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Dell desktop shuts down and restarts on its own

Posted on 2010-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
So I have a client that have a continious problem with his fairly new desktop (about 1 year old).  The computer shuts down on its own and restarts.  No BSOD so no dmp files to analize.  
The Dell quick diagnostics do not give any failures and all components test pass.  I did re-seat all the RAM modules.
I had Dell to come out and swap the motherboard and a power supply.  The system ran OK for a day and shut down again today.
The only thing I noticed the aux led on the motherboard is yellow.  Not sure if that should be green or maybe its ok.

The system is still on warranty but its a horrendous experience to deal with Dell.  

Any advice appreciated.
Thank you.
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Question by:Tiras25
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by:David-Howard
ID: 33641146
Most motherboard LED's should be green. Since the power supply and motherboard were replaced I would suggest the following. Make sure that the CPU is properly seated and that it is not overheating. Normally when systems overheat they will shut down after up and running for about the same amount of time.
Dell has a good web site for troubleshooting. You might head over there and look up the customer's make and model. Then you can take a look at that yellow motherboard LED.
I'm a little surprised that a new power supply and/or motherboard didn't correct this issue though. But as I'm sure you know, new doesn't mean that it can't be bad.
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by:edbedb
ID: 33641185
There are normally only 3 things that will make a system suddenly shut down. The PSU, motherboard and the display adapter.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33641247
This is an Optiplex 755.  I looked around the Dell's support and did not see anything regarding that yellow AUX LED. I am suprized too the motherboard replacement did not correct the issue.
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by:edbedb
ID: 33641306
I would try re-installing the drivers for the display adapter.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33641318
The thing is the system event log doesn't show any errors either.
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by:agengler11
ID: 33641426
These mobos have a yellow heartbeat LED so no worries there. Do you have a power surge protector on the unit? Is Windows patched with all updates? Reseating the ram was a good start but this time try putting one in at a time and running the PC. If it runs good for a bit then add a second etc.. I suspect bad ram.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 33641478
Were you able to look at the cpu seating yet? As I said, a system that shuts down on it's own after about the same amount of up time usually means an overheating somewhere.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33641618
Didn't get to CPU yet.  I don't think it shuts down after same amount of uptime.   Its completely sporadic.
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by:mccracky
ID: 33641708
I know it may not be pretty, but put the onus where it lies.  Make Dell honor the warranty.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 33642120
If it's random and the motherboard and power supply have been replaced the problem is narrowed down quite a bit. RAM, CPU, Video or even possible short between the motherboard and casing (which I doubt).
At this point I would start replacing one RAM stick at a time (as mentioned above). And test. One stick only and run for effectiveness. If it fails, remove that stick and replace, so and so forth. But also as mentioned above, if this were my system (and I'm a tech), Dell is honoring this warranty. It's their obligation to troubleshoot and repair this system. Not yours. And besides, you could run the risk of ruining the warranty if they find out you've had your hands in the system.
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jamietoner earned 100 total points
ID: 33642295
Have you tried plugging the system into a different surge protector and a different outlet? Power fluctuations in the ac line can cause the system to shutdown and if the bios is set to last known power state the system would appear to just restart itself. Another way to test this would be to change the power option in bios to stay off instead of last known state. I have seen a similar issue a few times with clients, the clients system would constantly restart at the location, but when on my workbench it would run flawlessly. Most of the time it was just a faulty surge protector but a couple times it was a more serious electrical issue.
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Assisted Solution

by:PURESKILLZZZ
PURESKILLZZZ earned 100 total points
ID: 33642529
Its more than likely a heating or power issue . A UPS is a good start . Also try blowing machine out with air for dust ... More cooling fans also help as dell is cheap with those.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33642549
The machine is very clean inside/out.  I will check the power tonight though.
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by:amodeo
ID: 33642594
Light is always amber on the motherboard of a Dell optiplex 755, check and see in the bios for "restart computer after power failure" and if that is on turn it off... That will tell us what is going on next time you experience this issue... The computer won't restart if it thinks it is experiencing a "power failure" and then we can look forward to see if you need some kind of power conditioning device or whatnot.

-Joe
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by:kaskhedikar_tushar
kaskhedikar_tushar earned 100 total points
ID: 33643846
Hello,

Firstly,please check the power supply & earthing & UPS (if you installed) related with electrician.
Then go for computer hardware.

Regards,
Tushar Kaskhedikar
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by:nobus
ID: 33644193
for troubleshooting, disconnect devices and cards, or disable tehm from the bios.
i mean : all extra disk, and cd drives, remove extra ram sticks - add on cards
 disable sound and network from bios to test !
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by:David-Howard
David-Howard earned 200 total points
ID: 33647628
I had another thought on this. Has this system been moved to another area/power source for troubleshooting? I'm wondering if there isn't something on the circuit that it is currently plugged in to that may be causing the intermittent shutdowns.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33648029
Looks like I found a cultpit last ngiht.  The computer plugged into the APC UPS and the USP into the power strip that is plugged into the wall jack.  
I noticed the power green light on APC is off even though it still holding a power.  So I removed the UPS and plugged directly into the power strip.  So shut downs so far.   Most likely that UPS was causing  power spikes that shuttnig down a computer.
I will report in a bit.
Thanks!!
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by:nobus
ID: 33648125
an UPS causing power spikes...lol
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33648193
Exactly :-)
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by:David-Howard
David-Howard earned 200 total points
ID: 33648350
Glad to know that you figured it out. I assumed a possible faulty circuit. But should have asked if you had anything between the pc and the outlet.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 33648491
Hopefully that's the problem.  I will wait through the day today to confirm.  No shut downs so far.
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by:rajesh_rhce
ID: 33673985
hi
 just chk power supply wattage,

if power supply wattge is good(450w) then u chk with out hard disk system will run properly,then u have to  install new os.
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