View Full Version : Computer Turning Off

07-12-2003, 08:19 PM
I've had a friend ask me to look at her computer. Problem as follows:

The computer is a 2-3 year old Gateway brand running MS Windows Me.

Initially it simply turned off on her while she was playing a game of solitaire. Progressively it has got worse with frequent turn offs.

Fearing a virus I had a look at it tonight and found thefollowing:

When loading windows normally it shutdown almost straight after the initial splash screen.

Next time I tried to load normally but with the option to accept each item separately - It stopped during the load windows start upoptions (or some such thing).

Tried again to see if it stopped at the same time but this time it turned off even earlier!

Tried to the turn on in safe mode but it turned off as I was moving the cursor to safe mode (before hitting <enter>)

Finally I grabbed a linux programme I have on a floppy and booted into it. I got to the bit where it said hit <enter> to load linux and turned off before I had a chance to do anything.

My suspicion is therefore that it is nothing to do with any of the software (although I stand to be corrected if BIOS or CMOS could be involved - I would be way out of my depth there). It seems more likely a hardware problem (Loose connection, overheating...???)

My questions are:

1. Is there something I should check (eg. in BIOS) before we look at the hardware.

2. What is the most likely hardware problem could it be and can it be checked at home (My friend is not particularly flush), and

3. If it needs looking at by an expert, does anyone have a recommendation for Upper Hutt or thereabouts - preferably recommendation from experience.

Thanks greatly (in advance) for any help that may be offered. :D

07-12-2003, 08:23 PM
first suspects.....power supply, cpu over heat or faulty ram.

07-12-2003, 08:25 PM
Sounds a bit like a CPU overheating problem?? -- but it is happening quite quickly. I think that some BIOSs have an automatic shutdown when overheating happens?


07-12-2003, 08:45 PM
Check the cpu fan. Had one a while back where the fan was still running but making a little noise and it proved to be on it's way out.

07-12-2003, 09:07 PM
Thanks for these thoughts - Just had another thought - Could this be something to do with the BIOS battery?

07-12-2003, 09:15 PM
No, the BIOS battery won't even be needed when its running, its only active when no power is supplied to the PC.

Even then, shutdowns are not a usual symptom of a battery failure.

I vote for a temperature problem. Slipped heatsink, stopped fan etc.

07-12-2003, 09:24 PM
OK then.

My thought is:

1. Go into BIOS and see if it is set up to automatically turn off at a certain temperature.

2. If so, then disable the automatic shutdown long enough to see if it will turn on longer than for (say) 30 - 40 seconds (ie longer than currently but not long enough to fry things!)

3. If this indicates a heating problem, open it up (taking care with static electricity etc) and see if there is an obvious problem with the fan or heat sink.

4. If so, deal with it as required - If not, I'll come back to this board for further advice before attempting anything else.


Thanks heaps for all the advice :)

07-12-2003, 09:30 PM
i wouldn't even bother mucking around with the bios optoins. just pop open the case and have a look.

08-12-2003, 12:11 AM
I have a feeling it won't be the PSU (well probably not) as if it has been running for a couple of years without problems then it should be fine. If it's been playing up lately i figure it could be an overheating CPU, get a can on compressed air and get rid of all the dust that is hiding in the case and preventing air flow.

If you want you could check the memory of the machine using mem tester

- David

08-12-2003, 07:12 AM
As David has pointed out the computer could be full of dust which is causing it to overheat and shutdown. A good clean may be all it needs but if not then it is a job worth doing anyway. It is surprising how dusty computers get in a short time.

08-12-2003, 07:26 AM
>I have a feeling it won't be the PSU (well probably not) as if it has been running for a couple of years without problems then it should be fine.

flawed logic :( just because it WAS working dosn't mean it curruntly IS working.

cpu/fan is the easiest to check so is the first one look at.

13-12-2003, 07:33 AM
Thanks greatly to all who contributed.

Following instructions it became obvious that the power supply was not functioning correctly (Not much dust, fans worked OK, but then everything would turn off.

Turned out that Gateway used a 70W power supply and I suspect that it just wasn't up to the job in the medium to long haul.

Once again thanks

kirrie kiwi
14-12-2003, 08:04 AM
Mabe you are being got at have a look at this thred http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=42409 kk

14-12-2003, 06:23 PM
L M F A O @ 70watt psu...............omg............amazing I've seen 486's with 200 watters..............gawd