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Random instant shutdowns(but the light says on)


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#1 Tee the Wicked

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 04:47 PM

Friday night, the computer seemed to just instantly shut off. The fans stopped, I heard the click that is usual for when shutting down finishes, and no sounds of teh computer running at all. But, when I went and pressed to button to turn it ack on, I discovered it did nothing. Even stranger, was that the light on the button was still on, as it is when the computer is actually on. I held it down, and it shut off after a few seconds just like in a hard manual shut down, and then pressed it again, and it turned on no problem. 
 
Since then, my computer consistently "sort of" shuts off like this, very frequenly, usually within a minute of loggin into my user. Sometimes, it does it shortly after the login screen comes up with the listed users. I also seem to be able to consistently cause this to happen automatically when I open the Runescape client
 
But, this all seems to only occur in Normal mode. I can log into safe mode with networking with no problem, for the most part, and I can even load up the Runescape client or online video(youtube,. etc)with no problem while in safe mode. It does occasionally shut off like thisin safe mode, but for the most part, I can run safe mode for hours on end no problem, and it only seems to do this is safe mode when I am not doing anything at all or right after signing into my user.. 
 
I have tried multiple times with System Repair, ChkDisk, and Scandisk, but nothing comes up, and a System Restore has not helped. I ran malwarebytes, ADWCleaner, and RKill but nothing came up, and CoreTemp as well as the BIOS list my temps as normal, so I don't think it is an infection or overheating.
One thing I did note, was that in the event logs, I see a pattern in a section called CodeIntegrity, all of the events listed under its "operational" section occurred at the times the computer has done this, event code 3001, two different entries each time. 
 
 
I run an Acer Aspire T690
Intel Pentium D CPU 3.00GHz
Intel  946GZ Express Chipset Family
1.00GB DDR2 RAM
Windows Vista 32-bit Home Premium
 
I just would like to figure out what is causing this. It drives me crazy not knowing,

Edited by Tee the Wicked, 05 March 2014 - 05:02 PM.


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#2 zingo156

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:01 PM

Have you tried updating your video driver? It also could be an issue with the video chip set itself, often generic vga drivers that run in safe mode will work fine but a full driver that loads in normal windows will crash. Sometimes (not all the time) this can indicate a problem with the video chip itself.

 

You might try a linux distro (burn to a disc and boot to the disc) something like mint: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

 

Mint will use a full driver just like normal mode windows, if the same issue happens there I would point my finger toward a hardware related issue.

 

It is also possible you have a bad stick of ram. You can run a memtest by downloading this (do not extract just burn to a disc): Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip) and booting to the disc, let it run at least 2 passes, if you have no errors the ram is ok.


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#3 ima_qman

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:05 PM

Just guessing but I think CodeIntegrity is just logging an unsigned driver that is loading at boot time. I realize you said the core temps appear okay when checking but It sounds to me that you may have an overheating issue anyway. It may be spiking after checking the temps. It is Vista so a few years old so I would try resetting the heatsink with new thermalpaste first to see if that helps. It probably needs doing anyway. 



#4 Tee the Wicked

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:14 PM

Thank you both for the replies. ima_qman, you are correct about the eventlog issue.

 

Unfortunately, I have no way of burning anything do a disc. As for my Drivers, according to Windows, they are up to date. 

I did run the memory test built in with the computer(requires reboot, is in a DOS format) but it said there were no problems.

 

On the heating issue, that is what I was originally thinking, as something almost identical happened a few years ago, but without the light staying on, and it was during the summer before I had bought an AC. It eventually worked itself out iirc, and it hasn't done anything like this since then. Coretemp lists my temps as normal all the way up to when this occurs, but HW Monitor listed my CPU as very high(over 100C) And yeah, the comp is ancient almost 7 years old and been through the extreme hot and cold of my apartment.

 

Where is the heat sink usually located in a computer? 


Edited by Tee the Wicked, 05 March 2014 - 05:17 PM.


#5 ima_qman

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 11:24 PM

The heatsink is the finned metal block that the CPU cooling fan is sitting on top of .. in other words it is the finned metal piece that is sitting atop the CPU .. it transfers the heat away from the CPU and that in turn is cooled by the fan. Take care unclasping this from the CPU because depending on the type of hold down you have sometimes the plastic pieces become brittle from the heat and age. Clean the old thermalpaste off with alcohol and apply new paste. You won't need more then a pea sized blob in most cases. Spread thinly if you can and apply slow even pressure and reclamp. Reassemble fan and test.Hopefully this resolves your issue.



#6 Tee the Wicked

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:08 PM

Thank you for the reply. I decided to test something, so I left the comp on all night in safe mode, it stayed on no problem, but then I shut it down about 6 hours ago, and when I tried to turn it on about 10 minutes ago, it repeatedly kept doing this about 1-3 seconds after turning on. I suspected the cylinder with the fan over it was the heat sink, both it and the fan were cool to the touch before I tried turning it on, and after the repeated shut offs, so I don't think it's an overheating issue. I managed to get it up and running thankfully, but I'm still at a loss as to what the hell is wrong with it.

 

I am still going to take your advice with the heat sink and thermal paste. My heat sink is connected seemingly to the motherboard via screws, so I'm not entirely sure where the thermal paste goes/is located.

I was wondering, do you have any idea why the lights would all stay on after it turns itself off, and why the on/off button functions as if the computer was still on?


Edited by Tee the Wicked, 06 March 2014 - 12:09 PM.


