Questions

Computer turning off and on, on its own....

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5 Votes
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Computer turning off and on, on its own....

Slayer_
Ok, so this is strange.

It started off two days ago, I closed a cabinet in my room, and when I stood up, my computer turned off and restarted (my computer is set to stay off in a power outage). I figured, maybe it vibrated the video card, its happened before. Ok.
So I wiggle the tower a little, no issues. Stand up, walk passed it from right to left across the front of it, and it restarts again, wtf?

It didn't occur to me yet, but ok, so I just turned it back off (held power button) and walk away. I came back to put the item back in the cabinet, walked passed the machine from right to left again and the computer started itself!
So I waited for it, got to the login screen and it froze at the login....
So I hard restarted it, froze immediately after login, hard restarted again and it was running, but suddenly now, it didn't like resolutions under 1280 x 1024, anything less and it left about 50% black space on the screen on either side (25% on the left, 25% on the right). So I rebooted, I could see the windows logo and post was getting squished. Then it booted up again and 3 seconds after logging in, the screen turned black and white!
I thought maybe my old monitor dying, so I turned on the second monitor and turned on duel view, black and white on both!

So reboot again, same problem. So I go update the video drivers. Problem solved, but it still hates the resolutions. Ok, screw it, moving on.
Last night, it shut down again while watching a movie, it would not beep at the post for the first few tries, then it fired up after I unplugged it for a bit.

Now brings me to today, when I made the real connection.
I fired it up, and walked out to change the TV channel, I came back to grab the stereo remote out of the cabinet, and when I walked passed the computer, from right to left, I heard it restart. So I stepped back, and repeated my walk, and sure enough, it restarted again the very moment I stepped on the carpet.

So I tried standing there, lifting my foot up and down, etc, nothing. Only when I walked passed it. I made sure I did not rub the case, I even tried walking passed it naked, it still restarted! Then I closed the front door on my case (One of those cases that can cover the CD drives) and walked by it, it restarted one more time, so I tried again, on my last walk through, my monitor made a click sound and the video re snapped to the edges properly again. And it has stopped restarting when I walk passed it (for now anyways). I now take the long way around my computer to avoid walking in front of it.


WTF????? Any thoughts?

Edit-
I double checked, all my games that suddenly had problems with the resolution are fine again.


Edit-
Here is a folder of images.
The silver computer is the one with the problem. Its ventilation is on the front, left and rear, the right side is where the board is mounted, so no fans. So I can't see there being any ventilation issues.
http://trevorsarchives.homenet.org/temp/PC%20Pics/


Edit-
It has started doing it again. I have removed the filter on the power, its still doing it. But the monitor and display seem fine so far.

Edit-
Confirmed that the monitor is causing some problems, I can smack it and have the edges of the screen wiggle or even snap to the sides, to the top, etc.
By keeping the door closed the restarting has stopped. I'm starting to wonder if static is affecting the reset button, the next time I am in the case I am going to unplug the reset button and see if that solves the problem.
  • +
    2 Votes
    slapfire

    How old is your computer? I ask because at a certain age they can sometimes experience electrile disk function. Maybe your hard drive has gone floppy. And, perhaps the computer is not actually getting turned off, but is using that as a coping mechanism because it is embarrassed. Did it ever have issues with it's Motherboard?

    +
    1 Votes
    terajay2

    I once had a computer that would shut off at random times and for no apparent reason. After I spent a lot of money replacing different things, I realized that I had too many computers and other electrical things, plugged into a 15 amp circuit. Just an idea...

    +
    2 Votes
    ntmann

    Carpet has nap that lays down in one direction, and stands up in the other (when pushed against). You are causing more static in one direction than the other, when you walk.You are prob. generating static that is causing a reboot. You strip is not of high quality at this point, as you stated it corrected some harsh problem before. It is prob. at the end of its useful life. They do not last for ever. Buy a good one or a good ups. Your pics of the rack show it is not isolated from the carpet. Put some wood under those wheels, (an extra shelf that is not needed would work). Verify your ground is actually working, (testers are about $6.00). It only takes 10 volts to cause a video card or mother board to fail, or cause an upset failure (works but not like it should). If you were to hear static snap that would be 1500 volts. So you can image what just walking by would cause.

