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PC power off itself

By choy.waigiat ·
Recently my PC power off by itself out of a sudden. It has happen twice so far. Is it virus? PC problem?
I'm using XP Home SP1.

anyone can advise,

thanks and regards,

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by willcomp In reply to PC power off itself

Good answers all. But let's try to pinpoint cause.

Almost surely not a virus.

If PC will power back up and run for a while after shutting off, not likely an overheating problem. Once it overheats, will either not boot back up immediately or will shut off quickly.

Most probably power related and most likely cause is power supply.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to PC power off itself

Well I would be first looking at the Power Supply as others have mentioned as these are the most overlooked item in any computer. But it could also be a bad mains power supply as well.

Since this has only happened a few times try running it and see if any pattern develops. Like it shuts down during peek loading of the mains supply. Or it shuts down after a certain length of time running. The answers that you derive from this will point you in the right direction as to where to look.

If you happen to be in an area at the end of the mains line I've seen all sorts of strange things happen in one case the AC turning on would cause the computer to start even though they where on different circuits the resulting voltage spike made the ATX Power Supply think it had been given the signal to turn on.

First cleaning it out if it is a few years old will never go astray and if you do not have access to compressed air you can use a tooth brush to cleanup the heat sinks and a vacuum cleaner to suck out the dust and other junk. If you use compressed air hold the fans so they do not spin as they generate power when you do this and can damage the computer.

If the computer turns itself off after a set running period it could very well be a heat problem or the capacitors on the M'Board around the CPU going bad. If that is the case just turning it on straight after it has turned itself off will work for a short while but the only real cure is to replace the M'Board.

You could also have the BIOS set to shut down when certain events occur like an Open Case Warning or slow CPU fan or even when a certain heat is reached and not necessarily on the CPU but just inside the case so it may just require a change to the BIOS Settings.

The first thing you have to do is see if there is a pattern and then post back with the pattern and we will be better able to help you out.


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by kewlice33 In reply to PC power off itself

First, you would have to check if it's software-related or hardware-related. To do that, you have to know when the computer turns off. Does it turn off WITHIN Windows or OUTSIDE Windows (in DOS)?

To know what it is, you can leave the computer idle (say overnight) while the system is in BIOS since it's outside Windows.

If it turns off WITHIN Windows, then it's software-related. It could be a virus.

If it turns off OUTSIDE Windows, it's hardware-related. It could be your power supply, processor or heatsink.

And you also have to be sure if it TURNS OFF/SHUTS DOWN or it if RESTARTS because they are different. Usually, automatic restarting is software-related and automatic shutdown is hardware-related.

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