PC keeps powering itself off

I am trying to help a friend find out why his PC keeps switching itself off. This will usually happen 6-8 times in a row after about a minute of use. It is just as if somebody has pulled out the power lead. After these failed starts it will then work for hours on end with no problem. If the PC is then powered off for a few hours or more the problems reoccur.

I have tried reloading Windows, swapping the disk drive for a spare one that I have, removing an unused graphics card and modem card, reseating all the ribbon cables, reseating the SDRAM module and changing the power lead. After the problem has occured and I can look at the Event Manager there are no entries for when the failures occured.

My friend doesn´t have the money to keep trying new components so I am hoping that somebody on here will be able to help us pinpoint the problem.

My feeling is that it´s the power supply, which is a 550 Watt unit. This and the PC are about 1 to 1.5 years old.

A few weeks ago the C: drive on the computer became corrupted, but we fixed this by formatting the drive and reloading windows XP. Could the two be linked?

Thanks in advance for your help.

  woodchip 22:59 21 Sep 05

Sounds like the PSU needs to warm up. Do you have a spare to try

  Pooke 23:00 21 Sep 05

It's the power supply most definately. I had the same problem you described got another PSU fitted today, and the problem is no more!

Coincidently I had an error come up which on the MS knowledge base said, the resolve was to reformat and install windows again.

PSU get it replaced, they aren't that expensive either.

Thanks you two.

I´ll go and get him another PSU tomorrow and give that a go.

  keith-236785 08:54 22 Sep 05

some free options to try

sudden shutdowns can also be caused by the cpu temp rising too high, most mobo's have a shutdown temp setting to protect the hardware, monitor the temperatures within the system (speedfan) click here will let you watch the temps from within windows.

you could try altering the shutdown temp from within the bios, up it to 60°c or 65°c (some boards are set at 50° which i feel is a little low, (amd cpu's have a maximum temp of 93°) though i wouldnt want to push mine much past the 60 mark.

obviously try the new power supply if none of the above make any difference, as i agree that is more than likely the problem. check that the cpu cooling fan is spinning freely and isnt intermittent, stopping for a few seconds will cause the cpu temp to rise quickly and the system to shut down.

  keith-236785 09:02 22 Sep 05

having re-read your original post,,,,have you checked for all manner of virus/trojan/spyware/malware etc...people may remember the blaster virus was responsible for sudden shutdowns, would also be a reason for a corrupt drive C: though so could many other things like deleting a wrong system file (not that he would admit to that lol) or a poorly written uninstall program that takes vital files with it.

housecall click here(for virus and spyware), anti-trojan shield click here (for trojans), adaware click here (for spyware/malware)

spybot S&D click here (again for spyware)

just something else to think about

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