windows - Intermittent shutdown and reboot

  • user50340

    I finally decided to take the plunge and build my own PC. All in all the actual construction went pretty well and after a couple of hours tinkering I managed to boot it up for the first time which is where things started to go wrong. After installing the operating system and a few basic programs (anti-virus etc.) my PC has started to randomly turn off and reboot, usually when I'm streaming or watching video, but not always.

    Steps I have taken so far include:

    • Update all motherboard and graphics card drivers from manufacturer websites
    • monitor temperature of CPU and hard drive (both are well within the limits)
    • Uninstall and reinstall windows and make sure it's fully updated
    • Open the PC and check all the connections
    • Replaced the mains power lead

    And this is what my PC looks like:

    • Intel core i5 760 2.8 Ghz
    • GeForce GTX 460
    • Corsair Dominator 4GB DDR3
    • Gigabyte GA-H55m-S2H motherboard
    • Samsung Ecogreen F2 1TB SATA-II HD
    • Sythe Yasya CPU cooler
    • OCZ StealthXStream 2 600w PSU
    • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Answers
  • hotei

    The part list sounds pretty mainstream.

    It's a wild guess but did you put a good heat-sink compound on your CPU? It sounds like a heat issue and if you're not overclocking then the thing to look at would be cooling of CPU. Even a great CPU cooler is useless without a good heat-sink compound. Also it must be applied properly, which isn't as easy as it sounds.

    If you're certain the CPU isn't the problem then you might try watching those video streams with a different OS, say one from a live-CD so you don't need to commit to any changes. If they also fail under a second OS then it's pointing at the CPU again. If they don't, you might consider a backup and re-install since the system you have should work really well.

  • KronoS

    If the other soltuions don't work, I would check your memory as well... especially that it's seated properly, and clean. Test the memory using Memtest86+. Here is a simple guide on how to use memtest and clean the memory. You also have to make sure that the memory is seated on the same channels as well. This is an article on what the separate channels are.

  • CarlF

    One way to diagnose this is to remove as much hardware as possible (all but one RAM module if you have more than one, all but one disk drive (either CD/DVD or hard disk, drop down to the motherboard video chipset if any, etc.) If this configuration is stable, add one more device (say the video card) and see if it's still stable.

    You can boot a liveCD with the hard disk disconnected to see if that device is a problem. You can even stream and watch video off Ubuntu or Knoppix.

    If you have or can borrow spare parts, you can try swapping in, for instance, a different RAM module and a different video card (one at a time!) to see if those devices are the problem.

  • Amon

    Look at the Window's "Event Viewer" and see if it logs any errors or malfunctions to be followed up with.

  • harrymc

    If you haven't monitored the temperature of the video card, GPU-Z will do that for you.

    SpeedFan is also very good at displaying all temperature sensors in the computer.

  • Related Question

    installation - Windows install reboot problem
  • Questioner

    I'm having trouble tracking down possible causes for a install problem I'm having.

    I've had Win7 running fine on my PC for a while, but then my power supply blew. I replaced it and windows would get to the splash screen and then reboot. Tried everything, Safe mode, repair etc and still would reboot.

    Then decided to re-install. Booted of the DVD fine, got to the bit where it asks you where to install (the hard disk bit), chose the drive, click next.... reboot.

    Tried again but this time with WinXP SP2. This lets you choose the drive, do a FULL FORMAT of the drive, then starts to install. Starts to copy files over, then at some point after the network install option reboots. Then goes back to the setup option and tries again... reboot.

    I've replaced the drive, tried taking out memory modules and still the same. The only thing I can think of is that my motherboard is fried, but then I can't work out why I can do part of the WinXP install process and do a full format of the drive.

    It's a GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 motherboard. I was running with RAID, but slowly worked back through the various configurations to disable it. My last option will be to try with IDE disks instead of SATA.... but I'm shooting in the dark really.

    It seems that any disk read access causes a problem. The system seems stable when just left switched on.

    Any ideas?

  • Related Answers
  • William Hilsum

    It's also possible that your CPU fan has blown causing your system to overheat and shutdown. I've seen that happen more than one with bad power supplies.

  • quack quixote

    I agree with Wil's answer, though I expect you won't be able to find much damage by visual inspection.

    If the issues are mostly coming from drive accesses, the problem could be confined to the drives or the motherboard's drive controller. I'd try

    • a) hard drives that were not in this computer when the old PSU blew, and/or
    • b) using an add-on SATA controller instead of the motherboard's built-in controller.

    These tests would eliminate the possibilities that your issue is being caused by a) a damaged drive or b) a damaged onboard SATA controller. If only the onboard SATA controller is causing issues, this might allow you to continue using that motherboard.

  • Seasoned Advice (cooking)

    Thanks guys.

    So far, I've tried a new disk - no change. I've also managed to get a Win7 install done, though by luck more than anything. With a single disk in the system and several crashes, it eventually got itself to a completed install.

    Tried again with a second disk (same scenario, one disk in the system everything else unplugged) but no joy. I got quite a way... upto the finish install then first proper boot where it configures all the registry settings but now its permanently stuck on the reboot cycle there.

    Using the first disk that had the working install on it, I then added back in the second disk, tried to copy the data over the network. After about 5 mins the system rebooted itself.

    I'm mulling over a few options atm....

    1st, My new 600W power supply isn't sufficent (i7, 3 RAM chips, fanless ATI graphics card) and when the PC tries to do more work, it gives up - but I find it hard to believe that as my other 600W ran 3 HD's and all the other cards I had no problem for about 2 months (this is a different brand, a Zalman though)

    2nd, I have a heating problem. My i7 has a huge fanless heatsink and I have a fanless graphics card but I am running airflow over both via three case fans. This might be the problem as I've seen it before and once the PC has been on a while, the reboot frequency seems to get worse. It was working fine for quite a while before the original PSU died though.

    3rd - Motherboard or processor is damaged. I just don't know how to tell which, and it's expensive to randomly replace - In effect I could end up buying a new PC with parts I don't need.

    I've ran the Win7 memory test. No problems found.

    Thanks for the feedback so far, any further thoughts?