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Windows 7: Computer just shuts off randomly - how to find cause

25 Jul 2015   #1
CountryBumkin

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Computer just shuts off randomly - how to find cause

My home built system (Gigabyte GA-E7AUM motherboard with Intel Quad Core and 4GB ram) started to shut itself off in the middle of playing a movie or listening to music. The computer is only used for media activities (running JRiver Media Center as a client).

I was not having problems before upgrading the CPU from Core 2 Duo E8400 to a Core 2 quad Q9550.
So I assume the problem is this area.

I've been monitoring the CPU temps which are in the 50 - 55 degree C range (not high enough to shut down). I usually leave the computer running 24/7 and sometimes it stays running, even under load, but today it shutoff twice within fifteen minutes.

Watching MB voltages and CPU and MEM loading, but nothing looks wrong. I have a 550W Seasonic S12 power supply, a Crucial M4 SSD drive and one 500GB WD green drive in the case. And the video card is a NVidia GTX 750Ti.

How can I figure out what is causing the shutdown?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 Jul 2015   #2
GEWB

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM
 
 

There are several likely suspects for shut down conditions including:
  • Failed or improperly seated heat sink (includes improperly applied heat sink compound)
  • Poor air flow in case
  • Power supply issues
  • Improperly seated RAM module or RAM chip failure
  • Incorrect RAM timing in BIOS setup

I would first do these tasks:
  • Remove heat sink cooler
  • Clean off compound and reapply fresh
  • Reseat cooler
  • Remove and reseat RAM modules

Regards,
GEWB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2015   #3
CountryBumkin

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Would a poorly seated CPU cooler (or problem with thermal paste) show up in the temp monitoring software (HWMonitor)?
I'm not seeing high CPU temps via the software program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jul 2015   #4
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Run Prime95 torture test (max heat) or Intel Burn Test, watch the temps though. You probably won't notice high temps in idle speeds.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2015   #5
CountryBumkin

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Sure - but its shutting off at idle speeds. There is no way this machine will stay running long enough for Prime test.

If the CPU cooler wasn't do its job, could the CPU heat up enough just on boot up to force a shutdown?

Right now I can't get to stay running long enough to boot all the way into Windows. it starts up runs the BIOS routine, starts Windows then shuts off. I booted into safe mode and it shut off before the drivers finished loading.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2015   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

The CPU can heat all the way to destruction just on boot up. That's if the cooler isn't doing its job and the automatic fail-safes don't work. I would check to make sure that the cooler is latched on properly where it's supposed to be and is making adequate contact with the CPU. Maybe the cooler has worked its way loose, or partly loose.

What thermal paste did you use?

Are you seeing 50 - 55C at idle? Or under load?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2015   #7
MacNcheese76

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Go to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced System Settings -> Startup and Recovery -> Uncheck "Automatically restart"

Next time your computer crashes, it should show a blue screen with a message on it instead. Sometimes this blue screen wont have a minidump file and this way you can catch it.

It could also be a chipset driver incompatibility. Did you update your drivers after changing the CPU?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2015   #8
CountryBumkin

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for your reply and spending some time thinking about my problem.

The computer does not restart automatically. When it shuts off I have to press the power button to restart it. I have not seen any blue screens. Sometimes when I restart, Windows message comes up about "Unexpected Shutdown" a couple of times Windows could not detect the boot drive. I have a bunch Kernel Power Event errors in the log now.

I replaced the CPU cooler on Saturday. Used new thermal paste (brand is ThermalQuake or similar sounding). I've had this paste for a while. It is thicker than I'd like - more like toothpaste.

While I had MB out, I noted the heatsink cooler on the ChipSet appeared loose but there is no way to tighten it. It sits on the chipset with two spring loaded pins. Maybe this is normal for this cooler.

I started computer back up and it shut off again before finishing Windows start up. Pressed start button again and got into Windows desktop. Started HWMonitor program saw temps under 50 C for a second then it shut off again.

So I'm replacing/upgrading. "Needed a good reason anyways". I ordered a new MB, CPU and Memory. Everything else is reusable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2015   #9
CountryBumkin

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MacNcheese76 View Post
It could also be a chipset driver incompatibility. Did you update your drivers after changing the CPU?
Interesting - I don't recall now. I don't think so. I did run "Windows update" but that doesn't mean anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2015   #10
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Not sure about drivers but did you reset CMOS among all of this?

Also any BIOS updates available?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer just shuts off randomly - how to find cause




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