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Computer Automatically Shuts Down and Reboots

I have a computer that shuts down and reboots all by itself.
I have hooked up the hard drive to a new power connection (using the same power box) and that hasn't helped. I suspect the power box and or the motherboard or some temperature setting that turns the computer off. I have 2 questions:
1) Could it be anything else?
2) If it is the power or the motherboard or a temperature setting how best do I go about checking them?
Thanks,
vlogg5
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vlogg5
Asked:
vlogg5
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3 Solutions
 
USAF_The_OneCommented:
Generally, you can put your hand over the CPU heatsink and if you feel significant heat, then it's the CPU/Motherboard. Some desktops (depending on make/brand) use cheap heatsinks and CPU collant gel that dries out over time. To test, I'd have your local computer repair shop test with a known good PSU (power supply) and see if the PSU isn't bad because that could be the case as well. However, I personally think you have a system board issue with temperature... If your PSU was an issue you probably wouldn't be getting any power at all...

Most computers have a temp gauge that shuts the system down after a certain threshold has been exceeded. Which sounds exactly what is happening with your computer, you can generally check temp settings (on new systems) in the BIOS. If there is no temp gauge there, you can try reseating the CPU using new collant gel. Also, check (while you are looking at the system board) for popped capacitors. These are round cylinders that have an X shaped engraving on the top and if you notice them bulging from the top (where that X is) then this generally means a powersurge has popped those capacitors which could also explain the reboots/shutdowns. Check those things out and also provide us with the technical specs of your computer/motherboard. Thanks.
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nobusCommented:
Here my troubleshooting procedure :
Precautions :
-During connecting or disconnecting devices, be sure to have the AC removed
-Temporarily ground yourself, or use a wrist strap for ESD prevention

-With a new motherboard : verify if all mounting standoffs correspond with the holes in the mobo !!
   Or test the motherboard outside the case, on a wooden  (non conductive) surface
-Clean the system from dust, then  test with the minimum setup - disconnect also all peripherals and network cables :
-What to connect :  only  motherboard + CPU + 1 ram stick, video card, power supply
-Verify that the 4-, 6- or 8-pin CPU Aux power plug is connected
-Verify that the VIDEO card has a power connecter - if yes, connect the power to it !
Now power on  your PC : on boot, do you have a display?
-if NO it is one of the connected: RAM, Power supply , video card or monitor, so if possible swap ram, Power supply, video card or monitor - leaving only motherboard and cpu
-if YES, connect devices till the problem shows
*** note : if the fans are running, this shows there is 12 V present from the Power Supply; this does not mean the PS is ok, you still need 3.3 V and +5 V as well; and other signals.
Additional tests and things to try :
-boot without ram, it should beep; (also, without video card)
-try bios default settings, (if possible) or clear the bios by removing AC and bios battery
-renew the CPU heatpaste, and verify that the heatsink is mounted flat on the CPU, allowing for a good thermal contact
-you can also check the motherboard for bad capacitors as shown here :   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

The term POST refers to the Power On Self Test  procedure - here a link  with a short explanation  http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes.shtml
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nobusCommented:
you can also monitor the temps with Speedfan : http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
then google the max temp for your CPU !
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PCBONEZCommented:
What is the motherboard?
What is the power supply?
Why didn't anyone ask?
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USAF_The_OneCommented:
I asked the question about specs in the last sentence of my initial comment. Still waiting on that information before anyone can proceed...
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vlogg5Author Commented:
I will get back to you all on the motherboard and psu as soon as I get back to the office.
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vlogg5Author Commented:
the motherboard is an ECS (I am not sure about the "C" it seems half formed) Dual DDR 400, FSB 800.
the ps is FSP Group, Model # FSP300-60THA.
Thanks,
vlogg5
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vlogg5Author Commented:
I took the heat sink fan off, turned the computer on and touched the heat sink and it was hot enough to burn my finger. The computer had not been on for over an hour. Can I assume it is the motherboard, given what you say USAF The One?
Thanks,
vlogg5
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vlogg5Author Commented:
Now, after having done the above, the computer powers up long enough to start the fans and then powers off (about 13 seconds).
I am going to let it cool down overnight and see what happens.
Thanks Again,
vlogg5
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PCBONEZCommented:
ECS is a major brand but I need the model number to search from known issues.
ECS is on the low end side of things being partnered with PcChips and was a major supplier of eMachines motherboards. They fairly often have had issues with using cheap capacitors even after the famous 'capacitor plague' came and went.

FSP power supplies are -usually- pretty solid units but there have been a few bloopers.
FSP and Sparkle [SPI] are different branches of the same company now.
Since I have a model number for that, I'm off to research known issues.
.
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PCBONEZCommented:
Since I fell over it...
Here is the data-sheet for your PSU.
http://www.sparklepower.com/pdf/FSP300-60THA.pdf
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PCBONEZCommented:
PSU has some OST capacitors which aren't great to see but I can't find any problems with it either.
OST are okay if well enough cooled and FSP is pretty good about that in their designs.
.
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vlogg5Author Commented:
Thanks PCBONEZ. All the capacitors look fine.
Any comments about my finding "I took the heat sink fan off, turned the computer on and touched the heat sink and it was hot enough to burn my finger" even though the computer hadn't been on for over an hour?
I will try and find the model for the mobo. Any clues as to where on the mobo it would be or what the model number would look like?

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nobusCommented:
it vcan be different things :
- heat sink not fitted flat on cpu  --> fix it
- heatpaste dried  - change it
- bad cpu or motherboard
- and yes, bad PS
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vlogg5Author Commented:
Thanks
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_Commented:
>> I took the heat sink fan off, turned the computer on and touched the heat sink and it was hot enough to burn my finger

That sounds about right. That's why they put fans on them.
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USAF_The_OneCommented:
Glad to hear you may have singled it out. I'd try to repaste the heatsink to the CPU and see if that helps keep the CPU cool while attached to the heat sink. It's a cheap solution. If that improves things (boot up times, running times, temperature, etc...) then I would say that's where a majority of your issues had spawned from. If not, you can continue to research a MOBO replacement.
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PCBONEZCommented:
If the heat-sink is getting hot that indicates GOOD thermal transfer from the CPU to the heat-sink.
It's cool heat-sinks one should worry about.
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vlogg5Author Commented:
Thanks for all your help people.
vlogg5
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