Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Computer Shutting Down


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 kaneshansley

kaneshansley

  • Members
  • 51 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:33 PM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 05:48 PM

Hi, I am using an e-machine computer (from best buy) with Windows XP. I've had to restore it often because the kids are contantly on Limewire or some other area they shouldn't be. But, this problem is different. In a nutshell, the computer just shuts down. No warning, no error message, just off! It started doing this today, and I tried unplugging and plugging it back in. Turned the computer back on and it stayed on for about 5 minutes then off again.

My son uses the computer a lot to play World of Warcraft. I tried cleaning the hard drive. Didn't make any difference. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Karen

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 TheYoda

TheYoda

  • Members
  • 466 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NYC
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 06:08 PM

I had a similar problem with my computer. Did you purchase a better video card or are you using the onboard video?

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


#3 Albert Frankenstein

Albert Frankenstein

  • Members
  • 2,707 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 06:25 PM

Sounds hardware related, at least that is what I would suspect first. The first thing to check out is overheating. Are all of the fans working? Get a can of compressed air from your local office supply store and blow all the dust out of the interior of your computer, especially the cooling fins on the processor. Make sure all fans are operating. Make sure air can circulate in and out and around the computer well.

TeHelperHasBecomeTheHelpee may be on to it also, have you made any changes to this computer recently, such as adding hardware?

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 08 April 2006 - 06:27 PM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#4 kaneshansley

kaneshansley
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 51 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:33 PM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 06:39 PM

There's been a new development. I just went downstairs and the computer on/off light was flickering, it was making a clicking noise, and I SMELLED something burning! Almost like a burnt rubber kind of smell. I unplugged the CPU and put my hand on it, it didn't feel hot. Should I still try the canned air suggestion?

Karen

#5 TheYoda

TheYoda

  • Members
  • 466 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NYC
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 07:13 PM

If you smelt something buring, it would be advised not to open the computer quite yet. Try turning the computer back on and see what happens. If it comes up with errors that you've never seen before, something went wrong. If something did go wrong and you dont have any sensative data on the machine, see if it's still under warranty. If it is, take advantage of the warranty, if not we'll see what your optins are. And my question from before, did you purchase a new video card? If you didn't, more than likely your son's World of Warcraft is over hearting the motherboard and causing it to crash. I had a similar problem when I was rendering some video. It burnt out my motherboard and I needed to purchase a new. This may not be the case with you, it is still unclear what exactly the cause of your problem is.

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


#6 Herk

Herk

  • Members
  • 1,609 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:S.E. Idaho, USA
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 07:22 PM

Sounds as if another EMachine power supply might have bit the dust.

Of course, it might be something like the processor fan having quit. I'd be opening the case to see what things look like in there. It may be too late for the compressed air. Once it's cool, if it will still boot at all, check to see if all the fans are running.

#7 kaneshansley

kaneshansley
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 51 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:33 PM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 07:29 PM

I have not purchased or installed anything new on this machine.

It's definitely not under warranty. It's about 3 years old.

How do I tell if all the fans are working? Open it up first? I opened my old computer to install memory and remember there was something about grounding myself first so static electricity wouldn't hurt the insides of the computer?

Thanks for holding my hand through this.

Karen

#8 TheYoda

TheYoda

  • Members
  • 466 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NYC
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 08 April 2006 - 07:41 PM

Herk may be right too. If you didn't install anything your son's game definitely overpowered the poor thing and it finally said, "The heck with this!" and that's where your at now. I recommend doing what Herk said; wait a bit for it to cool down and see what damage was done. If the damage is substantial I would think it's about time for a new computer. If it's minor, you may just need to replace something. And if you computer is on a rug or you're on a rug, it would be advised to ground yourself. If you're on tile or wood floors, there's an extremely low risk of static electricity unless you're wearing a wool sweater. Try starting it again once it cooled down before opening it and if it doesn't work, than open it.

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


#9 kaneshansley

kaneshansley
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 51 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:33 PM

Posted 09 April 2006 - 12:26 PM

Well, I opened the computer just now. It is FILTHY inside, I'll give you that. But I can't tell what, if anything, has been damaged. Is there a way to visually tell? Nothing looks burned, melted or otherwise amiss. I left the cover off and just plugged in the power cord and tried to turn the computer on and nothing happened. Does the cover have to be on for it to turn on? I'll leave the cover off until I hear back from you.

Karen

#10 Albert Frankenstein

Albert Frankenstein

  • Members
  • 2,707 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 09 April 2006 - 01:15 PM

Does the cover have to be on for it to turn on?

