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Default Damn computer keeps shutting down during games!!

July 3rd, 2008, 18:12
Lately my computer has been suddenly shutting down during games, by "shutting down" I mean powering off completely like someone hit the power switch. It's really bizarre and is starting to become incredibly frustrating. Sometimes I can play for 20-30 minutes, other times it happens within 5-10. This is only happening during games, it has never done this while just surfing the web or using media, etc.

The first thing that comes to mind of course is an overheating issue. However I have been checking my temperatures constantly and they are well within normal limits, my video card stays around 45-50 Celsius idle and 60-70 at full load. It's not a video driver issue either. I've upgraded my drivers several times with the same results. I also doubt that it has anything to do with my PSU. It's a fairly new 600 watt Cooler Master, and I don't have a lot of extra components in my system.

What would cause a computer to just completely shut down without any warning or error message?
Last edited by JDR13; July 3rd, 2008 at 18:20.
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July 3rd, 2008, 18:24
PSU problem? My comp was cutting out like that recently I just replaced the PSU.

Better a PSU problem than a MB problem.
Last edited by woges; July 3rd, 2008 at 18:42.
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July 3rd, 2008, 18:27
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Lately my computer has been suddenly shutting down during games, by "shutting down" I mean powering off completely like someone hit the power switch. It's really bizarre and is starting to become incredibly frustrating. Sometimes I can play for 20-30 minutes, other times it happens within 5-10. This is only happening during games, it has never done this while just surfing the web or using media, etc.

The first thing that comes to mind of course is an overheating issue. However I have been checking my temperatures constantly and they are well within normal limits, my video card stays around 45-50 Celsius idle and 60-70 at full load. It's not a video driver issue either. I've upgraded my drivers several times with the same results. I also doubt that it has anything to do with my PSU. It's a fairly new 600 watt Cooler Master, and I don't have a lot of extra components in my system.

What would cause a computer to just completely shut down without any warning or error message?
With the things you already cheched, I'd say: HD corruption or RAM corruption. When you have more then one RAM dimm, try it with only one and change it if it happens again. With the harddisk -> well if this is the case, you can only test it with another one.

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July 3rd, 2008, 18:29
My money is on the power supply. An instant shutdown sounds like something tripped a safety circuit.

There are two ways the PSU could do this: (1) it could trigger its own emergency shutdown, which cuts power to the computer suddenly and without warning, or (2) a bad voltage fluctuation could trigger an emergency shutdown on the mobo, which would do the same thing.

Suggestions:

(1) Check your connections. Unplug everything, then plug everything back in. Sometimes it's nothing worse than a loose connection somewhere.

(2) Make sure your drives are distributed evenly across the "whiskers" coming from the PSU: if they're all on the same cable, Bad Things (tm) might happen when the system is under heavy load.

(3) If all else fails, beg, borrow, steal, or buy another PSU and try with it.
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July 3rd, 2008, 18:34
I think PJ is right on. That was my first instinct as well. You said the PS was new, maybe it is defective.

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July 3rd, 2008, 18:38
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I think PJ is right on. That was my first instinct as well. You said the PS was new, maybe it is defective.
Well it's not "brand new", I've been using it for about 6 months. I just meant to imply that it wasn't "old"

I'm going to blow all the dust out of my system and unplug\replug everything as PJ suggested. I'll report back later…….
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July 3rd, 2008, 19:05
Gremlins, mate… gremlins.

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July 3rd, 2008, 19:42
Bart how can RAM or harddisk corruption cause total shut down? PJ's explanation sounds more plausible

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July 3rd, 2008, 19:51
Originally Posted by gaboru93 View Post
Bart how can RAM or harddisk corruption cause total shut down? PJ's explanation sounds more plausible
Can't say anything about hardisk corruption, but a broken RAM can indeed cause a total shut down. I once had that problem. But usually it will not cause just that one problem, but more of a series of errors, like bluescreens, error messages, etc.

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Last edited by Ionstormsucks; July 3rd, 2008 at 20:03.
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July 3rd, 2008, 19:56
I would also suggest you renew the thermal conductance paste on your CPU. Maybe it aged suddenly and/or there´s too much of it.
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July 3rd, 2008, 21:39
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
I would also suggest you renew the thermal conductance paste on your CPU. Maybe it aged suddenly and/or there´s too much of it.
That's a very good idea… if your CPU overheats (which it would be more likely to do when playing games) your PC will shut down immediately. I had to do this exact thing to one of the PCs at work because of excessive dust and loss of thermal conductivity. The CPU was shutting the PC down because it was getting too hot.

Once I blew out the immense amounts of dust and re-seated the CPU fan with new thermal compound, the shut-downs stopped.

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July 3rd, 2008, 21:47
Originally Posted by narpet View Post
That's a very good idea… if your CPU overheats (which it would be more likely to do when playing games) your PC will shut down immediately. I had to do this exact thing to one of the PCs at work because of excessive dust and loss of thermal conductivity. The CPU was shutting the PC down because it was getting too hot.