#7 zingo156

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:21 PM

Can you make a bootable flash drive? you can still do this with linux mint. No need to burn a cd, you will need to format the usb drive so save everything off of it first. If the issue happens in Mint, I might suspect you have a failing video chipset from the sound of it. As I mentioned before, failing video chipsets often work fine with the generic driver in safe mode, but then when the full driver from normal mode is in use they will crash. Linux mint (or any full distro such as ubuntu etc) will load a full driver in the same manor windows will. If it crashes in linux, you can be fairly certain it is hardware related.

 

You could uninstall and delete the video driver for windows, if you can force normal mode to use the generic vga driver it may not crash there. This might be another way to rule out other possible issues. You can also run memtest from a bootable flash drive.

 

AGAIN backup your data on a usb drive before formatting. Here is a self installing version of memtest: Download - Auto-installer for USB Key (Win 9x/2k/xp/7)

 

You will need to boot to the usb drive, you can change the boot order in the bios to use usb first, or use one of the F1-F12 keys on boot to access the boot menu and select the flash drive. I do not recall which F1-F12 button was the boot options on most acers. I think it was either F8 or F12...


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#8 Tee the Wicked

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:04 PM

Thank you for the reply. I have no idea what a distro is, but II'll try it anyway. I have an 8GB sub flash, will that be sufficient?

Strangely, my chrome seems to have been completely reset to deault. Bookmarks, extensions, everything is gone. I suspect is was the system restore done by startup repair, as everything was fine last night

 

EDIT: Now it's shutting off constantly, won't even stay on long enough for me to get to this page usually.It started while I was formatting my flash drive, now it wont' stay on consistently even in safe mode. Yet it will likely stay on for hours just fine later on.


Edited by Tee the Wicked, 06 March 2014 - 01:28 PM.


#9 zingo156

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:15 PM

Have you tried removing the battery and just running with the power adapter? If you have not try this first. If you have the same issue, try with just the battery installed no power adapter.

 

Visually inspect for any damage in your usb ports, if they short they can cause computers to shut off. If it will not stay on even in safe mode, there is some hardware related issue. It could be any piece of hardware. Does it stay on in the bios screen? Usually to get to the bios you tap F1 or F2 or Del or Esc, one of those keys will take you to the bios directly after powering on. If it will not stay on in the bios there is a certain hardware level issue somewhere.


Edited by zingo156, 06 March 2014 - 02:17 PM.

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#10 Tee the Wicked

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 05:15 PM

Thank you for the replay, I appreciate how patient you are with me. It always stays on during the BIOS no problem, and I ran that memtest you linked to using my flash drive. I didn't really understand anything in it. After Pass 4, it had 0 listed under errors. I think I am going to have to redownload the mint, as I put both the memtest and the mint files on the usb, and it only loads up the memtest.

 

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about battery and power adapter, unless you mean the plug? And yes, now that you mention it, my flash drive has error reading in one port. Also, last week, I was trying to upload some things to my Action Replay DSi, and the program wouldn't read my device. I checked the cord, and it was very hot on both connection ends, and as well, my AR was heating up fast. My AR managed to escape any problems, and works fine, but the cord itself seems to have been fried. 

 

Safe mode is now running for me just fine again. It's been like this since Friday, about an hour or two where it won't run even in safe mode, then hours upon hours where it will run just fine. I have also managed to get normal mode to run for a few hours twice. I am beginning to see a pattern with how it runs in safe mode: After being shut down for a while, it shuts off almost instantly after turning it on; after about a dozen tries, it will stay on, then shut off while loading the drivers to safe mode/at the login screen of safe mode; then it will shut off within minutes after logging into safe mode, and it will continue this for usually about an hour or two before finally staying on.

 

EDIT: Ran just fine the entire time I typed all the above, but then I brought up the flash drive in explorer, and it shut off less than a minute later.


Edited by Tee the Wicked, 06 March 2014 - 05:19 PM.


#11 zingo156

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:58 AM

"I'm not sure I understand what you mean about battery and power adapter, unless you mean the plug? And yes, now that you mention it, my flash drive has error reading in one port. Also, last week, I was trying to upload some things to my Action Replay DSi, and the program wouldn't read my device. I checked the cord, and it was very hot on both connection ends, and as well, my AR was heating up fast. My AR managed to escape any problems, and works fine, but the cord itself seems to have been fried."

 

I just realized this was a desktop and not a laptop... Definitely your cords for usb devices should not be getting hot. You may have a problem with that usb port, it may be shorting out and causing all of your problems. There are some other possiblities however: you may have a failing power supply in the computer, or a problem with the mainboard filtering power. One thing to check for on your motherboard (if you can open the case to look inside) is bulging or blown capacitors here are some pcitures/expamples of what to look for: https://www.google.com/search?q=blown+bulging+capacitors+motherboard&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=e9AZU66MAojDqgGsz4HgAg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=855&bih=461


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#12 Tee the Wicked

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:24 PM

Thank your the replies.  I'm not entirely certain, but I think four small cylinders between the back of my comp and the big cylinder thing(I believe it's the heat sink) are bulging. I haven't touched them, and I can't get a side view, so I could be mistaken, but all the other similar cylinders on my motherboard look flat adn have the + of a screw head, while those four the + is not very defined or completely gone.

 

And go figure, I got it to stay running in safe mode last night, and it has been on nonstop since then no problem.



#13 zingo156

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

Can you take a picture of those 4 capacitors? It usually is the caps close to the heat syncs that fail first, heat wears them out faster. If you do have a few bad caps, they frequently cause instability, crashes etc. Due to the age of the machine if this is the case, it would be wise to consider replacing rather than repair. It is still possible it is the power supply or a shorting usb port, but if you have bulging caps, they will undoubtedly cause problems at some point.


Edited by zingo156, 07 March 2014 - 12:32 PM.

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