Windows XP pc shuts down unexpectedly

Greetings, Experts!

Last week, after about 30 minutes of use, my Windows XP Home (sp2) pc shut down without warning.

When I say "shut down", I more accurately mean "powered itself off immediately". At first, I though it was some strange power problem, but the pc successfully boot back up immediately after I pressed the power button.

The crash damaged my Norton AntiVirus, so I un-installed and re-installed it.

Then, the crashes became more frequent. Now, it crashes during boot-up after 30 or so seconds.

I thought it might be overheating, so I checked the two fans in the case and the CPU fan, and they all seem to be working correctly.

I suppose it could be some loose connection in the power supply.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance!!
LVL 18
Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAsked:
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You likely have a power supply that is failing. The best mothod for checking this is to disconnect power from everything you can. Obviously leave your OS harddrive connected. Disconnect any CD/DVD drives, USB devices, etc.

Run the computer for a while and see if it still crashes. If it seems to be good, replace the power supply.

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I would agree with the power supply problem, if it is an over heating issue.
you would want to get something that gives you temp readouts while you are in the os.

if it is a heating issue and the cpu fan is working you might want to reapply thermal paste, but that is only IF temps are getting too high.
I would recommend using something like artic silver on your cpu, test your power supply maybe replace, change your power cable to your machine, check your surge protecter.
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you can try and reinstall service pack 2 that seems to fix alot of issues following Norton uninstalls
you may want to check your memory as well. If you have multiple chips try booting with only one in at a time then change and try again maybe you have bad ram
Last but not least you may need to reload the machine if worse comes to worse
There's a possibility it could be a setting in your BIOS, on some systems the BIOS will have an automatic shut down temperature set, and if this option is set then the temperature is set too low or possibly your system has reached a temp it hasn't reached before, due to dust in the intake fan in front or the exhaust fan in the back. Check your BIOS possibly under tools or advanced tab and clean your fan intake and exhaust.
Hope this helps
Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Thanks for all the suggestions!

I'll check it out when I get home tonight.

-- DaveSlash

( I love Experts Exchnage ! )
Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

> ( I love Experts Exchnage ! )

I've been programming for 26 years, and I still can't type!  Arrgghh!
LOL, remind me not to buy one of YOUR programs =). J/K
Dave FordSoftware Developer / Database AdministratorAuthor Commented:

Thanks for all your suggestions, and I apologize for not posting back earlier.

I very carefully did a thorough cleaning of the insides of the PC. (It's amazing how much dust can accumulate in a relatively short period of time.)

Then, since the earlier crashes had damaged the XP OS, I booted from the XP cd, and I ran a Windows repair install.

Surprisingly, after that completed successfully, I have had no problems.

Therefore, either the accumulated dust was causing some problem (like possibly an overheating situation), or it might've been a software problem all along (that got fixed with the repair install).

I have my theories, but (since it's now operational) I don't really care all that much.

Since you were all so helpful, I'll spit the points between cyberquill, Xcon, firebeast, and MotoCrazy.

Thank you VERY much!!
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