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PC randomly shuts down and won't restart


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#1 trpltongue

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:10 PM

I'm so glad I've found this forum!
***Edit**** solved by simply cleaning the darn thing. CPU was overheating.


I have a PC with the following:
Motherboard with integrated graphics (forgot the model number right now)
E4300 Core2 Duo
250GB HD for OS
LSI MegaRaid PCI card with 6 SATA drives in Raid 5
DVD-RW Dual layer
Floppy disk

This PC has been working great for 4 years as a "server" for pictures, movies, etc. It stays on 24/7. Recently it has started dying in the middle of use randomly. I'll be updating iTunes or something and it will just turn off completely. No BSOD, no beeps or alarms, just turn off. Upon trying to restart it would get to the windows loading screen then restart itself, only when it tried to restart, it would just sit there with all the fans on and CD trying to read, but no video signal and no HD activity.

I could then manually hold down the power button, unplug the unit, then plug it back in and it would startup okay.

However, as of last night, I can no longer start the machine. It will get to the windows loading screen then warm reboot and hang with all fans etc on. Even pushing the reset button can not make the machine actually restart. I have to push and hold the power button to power cycle and start all over. Unlike before though, no matter what I do, I cannot get into the normal Windows bootup.

I tried booting into safe mode and was able to get into safe mode, but within a few minutes the machine would just die.

I was able to check the CPU temp in the bios and it was reasonable at 50C. I haven't had a chance to do any other troubleshooting since this all happened at about midnight last night.

I'd love to get feedback on a testing strategy and help on getting this resolved if at all possible.

Thanks!

Russell

Edited by trpltongue, 13 April 2011 - 07:53 PM.


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#2 pip22

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:36 PM

You can test the hard drive without the need to have Windows running, providing the PC will actually run long enough to complete the test ( for example, it may be some other hardware fault that won't allow the PC to run for very long). However, testing the hard drive is worth trying.

You can do this with the drive maker's own diagnostic software (the DOS version which runs from a bootable CD). The links are here:
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
Remember, you need to download the DOS version which is an ISO CD-image file. Create the CD from the ISO, then boot your PC from it.
To create the CD from the ISO file you can use the free IMGBURN from here: http://filehippo.com/download_imgburn/
Obviously, you will need a working computer to download what's required, and to create the CD.

If you are unable to determine the make of the hard disk, you can just use Seagate SeaTools for DOS from here (it can test any make):
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=seatooldreg&vgnextoid=480bd20cacdec010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

Create the CD & boot your PC from it. The SeaTools testing interface will load automatically.
Select the drive to be tested and choose "Long generic test" which is more accurate than the short test.
If one or more "Failed" messages come up, the drive is the cause of your problem & will have to be replaced.

If the drive passes the tests, move on and test the memory (RAM). This requires a separate bootable CD containing Memtest86, the ISO file for which is available here: http://memtest86.com/
Download the item labelled ISO image for creating bootable CD (Windows - zip)

Create a CD from the ISO file (unzip it first), again using IMGBURN.
Boot your PC from it & run the memory test for at least 5 passes.

Edited by pip22, 13 April 2011 - 12:41 PM.


#3 Broni

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:41 PM

I was able to check the CPU temp in the bios and it was reasonable at 50C

That's too hot for an idle computer.
Your processor max temp is listed at 61.4C.

When was the last time, you cleaned inside the case, using a can of compressed air?

Edited by Broni, 13 April 2011 - 04:08 PM.

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#4 ThunderZ

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:52 PM

When was the last time, you cleaned inside the case, using a can of compressed air?


Paying particular attention to the fan & heat sink on the processor. As well as all other fans and vent ares where air is drawn into or exits the case.

Side note. Use a pen, pencil, or othe object to prevent the fans from spinning while cleaning with the compressed air.

#5 trpltongue

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:51 PM

It's been a while since I gave it a good dusting. I'll try that first tonight.

I do have memtest and the WD hard drive DOS tool on disk so I can give those a try as well.

I'll let you know how it goes :)

#6 ThunderZ

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:14 PM

Just a suggestion.

Do the cleaning first. If it is heat related, no sense in stressing any components any further until they they are properly cooled.

#7 Broni

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:52 PM

I agree :)

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#8 trpltongue

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:52 PM

Wow!

It has been too long since I built and tested a PC :) For some reason I was thinking that 50C was a reasonable temp for idle :)

Dusted everything off and now we've settled back in to 38C at idle, much better and the computer is running strong.

Thanks for the reminder guys, sometimes it's the little things....

#9 Broni

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:03 PM

Nice going :)

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