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Why Did My Computer Force Shut Down By Itself?

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BD83 posted while I did. To clarify; it was a proper shut down and did not just cut off like a light switch. Okay guys- what should I be looking for when I look at my power supply?

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The fan inside it, we had the same problem years ago on a computer.  If the fan is dead you will need a new power supply.  Run your computer as least as possible because if it is the fan your computer parts could burn up.  We got lucky and nothing was ruined from the fan not working and it being on all the time, but the guy where we got the fan said it could have happened.  He didn't know why it didn't.

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Hello Anne & John,

 

I can't speak as an authority, but only to provide a bit more insight.  I have had refurb computers where the power supply provided enough power for a standard configuration, but not by much.  If a power supply is marginal or is stressed, it may shut down and cause an immediate shutdown.  I can't say that happened here, but it has happened to me in the past.  I checked the rating on my power supply, shook my head in disbelief, and bought one that provided more than enough power.  If you have added any components, or run the computer under warmer conditions, OR in a poorly-ventilated area (which causes it to run hotter), that's worth checking.  I hope it was a one-time event.  Good luck!

 

I've seen all sorts of things - but PSUs can give brownouts as well as blackouts.  In my original supposition on page one, I used a single example of what could cause the computer to flip off like a light switch - there are literally 100s of causes for such an action.

 

True but the rated Wattage or even 80 Plus is pretty meanimgless unless the PSU is high quality. Personally i wont put anything nut Seasonic or Delta PSUs in PCs i build.

Im still not quite sure if the computer in question made the windows shutdown sound and properly shut down or if it just went off like the power went out...

 

Mass Production should only raise your hopes up that your chance at getting a non-lemon product a little higher with a decent brand name product versus a no name product.  I've seen a Delta run for 6 years straight and seen high end ThermalTakes and Antecs die in less than 2 years.  Then again, I'm also a Seagate fan - never had one blow up o me personally, whereas I've seen WDs and Hitachis die faster than I can blink.  Others, though, will tell you the opposite - that they swear by WD, and that Seagates are pure crap.  So, who do you believe?  I know that WD bought out what was arguably the best HD manufacturer in the 90s, Conner, so I expected WDs to come out on top, but my personal (and very extensive) experience has shown that Seagate wins hands down in all comparisons I can make with all the drives that I have worked on.  So, is my experience more valuable than your experience, or vice versa?  Between you and me, who does Anne trust?  what if we poll all the users of these forums?  Would that be a valid statistic?

 

That's the thing about 'customer / consumer' reviews - rarely are they objective.  I don't go by reviews.  I go by what I have seen and what I know, and augment that with a lot of in-house-testing facility reviews.  AnandTech and Toms Hardware, and smaller sites that perform independent testing are great for things like benchmarks and such.  But, what about long term failure rate?  If Delta makes 1 million units a year and ThermalTake makes 100,000, but there are 10K faillures in Delta and 2K in Tt, which is better?  (hint - look at the percentages).

 

How you treat a PSU will also help determine it's proposed life expectancy, as will the quality of the voltage it takes in, how well you keep your computer cleaned, how often you change out the parts, and believe it or not, how often you actually power down and power back on.

 

For wattage requirements I have a lifetime subscription to the PSU calculator over at eXtreme OuterVision:  http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

 

Then again, I build all my own machines and at one time was building them for sale in my area.  That kind of a sub was always a good go to reference whenever a client suggested going with a lower ratd PSU than what I would recommend.

 

BD83 posted while I did. To clarify; it was a proper shut down and did not just cut off like a light switch. Okay guys- what should I be looking for when I look at my power supply?

 

If it was a proper shutdown, then you should be looking at software.  However, it could have been something as innocuous as a silent update that triggered a shutdown b/c it really needed to replace a file that was in use, but since it was triggered as a silent update, it kept the silent tradition going and triggered a silent shutdown as well.  I was remiss to ask you to look into your event logs to see if there was an event written to the logs explaining why it shutdown - sometimes those will exist if the software triggering the reboot / shutdown does things the way it is expected to, but the most odd thing is that it shut down, not rebooted.  That is still making me wonder.

 

The fan inside it, we had the same problem years ago on a computer.  If the fan is dead you will need a new power supply.  Run your computer as least as possible because if it is the fan your computer parts could burn up.  We got lucky and nothing was ruined from the fan not working and it being on all the time, but the guy where we got the fan said it could have happened.  He didn't know why it didn't.

 

The only problem here is that PSU problems are not communicated to the motherboard, so it would not initiate the OS to shutdown.  On occurrence of faulty voltage / spikes, shorts, etc. that PSU will turn itself off - cut voltage off from all sources going out of the PSU immediately.  So, looking at the PSU for the cause of this particular event as she described is more than likely going to be fruitless.

