Computer also shuts off randomly; starts after smack

January 6, 2016 at 09:36:39
Specs: Windows 7
My computer (HP Pavillion) also shuts off randomly. I have thoroughly cleaned the CPU heat sink and fan; I even aimed an external fan at the open tower to add to cooling; still shuts off. The only thing different in my case is that, if the computer won't restart on button push, if I give it a smack on the outside of the tower case, it will then restart. Problem thus seems to be mechanical, not heat, but I don't have a clue what the source is.

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#1
January 6, 2016 at 12:29:36
Yes, about certain it is mechanical or a bad connection (likely).

With the power off check all connections to ensure they are firmly home. With signal connections take them out and put them in again - same applies to SATA power and signal.

Clean all edge connectors, in particular RAM and any add-on Video cards.

If it still does it after that then while it is running gently move any cables with something insulated, like a small paint brush, while watching the screen. Using the brush end itself carefully on the board might make something show up, or even gentle tapping. The place that needs least touching or tapping to produce any change (good or bad) is close to where the problem lies. Be VERY careful because I probably shouldn't really be suggesting you do anything inside with the power on unless you are qualified to do so.

EDIT:
I am assuming it is a desktop/tower rather than a laptop.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#2
January 6, 2016 at 13:52:16
It is a desktop and I have carefully worked inside with the power on before. I will try your suggestion and report back. Thanks.

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#3
January 6, 2016 at 15:24:39
I should have said, edge connectors are best cleaned with a soft pencil eraser then the items popped in and out a few times to ensure there is no oxide on the sockets either.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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Related Solutions

#4
January 10, 2016 at 11:33:26
I have removed and replaced just about every connector inside the tower. It has not helped and the shutting off seems to be getting worse and happening sooner after the computer is turned on, so it definitely is not heat related. It seems more to be in the system that allows the user to shut down the computer by pushing the power button. I don't know if this system is driven by software or hardware, but, if it was software, I don't think it would be affected by rapping the side of the tower case, which still seems to help.

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#5
January 10, 2016 at 12:21:26
Difficult to add more.

I'm firmly convinced that if rapping the case affects it then it's an electrical connection somewhere. The trouble is that could be about anything, even a bad joint on the motherboard (although that is rare). You need to find a place inside where you tap or move something and the symptoms immediately change. If you can get that to happen then it's a case of moving around that area until you find the most sensitive spot, thereby leading to the culprit.

Perhaps a start would be to see if any particular place on the case has a more marked affect. Maybe it's near the power switch itself.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#6
January 10, 2016 at 15:32:22
Any problem mechanically with the power (push?) button? Or, if present, the rest button?
If you know where is is connected to the MOBO, disconnect it after power-up.

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#7
January 10, 2016 at 20:29:35
Could be a bad connector.
Could be a tarnished edge connector.
Could be a poor solder joint on the motherboard.
Could be a weak hold down clamp on CPU.
Could be an individual connector on one of the main plugs (20/24pin motherboard or 4/8pin CPU connectors) where one connector is pushing out the rear of the main connector block and making poor contact. (remove from motherboard and insert wire/contact completely until click is heard)
Could be a loose motherboard hold down screw.
Could be a screw, nut or small metal object under the motherboard or other exposed circuit.
Could be the hard drive is being knocked out of alignment.
To mention just a few...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#8
January 19, 2016 at 07:42:06
I finally tried the thing I didn't think could fix it: changing the Windows power setting so that the power button does not shut down the computer when pushed during operation. This seems to have stopped the random shut-downs, but it still does not explain why they were happening when the setting allowed the shut-down. Anyway, thanks to all who contributed their expertise to this weird problem.

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#9
January 19, 2016 at 09:34:36
Glad to hear you sorted it. Maybe rapping the case was uncovering some other issue that is OK if you don't provoke it.

Sometimes computer faults can be darned elusive, particularly intermittent ones because it takes a long time to gain confidence about possible fixes.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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