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computer starts and stops in startup

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computer starts and stops in startup

hamiltos1956
All of a sudden, the computer shuts itself off. Then when I go to restart it, it will start, get to the windows page and even at varying times get to the front page ... and then SHUT DOWN. I restart it in safe mode and the problem persists. Got XP. Can I create a startup disk to do diagnositics, virus scan etc. I have norton virus running in background for constant updates but could it be a virus or hardware or ..other problem. Thoughts?