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Shut down after Windows splashscreen - feel I've tried everything


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#1 nmodi

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 06:13 PM

Hi there

New user here. Looks like a great forum. I'm fairly computer savvy, but this one has me totally stumped.

I have a 2-year-old system, Intel DP965LT mobo, Core2Duo 6420, 2GB Kingston RAM, 1 TB SATA drive, MSI NVidia GeForce 7100GS video, DVD-RW, Win XP Pro, Antec Sonata II case

I never had a problem with this machine until recently. All of a sudden one day, it started shutting down by itself right after the Windows splash screen came up. It always boots ok in safe mode. In normal mode, sometimes it starts ok, sometimes it shuts down. It will shutdown on a fresh start, or on a restart.

As far as I recall, there were no new programs installed just prior to this behavior. There were no hardware changes either. The hard drive is "new" - as in about 4 months old, but this behavior only started 2 weeks ago.

I have tried the following to no avail:

- checked the boot sectors in Windows; reported to be fine.
- replaced the CMOS battery
- removed and re-seated the RAM chips
- updated the BIOS to most recent
- complete virus scans with Avast and Anit-Malware - found some Trojans; removed
- re-installed Windows with a full format
- cleaned out the inside of the case, removed all the dust (it wasn't too bad) and installed a new heatsink/fan (with thermal paste)

Also,

The bios reports the CPU at about 47C, and the mobo at about 38C. I don't think this is too hot.

Frankly, I'm not sure if this is a hardware or software problem, but having re-installed Windows now I am pretty convinced it's hardware.

Anyone out there with some ideas? I feel like I've tried everything. When I updated the BIOS it was good for about 5 days, but then it started misbehaving again.

Thanks for any help!

Edited by nmodi, 19 July 2009 - 06:31 PM.


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#2 gocards22

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 07:07 PM

Try testing your memory... http://www.memtest86.com/.

Do you have any problems at all when running in safe mode?

#3 nmodi

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:03 PM

Thanks for the reply, gocards.

I can actually test the memory by using 2 chips from another computer...good idea.

As for safe mode, it does seem to run much slower...I had to copy some stuff to my external drive on USB2, and it seemed much slower than it would normally have been. Other than that, safe mode runs just fine.

#4 nmodi

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:01 AM

Ok, just realized that program is a free download. I will try burning the image to CD and run the program to check.

Should I test one module at a time? Seems to make sense.

It says on that website that for intermittent problems (which is certainly the case) it should be tested for "longer." How many passes (or time) is reasonable?

Why would RAM modules fail now, after 2 years? I just sprayed the sockets with air yesterday (not that they were that dusty) so I don't think it's a contact problem. I was always told that if RAM chips are bad, they'll fail right away.

Thanks guys.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:39 AM

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Memtest86 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest Contains info on why you should only use the Memtest86+ version for testing today.

Icrontic Diagnose with Memtest86+ - http://icrontic.com/articles/diagnose_with_memtest86

MemTest Manual - http://hcidesign.com/memtest/manual.html Outdated, but provides some guidelines that are useful.

Louis

#6 nmodi

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:48 PM

Ok, I had 20 passes on each of my 1GB RAM modules, and no errors.

What's next now? I keep on flipping between it being a software problem (because it always works in safe mode) and a hardware problem (because I re-installed Windows and it still occurs).

Any more ideas guys? Motheboard test (how?)? What about the power supply?

#7 hamluis

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:09 PM

The power supply is always a viable candidate...I suggest temporarily switching to another, that should confirm/refute the PSU as a suspect.

Contrary to what you might think...any manmade object may fail at any time...for any number of reasons.

As for computer parts which worked more than 12 months ago...need I remind that a 1-year warrranty period is a atandard for a reason.

Louis

#8 nmodi

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:46 AM

Thanks Louis. I have a second PC that is a bit older (about 6 years now) but I'm not sure if the PS in there can be used to test this one. It is the older Antec Sonata case and PS (I think it's only 300W) running an AMD Athlon64 3200+, a couple of hard drives, a fanless ATI video card (AGP) and a DVD-Burner. Do you think this would suffice to power my newer system?

Does Windows run on less power when booting in SafeMode?

Also, when I CAN get to the desktop, it runs fine until I decide to shut down.

