Computer randomly switching off static noise through speakers

  ladyavenger 20:25 29 Aug 2012


My computer keeps shutting down (crashing with no blue screen of Death) randomly sometimes I can switch it on and it is a few minutes before it does it or it can be a few hours before it does it .... Before it shuts down (like I've pulled the plug out of the back) it makes a static crackling noise through the speakers then just switches off then it makes what I can only describe as a heartbeat through the speakers and the 3 keyboard lights flash (Num Lock/Caps Lock/Scroll Lock) in sync with this noise as well as what I think is the disc drive spinning up then down again in sync with the flashing.

I have checked the registry for errors I have done multiple scans for viruses/malware/spyware as well as checking all the hardware components are working correctly. All the inside of the computer is clean and dust free and the temperatures are fine. I have made sure all the drivers are up to date the Event Log shows nothing except the computer shut down unexpectedly I don't know what to do now I hope you can help.

  Woolwell 22:24 29 Aug 2012

To assist others who probably will be able to help more than I can can you state what your operating system is. Have you downloaded any new programs recently or updated drivers? It could be the PSU creating problems.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:25 29 Aug 2012

Could be a failing Power Supply Unit as you seem to have eliminate the other possibilities.

Make and model of machine?

  ladyavenger 22:31 29 Aug 2012


Thanks for the replies sorry forgot to put the computer details:-

Gateway GM5074b 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6320 processor Windows Vista Home Premium 2GB DDR RAM 320GB hard drive 256MB nVIDIA GeForce 7500 LE

Is there any way of testing the PSU as it was replaced about 7 months ago.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:06 29 Aug 2012

Is there any way of testing the PSU as it was replaced about 7 months ago.

Other than substitution not really

That would be bad luck for a second PSU to be failing that fast :0(

Always better to be overpowered as far as PSU is concerned, I would never fit less than a 400W

Try running chkdsk on the drive however if a drive was failing and crashing the machine I would have expected a BSOD or error message.

  rdave13 11:50 30 Aug 2012

Something else to check is that the psu plug is firmly in the socket at the rear of the PC. It needs a firm push usually and if it isn't correctly connected can give similar results.

  ladyavenger 14:05 30 Aug 2012

Thanks for the replies it's taken me 2 hours to get the computer to stay on and let me type this reply ! It now launches startup repair every time it starts after it switches off which is a bit worrying !!

Fruit Bat I have run chkdsk and it was all fine.

rdave13 it is definitely pushed in as far as it goes thanks for the tip though never thought of making sure it was in properly. Looks like a new PSU again then :( But will definitely put a 400W in this time !

Thanks again

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:47 30 Aug 2012

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.

  3. The correct connections for your equipment

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. Why weight matters

2. Power supply calculator

3. Correct connections Some boards have 20 pin connectors others 24 pin There is often a 4 pin plug required to power Intel CPUs Molex D plugs for IDE HDD and CD/DVD drives SATA power connections for latest HDDs and DVD drives.

Guide to changing PSU

HP and compaq PSU problems guide

  ladyavenger 11:51 31 Aug 2012

Thanks for the info Fruit Bat :)

New 400W PSU fitted and all seems well at the minute!!

Looks like I got a bad PSU would never have thought it could cause so much mayhem lol my last one just died !!

Thanks again

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:31 31 Aug 2012

Glad its sorted, thanks for the feed back.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

Why this awful City of Los Angeles job ad for a graphic designer is actually brilliant

iMac Pro review

Les meilleures prises CPL (2018)