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Unexpected shutdown

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I've been in this field for a long time and have never had an issue like this. The long and short of it is that in three different instances I was installing software on my system.
An MS MSI update, Starcraft 2 and an NVDIA driver update.  In all three cases the system shutdown during software load; not rebooted. The system shutdown.
I can (and have) run other pieces of software (gaming and otherwise) without issue for days on end.
Troubleshooting:
1) Verified that the system is not overheating (just so that I could sleep at night.)
2) Verified that the system was virus/malware free.
3) Disabled antivirus during software installation attemtps.
4) Verified that this is not a profile issue.
5) Event logs show nothing definitive. (Services started, etc.)
6) Updated video drivers (which caused a shutdown as well).
7) Verified that system board, was up to date for chipset and BIOS releases.
8) Ran a Repair (No joy).
Now there may be other pieces of software in my future that will cause the same shutdown. But at this point it is only the three I mentioned above. Other installations from the web or from media install and run as designed.
Anyone? Anyone?
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Question by:David-Howard
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by:wfcraven12
ID: 35070198
Are all these updates being loaded at once or are you doing them separately?
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by:synetron
synetron earned 50 total points
ID: 35070239
When you experience a BSOD or hard crash, the system may not be able to write to the system logs as all has stopped working. for this reason the contents of the ram etc are captured in dump files...

Microsoft provides a tool for accessing these dump files called ADPlus.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/286350

What does ADPlus do?
ADPlus is console-based Microsoft Visual Basic script. It automates the Microsoft CDB debugger to produce memory dumps and log files that contain debug output from one or more processes. Each time that you run ADPlus, debugging information (memory dumps and text files that contain debug information) is put in a new, uniquely named folder (such as C:\Temp\Crash_Mode__Date_01-22-2001__Time_09-41-08AM) on the local file system or on a remote network share. Additionally, each file that ADPlus creates has a unique name (such as PID-1708__Inetinfo.exe__Date_01-22-2001__Time_09-41-08AM.log) to avoid overwriting older files with newer ones.



enough copy/paste... basically i'd suggest a little deaper digging to try and put your finger on the nature/cause of your crash. since the system log was not helpful i'd look at the dump files.

cheers,
Ken
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bright12 earned 200 total points
ID: 35070260
Did you check the memory? And did you check the your power supply is running OK, meaning the correct voltages and a turning fan without any noises.
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by:davy999
ID: 35070370
Iwould go in safe mode and rollback the drives you've just installed to start with.
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by:davy999
ID: 35070398
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35070828
synetron, I'll check the dump files when I get home.
wfcraven12: Installations were done separately. Running multiple installations simultaneously is not a standard practice.
bright12: The system runs as designed and for prolonged periods without issues unless one of three mentioned packages is installed.
Whether I attempt to install the mentioned software after five minutes of up time or three hours, it immediately shuts down. This rules out over heating, fans, etc.
davy999: Which "drives" are you referring to? Did you mean drivers? The system runs fine with the current/old video drivers, etc. And it's not limited to video drivers or the game. A standard MS update also causes shutdowns.
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by:houssam_ballout
ID: 35070908

Could be a hard disk or memory faulty?!
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by:MattyW
MattyW earned 250 total points
ID: 35071394
1. Check Motherboard and Video card for "puffy" capacitors.
2. Run a Mem Test
3. Run a chkdsk /r
4. Test power Supply

Nothing is overheating? Not chipset or one of the bridges on the MB? or Video Card?
Software rarely cause the system to just power off. But you learn that anything is possible when you troubleshoot enough of these issues.  


 
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35083949
Update: Ran memtest and chkdsk last night. No errors.
Ran system for thirteen hours straight without the slightest issue.
I was not able to re-create the mentioned errors due to the length of memtest, etc.
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by:davy999
ID: 35084033
Run it in safemode for a while and see if the problem occurs,
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35085968
You cannot run or test the software installations that are shutting the system down in Safe Mode.
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by:synetron
ID: 35085981
did you get a look at the dump files by chance? just curious.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35112555
I started to download the necessary files from Microsoft so that I could view the dump files. Care to guess what happened mid download?
Tonight I am doing a fresh OS install on a new HDD. XPSP3 and updates. I'll test over the weekend to see what happens.
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by:MattyW
MattyW earned 250 total points
ID: 35113197
Exactly my thoughts, new Hard Drive and new Install would be the best troubleshooting step at this point. When it comes to troubleshooting irregular problems start big then work your way down. Driver issues usually Blue Screen then power off. No flash of blue before it powers off is there?  Did you check the event log in administrator tools under control panel?
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by:MattyW
ID: 35113266
Ops, you already checked event log...
What MS update is causing the shutdown? For instance some games will have updates included in them so it could all be the same issue/ update shutting her down. See if you can find any info on that particular update causing shutdowns online.
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by:MattyW
ID: 35113365
What do you mean by MS MSI? Microsoft .msi update file? MSI hardware company? I'm all self taught through 12 years of experience so I'm not good with terms or acronyms. =)  
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by:synetron
ID: 35113875
obviously we could all suggest a rebuild. good luck with that. i understood this a quest for understanding why your system was crashing.

