Computer Shutting down, but not powering off.

December 27, 2011 at 06:46:52
Specs: Windows XP SP3, AMD Quad Core / 2 GB RAM
First of all, thanks for any help that anyone can lend...

I have a PC running XP SP3 that has been fine for years. Yesterday, I got the XP Security 2012 "Virus" on the PC. I never started the actual removal portion of it as I knew what it was. So I was going to reboot the machine to safe mode to try and fix. Once into safe mode, about 2 -3 minutes later, the machine shut down. It didnt power off as the power light on the machine is still on and you can hear the fans running but the actual OS and PC Processes dropped.

Thinking this was due to that same virus, I booted the PC directly to a Linux pre-OS virus scan tool I use to then remove the viruses. I allowed the software to load from CD and walked away. When I came back in 5 minutes later, the same shutdown issue happened again. So I knew it wasnt the OS.

I then booted the PC up and just into the BIOS screen to see what would happen. About 2 - 3 minutes later, it dropped again...

I also need to mention ( not sure if this is part of it or not) that I believe my CMOS battery is bad as every time I completely unplug the system, I have to reset the Date / Time / Sequence of Drive booting and then its fine.

I have also tried the following:

1. Unplugged the computer and booted

2. Unplugged the computer, shut off hte power supply, turn it back on, plug back in and then reboot.

3. Clean out the inside with canned air of any dust or other blockages

4. Removed All External USB devices (I have 3 External HDD attached)

Nothing seems to fix it. Is my MB shot? Should I Just get a new computer? If so, can anyone recommend a decent desktop that I only need to:

1. Install my WinTV capture card in (PCI-E)

2. Be able to capture and author video to DVD

3. Download a lot of information

Those are really the only three things I used it for...

Thanks again!

See More: Computer Shutting down, but not powering off.

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December 27, 2011 at 10:22:03
Okay, I recommend doing a couple things here..

- Download Spybot - Search and Destroy from, update it and run it. It will find the virus and destroy it, after that, close the program and pull the power cord out from the back of the computer. Although this is technically a no no, it will delete any temporary data the virus might be using at that time.

- Replace the CMOS battery.. you can get one anywhere, its just a regular flat, round battery. However, be sure to take the battery with you and when you replace it.. the voltage needs to match perfectly. Once you put the new battery back in, some motherboard settings might need to be updated, but that's about it.

Do this and you'll be all set!

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December 27, 2011 at 10:56:40
Yes, the CMOS battery does need replacing, but other than that, do NOT follow the above instructions!

Once the battery is swapped out, bootup, enter the BIOS & correct ALL the settings, not just the date/time. While you're in the BIOS, check the CPU temp. Random shutdowns are often due to an overheating CPU. If the temp continues to rise while you're watching it rather than leveling off, you'll have to open the case & find out why.

As for the AV Security 2012 infection, I've removed it from 4 systems recently. There are plenty of tutorials on how to get rid of it. Malwarebytes' Antimalware will do the job IF you can get it to run. Try it from safe mode with networking. This will explain:

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December 27, 2011 at 11:10:07
If it is overheating, what are some things to get to help?

New Processor Fan / Heat Sync?


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Related Solutions

December 27, 2011 at 11:49:57
"If it is overheating, what are some things to get to help?"

Most of the time it's just due dust accumulation on the heatsink & fan blades, or it could be the fan is ceased up. If it's just dust, there's no need to remove anything, just blast the dust out with compressed air. Make sure the power cord is unplugged 1st. And whatever you do, do NOT use a vacuum.

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December 27, 2011 at 14:00:52
Try booting into the BIOS to see what the temperatures are running.

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December 27, 2011 at 17:41:04

No luck with testing tonight...

Changed out the CMOS battery

Blew out all areas of the machine (noticed the heat sync had a lot of dust on top of it in between it and the fan, its clean now)

Boot up Machine, set all values

Machine stayed up (just in BIOS) for about 30 min and then shut down.

Booted up again and saw these temps before it went down again
CPU Temp - 42 - 44 degrees
M / B Temp - 37 - 38 degrees

What I did notice strange is that the CPU Fan and Chassis Fan are running and give RPM speeds, but the PWR_Fan stays at 0 RPM

I checked the Power Supply and the fans are running on it..

Is my M/B shot? - ASUS M3N72-D
Proc / Fan / Sync Issues? - AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition


PC Has been running like this for 3 years

Thanks again for all the help!

