Solved Why does my computer randomly shut down?

June 21, 2014 at 18:07:38
Specs: Windows XP
Computer specs I just copy pasted from Speccy below (minus audio).

As then topic title says my computer shut down randomly. I wasn't doing anything intensive at the time (just watching Twitch and playing a flash game before I left the computer to get some food). When I was eating (about 5 min) I looked over at my computer and it was shut down. It was running for about 3-4 hours before hand, and I was able to turn it back on right away. There was nothing in the event viewer (save for my antimalware being out of date).

This isn't the first time something like this happened. I want to say around 4-5 months ago my PC was randomly shutting down when/after I was playing various games (Vindictus, Dota2, Tf2). Only difference is in some cases instead of shutting down a couple times it restarted.

Since getting to the case will be a problem ( Living with my parents and they don't seem to trust me with opening up the case to check for dust/connections) I can't see if it's just dust. I always assumed it was just an auto shut down or reboot if things got too hot. Is there anything else I am able to check/do to make sure this won't happen again ? Any help would be appreciated.

Operating System:
Windows XP Home Edition 32-bit SP3

AMD Athlon II X3 455(34 °C)
Rana 45nm Technology

2.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 669MHz (9-9-9-24)

Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. M68MT-S2 (Socket M2)(43 °C)

HP W2071d (1600x900@60Hz)
512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS (ASUStek Computer Inc)(55 °C)

465GB Western Digital WDC WD5000AAKX-001CA0 (SATA)(30 °C)

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June 21, 2014 at 18:19:27
✔ Best Answer
My guess would be it's an overheating issue. You don't really have a video card ideal for gaming, and more RAM couldn't hurt.

How old are you that your parents need to have custody of the tower? Perhaps where they have it is poorly ventilated. I'd start by asking them if you can take a look at it. After all, you're going to have to restart it anyway, right?

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June 21, 2014 at 19:06:15
Ironically I'm 20 going for a degree in information technology. My parents are just the kind that think since I use the computer the most (they still use it from time to time) that EVERYTHING that happens is my fault and that parts are supposed to last 20+ years without being outdated or breaking down. I can't even clear the dust inside the computer. To put it in perspective, I turned the monitor off once and got yelled at because "the computer wouldn't show anything". After I showed them and explained it to them they still blamed me. I intend to build my own tower asap, and just need to keep this one working until then.

Thanks for the help.

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June 21, 2014 at 19:45:09
It just shut off again while playing Hearthstone. This time I was able to see that it lost power going to it for a few seconds (via a light on my headset that turned off for a brief second). It's connected to a front USB panel. I don't think the computer shutting down do to being to hot would turn that off,as that light stays on when I power the computer off manually. Could the power Cable be the cause of this whole ting? I could and did turn the computer right back on after that light went back on.

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June 22, 2014 at 09:01:53
"AMD Athlon II X3 455(34 °C)"

34C is not hot. It's probably the temp at idle but it's right where it should be, which means it probably isn't overheating under load.

"2.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 669MHz"

Wrong RAM running at the wrong speed but it's unlikely to cause any issues, but your system is taking a performance hit because of it.

"Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. M68MT-S2 (Socket M2)(43 °C)"

How can the motherboard be hotter than the CPU?

"512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS (ASUStek Computer Inc)(55 °C)"

Definitely not a gaming card. It's an older low-end general purpose card that uses slow 64-bit DDR2 memory. 55C isn't too bad but it might be overheating under load. Does the GPU have a fan or is it passively cooled? Based on the model, my guess is passive.

The one thing you didn't post is the power supply specs. Do you hear a "click" before the system shuts down? I'm not sure what you're going on about in regards to the light, but the PSU always supplies standby power to a system unless the power cord is unplugged or the power/surge strip is switched off. And even then, it will take a while for the power to drain so certain LEDs may stay on for up to a minute after the power is cut.

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