PC shuts down unexpectedly

  JPGR 06:49 02 Jan 2007

My desktop PC which seems to function fine sometimes (about three times a week) turns itself off for no reason. This isn't a controlled shutdown (ie no "Windows is shutting down" screens), it just suddenly stops.

About 80% of the time the problem happens during strat up.

Just FYI - the PC runs updated Windows XP, has plenty of hard drive space, 512 RAM, 1.6GHz processor, new video card. Runs Telewest/Blueyonder PC Guard as anti-virus.

Any ideas? Or is there anything I can down load and install that might report where the problem is next time I start up?


  brundle 07:01 02 Jan 2007

Depending on the demands of the new graphics card it could be a sign you need a new or more powerful power supply.

  JPGR 07:18 02 Jan 2007

Yes, I thought it might be something to do with the power supply. I must say however, that these shutdowns happened far more frequently before I replaced the graphics card - which itself was making a grating sound at start up, due to a sticking fan.

Now excuse my ignorance, but how do power supplies for PCs vary? Don't they just suck the required 240v from the wall like other appliances?

  brundle 07:27 02 Jan 2007

They have different power outputs - the voltage is transformed down to 12,5 and 3.3v, the overall wattage is the usual figure to go by; if you're fussy or fitting demanding components the max wattage on each rail. Maplin are doing a decent 400w job for £25 at the moment. Don't bother with anything less than 350w these days and check your video card manual for
its power requirements. You can disconnect all but your video card and hard drive to check if it is the PSU that is causing the shut-downs, start-up is the most demanding time for a power supply.

  JPGR 07:31 02 Jan 2007

I'm due to visit Maplins today anyway, will check it out. Many thanks.

  brundle 07:35 02 Jan 2007

No problem; just double-checked and it's actually a 450w for £25, the 400w is more expensive at the moment. click here

  JPGR 10:41 12 Jun 2007

No more problems since - thanks!

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