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PC shutsdown and starts automatically


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I am puzzled by this one guys. :blink:


I was trying to fix a Gateway 5200S PC that was shutting down and starting by itself.

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Sometimes I could get to the system to go to Windows or just to the BIOS.

Sometimes I could not get into the BIOS

I thought it was the PSU, so I changed but the issue remained.

I have tried pretty much everything I could think of.


Changed the PSU…no change

Changed the mobo, heatsink and memory…no change

Now, I could get to the BIOS but I am not able to install Windows again, since still it shuts-down and restarts by itself.


System specs

BIOSTAR P4M890-M7 Mobo


Intel P4 2.93 MHz (have not change it)

Antec 480W PSU

WD 80GB HDD (Have not change it)


Any thoughts guys?

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Well you've tried the most obvious, what was it you were working on it for ? this actual fault or something else ?

What I'm wondering is if you may have an infection on it, maybe it's a nasty one thats memory resident, if you suspect this may be a possibility then write zeros to the drive and when finished pop the battery set the jumper to clear and pull the mains, leave it an hour or so (extreme(ish) I know) just to give the best chance of succeeding.


I doubt it's the hard drive, but if nothing else seems to help run the makers utility to check it's health and swap it out if all else fails just for peace of mind, no idea about how a CPU can play up so can't comment there, but another idea, try running it out of the case, just wondering if there may be a short or something, apart from that I can only ask the stupid question of is the PSU man enough for this ?

Not sure what else to say at this stage.

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It's my nephew's PC and he was having the shutdown-restart issue.


I have the same issue even though I changed the mobo, memory, PSU & heatsink.


I thought it was either the old intel mobo or the 250W PSU that came with the system.


I tested the new Antec PSU in another system and it works just fine.


It shuts down even with the hard drive disconected.


The only thing I have not change is the case and the CPU :huh:


Could a CPU cause this?

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I honestly couldn't say what a CPU could throw at you if turning bad, only had 1 go bad on me and it just went, no lead up or anything, but without knowing more it has to be considered, if you have the UBCD boot to that and run a virus scan, it has a couple of ones to choose from, if it is a nasty memory resident infection it should help, but if it's hardware related then other than trying the build outside of the case to try and rule out a short then it really only leaves the CPU I guess, but see if any of the others have any experience with CPU's gone bad before spending money, but if you do have a spare then it wouldn't hurt to test it, sorry I can't say more, hope you get it sorted though.

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Was windows just recently reinstalled on this machine? Just wondering, because of a new installation, depending how old your copy of windows is, there is a known virus that occurs if you connect to the internet, WITHOUT Service Pack 2 installed. It also causes your machine to start and restart by itself. I will assume you are using Windows XP, if not, I do not have another idea for you. To fix this, just get on a computer that works, and is connected to the internet, download Service pack 2, direct from microsoft. Burn the downloaded .exe file to CD or DVD. Then disconnect the computer your having trouble with, from the internet, reinstall windows, WITHOUT connecting to the internet, install Service pack 2 from your CD or DVD. All should be well, good luck.

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It cannot be a memory virus since I changed the motherboard and memory.

It doesn't have anything to do with Windows. I ran the system with only a stick of memory, the CPU, the keyboard and mouse (No HHD, no FDD, no CDROM)

I was able to go as far as the BIOS and then it shutdown then restarted by itself ...it kept restarting and shutting down until I power the PSU off. :pullhair:


Next I will try another CPU...am not giving up just yet :boxing:

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i just thought of something, keep in mind of these things, the switch, the connections to the mobo, pwr sw, rst sw, i am sure those are the problem if not grounding out.


swap that switch for another, it could be stuck, sort of like a hard shutdown, when you hold that switch it takes a few seconds rite, what if its stuck or just not functioning correctly.

Edited by duanester
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the pwr sw can be switched with a metal object like a screwdriver, simply put it between both prons for a ms of time, try not to short the pcb though :lol:


if it says running with the switch plug disconnected you ruled out it being the switch.

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I still cannot believe that a crappy power button have made me work so hard. :thud:


Thanks duanester & woodro


Shorted with a jumper :shifty: it worked, and has been running for several hours now.


Now, I just need to get a new power button :)

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