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Desktop shuts down itself and reboots.

Dear Experts, my PC just started to shut down itself (like a power lost) about 2 minutes after it was booted up and then it reboots itself again.  It kept doing this repeatedly.  It is an IBM NetVista with Intel Pentium III running Windows 2000.

I do't think it is software problem because I have run virus scan and no virus is reported.  No files were corrupted as far as I can tell.  Everything just seemed normal after the PC booted up.  I am not sure it is hardware related.  But I opened up the box and turned on the PC, everything seems fine inside.  But again, after about 2 minutes it shuts down itself.

Can someone please direct me where to look for the problem? Any help will be appreciated.  Thanks.
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szetoa
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szetoa
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3 Solutions
 
szetoaAuthor Commented:
Forgot to mention the system log did not have anything reported at all.  Just like nothing had happened.  Weird...
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Network_Data_SupportCommented:
could be a overheating problem you might want to check the heat sink for dust and clean it. you could also take it off and clean the thermal paste off and re-apply some new paste.
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michkoCommented:
Sounds like either a heating issue (at the cpu), or a power supply issue.  

Check the fan over the cpu, make sure it is running.  Using a can of compressed air you can clean out that fan (and the one on the psu)  See if you can get it running long enough to use http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

You could remove the heat sink from the cpu and put some new heat sink paste.  

If you have a working psu from a comparable unit you can do a temporary replace on the psu to see if that resolves the issue.  If so, then replace the psu.
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szetoaAuthor Commented:
Network_Data_Support and Michko, thank you so much for getting back to me.  I have opened the box and check again.  I don't think it's the power problem.  Also the fan and the heat sink are pretty clean.  However I am not brave enough to remove any part on the CPU.  Maybe I should call the Geek Squad and have them take a look.  Anyway, your suggestions were very much appreciated.  I just don't think those are the causes.  Or maybe I am wrong.  Thanks guys.
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michkoCommented:
There are other options.  You could have a bad capacitor in the motherboard.  Look for bulging or leaking capacitors.  www.badcaps.net has some good information.

The problem you are describing is usually caused by a heating issue.  The fan may be working, but the heat sink paste may not be transferring enough heat away from the cpu.  This is why we recommended these steps.

Next most probably cause is the psu.  Followed by a motherboard issue.  

There are certainly other possibilities.  It may not even be hardware related as you stated, hardware is just the most likely culprit.  And that's what we'll do here, is start by directing you to the most likely cause, then working our way down until we find the root cause of the issue.

You've checked for viruses.  Also make sure you're spy/adware free.  Despite its name, SuperAntiSpyware (www.superantispyware.com) is a good tool for ad/spyware cleaning.  Use CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com) to clean out extraneous files.  Use its registry cleaner.  Use its startup tab to check for suspicious programs.

I'd still lean towards the heat or psu issues.  Try running speedfan and see what information it gives you.  Or, you can certainly let a repair center take a look at it.  
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Network_Data_SupportCommented:
you could see if it is a driver or software issue by booting the computer in safe mode press f8 as the computer boots at the screen seelect safemode and see if the computer rebbots after that. this will only load essential drivers and eleminate a dirty one.

also do you remember if anything has changed since it worked fine?  any new hardware software?
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nobusCommented:
>>    I don't think it's the power problem.   <<   Why? did you test the PS in another system? or test with anothe PS here ?  that is the only way to know - replace and test
>>   Also the fan and the heat sink are pretty clean.   <<  that is good, but do they run normally and smooth?
in most PC's , you can see the fan speed in the bios

you can also try this : boot into safe mode (F8 key) does it happen then? if N - it is a software issue
if Y, you should go on disconnecting devices like cd drives, PCI cards for narrowing down the issue
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szetoaAuthor Commented:
Again sincere thanks to everyone who are trying to help me.  For downloading test software, this is not workable because it will just shut down in about two minutes.  Most of the time I can't even bring up the second page from the net.  For swapping parts, I don't have a spare machine or other parts around so it is not workable also.  I had looked carefully at the mother board and other places trying to see if anything out of place but found nothing.  I had tried the safe mode and the same thing happened.  It did not even had enough time to bring up the windows.  Hmm, maybe it's the PSU or the capacitor, or whatever (I am a totally idiot in hardware and electronic).

I am going to bring the PC to my friend's house and see if he can help me.  Since this is an old (more than 5 years) machine, I think it's time to get an upgrade.  I just desperately need to see if I can salvage the stuffs on the PC.  I do regular backups.  It's my friend's wedding pictures I want to salvage.  I had about 5 G of pictures on the hard disk and this happened before I had time to back them up.  Thanks again to everyone.  I will let you know what happen.
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michkoCommented:
Your problem does not sound as though it is a hard drive issue, so your data should still be there.  When/if you purchase an upgraded pc you can hook your old hard drive in as a slave and copy the data over (or have this done for you).
Best of luck
michko
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Network_Data_SupportCommented:
yes, my next step would be deffently take the heatsink off and clean of the paste both on heatsink and cpu. re-apply some new paste and then check. if the problem is still there next check the PSU with a known working one from another PC ( make sure it is powerfull enough to supply your current hardware)

good luck
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szetoaAuthor Commented:
Thank you everyone.  I was able to swap out the hard drive with my friend's working PC and copy all the files I need to a few flash memory cards.  The desktop is a goner.  Now what do I do with the still working hard drive?  Don't know if it even works with a new laptop or desktop.  Any suggestion?
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Network_Data_SupportCommented:
well if you are getting a new laptop / harddrive once windows has loaded connect it cia usb and get all your important data off
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michkoCommented:
Since you already have your data on flash cards, you could either get rid of the old drive (note - if you have sensitive material on it I'd definitely recommend using a program like DBan to wipe and overwrite the drive before disposing of it).  Or you could use it as additional storage with your new system.
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nobusCommented:
test it first - use one from here :   http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287      
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