HP PC turns off randomly after removing dust

Hewlett-packard / A305w
December 22, 2009 at 11:25:44
Specs: Windows XP
My computer is about 5 years old and is running windows xp. it's an hp pavilion a305w. Ok, this problem started about 3 days ago when i decided to clean my pc of dust. I unplugged the Hard drive and also removed the ram temporarily. I even removed the psu and opened it up to clean it of dust. after everything was all clean i put everything back in place. Computer was working fine with no problems until i left the room and came back. looked like the computer was in power saving mode. so i click the mouse, hit the space bar, push the power button and i get no response from the computer. I had to hold the power button to turn it off and then turn it back on again. Now when the computer would start loading my desktop and i start closing some windows that pop up my computer would do this again! i would sometimes get lucky and my computer would start working. giving me time to do a bit of research online. i would really find nothing that could help me out. I checked all the connections and they are all in place. I doubt it's a psu problem, and cpu fan seems to be working fine. I thought that maybe i may have damaged my ram because i did have a little difficulty putting it back in place. but then why would my computer work well the first time i was using it? i don't know what to do! i would greatly appreciate some help.

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December 22, 2009 at 11:39:39
That's really annoying indeed ... I feel reluctant to "clean" my computer, since I had similar experciences already. You will spend quite some time to find out what the problem is, possibly making more damage somewhere. My advise would be to not bother, take it to the shop, ask them to do some upgrade or whatever (while the computer is open anyway), at the same time they do some cleaning. This way, you will get a computer back that is running, and if not, they'll know what part is failing ..

But, coming back on your issue ... is your fan still working ? Maybe the computer just shuts because of high temperature warning ?

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December 23, 2009 at 19:21:57
I would go back in your desktop tower and reseat the memory. Take it out and make sure you put it correctly without too much force, you should hear a click noise. The two brackets on each side of the ram, should securely hold down the memory.

This may be a power supply issue, but it could be other things as well. I recommend to go to bestbuy or any computer store, even online, and pick up a power supply tester and test your power supply, before you go any step further. I would not recommend yet giving your computer to a repair shop ( if it is not under warranty) as they would charge you couple of hundred dollars over a simple fix.

Check the power supply to see if has any life in it.

Did you take out the cpu metal heatsink as well?

I suspect its a power supply. I would just test it before your do anything.

Good luck and let us know the status.

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January 8, 2010 at 07:12:43
well, i have now gotten new ram, changed the PSU for a new one and i am still having this issue.... i suspect i have a dying hard drive... my justification for this reasoning is that when my computer does this "sleep mode" thing, i can hear the HDD... sometimes it can be fairly loud.... and also because i remember that some files would simply go missing... including .exe files that i would use everyday.... or i would get regular application errors. I'm still not 100% sure what might be causing my computer to fail on me... i bought the HDD online so i will soon find out whether this was the problem or not...

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January 8, 2010 at 07:15:44
oh if this helps or not... for some reason my intel extreme graphics icon is no longer visible....?? not sure why that has happened.

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January 8, 2010 at 07:49:11
I know this does not help but I am sorry you had to replace the Power Supply and RAM only to find that was not the problem. The problem with cleaning a computer is that blown air drys things and causes static. This is why you should never touch the RAM because a static shock can damage it. (Just a warning for others who clean their computers). I know this is not your problem because you replaces the RAM.

Ok that being said. If you suspect your hard drive then go into your BIOS and see if it has a Hard Drive tester. Make sure it is a non-volatile tester that will wipe your drive as a part of the test. You may want to backup you stuff first.

If you have another computer or a friend with one then try putting your hard drive in that computer to see if it has the same problems. Just make sure you do not allow the Windows Plug and Play to install drivers for the new system.

Also, I like "osaeed09" suggestion. You may have jarred or removed the heatsink on you CPU. Make sure it is tight and not move a hole lot because if your computer overheats will display the symptoms you have told us. If you had removed it then you may need to get some thermal gel for the heat sink which aids in heat exchange.


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January 14, 2010 at 02:32:22
well i installed the HDD and the computer lasts a lot longer w/out turning itself off. But the problem still exists. ace_omega, thanks for that handy little guide with the heatsink, i did not remove if from the motherboard because it felt like it was pretty tight on it as if it were glued. I'm not sure if that's how they're supposed to be. when i cleaned the heat sink, i only took off the little fan and i vacuumed the dust inside. I'm pretty much stuck! i guess i could try to remove the heatsink and apply some of that thermal gel you speak of.

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January 14, 2010 at 22:56:36
Before resetting your heat sink, try downloading a program like SpeedFan that can give you CPU temperature right on your desktop. If you do remove your heat sink, carefully remove the old thermal compound with rubbing alcohol and q-tips (if needed a single edge razor blade will help if you are careful) and apply a thin layer of compound and reseat without moving it around too much.

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