i don't mean to be rude here but if the system is rebuilt the question/issue is no longer since no suggestion can be followed from now on. any issues from here forward are new items and would rate a new question.

again best of luck with the rebuild and more than happy to help if there are any issues with it or installs after rebuild.

on a side thought, if there are issues with installs/reboots after rebuild then i would suspect one of the installs is corrupt.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35129851
Reloaded the OS over the weekend. The drive contained only XP/SP3 and the 100 or so MS updates. I ran the system without any errors up until installing Starcraft 2. At 3% load, the system shut down. Following that it ran fine with other games I installed, web surfing etc. with only one exception. The system abruptly shut down after exiting a standard URL. After a restart, I launched a game that has run without issue on this very system for over a year. During a point in the game the video appeared as if it was in the lowest available setting (800x600). I had a suspicion that the video card could be the culprit and this makes me lean even more in that direction. I'm going to install a second video card for testing at this point.
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by:MattyW
ID: 35135150
Synetron: To understand why a system is crashing you have to troubleshoot... which means eliminating options. Since we have ran all the basic tests its time to eliminate the big one, software or hardware. But like I said before I think its hardware. One of the three installs is corrupt but they all cause a shutdown... what about the other two? Read before you try not to be rude.  

So anyway David you have another Video Card sweet! If i knew you had a card that would play SC just laying around I would have said test it with that first! =)
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35140416
Well, that's the problem. I don't have a second card at hand. So I'm going to order one. Here's the latest update though. Installed a brand new drive with Windows 7 (vice XP). The game zipped through installation up to the 83% mark where it failed with a "Cannot read from source" error. So, bad DVD right out of the box or perhaps DVD. I say that because I noticed something that may rule out the video card. On the XP hard drive I noticed that the driver for the video card was the correct download from NVIDIA. However, the Properties of the card state that it is a 1G VRAM vice the correct 512 VRAM that it actually is. Trust me on this, I verified it and it is 512 not 1G. The Windows 7 load detected and loaded the correct drivers and reported 512M. So far no video issues. I have a heavy duty workstation capable in all respects of running SC2. So I'm going to load the software on that system and see what happens.
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by:MattyW
MattyW earned 250 total points
ID: 35156656
"cannot read from source" is definitely the disc or the drive. Never seen that caused by anything else. As far as the drivers go, I always get Nvidia drivers right from Nvidia.com. Has solved a few issues with my games. Have had problems in games running the manufacture of the video card's drivers and the windows 7 nvidia driver it auto loads.  
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35166971
Definitely not the DVD drive. Just tested and failed on a different known/working DVD drive. Installing new graphics card and testing.
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by:MattyW
MattyW earned 250 total points
ID: 35168962
Just an idea, see if you can download SC from blizzard. I bought the game online, not sure if you can with the DVD version. But once you register it should show up on your Bnet Account and let you download it.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35169487
Yes Matty, I did that right after the DVD failed to load. :-) No joy. I'm down to either a faulty CPU or a heat issue. And if it's a heat issue it would be thermal paste, etc. and not a fan failure, voltage failure, etc. I'm going to find out if it's heat related when I get home tonight. Thanks for the BattleNet thought though.
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by:David-Howard
David-Howard earned 0 total points
ID: 35191929
I was fighting two problems simultaneously.
I noticed cracked thermal paste on a very small area of the cpu. Although the CPU/Heatsink connection looked secure apparently it wasn't. New thermal paste was applied along with a new heatsink and fan (I was just looking for a reason to upgrade those two.) What threw me was the system NOT shutting down after running for hours, but shutting down when SC2 was installing. Apparently there was just enough disconnect between CPU and heatsink to cause a shutdown. My best guess is that SC2 placed enough of load on the CPU that after ten to twenty minutes or so it simply overheated. However, there was not enough of load while playing older games and simple internet explorer usage to cause a system shutdown. Once the thermal paste and new heatsink/fan were applied and installed, the system ran fine. The second part of the problem was a faulty SC2 DVD. It fails repeatedly at 88%. The digital download was no issue after the above mentioned system changes. The game ran without issue all weekend.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 35225401
MattyW suggested checking power supply voltages. This was the closest answer to the two issues I discovered.
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