sudden shutdown

  pakmick 17:43 14 Jun 08

My Dell Dimension 3000, which is just out of its 3 year service agreement, suddenly shuts down with a blackscreen and reboots about 3-5 minutes after being switched on and Window XP ( fully updated) has loaded satisfactorily. This cycle then repeats itself.
I can do a normal shut down OK within the 3-5 mins it is on, which I have now done.
The room I am in is quite cool (15C) and the fan on the computer appears to be working. Mains supply is good.
I am posting this message on my laptop to get some views before I make my next move.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:02 14 Jun 08

Auto-reboot disable:
When Running windows and it crashes you will get a blue screen and it will automatically restart, often it will restart too fast for you to see the error message.
To disable auto restart on system failure, so you can see the error message.

1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> System (Windows+Pause works, too)
2. Go to Advanced
3. Under the Startup and Recovery section, click Settings...
4. Under System Failure un-check "Automatically restart"

If no errors then
1. overheat - check for fans running and clean heatsink not blocked with dust etc.

2. Psu dying voltage drops (most likely on a 3yr old DEll (PSUs are notoriously underrated)

  MarvintheAndroid 18:04 14 Jun 08

Things to look out for which can cause random crashes / lockups / reboots (i.e. not at startup):

Power supply failing
Overheating CPU
Memory read / write errors
Graphics card errors

If you are not getting a bluescreen it is probably not the memory.

I would start by taking the side of and checking that the processor fan is properly attached and working. Look for signs of the fan or heatsink being clogged by dust, and blow it out if necessary. Then check the processor temperature, either using the built-in BIOS hardware monitor or by downloading MBM5.

If this fails to yield a result, I would next investigate the power supply, but really this means a swap. Have you added new devices since you bought the system (disk drive, graphics card upgrades etc) which would draw more power ?

If it is an overheating problem, be aware that this can shorten the life of components.


  MarvintheAndroid 18:05 14 Jun 08

Ha - crossed with fruitbat. Too fast for me LOL

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