    +
    2 Votes
    snabibax

    When was the last time you had your PC serviced? When dust builds up on components like capacitors, this may cause those component to fail in the long run.Use a can of compressed air to carefully **** around circuit components like capacitors especially those located within the power supply unit.
    Please do not touch any internal components unless of course you are wearing an ESD wrist strap.
    If this does not help, then you might consider replacing the power supply unit.
    At this point the automatic restart issue should be a thing of the past.

    +
    2 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Is the Monitor and Computer Case plugged into the Same Power Strip?

    If it is try swapping the leads over the One to the Monitor plugged into the one where the computer is plugged in and the one from the computer plugged into the socket where the Monitor was.

    Now if the Monitor starts turning on and off you know you have a Bad Socket on the Power Strip.

    Could also work if they are on different Power Strips but it could just as easily be a faulty Power Strip as well.

    Col

    +
    2 Votes
    Slayer_

    I first noticed it in Dragon age, but thought nothing of it as an upgrade I did said I could run out of video memory and cause funky artifacts, but just playing oblivion, this happened, it has never happened before.
    http://trevorsarchives.selfip.net/temp/oblivion001.png (1.9mb)
    This isn't the only one I saw, it was just the funniest :).


    So its looking like my video card is dying, do you guys agree? Unsure how this could cause the computer to restart when I walk passed it, but it would explain the shutdowns when watching movies.

    +
    2 Votes

    It is a:
    NVidia GeForce 9800 GT
    * 600MHz core clock
    * 112 stream processors
    * 1,500MHz
    * 512MB GDDR3 RAM
    * 256-bit memory interface
    * 1.8GHz memory clock

    Similar to this one:
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9800gt_us.html

    Like i said it is a spare to me just laying around and fully working.
    PM me and see if we can come up with a price unless you have a spare/new one already. Need to know about the postage weight first though but if you need it we can sort that out also.

    +
    2 Votes

    This card is not new, just second hand but working.
    It only cost me 10 euro (About $13 Canadian dollars) so with postage packing say around 40 euro ($54 Canadian dollars). I can get nearly any second hand video card (given time). We have a recycling center here in Oulu in Finland that handles every component you can think of from memory, motherboards, power supplys, old servers and processors. If you are still interested i can send you my email. The price of packaging and postage might be cheaper, i just pulled the prices from my head so to speak. :) If you have a bank account you just need to do a bank to bank transfer. I can give you the details that is no problem.

    +
    1 Votes
    kevin

    As a 30+ yr systems technician I find this problem and the sugestions very interesting.
    My first suggestion is to go back to square one in your troubleshooting flow chart.
    So, IS IT ENVIRONMENTAL? In other words does it have to do with the placement of the tower where slight changes in the position caused by walking past it in one direction is causing the reboot?
    To test that, remove the computer from the current location. Take it to a table in your garage or your kitchen and set it up there. Does the system still reboot randomly? YES/NO
    If it does the problem is following the computer and not the location.
    There are many good suggestions made concerning your power connections and some not so good about other cables etc. These other cables should not interfere in any way. Loose or worn out outlets on a power strip could cause this to occur. Since it can occur when the MOBO is still posting, I would rule out the OS and virus related issues since a system has not even booted yet.
    I do question the power supply and the fact that you have 4 HDDs in this system. A 400w supply may not be enough, but then again, that doesn't explain why it happens walking past it in only one direction. Or why you can sit in front of it for long periods with no problems.
    My first take is that something with the mobo is flexing just enough as you walk past.
    Try putting the tower on it's side, which will change or eliminate the way the case is able to flex. Modern cases are built with much thinner materials.
    Check that all the screws that hold the mobo down are properly tightened. Most of those connections are grounded to the chassis and if even one relaxes when flexed it could cause this sort of problem.
    Two things you can try regarding the power supply unit.
    First, try disconnecting HDDs that are not required or even all of them and the CD/DVD, floppy etc. Anything that has a power cord going to it. Be sure to pull the data cables loose too.
    If the power supply is being overworked, even the slightest amount of stray inductance can cause it to 'crowbar' the system and cause a reboot.
    Stray inductance could be introduced simply by walking past the computer. Also when a tower is in an upright position there is a double layer of the case protecting the mobo on just one side and not the other.
    Second thing might be to try swapping the power supply out with your other computer.

