Why does my computer occassionally shut off at random?

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by UnicronFTW, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. UnicronFTW

    UnicronFTW Don't blink.

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    Let me just start off saying that I know jack squat about the way the computer works. I have the internet down pat, but I'm not a learned computer person.
    Occassionally, and I'm not saying it's a common thing. But occassionally, my comp will abruptly shut off and restart. It doesn't go through it's paces where you have the blue "windows is shutting off" screen, it just goes off and restarts. And sometimes, but not always, it will say "System has recovered from a serious error" when it's back on.
    I run Windows XP if thats any help, (which I'll bet it is).
    Is it because it needs to update? Because I know when things are updating or installing, it sometimes needs to reboot to complete the process. But it wll usually give a notice beforehand.
    Anyway, it doesn't seem to effect my comps functionality in any way, and it doesn't happen often, but still. Would at least like to know what it is.
    Any help or advice you have to give is really appreciated. :) 
     
  2. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style Toy Photography TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sounds like it's overheating. Remove the case and make sure your CPU fan is working. If so, look at the graphics card. The fans on those will go out as well and make that EXTREMELY hot.

    That's where I'd start.
     
  3. UnicronFTW

    UnicronFTW Don't blink.

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    Would dust cause it to overheat? Because I havn't cleaned it anytime recently...
     
  4. Ribieconvoy

    Ribieconvoy It's pronounced "ribby"

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    Well, as mentioned already, it could be overheating. Pop the casing off and use some canned air (electronics cleaner) to clean the insides, and make sure the area it sits in is well ventilated. Also, if you're playing a game or something, if it's more advanced than your computer can handle it can cause it to overheat. My laptop used to do this until I got a cooling pad. On the other hand, it may be installing updates.

    A common feature of Windows systems is to give a notice saying something like "The system will restart in 15 minutes to install updates." You can choose to postpone this to a later time, or restart immediately, but often, the window pops up on the bottom task bar without giving you notice and you won't notice it until all of a sudden your internet browser closes and your computer starts logging off :lol  Although I'm thinking that's not your issue since the computer just shuts off, with no usual shutdown process.
     
  5. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style Toy Photography TFW2005 Supporter

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    Dust in itself won't heat up your computer, but it'll clog up your fan and cause that not to turn, and even worse, it'll get all clogged up in the heatsink behind the fan and block the fan from releasing heat from the CPU.
     
  6. Galaxy Convoy

    Galaxy Convoy Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully it is just overheating. The last PC I had did the same thing, except it turned out there was a short in the motherboard somewhere. Out of curiosity, when it restarts like that, you didn't happen to bump your desk/table/whatever you have it sitting on right before it happened did you? Cuz that's how mine was. A good bump and there she went.
     
  7. Blackout32

    Blackout32 Subdivisions

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    Coming from a professinal it could be a number of things really. It could be a faulty part or it could be heating problem with laptops. With desktops when they do that, it could be a number of things but with laptops when they restart its cause of heat on the laptop and its trying to save itself from over-heating and no they don't blow-up either lmao. I've seen this problem many times over in laptops but with desktops its just as I said above.
     
  8. Rodentus prime

    Rodentus prime Well-Known Member

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    With random shutdowns like this - if it's while you're gaming it's probably the processor/graphics card overheating - otherwise I'd put my money on it needing a new power supply.
     
  9. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    It could be overheating... but if your computer is coming back on right away, I kinda doubt that. What kind of Harddrive are you using? Sometimes that can be an issue- if there is something corrupted on the harddrive and windows tries to access said files that could be an issue. Unfortunately, the only real way to fix that is replace the harddrive or try reformatting it.

    I recently built a computer, and it was shutting off becuase of overheating, but I couldn't turn it back on for more then a minute before I gave it sometime to cool down. That ended up being the fan for the main processor just being too weak and I had to replace it with a new cooling system.
     
  10. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    Could be a power supply issue. If the bios is set to restart after power returns, it'll come right back on, on it's own. Then, once everything is at it's peak, it'll kill the power to save itself and the system. If it goes one time too many, it could pop and take the other hardware with it.

    When it's running, check the fan in the PSU and see if it's spinning. If it isn't, then the PSU fan needs replaced and without adequate cooling, it'll overheat and shut down. If it's the CPU or GPU fan, both need to be checked immediately. Both are expensive repairs.
     
  11. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I once had a faulty RAM that caused restarts. Same basic issue as Liege Prime stated I believe, all I know is, I remove the RAM, it works fine again.

    I'd suggest looking at trends first of all. What is the computer doing each time it cuts out? There might be a clue in there.
     

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