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This is a discussion on Computer turned off by itself. within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. A few weeks ago, I was gone for almost an hour, and my computer tower shut off. I turned it


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Old 02-16-2020, 01:10 PM   #1
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A few weeks ago, I was gone for almost an hour, and my computer tower shut off. I turned it on, and my tabs were still up.


Should I be worried?

Last week, my computer shut off while it was on the boot screen.


My computer didn't turn off by itself while I was at church the other day.

And yesterday, I was able to log in before my computer turned off by itself

I turned my computer on Friday, and it turned off. I turned it on again, and the light went on, then off again.

The next time, it stayed on.


Is my computer dying?
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:37 PM   #2
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Do you mean totally off (drives and fans) or something else?
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:58 PM   #3
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Do you mean totally off (drives and fans) or something else?
Off, as in, the tower light was off.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:33 PM   #4
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PSU might be going. Don't know your skills, but it can be tested.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:51 PM   #5
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Computer fell asleep while I was gone, and again when I had to leave again, and it didn't turn off by itself, so it's fixed, maybe.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:42 AM   #6
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All the PSU rails are under less stress when put in sleep mode. I don't think your problem is solved.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
I was gone for almost an hour, and my computer tower shut off.

my computer shut off while it was on the boot screen.

My computer didn't turn off by itself while I was at church the other day.
There's no way of telling what is happening when you are away from the house. You could have had a power fluctuation but were not there to witness the lights flicker.

But shutting off while at the boot screen is telling.

Sadly, there is no way normal users can "thoroughly" or "conclusively" test a power supply. That's because to conclusively test a PSU, it must be done under a variety of realistic loads. That is, when the computer is idle all the way up to running tasks with maximum power demands. It must also be tested with a fluctuating input voltage. These tests ensure the PSU's output is being properly regulated.

Also, the PSU must be analyzed for excessive ripple and other anomalies that affect computer stability. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power supply analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive!) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results.

A multimeter can easily show if a voltage is missing or way out the allowed 5% tolerances, but doing so with a variety of realistic loads is very challenging. And most multimeters don't test for ripple. PSU testers have the same limitations.

So a multimeter (or PSU tester) might be able to tell you if a PSU is bad, but they cannot tell you if it is good conclusively.

So the best test for most users is to swap in a known good power supply to see if the problem continues, or goes away. Even pros do this.

I recommend you test your wall outlets too. Every home and every computer user should have access to a AC Outlet Tester to ensure your outlet is properly wired and grounded to Earth ground. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets (outlets near water) too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, (like this one for the UK) at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Wal-Mart. Use it to test all the outlets in the home and if a fault is shown, have it fixed by a qualified electrician.

Note the ATX Form Factor standard requires all PSUs maintain output when the input voltage drops below specified thresholds for just 17ms. A power loss of just 17ms is much faster than we (as humans) can even see (as a flicker in the lights, for example). And sadly, not all power supplies meet that requirement. So I always recommend all computers be on a good UPS with AVR too. And that's primarily for the voltage regulation they provide. Power during a full power outage is just a minor bonus feature.

Heat can also cause a computer to suddenly shutdown. While displaying the boot screen is just about the least demanding task, if the CPU fan, for example, is faulty, the CPU can easily overheat then too.

So make sure your fans spin freely and the case interior is clean of heat-trapping dust.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:44 PM   #8
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I might suggest you invest in an UPS. My area is subject to random power fluctuations (3 this afternoon for no good reason) and outages. I have 2 Tripp-Lite UPS on my desk top, 1 on my wife's, and another on the flat screen.



They have proven to be great investments. I lost a CRT TV last year that was not on an UPS.


