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dell 8600 shuts off with no warning

Posted on 2008-11-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have(my wifes) a Dell Inspiron 8600 that wants to power (hard) with no reason or notice.
CPU: 1.5G;  Ram: 2G;  160G HD;  Windows XP Prof

Its episodes have become more frequent.  During the last week or two, ran Dell Diag, cleaned the fan and fins, added thermal paste to the CPU, and replaced the HD.  Signs somewhat indicated it to be a problem.  Thank God for Ghost.   The PC started getting blue screen on boot up with volume errors.  With as many hard shutdowns as it was getting, no wonder&
I have not been able to isolate the problem any further.  I ran memory test that took over 7 hours and I just finished a HD scan that took 2 hours.  Never had a shutdown during these tests.   I removed the battery (still out) as well as one memory simm (still out) to see if there are issues.  I plan on running multiple apps once I post this problem to look for apps involvement but do not expect to find anything.  The event viewer doesnt catch anything.
In a EE article (ID:22128764) it was mentioned it could be the CMOS battery.  Is there a way to determine if it is the problem?  As for the motherboard, I am not getting any beeps or abnormal flickering in the LEDs.
My wife is going out of town on WED so troubling shooting time is running out.
Can anyone offer advice??
Thank you.

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Question by:rwarren99
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by:Kaddict
ID: 22859464
If the problem really is the CMOS battery, then you should replace it. On common boards, its a CR2030 battery that costs like 50 cents. To get sure you should verify the type of battery on your own board before buying

-kaddict
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by:Kaddict
ID: 22859473
I'd also test the memory using MemTest86 since random lockups often comes because of faulty ram
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by:DMTechGrooup
ID: 22859477
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins8500/en/8500/sm/reserve.htm#1123661

I don't think it would be the battery.. sounds like it is overheating even though you have cleaned the fans and thermal paste the CPU.

http://www.diefer.de/i8kfan/index.html
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by:Kaddict
ID: 22859517
Just a comment. I guess you put about the good amount of paste, but too much paste is the same than no paste at all.
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 22859531
I believe it was MemTest86 that I used.  Are there setting I should set the test to run?  
I look at the link you provided for the heat sink..
thank you gentlemen..
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by:Kaddict
ID: 22859661
Memtest86 needs no settings at all... just boot off the CD and wait. The longer you test ensure that your memory is good with more confidence.
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 22859785
If the memory ran for 7 plus hours with no issue, the memory should be good...  Thanks...
Update...
Running the fan test that DMTechGrooup recommended.  Its been running for 1:15 hours and both fans are working to specs.  I am also running "Heavyload 2.4 with the fan test to max the memory and CPU load..  
With both apps running, the PC has yet to die...
As mentioned earlier the battery and 1 simm are out of the PC.  I'll add them back one at a time to see if they effect the PC..  More to  come..
thanks all...
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by:Kaddict
ID: 22859954
You should not run without the battery. Find the model, which should be CR2030, and if you can't find one try to verify your battery's voltage it should be 3.0V
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by:nobus
ID: 22860645
i suspect a bad PS or motherboard. test with another one
check the capacitors, leaking, bulging..etc as per :   www.badcaps.net
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 22861284
Sounds like it could be a problem with your O/S. A bad CMOS battery can't cause this as the CMOS gets power from the main battery/AC during operation.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 22862246
Thanks for all the info...
I looked at  www.badcaps.net to see what they had to say. Interesting...
I still am puzzled about everything.   Since I posted this issue and done everything menioned above, the PC has yet to shutoff.  I switched out the memory chips, still running only one and the battery is installed.
I have not used the 2nd simm slot through all of this.  It was my way of testing the simms and not the socket.  I'll do that later...
Right now, I am running a FULL diag. on the unit.  The only issue was a bad block (36457) at 0F00:0244.  I did get this error when I ran recovery disk and chhdsk/r.    All the data it placed in chk files are readable (most of it) and actural data was properly placeded in new blocks.
NOTE:  This (checkdisk)was the first step I took at determining the issues.  Is it possible that the bad block could of cause the shutdown?  
My plan is to give her (wife) the PC once the diag. is done and see if it shuts off again.   I am surprise that through all of the load and fan testing and diag testing, something would of surfaced by now... Not even a shutdown.  
Not getting even log entries does not help in troublshooting the problem.
Any comments recommendations?  
thanks all....
   
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 22862264
Justed want to run this by you all...
(1) The 2nd simm was not been tested (will do it later) and (2) window applications have not been running (ex: word, excel, outlook, etc).
Can an application or a corrupted OS file cause the shutdown(s)?  Remember, the bad block was the 1st thing that was resolved using Dell/windows's recovery tools.
thanks....
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 22862338
seems like you had a bad ram, or slot. - or it got scared of the experts... :-)
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by:rwarren99
ID: 22862427
Right now I am not using the slot.  What to see if it continues to work.  We will see how the rest of the day goes.  It's in my wife hands now....
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Assisted Solution

by:Kaddict
Kaddict earned 160 total points
ID: 22862667
...And if your wife don't make it hang then it's stable +)
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 22863078
That is why the question of (1) corrupted OS file causing the shutdown and (2) the memory slot may be bad.  The slot will be easy to determine.  It will work or not.  Hopefully it will be that simple.  As for the corrupted files, I have not had a shutdown since I ran the recovery disk.  But she has not used the sytem yet.  
So... If it does not hang, then I use the 2nd memory slot and go from there..
thanks...
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 22877104
Can anyone point me to the Dell document that explains error codes as it relates to the LED's.  The PC has not failed the last 2 days but I like to know the codes.

Also, I noticed the LED is lit (left-green) on the RJ-45 plug with nothing plugged in.  I find this odd.  I always thought when on, means there is a physical connection and the right LED tells you the connection speed/staus.
I am not using the plug currenly.  She is using the wireless for all services...
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by:nobus
ID: 22877302
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by:rwarren99
ID: 22878331
Thanks Nobus..
The link was to OptiPlex GX270, not the Inspiron 8600.  It at least points me in the right direction...
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by:
nobus earned 170 total points
ID: 22878458
they are the same for all models imho
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 23037217
Please don't close the questions...  
thank you...
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 23037321
Here an update.
If you last recall.  My wife was leaving town (with laptop).  Iwas able to get it stable by doing a repair on the OS and leaving memory out of the SIMM #1 slot.
Sense she has beem back, I install the memory in the 2ns slot and the PC failed.  Three times in the first few hours.  I know the memory is good.  It ran fine when in the other slot (by itself).  I ran diag. for hours (Dell bootable CD) and the system tested fine with both simms.
The final two (three) options are these (1) simm slot is bad.  (2) The OS is corrupted and is not managing the memory properly or (3) Give up and go with 1 simm.
Because the memory tested fine, I am leading to (2).  Any suggestions as how I can tested it?
thank you all....
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Assisted Solution

by:DMTechGrooup
DMTechGrooup earned 170 total points
ID: 23038609
If you have know good memory and you put it in slot 2 and it fails then it is the slot.  Try blowing some air in the slot and retest.  If you had 1 gig memory but now only have 512 due to 1 slot down then get 1gb memory if it will support it.  www.crucial.com for a memory configuration tool.
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Author Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 23041256
Both are 1G.  The number of times I have re-inserted the memory, I would think, would be just as good as blowing air on it..  But it is worth a shot.
thanks...
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Author Closing Comment

by:rwarren99
ID: 31512406
Thank you all for your assistance.  It truly was a team effort and I gained much from your knowledge.  It all points to the slot but your insite and test methods along the way helped in resolving the cause.  That is why each of you received points.
Again...  Thank you....
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