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Old 10-05-2008, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default random powerdowns

ok, so i've got a really wierd problem. if anyone has any suggestions, lemme hear them, cause i'm stumped.

problem summary: whenever i initiate a program which consumes a significant portion of my system resources, my computer will just suddenly power down after a few minutes of running the program. best examples of this is games, especially MMO's. i can't play eve online for more than 5 minutes before the machine powers down. other games include civ 4, guild wars, indigo prophecy. mostly it's with games released after '03, but it did do this once when i had max payne (released '01) running. also, it occasionally happens outside of games, ie heavy downloads, etc. the specific sequience goes like this: i initiate the program, it runs fine for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, then one or both of my hard drives start spinning up and the HDD LED stays lit for about 4 seconds, then the machine powers down hard, as if someone had pulled the power cord.

machine specs: AMD Phenom (2.2GHz quadcore), ASUS M3A motherboard, ATI HD2600XT graphics card (512MB memory), 2x 2.049GB RAM, 70GB 10k RPM primary master HDD, 1TB primary slave HDD, an unknown Creative Sound Blaster audio card salvaged from my previous computer, Windows XP SP3, DirectX 9.0c.

Troubleshooting history:
1. virus scan
2. disk check and defrag, both drives
3. Reformat OS
4. update CPU drivers
5. update video drivers
6. update audio drivers
7. update xp
8. update direct x
8. reformat NTFS configuration on both drives, repeating driver and os updates afterwords
9. monitored system temerature during opperation (mean 86 degrees F)

a friend suggested that it may be an I/O address conflict, but i don't know anything about that. my experties is mainly in hardware.

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Old 10-05-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: random powerdowns

Sounds to me that you have overheating issues. Check your temps.

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Old 10-05-2008, 11:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: random powerdowns

Yeah, if it powers down but does not restart, that can be indicator that your system may be overheating too much and is shutting off to prevent damage to your system.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: random powerdowns

well, overheating was my latest troubleshoot check, but lemme take you thru it. so i built this computer, so i know for a fact that the heatsink, fan and cooling gel for the cpu are all good. so my next check was to stare at the front pannel thermomiter while a game was running. i was looking for either a steady increase in temperature or a sudden spike at the moment it shutdown. i repeated the test 6 times and neiter condition occured. incidentally, that's how i noticed the HDD LED lightup just prior to shut down.

however, still not satisfied that that was a worthwhile test, i got my o'scope out and measured temperature at the bottom of the heatsink thru the error process. the mean system temperature was 86 degrees F and the temp at the cpu heatsink was only marginally higher. i'm certian it's not an overheating issue.

anybody have any thoughts on the I/O addressing conflict idea?
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: random powerdowns

mmm I think an O'scope is not able to mesure temp.
Bad luck for You. (o scope .. visit wiki, and see what it is)

looking at the fronpanels temp. sensor is not a good way.
thats not even close to a correct reading.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: random powerdowns

BAH! i meant my dvm...not sure why i said o'scope.

anybody on the I/O address conflict theory?
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: random powerdowns

It could be an irq address or it could be a hardware problem, does your screen flash blue quickly when it restarts if it does right click my computer -> properties -> advanced -> Startup and recovery and uncheck restart computer i should be under the error catagory and write the error number in microsofts website (0x0000**).

You should be able to see your temps in the bios.
-push specified key at startup.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: random powerdowns

sine your running AMD chip you can dl and run core temp for AMD chips. it keeps track of all cores for you and gives a temp thats is within 1+/- degree oF. i swear by it.

if your hitting in the high 60s and in the 70s you mgiht wanan rething the over ehating.

phenom shouldnt pass the 60 mark ever unless your in a heated room.

i have the amd 9600 x4 and my temps in games ate 51 and idle is 21
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: random powerdowns

my thanks to the last two posts, I'll certainly have to check those ideas out. Unfortunatly I have developed new problems. I found out that, among others, my kernel32.dll file had been corrupted. Given that file's relatioship to hardware, I suspected that I may see some improvement if I could restore it. So I ran the xp repair function from the cd boot up and nothing has been right since. I now have a CPU fan error and a primary slave drive error showing during bios boot cycle and while I can get windows to boot, it stalls doing so much as opening my computer. And when I try to reformat, that process stalls as well.

As things are, I can't imagine what my next troubleshooting step might be. It seems as though I have nothing better than a six month old $1200 piece of garbage under my desk. As one might imagine, this is very frustrating for me. I'm having to post this via my friends iPhone for Christ's sakes! If anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears. :'(
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: random powerdowns

Dont worry dude! We'll get it sorted

Sounds like you have a pretty screwed up hard drive. I'm suprised that the repair function didnt sort it. It may be worth scrapping it, reinstalling xp on a new hard drive and using your old one as a slave?

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