off

stefanomarco asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a desktop which switches off randomly ... then sometimes when I restart I get a message when the computer starts to boot along the lines the computer was shutdown due to overheating cpu ...
asus mainboard with p4 cpu
what is the best way to check this to be true or if it's an incorrect warning?
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First things first, when you have the machine running, are the fans also running? If no, then the warning is more than likely legit.  Don't run a machine without cooling for too long or a shutdown can be the last of your problems.

Has this machine ever been cleaned out before?  Are you comfortable working inside the machine? Turn it off, Open it, ground yourself and make sure that all the fan connections are seated and running properly.


All fans seem to be running internally ... no dust, seems quite clean ... cpu fan running

Restart computer, enter bios (del or F2) see if you have a "PC-health" or similar choice. See how high the temperature rises. This will indicate if your fan is too weak or faulty. Anything below 70°C should be fine.

You can also use a Windows monitoring tool like this: http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/System_Maintenance_and_Repair_Utilities/Hardware_Sensors_Monitor.html

It might be your power supply not emitting enough power to the system.  Have you been able to exclude some parts that aren't the problem?  Might try getting a new power supply if it isn't the CPU or Memory that isn't causing the reboot.
Also, if you have recently switched new hardware onto a system without reinstalling xp it might cause problems with the CPU.  What type of mobo is it?


have tried new power supply ... it's an asus mainboard ... nothing/hardware recently added - no spyware or viruses all updates downloaded
Did you install this yourself?


the power supply ... yes
what is the model of the ASUS?  What processor type is it?  What type memory?  Have you updated the BIOS?  How sufficient is the air supply getting to the parts inside the tower?  Have you checked to see if the cpu chip is set correctly in the board?  Is the fan mounted squarly on it?  Does the cpu chip have sufficient thermal grease for cooling?  Was your computer subject to a brown out by chance?  Have you unplugged all exterior devices (USB, ect.)  If you have more than one hard drive have you tried booting up with just the OS hard drive?

Sorry about so many questions but the scenario is a bit vague as to what we can understand from this situation.  Let me know if there were any irregularities prior to the system boot = like playing a game and odd things happening or some applications were giving you problems.

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Distinguished Expert 2019
check also if the heatsink is fully seated on the cpu (this may require to take out the mobo)
And if the cpu temperature is too high, you may need some Arctic silver :

Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution Architect
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Top Expert 2015

Did you motherboard come with an AI booster to view the temperature? I also have an Asus mobo and mine came with one. Very ehlpful program. If you dont have it you can go to www.asus.com and download it. When you have it installed run some programs and see what the temp is. Make sure you go to the manufactures website for your CPU to find out what are the max temps for you chip.

Did you buy this CPU retail?


Replace the thermal grease on your CPU...  Sometimes the stuff gets old and crusty and loses it's ability to cool propperly.  If you've replaced the powersupply that was a good idea...  If it's still happening you might be able to change the behavior of the system in the BIOS to stop it from overheating... (although this could lead to a melted mobo)...

If all fans are working correctly and thermal grease is new and you have a new powersupply I would probablly look into placing a warrenty claim for a new mobo...
Now that we have made sure that thermal paste/grease notification is definately reitterated 2 more times maybe stefanomarco will be sure to check that out LOL  


Thanks for your help ... thermal grease and bios defaults did the trick :)
Glad you could get your pc running with no problems.  You know where to come for future help ;)
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