    +
    1 Votes
    Varseller

    I'm certain of that from everything you've said and the pictures. Someone else mentioned bulging capacitors. If a capacitor is burst or leaking, strong ESD can overload the capacitor (remember, it stores electricity) and produce exactly the results you're getting. Moving right to left from that bed on a carpet is producing a very strong charge. The PC may be well grounded but you're carrying that charge through the air and it is going to look for the path of least resistance (any exposed metal). There may be other things going on, but that issue needs to be ruled out, period.

    Did you check the capacitors? Can you disconnect the entire PC and connect it somewhere else and see if the problem still exists? If it goes away, the problem is ESD. If it still exists and your capacitors are OK, the problem is hardware or cable related. Swap the cables with the other PC to rule that out.

  • +
    2 Votes
    slapfire

    How old is your computer? I ask because at a certain age they can sometimes experience electrile disk function. Maybe your hard drive has gone floppy. And, perhaps the computer is not actually getting turned off, but is using that as a coping mechanism because it is embarrassed. Did it ever have issues with it's Motherboard?

    +
    1 Votes
    terajay2

    I once had a computer that would shut off at random times and for no apparent reason. After I spent a lot of money replacing different things, I realized that I had too many computers and other electrical things, plugged into a 15 amp circuit. Just an idea...

    +
    2 Votes
    ntmann

    Carpet has nap that lays down in one direction, and stands up in the other (when pushed against). You are causing more static in one direction than the other, when you walk.You are prob. generating static that is causing a reboot. You strip is not of high quality at this point, as you stated it corrected some harsh problem before. It is prob. at the end of its useful life. They do not last for ever. Buy a good one or a good ups. Your pics of the rack show it is not isolated from the carpet. Put some wood under those wheels, (an extra shelf that is not needed would work). Verify your ground is actually working, (testers are about $6.00). It only takes 10 volts to cause a video card or mother board to fail, or cause an upset failure (works but not like it should). If you were to hear static snap that would be 1500 volts. So you can image what just walking by would cause.

    +
    2 Votes
    snabibax

    When was the last time you had your PC serviced? When dust builds up on components like capacitors, this may cause those component to fail in the long run.Use a can of compressed air to carefully **** around circuit components like capacitors especially those located within the power supply unit.
    Please do not touch any internal components unless of course you are wearing an ESD wrist strap.
    If this does not help, then you might consider replacing the power supply unit.
    At this point the automatic restart issue should be a thing of the past.

    +
    2 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Is the Monitor and Computer Case plugged into the Same Power Strip?

    If it is try swapping the leads over the One to the Monitor plugged into the one where the computer is plugged in and the one from the computer plugged into the socket where the Monitor was.

    Now if the Monitor starts turning on and off you know you have a Bad Socket on the Power Strip.

    Could also work if they are on different Power Strips but it could just as easily be a faulty Power Strip as well.

    Col

    +
    2 Votes
    Slayer_

    I first noticed it in Dragon age, but thought nothing of it as an upgrade I did said I could run out of video memory and cause funky artifacts, but just playing oblivion, this happened, it has never happened before.
    http://trevorsarchives.selfip.net/temp/oblivion001.png (1.9mb)
    This isn't the only one I saw, it was just the funniest :).