 

@Anne - when you do get a chance, though, all of these things mentioned can happen at any time.  If you have not recently cleaned out the computer, then do so as soon as you can.  Fred Langa (of former LangaList fame) wrote a couple of columns back in the day detailing the dos and don'ts of PC spring cleaning that I can link to you when you're ready.

 

The flip side of this is the software spring cleaning.  That is something you should probably do regularly, maybe not quite as often as physical spring cleaning, but regularly nonetheless.

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That is kind of funny because ours did.  The computer was overheating and the computer was protecting itself by turning itself off.

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Funny thing about that problem is two of my brothers said there was nothing wrong with our computer.  I had to tell my 3rd and he agreed with me.  He took the computer to a computer store and the guy said that is your main fan.  My brother got a new one and my dad and other brother replaced it, but the computer was shutting down itself there too tilll they changed the power supply.. 

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Just so there is no misunderstanding it would shut windows down too.  Just like if you manually shut the computer down.

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Hello all,

 

I am experiencing an embarrassment of riches with all of the good feedback I am getting here. In a few days I will get assistance with the cleaning and a look at the power supply and fan. Thanks to all for your time and sharing your personal experiences with me.

 

Anne 

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John: one ought to trust neither of us arbitrarily and seek out objective facts to determine what to purchase. That is true of anything.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page541.htm

That link has links to multiple independent review sites per model, including disassemblies to determine build quality and even what brand of capacitors are used, as well as who actually makes the PSU since they are mostly rebranded and few companies actually manufacture(seasonic and delta do manufacture). The logo sitcker on it means nothing since companies will often rebrand from several OEMs.

Jonnyguru and PC Perspective have expert reviews utilizing extremely thorough techniques(and measurement instruments) so i consider theirs first. Thats why i ended up with a seasonic x650 gold and an APC BackUPS XS1000.

However since it seems to be software related id say just go into event viewer and check the log to see what actually initiated the shutdown as john said and tell us what you discover. That will give us insight as to what is actually going on.

Another question for Anne. Was windows installed already when you got it or did you do a clean install of it personally?

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Funny thing about that problem is two of my brothers said there was nothing wrong with our computer.  I had to tell my 3rd and he agreed with me.  He took the computer to a computer store and the guy said that is your main fan.  My brother got a new one and my dad and other brother replaced it, but the computer was shutting down itself there too tilll they changed the power supply.. 

 

Hate to tell you this, but your PSU fan is not the main fan.  If the fan on your CPU cooler is not working, it will cause the CPU to overheat and shut down - and yes, that will be via the motherboard, which will (usually) send a shutdown code to the operating system to shut down.

 

The PSU fan has not been the main / only fan in the computer since back in the days of the original generation Pentium CPUs.  I'm talking mid 90s at the earliest, and certainly 15 years ago. (1999, just before the rise of Windows XP).

 

Hello all,

 

I am experiencing an embarrassment of riches with all of the good feedback I am getting here. In a few days I will get assistance with the cleaning and a look at the power supply and fan. Thanks to all for your time and sharing your personal experiences with me.

 

Anne 

 

Keep us posted!

 

John: one ought to trust neither of us arbitrarily and seek out objective facts to determine what to purchase. That is true of anything.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page541.htm

That link has links to multiple independent review sites per model, including disassemblies to determine build quality and even what brand of capacitors are used, as well as who actually makes the PSU since they are mostly rebranded and few companies actually manufacture(seasonic and delta do manufacture). The logo sitcker on it means nothing since companies will often rebrand from several OEMs.

Jonnyguru and PC Perspective have expert reviews utilizing extremely thorough techniques(and measurement instruments) so i consider theirs first. Thats why i ended up with a seasonic x650 gold and an APC BackUPS XS1000.

However since it seems to be software related id say just go into event viewer and check the log to see what actually initiated the shutdown as john said and tell us what you discover. That will give us insight as to what is actually going on.

Another question for Anne. Was windows installed already when you got it or did you do a clean install of it personally?

 

Nice link.  Glad you see things as I do.  The biggest problem, though, is that too many people take advice on 'word-of'mouth' because they do not either 

  1. Know how to search for correct answers in the myriad of search returns on Google and other search engines, or
  2. Honestly believe that their friend is more knowledgeable than anyone else in the world when it comes to computers, usually because of a previous issue where said friend fixed something that no one else could.

And that is the biggest problem.  A certified repair tech tells them one thing, trying to protect the consumer in the long run, but then the consumer goes out and talks to their 'friend' who says that the tech was 'wrong', that what the tech suggested was not needed, and the friends collude to get cheaper hardware as a replacement.