Once I blew out the immense amounts of dust and re-seated the CPU fan with new thermal compound, the shut-downs stopped.
That depends on the CPU. Most of 'em nowadays won't shut down without warning; they'll drop their clock speed first (i.e., the game will slow down to a crawl). You'll also almost certainly get other symptoms also — freezes, crashes to desktop, that sort of thing.
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July 3rd, 2008, 21:48
Originally Posted by gaboru93 View Post
Bart how can RAM or harddisk corruption cause total shut down? PJ's explanation sounds more plausible
If the problem is with the connector or controller, it can happen. If it's plain ol' disk corruption, you'll get freezes, bluescreens and general instability (if it's the system disk). You can't rule out the disks either.
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July 3rd, 2008, 21:55
Originally Posted by gaboru93 View Post
Bart how can RAM or harddisk corruption cause total shut down? PJ's explanation sounds more plausible
I see Ironstormsucks alreay answered the RAM thing (I've seen this behaviour on an HP blade server). About the harddisk trouble -> It depends on the controlsettings in your BIOS I would think. It'd be more logic to get a BS, but sometimes things are flakey.
The reason why I posted it that sometimes it's a good thing to look past the obvious things. Offcourse I know PJ's post makes more sense and has a lot higher probability, but it would also be ridiculous to post the same stuff again.

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July 4th, 2008, 01:48
Well so far the only thing I've been able to confirm is that it's definitely not a temperature issue. I ran some stress test, as well as a fairly demanding FPS, and my CPU temp (Core Duo 6700) never exceeded 60C in either core. I double checked using a program called RealTemp, that was designed specifically for Intel CPUs.

Going to run a prolonged stress test for the next couple of hours…..
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July 4th, 2008, 02:17
its possible the power supply itself could be overheating. have you felt it when it shuts off? is it dusty and or is there fan blockage?

also i realized that 600w should be suffiencent, but how many pci devices are you running on your computer? how many hard, media drives? if you power supply was insuffienct it probablly wouldn't have the symptons yours does but its possible. either way if you do have a lot, it could be making the psu work harder.

i had your symptons years ago, like 7 on an old e-machine. it happened the same way, and i usually had to unplug the power cable and then reboot. it was due i believe to a stronger gpu i put in it that at times simply demanded to much. i always thought it was a heat issue and kept a fan blowing on it, which helped a bit. ultimately though i bought a new psu, not long before i ditched the rig completely and built my own, but it nonetheless solved the problem.
try disconnecting extra devices and see if the problem still occurs.

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July 4th, 2008, 04:23
Originally Posted by curiously undead View Post
its possible the power supply itself could be overheating. have you felt it when it shuts off? is it dusty and or is there fan blockage?.
I will have to check that then, although I'm not sure how. I know that simply holding my hand over the back fan exaust feels quite cool though, so I really don't think that's the problem.


Originally Posted by curiously undead View Post
also i realized that 600w should be suffiencent, but how many pci devices are you running on your computer? how many hard, media drives? if you power supply was insuffienct it probablly wouldn't have the symptons yours does but its possible. either way if you do have a lot, it could be making the psu work harder..
It's basically a bare bones system. Just a video card (GeForce 8800GTS 512), sound card (Audigy 2 ZS), 1 hard drive, 1 DVD combo drive, and USB keyboard, mouse, and Netgear adapter.

Nothing is overclocked, although my video card is factory overclocked.
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July 4th, 2008, 10:19
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I will have to check that then, although I'm not sure how. I know that simply holding my hand over the back fan exaust feels quite cool though, so I really don't think that's the problem.
Cool, or just "not warm"? Maybe the fan isn't moving at all?

Otherwise good luck, my old system (P4 2200) had all kinds of problems. The power supply's fan spinning slower and slower, eventually needing manual jump starts; PC not turning on after it was off for a couple days (power supply problem); Windows freezing totally in games (graphics card overheating)… I think in the end even the mainboard was crumbling. The whole rig wasn't aging very well, to say the least.

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July 4th, 2008, 16:39
Originally Posted by Bartacus View Post
I see Ironstormsucks alreay answered the RAM thing (I've seen this behaviour on an HP blade server). About the harddisk trouble -> It depends on the controlsettings in your BIOS I would think. It'd be more logic to get a BS, but sometimes things are flakey.
The reason why I posted it that sometimes it's a good thing to look past the obvious things. Offcourse I know PJ's post makes more sense and has a lot higher probability, but it would also be ridiculous to post the same stuff again.

Ok I understand now after all the posts! Just that it never happened to me and I've never heard of that before! Sorry for that! From now on I will only post if I am sure of things! Anyway we learn from our mistakes

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July 4th, 2008, 16:58
the ram thing has happened to me both here and on my work pc. It was fine until I used a certain amt of juice either by firing up a game or autocad, then it would shut down.

I assume that youve went thru all event logs, here in windows and in before windows boots in the bios? I am the de-facto "computer guy" at work, and i find one of my best tools for solving problems on a multitude of computers are the event logs.
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