    So its looking like my video card is dying, do you guys agree? Unsure how this could cause the computer to restart when I walk passed it, but it would explain the shutdowns when watching movies.

    +
    2 Votes

    It is a:
    NVidia GeForce 9800 GT
    * 600MHz core clock
    * 112 stream processors
    * 1,500MHz
    * 512MB GDDR3 RAM
    * 256-bit memory interface
    * 1.8GHz memory clock

    Similar to this one:
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9800gt_us.html

    Like i said it is a spare to me just laying around and fully working.
    PM me and see if we can come up with a price unless you have a spare/new one already. Need to know about the postage weight first though but if you need it we can sort that out also.

    +
    2 Votes

    This card is not new, just second hand but working.
    It only cost me 10 euro (About $13 Canadian dollars) so with postage packing say around 40 euro ($54 Canadian dollars). I can get nearly any second hand video card (given time). We have a recycling center here in Oulu in Finland that handles every component you can think of from memory, motherboards, power supplys, old servers and processors. If you are still interested i can send you my email. The price of packaging and postage might be cheaper, i just pulled the prices from my head so to speak. :) If you have a bank account you just need to do a bank to bank transfer. I can give you the details that is no problem.

    +
    1 Votes
    kevin

    As a 30+ yr systems technician I find this problem and the sugestions very interesting.
    My first suggestion is to go back to square one in your troubleshooting flow chart.
    So, IS IT ENVIRONMENTAL? In other words does it have to do with the placement of the tower where slight changes in the position caused by walking past it in one direction is causing the reboot?
    To test that, remove the computer from the current location. Take it to a table in your garage or your kitchen and set it up there. Does the system still reboot randomly? YES/NO
    If it does the problem is following the computer and not the location.
    There are many good suggestions made concerning your power connections and some not so good about other cables etc. These other cables should not interfere in any way. Loose or worn out outlets on a power strip could cause this to occur. Since it can occur when the MOBO is still posting, I would rule out the OS and virus related issues since a system has not even booted yet.
    I do question the power supply and the fact that you have 4 HDDs in this system. A 400w supply may not be enough, but then again, that doesn't explain why it happens walking past it in only one direction. Or why you can sit in front of it for long periods with no problems.
    My first take is that something with the mobo is flexing just enough as you walk past.
    Try putting the tower on it's side, which will change or eliminate the way the case is able to flex. Modern cases are built with much thinner materials.
    Check that all the screws that hold the mobo down are properly tightened. Most of those connections are grounded to the chassis and if even one relaxes when flexed it could cause this sort of problem.
    Two things you can try regarding the power supply unit.
    First, try disconnecting HDDs that are not required or even all of them and the CD/DVD, floppy etc. Anything that has a power cord going to it. Be sure to pull the data cables loose too.
    If the power supply is being overworked, even the slightest amount of stray inductance can cause it to 'crowbar' the system and cause a reboot.
    Stray inductance could be introduced simply by walking past the computer. Also when a tower is in an upright position there is a double layer of the case protecting the mobo on just one side and not the other.
    Second thing might be to try swapping the power supply out with your other computer.

    +
    1 Votes
    Varseller

    I'm certain of that from everything you've said and the pictures. Someone else mentioned bulging capacitors. If a capacitor is burst or leaking, strong ESD can overload the capacitor (remember, it stores electricity) and produce exactly the results you're getting. Moving right to left from that bed on a carpet is producing a very strong charge. The PC may be well grounded but you're carrying that charge through the air and it is going to look for the path of least resistance (any exposed metal). There may be other things going on, but that issue needs to be ruled out, period.

    Did you check the capacitors? Can you disconnect the entire PC and connect it somewhere else and see if the problem still exists? If it goes away, the problem is ESD. If it still exists and your capacitors are OK, the problem is hardware or cable related. Swap the cables with the other PC to rule that out.