Eratic PC Shut down

  bump909 17:24 10 Jan 2008

I'm having a severe eratic problem with my PC. It shuts itself down for no reason at all. It could work for a day then the next day, not even boot up or if it does boot up, may shut itself down several times while i'm in the middle of doing work. I've had my Audio PC for 2 years, it has the following specs:

MOBO: Gigabyte K8NS Ultra 939
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+
RAM: 2Gb Corsair DDR
2 x SATA Storage Drive. Seagate Baracuda
1 x PATA EIDE Drive. Western Digital
PSU: Akasa 460W
Graphics: nVidia GForce FX 5200 (heatsink)

I have a dual boot system (XP pro) and the shut down is occuring on both. One is used for audio and is not connected to the internet, the other OS is for work and is connected to the net.

Things I've tried:
1. tested the RAM using Microsofts RAM test utility and all is ok.

2. Removed the Ram sticks and tested with alternative ram.

3. Virus and spyware tested thoroughly

4. Left the side panel off the machine so as to aid cooling.

5. replaced the 80 way IEDE ribbon cable

6. Monitored the temp in the Bios directly after a shutdown to be 46 deg C

I suspect it may be the PATA drive because sometimes the PC will not even boot up and this drive does not seems to initialise (I know this because I cannot hear it rev up when the PC is switched on). However, if it is narrowed down to this I cannot be 100% certain if it is the drive or the mobo.

Sometimes my PC will not even boot up and I have to remove and reconnect certain internal hardware to get it to come back on. I know this is not good practice but what else can i do?

Any ideas, this is really starting to grate my gears?

  rossgolf 17:32 10 Jan 2008

have you looked in the error log to see if anything has been logged in there?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:11 10 Jan 2008

It shuts itself down for no reason at all. It could work for a day then the next day, not even boot up or if it does boot up, may shut itself down several times while i'm in the middle of doing work.

Symptoms of a failing Power supply unit.

  bump909 09:38 11 Jan 2008

Thanks for the advice but how can I fully test the PSU. I just need to be sure it is the Power supply unit before I buy a new one.

  johndrew 09:46 11 Jan 2008

Could be temperature related. Have you run something like Everest Home click here to see what the temperatures of CPU and Chipset are doing and what the fan speeds are? You may even find the heatsinks are clogged with dust.

  birdface 10:09 11 Jan 2008

I don't know if this is any help. click here

  bump909 15:44 11 Jan 2008

Just ran Everest Home, all seems ok. think I'll have to get a new PSU as Fruit Bat confidently states

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:49 11 Jan 2008

click here
click here

These don't fully load the PSU so won't tell if its starting to fail but on;y if it has already failed.

If renewing a PSU check:

1. The physical size of your PSU, some are hard to replace due to being a non standard size.
2. The amount of power need from the PSU don't skimp

1. Physical Dimensions

Besides the specs and form factors, the physical dimensions are also important factors in selecting a compatible power supply. Here is an outline of the physical dimensions of most standard power supplies:

# ATX: 6x3.5x5.5", HxWxD. Most common. Uses 4 mounting screws.
# Mini-ATX: 5x3.5x5", HxWxD. Rare size. Uses 4 mounting screws. Can be used in a regular ATX case, but often not the other way around.
# MicroATX: 5x3x4", HxWxD. Use 3 mounting screws. Not interchangeable with ATX or miniATX.
# Flex ATX: Even smaller than Micro ATX. Various sizes according to case specs; often not interchangeable.

Use the data above to determine if a particular power supply would fit your case.

The quality of a power supply can be estimated by its weight. While this is not a true scientific or thorough measurement of the power supply reliability, it is nevertheless a very simple and easy way for ordinary PC users to estimate and compare the quality of a power supply.

2. Power supply calculator click here

Guide to changing PSU
click here
click here

  bump909 16:53 11 Jan 2008

Thanks Fruit Bat, I've used the calculator to workout that I need a 400W PSU. I already have a 460 so maybe I'll go for a 500W PSU. I'll make sure to get a quailty brand one.

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