A bit off-topic... pc random power off

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Jack Norton, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Jack Norton

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    Sorry for the OT but I experienced a very strange behaviour today on my pc and was wondering if someone has a vague idea or a possible explanation for it... :D

    Problem: pc was turning off randomly - not rebooting, not resetting, just like if you plugged the power cable off. I had to press the power button to restart it.
    I tried even to turn it on, go in BIOS (so to be sure that wasn't a windows-related problem) and wait - was turning off after a random amount of time, usually below 10 minutes.

    Checked CPU temperature and was 32°C, so quite safe.

    Now after I turned it off for 30-40 minutes, is running since about 1h30 without problems. So I think it wasn't a memory problem either.

    I have this pc since 10 months and NEVER did such behaviour in the past...

    Any clue what could have been!? :confused:
     
  2. Cartman

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    This happened to me a long time ago on an old machine(386). It took a tech forever to finally discover that it was a short in the speaker that was causing it. I later remembered that I had hacked the speaker for an early game that allowed you to hear game sounds if you hacked your speaker. It really was a fluke kind of thing.

    Most reboot problems I've seen in the past have been caused by power supplies that are going bad. I've even had new ones that did this. I would suggest trying a different power supply on your machine and see if the problem goes away.
     
  3. Pogacha

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    Ok ...
    1 - Check all the connectors for being making good contact, power and signal ones, start with the externals and them with the internals.
    2 - Disconnect all posible external perifericals to isolate the problem.
    3 - Check the UPS.
    4 - Check the Power Supply.
    5 - Disconnect all the posible internal perifericals to isolate the problem.
     
  4. Jack Norton

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    Thanks for the suggestions. So far is working, I unplugged lot of USB peripherals. Not sure if was that, since the same external devices are present since this summer :p anyway as long as I work, I don't complain!
     
  5. Matthew

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  6. mot

    mot
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    Once I had placed a BIG unshielded speaker next to a PC. It caused it to reboot unexpectedly too. Once I moved the speaker away everything went back to normal, including the harddrive - no damage.

    But usually unstable PCs have bad memory - very random and hard to diagnose without a thorough memory test (memtest86 is fine).
     
  7. Game Producer

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    Virus Alert!

    Check VIRUSES.

    I remember having *something* like that in the past and it happened because of some virus. I recall there was some strange process running in the TaskManager or in the Startup which couldn't be deleted normally.
     
  8. cliffski

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    it could be worse. Back in the ZX81 days, I had a game that would only load successfully if I was upstairs. I never worked that one out.

    If it still happens, get a new PSU, you can splash the cash and get one of the much quieter ones, and kill two problems at once.
     
  9. DanMarshall

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    Happened to an old PC of mine. Never found the cause, but my dad's been using it quite happily for nearly two years now with no problems.

    The solution? It's a Tower and he has it lying on its side...

    He's a complete tech buff, but has no idea why this might be the case. But it is.
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    I'll try that memory test.
    Now is working OK since this morning (about 3h). I also ordered a UPS, because they "stabilize" the power flow. I live in a old house so the electrical implant could be a bit crappy :eek:
     
  11. Jack Norton

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    Excuse my ignorance... what is a PSU?
     
  12. Artinum

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    Power Supply Unit.
    (Hey wow, a techie question I can answer! That's unusual...)

    Speaking of random restarts, my desktop machine has been doing this recently. The fault was eventually traced - but cannot be explained - to the act of putting a disc in the DVD-RW drive. Not every disc, and sometimes the same disc will/won't cause it, but it seems to hiccup when it checks what I've just put in.

    Any suggestions on causes for this are welcome.
     
  13. stiill

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    Those drives are power hogs. Are you sure you have a good quality PSU with sufficiently high output? I was still running on a 300W PSU for a while without realizing it, even after throwing in two DVD drives, a RAID, a high-end nVidia GPU.... I'm surprised it ever booted.

    Other than that, it could just be a fault with the drive. If you can track down another one for testing, that'd save you the $40 or so for a replacement.
     
  14. stiill

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    Here's another note:

    BACK UP YOUR DATA!

    With all of the crazy problems you guys are describing, it's only a matter of time before a drive dies. While SMART technology sometimes gives you a warning, and voltage monitoring on the mobo can help with some of these PSU issues, there are still plenty of instant HD failures nowadays.

    I posted about my solution here: http://independentcreator.com/2006-08-01/personal-backup-systems/.

    Since then, I've RAIDed all the main boxes, so the separate backup machine is slightly important. I still have it back up most data, just not all the OS and program installations. The super-critical data-- like my code base-- is backed up off-site, on a friend's Subversion server. You may think I'm a little obsessive about all this, but it's still far less than a responsible corporation would do. I've also had two recent HD failures, where I would have been screwed without the backups.
     
  15. LilGames

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    I've had that happen and it WAS overheating.
    I used Asus Probe's option that records an ongoing log of the temperatures, then check that after one of these power-offs. Sure enough, the temperature seemed normaly at first then it would spike (and then of course the log stopped at that point, since that's when the system turned off).
     
  16. Jack Norton

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    crap

    UPDATE: this morning the pc died. No response, doesn't even start if you push power button. Until yesterday night was working like normal, no more sudden shutdown.
    I think it was the power unit then - or the motherboard died?! but I'm 99% sure it is the power supply... still sux :mad:
     
  17. Escapee

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    That sux :mad: , hope it's the power supply in your case . I used to experience instant hardrive failure and it was really troublesome even with backup.

    I have to backup all my important data now just in case my PC explodes again .
     
  18. Game Producer

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    Oh dear... :(
     
  19. David De Candia

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    I've had this problem before. Turned out to be the motherboard. It was horrible, never knowing when the PC would switch off next and being unable to source the fault.

    I ended up replacing the PSU, motherboard and video card. Rust was the probable cause as I lived very close to the ocean at the time.
     
  20. Jack Norton

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    well I did backup the most important data, still sux because there will be for sure some data in documents or other places that I forgot.
    It sux also because was a brand new pc, just 10 months!! a negative record... all my other pc lasted at least 3+ years without problems....
     

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