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computer randomly shuts down lights stay on

Posted on 2015-02-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
My computer has recently been randomly almost-shutting-down without the lights going off. The screen would go black, but the keyboard light, the case power light, and others stay on. I checked the power settings in Windows, they're all set not to turn off anything ever.

Partial System specs are as follows: Dell Precision T3400 workstation, upgraded to 16 GB RAM (upgraded from 4 GB in the past six to seven months), PCI-e video card (replaced in the past year or so), PCI RAID controller with 4 drives (2 RAID1 arrays), upgraded in March 2014 to Windows 7 from XP.

It used to do this random pseudo-shutdown about every 30-45 minutes. I replaced the power supply. The first time after having turned it on, it stayed up for about 8 hours, then did another pseudo-shutdown. The next time I came back up for an extended period (right now), has been in Safe Mode. That's been about 6-7 hours, and so far, it's still good.

The BIOS in this system does not have any temperature reporting features. I downloaded the Open Hardware Monitor. It reports the CPU cores being between 80-98 degrees FARENHEIT, so...that seems safe.

I've searched various forums elsewhere. One person said swapping their video card may have fixed it for them, another asked about whether keyboards were USB or PS/2. My wireless keyboard and mouse combo is a Logitech MX 3000 Cordless Desktop). That's a few months old, is an older style that plugs into a proprietary PCI card for the wired bridge. Said bridge has  a PS/2 connector (for mouse, I think) and USB connector (for keyboard, I guess). Maybe that's more information than you need?

Somebody suggested disabling fast-boot features in the BIOS. I'm looking to that next, but I don't see it as being the root. I will also look for recent software updates/Windows updates, but I'm skeptical there too. Anyone have thoughts?

Thanks!
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Question by:dragonflytech
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40602987
You say your replaced the PSU, but did you replace it with one that can supply enough power for all those options you added? All your disks, new RAID card, New Video card and new RAM will be using lots more power than the original PC needed.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40603113
One thing that can cause this is a root kit virus. I have seen this happen before.

Try TDSKiller to scan for a remove root kits.

http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/disinfection
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40605085
did you check the power options in control panel?  set them to never turn off display + pc
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Expert Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 40617659
Are you using two or more different brands of RAM? I've seen this happen before where two brands didn't work well together, and it was on a Dell laptop. Try pulling some of the RAM so you only have one type and see if the problem is still there.
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Accepted Solution

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dragonflytech earned 0 total points
ID: 40627232
I noticed the power supply was blowing warm air. I got it swapped. That didn't help. I then swapped the motherboard, case fan and heat sink. So far I've not had the problem.

I don't know how to award points for this.

Dana
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40627237
You have almost replaced the whole computer.  None of us suggested doing that so close the question with your own answer as the solution.
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Author Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 40628561
Thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 40641395
It worked (at least so far).
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