Notebook powers down immediately when connecting AC Adapter and during XP installation

I have an ASUS A6712U-LH notebook which is just over 2 years old, running Windows XP.
It has always worked fine but a few weeks ago it started occasionally powering down for no reason.

This problem has developed and I now have the following situation:

Notebook will power for less than a second before powering down if the AC adapter is plugged in.

Without the AC Adapater connected:

Windows XP would power off while trying to boot after displaying this error:
  "Not enough virtual memory or paging file quota is available to complete the specified operation"
  The title bar shows "LSASS.EXE - not enough quota"

Several attempts to recover using the ASUS recovery disks fail. The installation gets to accepe
ting license agreement stage and then powers down with no errors. Rebooting just results in the same thing occuring.

I have tried swapping the RAM to no avail.

Strange thing is, I can leave it running in the BIOS and it never powers down. However as soon as I plug in the AC adapter it will powers down.

Any idea what could be causing this strange behavior?

Many thanks.
Attack_TraxAsked:
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MarkCommented:
Could this be an overheating issue. Are the fans running ok.
When in the BIOS, if the AC adapter is plugged in, does it shut down. If so you may have a faulty AC adapter or the power control on the motherboard is faulty.
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Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
is your hard disk full?
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Attack_TraxAuthor Commented:
When the problem first appeared it was no where near full., about 15 GB free.

I have since cleared the disk and tried to recover/re-install XP on several occasions too.
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Attack_TraxAuthor Commented:
Yep, it powers done instantly when in the BIOS, if I connect the AC Adapter.

Could a faulty motherboard power control explain why is powers down during the XP install?
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MarkCommented:
Possibly, but the symptoms are a bit vague for that to be conclusive.
The adapter itself may be the cause. Protection of the laptop may turn it off if the wrong voltages are applied.
Is the battery in good shape, does it charge when the laptop is off and the ac adapter is plugged in?
Have you tried turning the laptop on with the battery removed and on the AC adapter alone?
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ridCommented:
There seems to be 2 problems, possibly unrelated:
1. the unit can't run on AC power. Weird, indeed. Does the battery charge (if unit is "off" but AC connected)?
2. The unit powers down uncleanly while installing/starting windows.

For "2" I'd try a live CD like Knoppix or Ubuntu to see if it can boot up and run another O/S properly. Bad RAM would probably manifest itself. Or run a memory tester. If it can't run a Live CD, remove the HD and try again.

For "1" I think I'd like to suggest you browse through all BIOS setup options for power settings, make sure nothing is "odd" or so. Perhaps a CMOS reset is in place, or at least resetting CMOS to factory defaults (usually a BIOS setup option).

Verify that the AC adapter is good and gives a suitable voltage (check its markings and its label).
/RID
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Attack_TraxAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I was also thinking along the lines of two separate problems but seems a bit of a coincidence.

A few answers:

Battery appears to charge fine when connected to AC adapter - obviously I have to perform the XP installations using only the battery as the notebook powers down as soon as connected to the AC adapter.

The battery seems to be in good shape as it lasts 2< hours.

Tried running the laptop with no battery and AC connected and it behaves in the same way.

The BIOS settings are really limited, only related option I haven't tried is a battery calibration.
Will download a knoppix ISO and give that a try.

Thanks so far.
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Attack_TraxAuthor Commented:
Knoppix behaves in a very similar way to XP - usually gets so far through starting the OS before suddenly powering down.

I did manage to get it to successfully boot Knoppix once, but eventually it powered down whilst left idle.

Could this be temperature related? Seems to get so far when the CPU is under load and then give up and power down...
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Attack_TraxAuthor Commented:
I've added a few more points to this questions as it looks like it's quite a tricky one..
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ridCommented:
A heat-related problem seems to be indicated, but it doesn't explain why it dies when AC power is applied. Perhaps it's an idea to check the status of heatsink and fan on the CPU.
/RID
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Attack_TraxAuthor Commented:
Heatsink and the fan appear to be fine. Tried booting the OS with the back off the laptop to try and keep the temperature down and it reached exactly the same point before powering off.
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MarkCommented:
Did you remove the heatsink, clean and apply new thermal paste to it?
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
Have you tried a different hard drive. I am not sure if this is related or not. A few years ago I worked as a field service engineer. We had and IBM laptop with a similar issue. IBM had sent out almost every part and the problem was still not corrected. We were told to ship it in for depot. The problem only happened if the AC adapter was plugged in and the battery was not. Depot repair ended up replacing the hard drive to resolve the problem. No one could explain it, but that was the fix.
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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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