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 Post subject: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:20 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:05 pm
Posts: 7
Hi, GLad to find a site like this. Hope someone can help.

I have a ZT desktop with 4G of Ram. Intel pentium. It is about 3 years old. There are 3 Hard Drives.
C is the current one with 1 T HD. There is a 500G Backup, (Acronis True Image) and a 300G Old Driver
Before I had the problem shown below, the DVD drive would freeze up the PC at different times. Most of the time it doesn't recognize a disc when inserted.
I tried disabling it to see if that would fix the below problem but it didn't. (However when the PC rebooted the DVD drive was enabled. ?)

Six MOS or more ago my PC shut down by itself. It wasn't totally off, a red light was blinking and you could hear it being on.
But it was a black screen and no keyboard response. Restarting by pushing the start button did not initially work. I pushed the button many many times.
(It does make a noise like a disc gearing up in the DVD drive, or to a lesser extent, a scanner doing it's thing. when it doesn't start it just keeps making the noise.)

It finally caught and started up. The Windows Recovery screen came up with the Start Windows Normally option. It then opened windows and was functioning normal.
It did not do it again for some time( a month? ) Then it started doing it more often. (Several times a week) Sometimes it does a filecheck.

Through TeamViewer my PC guy went through sleep modes , hibernation , etc also cleaned up start up programs and other things.
When I told him after the PC shut down the next time he said it might be the fans are clogged and that I should air compress and clean the fans and interior of the PC.
I did that a few days ago. It didn't do anything. He doesn't know what it is.

Currently the PC shuts down several times a day. I went on line and looked for help.
Some suggestions for crashing and freezing were to unplug the PC from the wall. Tried that, didn't do anything.
One thing that has helped is to turn off the PC when it shuts down with the button in the back of the tower instead of the front button.
That way it restarts on the first try when I hit the front button.
I also installed Speedfan. Couldn't figure out how to tell if the fans were too hot.
There are 2 items that have a little red flame next to them. CPU and Temp1 Both said 51C. That moves around in the 50's (50 to 59)
(Hard drives were green checks)

I did try to put the Windows OS disc in to see if that would repair the problem but the DVD drive won't open it up. (Won't recognize the disc).
One last thing. When I use my laptop to network I am able to get into the desktop and access files when it is in the shutdown mode with light on. When the desktop is off, I can't do that.
That tells me maybe the monitor and keyboard are cut off but the PC is still on. ?

Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks,
John


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:50 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:04 am
Posts: 1035
What you are seeing with Speedfan is normal--take some of its information with a grain of salt as it is known for giving some nonsensical info on some of its parameters.

On the hardware side, it seems as though the optical drive is on its way out--replace it if you can! As for anything else, I would suspect either your PSU or the motherboard are defective.


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:11 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:05 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks for your reply pcstudent. When I encountered the DVD problem I did get a new DVD drive. Didn't do anything to help the DVD problem.
When checking the hardware status the PC itself says there are no problems.

How does one determine if a PSU or motherboard is defective?
I'm not much of a techie, are they hard to replace? Expensive?
If you change the motherboard do you have to redo the OS?

Thanks.
John


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:47 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:04 am
Posts: 1035
You can check the PSU by going into the PC Health Monitoring section of the motherboard's BIOS and checking the actual output voltages of the +12v, the +5v, and the +3.3v rails of the PSU and ensuring that they are within +5% of their purported voltages. If they are outside of this tolerance, you probably need to change the PSU. Alternatively, you can change out the PSU with a known good working one and seeing if the problem persists. As for the motherboard, if you change it out, it is best to do a clean reinstall of the OS.

Both are easy to replace as the PSU is held to the case by four screws. Simply unscrew them and disconnect all of the PSU's cables from the motherboard and hardware peripherals, and remove the old PSU. Place the new PSU in the case and use the screws to attach it to the case--then attach the new PSU's cables to the motherboard and peripherals. Expensive? Depends on the PSU that you choose to replace it with. Don't go cheap, though--the cheaper the PSU, the less likely it is to have quality components and the more likely it is to die sooner. I recommend PC Power & Cooling or Corsair PSUs as they have decent warranties and are usually well-designed and built. If you can get a good deal on one from NewEgg (with a promotional discount code or a Shell Shocker deal), so much the better. Make sure it has plenty of power to supply to all of the hardware in your machine plus about 20% more just in case you want to add extra hardware at some point in the future.
As for motherboards, it depends on whether you can find one to support your current CPU and RAM after over three years. Your best bet may be to look on eBay, but beware of any that have been used. I learned last year to only buy ones that are "manufacturer refurbished".


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:08 am 
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You stated that:
Quote:
One last thing. When I use my laptop to network I am able to get into the desktop and access files when it is in the shutdown mode with light on.


That says to me that the operating system might be OK - but that either the video card is bad, or that the monitor is bad.

I think the PC is really still running when the screen goes black, you're just not able to see it.

Let's start with the easy one... can you borrow a computer monitor from a friend and see if the problem goes away?

If the screen is not the issue, you may have to try a replacement video card... which is a little more complicated to change.

Meanwhile, can you tell us which ZT computer model you use?


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:43 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:05 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks for the input Gary and pcstudent. Unfortunately the pc is unable to open Windows now.
I called ZT to get the model # and told them of the problem. (It's a ZT Reliant.) They were very nice and tried to help.
They took me to the BIOS and set them to ZT default. We drained the start button, restarted and we never able to get Windows open after that. We tried the windows 7 OS disc to see if it would boot. It wouldn't.
Like I said this is the 2nd Optical drive. Neither worked well. Initially they worked. But soon after started freezing the pc up.
Sounds to me like it's not the drives but something in hardware or windows software mucking it up. No?

ZT support was in India. They told they would have NJ higher up techs call me Monday.
At least before talking to them I was able to limp along on windows. Hope I don't lose my files.
They should be on my hard drives. Right?
Thanks
John


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:49 am 
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Take the side off your machine and look at the motherboard. If any of the electrolytic caps are leaning way over, split, leaking or bulged on the top, your motherboard is dead. Here are some examples:

http://www.google.com/search?q=bad+caps ... 20&bih=950

Your files may still be ok on your drive unless the drive died, then you will have to send the drive out to have your files salvaged by a reclaiming service and they are expensive. (Only if the drive is dead do this and only if you need the files.) If the drive is ok, you can put it in another computer and using that computers windows install access all your files from your drive and transfer them to a thumb drive or burn them to DVDs. I prefer to do both.

You can boot to your DVD by tapping F8 when you start your computer, it should bring up a menu asking which device you want to boot to. Use the arrow up/down keys to highlight the DVD drive and hit enter. It may ask you to hit a key to boot to the choice you made, do it.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: PC shuts down, not off
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:18 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:05 pm
Posts: 7
Just a follow up. Replaced the mother board and got a bigger power supply. (500 vs 300W)
Works fine. Hard drives were ok so got all files back. DVD drive works fine.
Thanks to all for your thoughts.


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