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December 27, 2011 at 18:27:58
If there is no fan connected to one of the monitored headers then that header will read zero. That is nothing to worry about.

The temperatures you listed are OK. If the shutdowns are happening at random times it could be the RAM. Try snapping each RAM stick in and out 4 or 5 times to burnish the contacts. Be sure the computer is unplugged.

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December 27, 2011 at 18:41:57
I will give that a shot..

Also, even after changing the CMOS battery, when I unplug the PC and plug back in, the CMOS is reset to defaults..

Could that be an issue as well?

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December 27, 2011 at 20:16:58
That should not cause the computer to shut down. You should enter the BIOS screens and reset values as needed. Date, time boot order, USB legusy support, etc.

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December 28, 2011 at 06:36:26
But the fact that even changing the CMOS Battery, changing all the settings.

Shut off the PC and unplug. Plug back in and the settings are all gone, even with the new CMOS battery...

Does that matter?

Also, tested the RAM changes, in and out 5 times each and no luck there either.

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December 28, 2011 at 07:12:11
Did you save the settings when exiting? Is your battery installed correctly? If upside down it won't work. Also, if contact is bent and not touching the battery it will not work.

Did you check the temperatures in the BIOS screens?

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December 28, 2011 at 12:12:33

Temps I listed above were BIOS temps.

Also, when you say contact is bent...does that have to be under the battery or on top touching it? I think that may be the issue..


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December 28, 2011 at 13:26:12
Either one or both. You need to save and then exit.

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December 28, 2011 at 13:37:05
Testing again making sure the contact is touching..

Still no luck, saved rebooted and went back into BIOS to check and settings all the same.

Unplugged and rebooted, no settings, shut down in 15 minutes

M/B Shot?

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December 28, 2011 at 14:15:48
The battery may be discharged. Try another battery. CR2032 3.3V

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December 28, 2011 at 14:57:52
Brand new battery. Held its settings after power off, unplug and power back on.

Shut off again after 30 minutes and all temps noted above were the same

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December 28, 2011 at 21:54:43
Inspect the motherboard for bulging or leaking capacitors.

Did you test the RAM?

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December 29, 2011 at 05:34:40
Yes, re-seated the RAM a few times as requested.

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December 29, 2011 at 05:39:52
Download memtest 86+ and use it to test the memory.

Did you inspect the motherboard? Look at the link below to see what to look for.

Reseat all cards and cables by removing and reinserting them. DO NOT remove the heatsink at this time.

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December 29, 2011 at 06:30:06
Will do this when home from work..

Thanks a lot to everyone for all teh help on this...

If this does fix things, would a new motherboard be a good idea anyway?

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December 29, 2011 at 07:02:47
If the CMOS battery issue is resolved what would a new MBoard accomplish?

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December 29, 2011 at 15:47:27
The PC is still shutting down....took about 6 hours, but it went down again. Booted back up and it went back down in 30 min.

CMOS settngs are still good though.

All PC parts were re-seated and I changed the power cable just in case.

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December 29, 2011 at 17:42:12

Apparently that original issue is fixed and now my issue is that after about 25 min, my video drops, but the rest of the PC is fine.

I am RDP'd in right now finishing the virus scan.

I do have a new MB coming, should I get a new Video Card? Also, is there a way to test this card?

Its a EVGA 256-P2-N761-TR GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

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December 29, 2011 at 22:39:08
You don't need a new MBoard. If your video is giving you problems it may be overheating. Is there a fan on the video card?

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December 30, 2011 at 05:29:26
Yes there is...

I am going to re-install the driver as well...

But if overheating, what can I do to fix that, if anything?

When it shuts off (the video) the fan on the card is still running..

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December 30, 2011 at 08:19:26
I suggest you download a live version of Linux. Those are versions that run completely off the CD/DVD. Linux puppy is a small one the you can burn to CDR or even run off a flash drive.

Anyway, running Puppy or one of the other live distros will determine if your problem lies with the hardware or the software.

If Linux runs without shutting down then you know the problem is with the OS or some driver. On the other hand, if the computer continues to shut down randomly, you know the issue is with hardware.

I suggest you also download and install HWMonitor from the link below. You can monitor both temperatures and voltages in real time in the tray. This can help to determine if there is a problem with the power supply or if the hardware is overheating.

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