Pc turning itself off

9 Nov 2006
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United Kingdom
Hi, I'm having problems with my pc and wonder if anyone can help.

My pc has started to turn itself off at irregular intervals. It only happens within say 20 minutes from when I first switch it on. Once I get it running for more than 20 minutes, it's fine. In fact, I left the pc on 24/7 for the whole of last week and it was ok. When it turns itself off, a loud constant beeping sound often follows. Sometimes it only turns itself off once and is then fine, but other times it will happen 10 or more times before it finally settles and stays working.

I've done all my virus checks, spyware checks, disk clean ups, defragmentation etc. Im running Norton Internet Security 2007 and I have the Windows firewall disabled.

I've checked the hardware section of "system" in the control panel and all seems to be fine there.

My pc is an Advent 3319
Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz
Windows XP home edition (pre installed from factory) Service pack 2
It has 512MB ram, 189GB hard drive of which I have 153GB free space.

Sometimes after turning itself off, upon reloading, I get a message saying "windows has recovered from a serious error"

I'm stumped, so if anyone has any ideas, I would be most grateful. If my option is to format then so be it, but I'd love to avoid doing that.

Thanks, Ben
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is the cooling fan working? i had that once when a processor overheated.

You should be able to see fan speed and processor temperature in Bios, don't think you can see it from Windows.
JohnD, thank you for your reply.

I've had a good look through BIOS and I couldn't find anything relating to the fan speed or processer temperature.
Certainly, overheating is a possibility. It could also be that a card is not seated properly. Open the case and check that that the CPU fan is clear of dust and is spinning freely. Carefully remove any cards and memory and reseat them.
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Thankyou Igorian. I will do what you suggest tomorrow and report back with a :D or a :( Hopefully the former!
you mentiomed loud beeping.

count the number of beeps, it is a referance to what is wrong (no idea what mind, but it does mean something) but would have to aggree with others, been on then turns off = heat build up (probably)
Thanks, Breezer.

It's just a continuous beep. I have to physically turn the pc off to get rid of it. I'm going to power down now for a few hours, open the pc later and clean inside and check all the connections.
Ok, I left the pc off for about 6 hours while I was out. I've now opened it up and found it to be a bit dusty, but nothing too bad... Until, I looked closely at the cooling fan. I unscrewed its cover and found it to be almost totally full of thick dust. It reminded me of a filter on a neglected tumble dryer :oops:

I've given it a really good clean out and so far it hasn't turned itself off. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few weeks and make sure I clean inside regularly.

Tim: Thanks for that link. If the dust removal hasn't cured the problem, I'll look more closely at memory/motherboard issues.

Thanks everyone!
when you boot up pc and everything in windows has to load cpu would be working flat out might be why it was overheating at start up . it will be ok now you have got dust out
Thanks, SuffolkLad. All this time I just assumed it was a hardware problem. Now I can see just how much damage the dust can do.
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their input. The pc has been fine for a week now since I removed all the dust.

Cheers, Ben
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