Computer Random Shutdown and Upgrade Questions

The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
edited December 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm really out of my league when it comes to hardware issues, and google can't seem to help me.

My three year old Vista desktop intermittently has issues where it will randomly turn itself off. After this power-down it often seems to get caught in some sort of hang-up where it will beep once and then get frozen on the "DEL to enter setup / TAB to show BIOS POST message" without being able to access either option.

This often goes on for 30+ restarts, eventually it has always ended up booting up. This issue is seemingly intermittent, as well, as sometimes I have no issue shutting down/starting up. This doesn't just happen with the forced shutdown, either, as sometimes it refuses to boot after an intentional shutdown, as well. I'd estimate (though I have no idea) that it boots up no problem a majority of the time, with this issue being strangely chronic when it does show up.

I have no idea, whatsoever, what could be causing this. I'd even feel better if there was some sort of discernible pattern, but it almost always appears random. I have run every spyware/anti-virus I have to no luck, and am simply stumped.

Thanks.

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The Crowing One on

Posts

  • notagamenotagame Registered User
    edited November 2010
    It might be a harddrive problem. If you have a spare harddrive, try to swap that in and see if you are still having problems.

    notagame on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Could it be a power supply issue?

    I have a second drive connected, but no OS installed. I should be able to just unplug the primary drive, right?

    Would checking the RAM seating help diagnose, perhaps?

    The Crowing One on
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  • AdusAdus Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Random shutoffs are pretty typical of power supply failure.

    Adus on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Is there any way to confirm power supply issues? I'll be grabbing an old hard drive from one of my parents' old PCs tonight, just in case.

    The Crowing One on
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  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Bust your machine down to base specs, disconnect HDD, optical any cards that are in it (hopefully you have some onboard video if not then keep your video card in) as well as RAM, (min needed to boot, depending on what you have that either could be a single or paired DIMM)

    Start it up and see if it does the same thing. You are pretty much eliminating a bunch of things out of the equation. If it boots up fine, then add one by one each part until either the issue happens again or you have all parts back in the unit.


    This section here

    "My three year old Vista desktop intermittently has issues where it will randomly turn itself off. After this power-down it often seems to get caught in some sort of hang-up where it will beep once and then get frozen on the "DEL to enter setup / TAB to show BIOS POST message" without being able to access either option.

    This often goes on for 30+ restarts, eventually it has always ended up booting up."

    makes me think its overheating as well.

    There is power testers out there that you can use to test voltage etc from the power supply.

    darkmayo on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    So, I've been monitoring the system a bit, and I don't believe it's overheating.

    The issue with boot hasn't happened in a week+ now, but I am still getting random shutdowns. This sounds like a power supply issue, right? These happen truly randomly, as I've been playing Cataclysm since Tuesday and I can play for hours at a time without an issue and I can sometimes boot my machine to have it shutdown when it's idling in Chrome.

    I suppose my question has morphed a bit.

    I believe I need a new power supply, and I'm interested in getting better performance out of my machine specifically for WoW. I played WotLK at full settings, but have found that in Cataclysm I can run "Fair" settings for video and anything more than that causes jolt-y, lag-y play.

    I currently run an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ for my CPU and have a GeForce 8600GT for my video.

    Since I really only do WoW on this computer, would upgrading my video card to a GTS 250 make a difference? The recommended specs for WoW say a dual core processor, 8600 or later video card and I'm fine with RAM. What's the most likely culprit?

    Thanks!

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