 

The flip side is when unsavory techs do suggest more than what is needed, much like shady auto mechanics.

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Hello All,

 

In answer to BD83- Early in this thread I was told to check the event log which I did and found nothing. Also, Windows 7 Home Premium came with this machine. Btw, I keep it on when I am at home because I use Magic Jack as a default landline.

 

Anne

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Sorry i missed that you checked event viewer. If im not mistaken there will be an entry for every logon and logoff as well as the other processes and services thst begin and end at startup and shutdown. Theyd have a white circle with the letter i in it for information as well as a section below it with detailed information.

If you look there it might have some clues.

Also go to your control panel and windows update history. You can see if any updates were installed right before the shutdown occurred and it would also say in the update notes if it requires a restart.

However you said it was a shutdown which windows update doesnt cause... so still a bit unusual.

I could speculatd that maybe the CPUs thermal or voltage protection caused the shutdown. Im not sure if the HP BIOS has any feature that could cause a soft shutdown in it or not.

Normally i believe it would simply throttle the CPU, sound a beep alarm or hard power off with no logoff in such an overheat or under/overvoltage situation.

http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-031726.htm

I would personally run the IPDT(if you have an Intel CPU ONLY) and post the temperature test results. It includes a brief load test which would help determine if your CPU is even getting hot enough to enable its self protection shutdown.

I think youve got a few people who want to solve this mystery now.

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Hello,

 

I checked my update history and found an entry for an update 03/15/14 @ 9:38p that required a restart and was successful. However, my first entry for this thread is dated 03.16/14 @ 10:35p. There is over 24 hours between the two dates and I recall coming to this forum right after the forced shut down occurred.

 

This computer comes with a Intel Core Duo CPU E7300 @ 2.06GHz 2.67 GHz

 

I downloaded the test from the Intel website BD83 gave me. Should I close all browser windows before I run it?

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I went to install the Intel tool when I noticed that I would be installing Java. In my travels to various support forums, I have never heard anything good about Java. Do I have any other options?

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A lot of programs (including Secunia PSI) are JAVA based.  Not sure why you have heard JAVA is not a good thing, unless you were referring to JavaScript.

 

Just like any program (Windows, iTunes, Micro$oft Outlook), JAVA can be exploited - but only if you let it.  But if it makes you feel better, run the application, then once it is done and you have the results, and blackdove and I (and anyone else willing to help) have determined what we need to from the result, you're more than welcome to go back and uninstall it.

 

If you're still not comfortable installing JAVA, then don't install this tool.  We'll just keep monitoring you in case your computer acts up again.

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I hate to be blunt here but am going to anyway....its a refurbished HP computer, enough said...

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Java is not malicious as John said. People do exploit vulnerabilities in java in order to compromise systems.

But pretty much any software has vulnerabilities to exploit. There is no way to make java or office or firefox or any other program completely safe.

You can make them more safe by keeping them updated and using exploit mitigation software. I have to use java and i use malwarebytes anti exploit and EMET to help protect against java exploits.

You can also type java into the windows start menus search, go to the java configuration settings and disable it in the browser.

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I hate to be blunt here but am going to anyway....its a refurbished HP computer, enough said...

 

I hate to say it, but my mother is using a refurbished Dell (that *I* refurbished) from Jan 2007 perfectly fine.

 

Just as a brand new computer can be a complete lemon, a refurbished computer can be perfectly fine.

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I hate to say it, but my mother is using a refurbished Dell (that *I* refurbished) from Jan 2007 perfectly fine.

 

Just as a brand new computer can be a complete lemon, a refurbished computer can be perfectly fine.

Well of course its running fine, its a Dell:)

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Dell's suck as bad as HPs.  I've worked on more Dells in the last 10 years than I have any other manufacturer.

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I hate to be blunt here but am going to anyway....its a refurbished HP computer, enough said...

I hate to say it, but my mother is using a refurbished Dell (that *I* refurbished) from Jan 2007 perfectly fine.

 

Just as a brand new computer can be a complete lemon, a refurbished computer can be perfectly fine.

Sartori I am with John on this one, I have refurbished computers, some Dell some HP and all are working just fine. Just because you may have had a bad experience with an HP refurbished computer does not mean they are all bad...

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Hello John,

 

I come bearing good news. I used the Intel test and found the following-

 

Load Level = 8

CPU Passed!!!

- Temperature Test-

Temperature Test Passed!!!

Temperature = 55 Degrees C Below Maximum 

 

I uninstalled the test and Java after I ran it. Can someone tell me how to remove a Java plugin that has remained even after I uninstalled the Java program?

 

Anne

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Depends upon where the plugin is that you are talking about.  In a browser, I'm assuming, but which browser?

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