HELP... My computer is

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jrlvnv, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. jrlvnv


    2x in the last week I have been on my computer surfing the internet then all of a sudden it just shuts off. The lights on my keyboard stay lit and I hit the power button on my computer to turn it back on and it starts right up like nothing happened (reboots).

    I am thinking power supply might be on the way out. Anyone have any "professional" ideas? Thanks


    Mobo is about 2 years old, AMD cpu is 3.5 years old, same with memory. P/S is about 1 year old but replaced it 2 other times with same brand in 3 years.

    Running XP pro
  2. paulxx


    Almost certainly a heat issue. I come across this quite often. I'll be more detailed than you probably need in case of others having the same problem.

    First, take a powerful vacuum pipe to all outside air holes.

    Then, leave the mains power plugged in, but switch off at the socket. That will earth the chassis to prevent static. Touch the chassis metal to be sure of earthing yourself.

    Now open the side, normally two screws will do it, sometimes it is a sliding lever arrangement. You want the side furthest away from the USB/mouse/keyboard sockets - ie the side above not below the mainboard.

    You should see a large fan facing you on the board - the CPU fan. Probably you can see the heatsink fins below it are clogged with dust. Place the vacuum pipe over the fan and suck up the dust. You might need a small brush, but earth it to the chassis first.

    There could be a case fan, often at the back inside at 90 degrees to the CPU fan. Clean if necessary, but you also need to check it does not pull air away from the CPU fan - they often do this by blowing air out of the back of the chassis very close to the point that the CPU fan is trying to suck air downwards over the processor. To test if the fan is blowing out of the case put your hand over it at the back with the computer on - before you open the side preferably. Don't mistake the psu fan (always at the top of the case back) for a case fan.

    You can either leave it anyway once the dust is cleaned, or you would need to unscrew the four self tapping screws into the case fan plastic on the back of the case. Then flip the fan over to reverse its direction and they will screw in no problem.

    What you want is airflow in to the case (with or without a case fan) down through the cpu fan and out through the power supply fan.

    There is a possibility that the psu is on the way out, but not likely based on the symptoms you've described ie. instant cutouts after a while.
  3. jrlvnv


    Now keep in mind I don't work on computers so I am not questioning your answer but I just see if it was a heat issue, why does it let me start right back up reboot and run fine like nothing has happened.

    I am comparing it to a car overheating, u need to have it sit for like 30 mins to cool off.

    Thanks for the answer, it has been years since I cleaned out the inside of the case.
  4. bespoke


    If you've ever monitored CPU temperatures you'll see that it can drop 20 C within seconds after doing a heavy load.

    It sounds like a heat problem to me too. Especially since you said it's been years since you cleaned it out.

    What kind of MoBo do you have? You should run the MoBos software to monitor the temps.
  5. paulxx


    Good point, let us know what happens after you clean it out.

    Still 90% sure it's heat causing it. There is a fixed CPU temperature, often set in the BIOS, at which point the computer cuts off. If your temperature is hovering about the maximum and something you did tipped it over, then it may be just under by the time you restart and provided you don't do heavy work again it may continue working until you do it again.

    PSU faults are the most common hardware failure in my experience, but usually it will either cut out completely and nothing will work or there will be persistent problems maybe with startup - not just cut the computer instantly after a while and then be completely OK for a while. It is still a possibilty though.

    One other remote possibility would be something dumb like a faulty power plug/socket or one not pushed in properly. Maybe you just tapped your feet and it jogged a wire........... I once had a problem caused by someone bending a USB plug sideways causing a short to the chassis. That burned out more than one PSU before I found it though....
  6. taodr


    I agree with the others. Sounds like a heat problem. Have seen this occur a few times before especially with amd as they always run at higher temps. You should shutdown, pull electricity source , open case and gently vacuum all fans . Also can use soft cloth between fanblades to get dust out. Might even have to lift chip fan off to get at cooler fins on chip. Do not use force on anything.