Good point about the warranty period...bleepingcorporations.... :thumbsup: :flowers:

Edited by nmodi, 22 July 2009 - 10:07 AM.


#9 nmodi

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:19 AM

One thing I did notice yesterday, when I was testing the RAM modules, I have to nudge the end of the video card to get at the first DIMM slot lock. The video card was "quite hot." Not enough to burn me, but still, pretty toasty. Could this mean something? Of course, this was just running the memtest86 program for several hours (I had the monitor off most of the time) but clearly not a lot of strain on the video card.

The card is a fanless one: MSI MX7100 GS (NVidia GeForce 7100GS).

Thanks guys!

#10 hamluis

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:39 PM

IMO...for comparative purposes, a 300-watt PSU should prove better than nothing. We are talking about a few minutes to see results.

If the system functions as it should with the weaker PSU, we have a winner. If it doesn't, we are no more inconclusive that we are right now.

The fact that you reinstalled XP after formatting...would rule out driver issues for me (assuming, of course, that you have checked Device Manager for such).

Louis

#11 nmodi

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 02:05 PM

Ok, I'll give it a try..thanks. I think if it doesn't work, that leaves either the video card or dang it all, the mobo.

When I re-installed XP, it went in ok and the only things I installed were the LAN driver, audio driver (from download folders I had from Intel's site), video driver (from the original CD), MS Office, and Adobe CS3. There were a few sucessful restarts in this time. Then I ran the Windows Updates (there were 2 small updates at the time) and when it restarted after the updates, that's when it conked out. So yeah, I really doubt it's a driver problem. Device Manager isn't showing anything funny (I'll check again, though, just in case).

#12 nmodi

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:32 AM

Ok, I think we are now getting closer. I replaced the PS with the one from my older Sonata I case - it's 380W (Antec TruePower, I think). The thing is, it has the 20-pin mobo connector plus the 4-pin cable for 12V. The newer mobo has the 24-pin plug and the 4-pin plug.

So I tried it anyway, and the PC started up fine and has done so with every shutdown, restart, or standby since Saturday. Happy me!

What I'm unclear on, is what's the difference between the 20 and 24-pin connections? I understand the 24-pin is newer and provides more power for PCI Express cards (of which I do have one running). But isn't this ALSO what the 4-pin 12V connector is for?

So I'm ready to get an OCZ StealthXStream 500W (with MIR here until Friday: http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?d...amp;cid=PS.731).

My only question is: is there a possibility that the malfunction is from the 4 other pins of the mobo power plug that are currently not being used? I did plug in the 4-pin 12V auxillary power as well, if that makes any difference.

Hope this is all clear. At this point, I don't think I have much choice but to try a new 24-pin PS and hope it works.

Any thoughts guys?

Thanks

#13 hamluis

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:54 AM

I believe the 4-pin connector is for the CPU, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX

Louis

#14 nmodi

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 09:15 AM

Hi Louis

I think you may have misunderstood me. Actually, I thought the auxillary 4-pin (the one on a completely separate cable) was an extra 12V for PCI-Express video cards. If the wiki is correct, yes, it is for the CPU. That is fine.

My question, however, was about the difference between the 20-pin and 24-pin motherboard main connection. According to the wiki page, the last 4 pins are omitted in the 20-pin scheme. That's what I'm running the PC on now, but when I get a new PS, it will surely be the newer 24-pin configuration. Those last 4 pins are a +12V, +5V, +3.3V, and a ground wire. But since these are currently not being used, I might still suspect that the problem I was having resides on the mobo and not the PS. Do you have any idea if this might be the case? I'm not sure what specifically those last 4 pins do. Every google search I have done basically explains that the difference between the 24-pin and the 20-pin connector is the number of pins. Well, duh.

Thanks

#15 hamluis

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 10:57 AM

My approach is this:

If the motherboard has a 24-pin connection, I don't have to use a 24-pin power supply...but it's probably better that I do.

The fact of the matter is...a 20-pin power supply these days...indicates that it is outdated for current motherboards. That should say to those who consider changing motherboards...that they need to also change power supply units.

If the motherboard has a 20-pin connection, I can use either a 20- or 24-pin power supply connection.

IIRC, the basic difference is more power to the board, with the advent of PCI-e devices. That's my story and I'm stickin' to that :thumbsup:.

Interesting link: http://www.smps.us/20-to-24pin-atx.html

Louis




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