PC Shuts Down Abruptly

My PC just shuts down abruptly. No event in the viewer. Need to unplug power supply, wait about 15 seconds and plug it back in to get it to start up again. It runs again for anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours before shutting itself down.
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Check for overheating in the cpu or video card.  Try a different power supply, in case this one is failing.
PhreonxConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree with Callandor, sounds like an overheating problem. Are you in the middle of any CPU intensive tasks while the shutdown occurs? Like playing a game for example. Also, try one of the online PSU calculators to check whether you're "feeding" your box as much power it needs:




Hope that helped ;)
wippelAuthor Commented:
The computer is several years old and is an HP. I suspect it's getting the theoretically correct power. I'll try the a different power supply.
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wippelAuthor Commented:
How would I tell if the CPU or Video card was overheating?
Install a monitoring tool like Everest: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

You can also physically open the case and touch the heatsinks.  If they are too hot to keep your fingers on them, the chip they are on is too hot.  You can blow out the dust in the case and make sure there is good ventilation in the case to fix this.
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
look here for the max temps of the cpu's :  http://www.heatsink-guide.com/content.php?content=maxtemp.shtml
I would open the case, and inspect and clean all dust from fans and vents; Also check if all fans run properly, or replace them.
Your CPU fan may also be failing or not working at all.
armand278Connect With a Mentor Commented:
First open your case and clean it out of any dust that may be clogging the fans on your powersupply and cpu fan, older systems that are rarely opened tend to accumilate a lot of dust which leads to overheating, then check whether all your fans are still in working condition, boot and install a utility like everest home edition as suggested and check your temps, also you could check in your BIOS if your system is set to shutdown if the cpu reaches a certain temeperature, that would explain why it shuts down, but leave the setting as is, you would not want to have the system not shut down when the temperature is too high.
Rick HobbsRETIREDCommented:
Also, check to see that the power supply fan is still working.
Rick HobbsRETIREDCommented:
It looks like just about everyone (except me) provided valid info so you should split the points between them.
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