computer shuts down when accessing hard drive

Dell Optiplex 960d desktop computer (int...
September 5, 2012 at 09:28:50
Specs: Windows Vista, coreduo
emachine t5254 shuts down when accessing the hard drive (vista begins to load) then it turns off. Tried another hard drive, same thing. have tried different memory, different power supply, different processor, removed pci devices, tried another video card, tried using default bios, nothing works. I don't think the mb is bad because I can stay in bios as long as i want without it shutting down- which also rules out processor getting hot.

The only time it happens is right when the os starts to load- tried recovery disk to reload os but same thing- as sonn as it starts to load the os it shuts down.

All mb caps look good. checked gateway for bios update- but none.

I've seen through google that many people have the same problem with this model but no one has found a solution. I'm convinced it's got to be a soution

must be a setting in bios but I haven't a clue.

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September 5, 2012 at 10:02:37
Have you tried to boot into safe mode?

just because the computer doesnt shut down while you are in bios doesnt absolutely rule out the motherboard by the way.

It looks like you have exhausted most of the things i would and possibly others would suggest trying, So the only things i can suggest are:

1) try safe mode
2) try to clear the CMOS settings - check your manual before you do this.

Hopefully someone else has some more suggestions.

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September 5, 2012 at 10:47:14
can't get into safe mode for shutting down, I removed battery for a minute and redetected hard drive, did not solve problem

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September 5, 2012 at 11:00:47
which also rules out processor getting hot.

No it doesn't. With BIOS is running and in text mode the processor is not doing very much, barley past tick over.

When t starts to load the OS both the CPU and the graphics suddenly have hell of a lot of work to do. It could still be overheating.

can't get into safe mode for shutting down,

You dsont go into safe mode for shutting down. You go into safe mode at boot up. Safe modes loads a lot less and if you can get into safe mode it can narrow down the possibilities.

To get into safe mode start tapping F8 as soon as Windows begins to load.

I would also run a memory check.


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September 5, 2012 at 11:02:47
I find it interesting that you have tried replacing every thing but the motherboard, and you haven't found anything in error.

Did the problem occur after the install of Vista, or did it suddenly begin occurring randomly? I was doing some research, and I assume that since you have been extremely thorough so far that you ensured that all of the hardware is nice and tightly in place and that it isn't anything like that.

Have you tried to change the boot order to ensure that it is booting the correct hardrive/partition if its a multi boot(which I am not sure if you have set it up that way). Have you tried setting things up to boot directly off of a windows disk to see if the cd will load(if its bootable).

If you are trying to do a restore, did you create restore disks ahead of time, or are you using the disk that came with vista?

:: mike

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September 5, 2012 at 20:45:09
Stick to one set of hardware.
Run Memtest86 (as linked above) to test your installed memory and memory controller while it is at it. If you get any errors, retest with one stick of memory at a time to confirm that some will work and which ones will not work properly. No errors here are acceptable. If Memtest crashes, then test with one stick at a time to confirm it is one or more of the memory sticks. If it will not run with the original ones singly, the try others to see if any will work. If you have tested 4 or 6 more sticks one at a time without working then either your BIOS memory settings are way off, or you have other hardware problems.
Run hard drive test utility from your hard drive's manufacturers website (look at the drive to determine the brand name. Use the longest test available on the software. This will evaluate the hard drive's ability to run without causing errors.
Both of these programs run off bootable CD's and do not rely on your installation of Windows or on the hard drive to actually run and report the results.

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

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