Unexplained PC shutdown

  D-Scrace 20:39 18 Mar 2008


I am trying to solve a friend's PC issue (emachines 2230 - Celeron D). She has been having problems with the PC repeatedly shutting down for no apparent reason. This always seems to occur during startup or very soon after logging in. When I started the PC up it managed to get as far as the login screen, but when I clicked on a user the PC restarted. The furthest I have managed to get is the PC booted to the desktop (after selecting a user) then within 5-6secs shuts down. Sometimes it doesn't even get as far as the login screen. I have disconnected the CD drive and the floppy drive with no improvement. I swapped the single RAM chip over from slot 0 to slot 1, again with no improvement. The only success I had was when I disconnected the HDD and connected an old one I had with win98 on it. It booted fine after it had installed he necessary motherboard drivers, etc. It worked with no problems. Is this likely to be a HDD fault or a Windows XP fault? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  rossgolf 20:48 18 Mar 2008

got the original xp disc?

  D-Scrace 21:04 18 Mar 2008

Unfortunately she believes the PC did not come with a disc - I suspect it was all preloaded with an XP restore disc creator utility somewhere on the c drive. She obviously didn't create these disks! I only have XP pro disc, which I don't think will help. I did think about getting hold of a HDD caddy to connect the potentially faulty drive to my XP pro or vista PCs to complete a chkdsk and virus scan - I don't know if this is worth trying?

  skidzy 21:20 18 Mar 2008

Most Emachines have a recovery partition via the f11 or f10 key tapped on startup.

Now if the hdd is ok and just windows corrupt...you maybe lucky and boot into the recovery partition.
This will give you three options,one of these will be to reinstall windows without data loss.

Try tapping F11 on startup,maybe F10 and see how it goes.

  D-Scrace 21:23 18 Mar 2008

Thanks Skidzy, I'll give that a go!

  D-Scrace 22:07 18 Mar 2008

No luck with either F10 or F11 unfortunately. During the last half hour or so the PC will stay powered up until I try to log on then it varies between an instant shutdown and if I'm very lucky 5-6 secs before shutdown. I have disabled on-board sound an LAN should that be a problem at the log on stage. i dnotice that the PC have McAfee loaded as on one occasion it's small splash screen appeared just befoe it shut down. Can anti-virus cause this problem? The PC is still running while I write this - bet it will shut down as soon as I try a logon!

  woodchip 22:17 18 Mar 2008

Will it start in Safe Mode? then do a System Restore

  mikeben121 22:32 18 Mar 2008

From your description I would say it is most likely a hardware fault, if you have ocassions when the thing will reboot before even loading windows. I had a similar problem with a similar machine (may have even been the same model).

I tried a new disk which worked in another machine and that had an issue. I suspected the motherboard and loaded the HDD into a USB box, got off the important stuff and told her it was not worth repairing!

  D-Scrace 22:37 18 Mar 2008

Problem solved. Managed to get into safe-mode eventually. Did a quick system restore and that sorted it. Windows was clearly corrupted at some point. Thanks for everyone's input!

  woodchip 22:52 18 Mar 2008

If you get it again, it could be a bad drive or Ram. Plus a cheap PSU can do it

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