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Old 02-18-2020, 05:38 PM   #9
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My friend's computer turned itself off, and also turned itself on again after I had turned it off. It looked like the OS had been updated, so I wonder if the reason it was behaving strangely was that it was in the middle of an update of the OS. It is an old MacBook. It's working ok now. The story is more complicated, in that the original problem was that it suddenly ceased to be able to connect to any network. At any rate, she and I are observing with fingers crossed. I didn't know whether this might be relevant to the current problem.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:37 PM   #10
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This is literally impossible to answer without hardware, or make and model of name brand pc, and version of version of Windows.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:12 AM   #11
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OP is using Windows 8.1. Should really upgrade to 10.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:04 AM   #12
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Whatever you say Corday I don't even see how you know that. This is like going to the automotive service center driving your neighbor's car and asking them what they think is wrong with your vehicle?
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:34 PM   #13
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Set your computer to use screen saver, no sleep, no hibernation, no power down of any kind, no screen kill, just screen saver and then go to work and come back to see if it is still on.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:53 AM   #14
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I'd start with a possible corrupt hiberfil.sys. Open an elevated command prompt Hit start, type cmd the type CTRL + SHIFT + Enter, an elevated command window will open. In this command window type powercfg.exe -h off then reboot. If you want to turn it back on then type powercfg.exe -h on and reboot.
Personally, I'd leave it off unless you use it.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:50 PM   #15
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Had the same problem. Microsoft tech checked "Event Viewer" and found crashes related to writing and reading from memory. He suggested switching memory positions and then checking memory sticks one by one. Did not have the time, so switched out memory. No more problems.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:50 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=CastletonSnob;7767766]A few weeks ago, I was gone for almost an hour, and my computer tower shut off. I turned it on, and my tabs were still up.


Should I be worried?

Last week, my computer shut off while it was on the boot screen.


My computer didn't turn off by itself while I was at church the other day.

And yesterday, I was able to log in before my computer turned off by itself

I turned my computer on Friday, and it turned off. I turned it on again, and the light went on, then off again.

The next time, it stayed on.


Is my computer dying? Could be. When was the last time you cleaned the vents and took the case off and cleaned the fan blades to your machine isn't overheating? Is the mother board covered in dust kitties? With the cold weather is your computer next to a heater or against the wall with baseboard heat? At first I thought it might be if an update changed your PC's sleep mode timer but you indicate it is too random for that. My old computer did that but it was the power supply failing not the whole computer. I had also added more memory sticks which may have added a load. With the new and larger power supply it worked for many more years. I later scrapped the PC but kept the power supply for some reason.
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:28 PM   #17
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Check your CPU cooler or use a software to measure CPU temperature.
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CastletonSnob View Post

Is my computer dying?
Pop the cover off of your tower, take the RAM out and clean the contacts with a cloth & rubbing alcohol. Let them dry & put them back. Same goes for any other add-in cards.

Get your drive maker's software to check for drive health.

If it IS the PSU on it's way out (likely, but not 100%), then the coin battery ought to be replaced, too (usually a CR2032).

Personally, I don't mind having a spare PSU anyway. Just do some looking online and choose a decent PSU and get it ordered. At worst, you'll be able to narrow that variable.

Cheers
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrobwx71 View Post
I'd start with a possible corrupt hiberfil.sys. Open an elevated command prompt Hit start, type cmd the type CTRL + SHIFT + Enter, an elevated command window will open. In this command window type powercfg.exe -h off then reboot. If you want to turn it back on then type powercfg.exe -h on and reboot.
Personally, I'd leave it off unless you use it.
Could you please explain your instructions above?
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Could you please explain your instructions above?
For PCs, the general consensus is to just shutdown Windows and the computer through the Start menu, putting it into hybrid sleep mode. The only time to totally power off is when doing maintenance or if you plan on being away from home for an extended vacation.

Therefore, I would not disable it. And frankly, there is no reason too. The OP said "The next time, it stayed on". That is not a symptom of a corrupt hiberfil.sys file.

Should the OP return, they need to verify good power before messing with anything else since everything inside the case depends on good, clean power. And these are classic symptoms of a failing PSU.

Swapping in a different power supply is really one of the easiest tasks we can do. It just seems daunting because there are so many cables. But they all can only go in one way so it is hard to mess up. And there is no risk of zapping the CPU or RAM with ESD simply by swapping out the PSU.

Just pay attention when removing the old and the 2nd PSU will go in the same way. There are only 4 screws you access from the back of the computer case.

Last, the OP has not been back since the first day. This could suggest the problem is resolved, or the OP is otherwise unavailable. The best option is to wait until he or she returns, or just let this thread remain dormant.
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