Usually no. But it depends on which model computer you have. Some computer cases have a little switch that the removable side panel will hit when it is in place, allowing the computer to startup. You might have to just push the little switch if you even have one.

If it is dirty inside, then thouroghly blow all the dust out before attempting to start this computer up.

But I can't tell what, if anything, has been damaged. Is there a way to visually tell? Nothing looks burned, melted or otherwise amiss.

Can't always tell by just looking. Clean the computer, start it up and make sure all fans are operating. Watch it run for a while. Smell it when it runs, etc. Do you hear any screaching noises that a fan might put out if it's bearings are bad?

It is observations like that that will help you track down the source of the problem. But it is looking more and more like an overheating problem.

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 09 April 2006 - 01:18 PM.

ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#11 TheYoda

TheYoda

  • Members
  • 466 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NYC
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 09 April 2006 - 01:41 PM

What you should try doing, if after opening your computer, cleaning it out and it doesn't start up again, remove the power supply and shake it a litte to see if anythings loose. If it is, well you need really is a new power supply. That's what happened to me with a brand new power supply. I plugged it in, it popped, smoked and I heard something moving around inside when I took it out. Also before you plug it back it, smell the power supply and see if it smells like burnt rubber. If it does, you've found your problem. If not, your motherboard might of shorted out, but it's still unclear as to the exact cause of the smell. And the clicking. Usually the light flashing means it's on stand-by, but your BIOS might of detected something wrong and shut down your computer.

Edited by TeHelperHasBecomeTheHelpee, 09 April 2006 - 01:42 PM.

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.


#12 Herk

Herk

  • Members
  • 1,609 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:S.E. Idaho, USA
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:31 PM

If the smell is like burning electrical stuff, it's likely that something burned up, and I'd bet the power supply. If you start it and any fan does not turn on, it could be something like that. It's hard to say at this point how salvageable things are. A failing power supply can take a lot of things with it, and even if things work they can fail later from damage they've suffered.

Check the capacitors, those things that look like tiny barrells, for swelling or rounded tops. That would indicate failure. Make sure the heat sink beneath the processor fan is clear of dust, hair and debris.

If nothing at all happens when you press the power button, check to make sure it's plugged in securely, and check the switch on the power supply (if there is one). Do not change the 110/220 slider switch!

Sometimes when this happens, it's a bad power supply and a new one will fix it, but more often other things have been damaged.

#13 kaneshansley

kaneshansley
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 51 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:33 PM

Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:58 PM

OK, here's an update.

I went and got a can of air and cleaned out the insides, checked all the wires to be sure everything was plugged in. Put the back on (well, not completely, I didn't actually put the screws in) but after a minute or so the computer did come on, although just the flickering on/off light. The inside fan WAS working, but the fan in the back of the computer was NOT. Should this fan run all the time? I let it run for a few minutes, then it shut down.

So I guess I'll try the next suggestion and remove the power supply and see if anything sounds strange. It does seem more like it's a power supply problem, doesn't it?

Karen

#14 kaneshansley

kaneshansley
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 51 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:33 PM

Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:01 PM

One more question. Is a power supply or motherboard something you can install yourself? The power supply looks pretty straightforward, but that motherboard - whoa! I put in extra memory and a CD player on my old computer, so getting in there doesn't scare me, I just don't want to get in over my head.

Karen

#15 TheYoda

TheYoda

  • Members
  • 466 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NYC
  • Local time:12:33 AM

Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:14 PM

A thing with motherboards that I learned the hard way is that if you dont ground the mothierboard and make sure it's not touching the back panel, you'll short it out. A motherboard is fairly easy to intall, it's a matter of finding one to fit your CPU and your case and all your peripheals. Its also lining up the screws and a MUST is you have to take EVERYTHING from the computer out to put a mother board in. So if you a have a weekend free to yourself and you find one that fits your computer and CPU, I'd say it's a fun experience. And the fan in the back, if it's plugged in, should be on. I'm going to agree with Herk and say that your power supply is gone and probably took your fan with it. That or your power supply is partially gone and can just no longer power your entire system. Either way, you need a new power supply. I suggest browsing the internet for after market power supplies for your machine. Start with less complicated and go to more complicated. I recommend getting a power supply first and if that doesn't work, then we'll see. I have a good feeling that it's power supply and that'll solve your problem for now, until you decide that it's time for a new PC. If and when you get a new PC either get one built or get a fairly powerful system so this won't happen again.

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once." -William Shakespeare

Fold for your future...Help us find a cure.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users