System crashing, but only when I'm not in the room.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
It's weird I know. I can play Oblivion for hours on end, I can chat all day long. But I go out for a half hour or so, come back and I got this "PC Self Check" thing up on my monitor. I power on and its back up and running as normal. Usually I'd say I had bad ram, well Memtest86 ran for 8 hours and never found a single error. All my connections are seated, my HD's are a little hot but I've got a fan on them for now and my new coolers should be here Monday. I've ran defrags (with diskeeper) and chkdsk and have found no errors. The Error Log shows nothing out of the ordinary. The only software I thought might be an issue is Dr Divx, its crashed twice while encoding but the system has crashed many more times while NOT doing anything. I'm really out of options here, could the cpu be overheating maybe? If so how do I check. Another thing is sometimes when I boot I get a messages telling me my DRAM is timed to tightly. However its using default settings and I've even gone so far as to move all the timeings as loose as possible. Any other ideas out there?


Part of a System
no ideas, but i bought a new p4 system that did the same thing, i was getting piss and gave it to my bro for free, and of course that thing worked great for him, and he didnt do anythign to it. It never truned off, just some werid stuff.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
It just crashed again while I was in the shower. I think the cpu is overheating, I can see some dirt on the heatsink. I'll have to get a can of air and do some spring cleaning.


The One and Only
bouncingsoul: if it powered off while you were in the shower.... then i HIGHLY doubt it shut down due to overheating. if it was due to that, it'd shut down when you start playing a game. you sure that your computer isn't set up to go into hibernate or sleep or somethin after a short amount of time not being used? maybe it just flat out shuts itself down due to some problem with hibernate/sleep?

don't we all hate that "my computer hates me" type of feeling?


My Yngy is My HoneY!
Why dont you, leave your pc not used for 30mins, eat some potato chips or something and watch your pc in that time. Im sure it cant see you :/. maybe it has something to do with power saving feature or a screensaver turns on or your hard drive turns off. i dunno just my 2cents.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
It's got to be heat. My hibernate stuff was all off, when it shuts down its goes all the way down. No fans spinning, no led's, nothing. Today I flipped it on and it was going incredibly slow. I decided I'd clean the heat sink out and see if that fixes anything. I removed the fan and heatsink, pulled up and out came the processor along with it!! I put thermal paste on when I put it together late last year, but I guess it wasn't enough if the CPU fused to the heatsink. I haven't tried putting it back together yet but, does anyone want to venture a guess on whether or not my system is not COMPLETELY dead?


The One and Only
well..... usually the CPU coming off with the heatsink is seen as a rather bad thing.... not for the fact of the cpu being stuck to it, but from it being pulled forcefully out of the socket. when you took the heatsink off, did you try to kinda twist the heatsink a bit first, or did you just unlatch it and pull? if you just pulled, there could have been enough of an adhesion (think i got that word right...... basically the heatsink was still stuck to the CPU) that it yanked the cpu out with it, possibly damaging the pins. if the CPU actually FUSED to the heatsink.... i'm pretty sure that your computer wouldn't have even turned on for quite some time.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
I pulled straight up. It wasn't loads of force and I didn't hear a snap or anything. I'm still really hopeful that I can clean everything up, reseat it and be good to go. I guess I'll know in an hour or so, after I get my can-o-air.


OSNN Senior Addict
It should be fine. I've had my CPU ( a P4 and AMD64 ) come out with my heat sink and it never caused a problem. Even so it's not good for the chip or the mobo so I try to avoid removing them. Normally the CPU just gets stuck to the heatsink because of the thermal paste.

As for heat, I really doubt that is your issue. Your system is going to run its hottest while you do something GPU/CPU intensive (like play games). If games don't shut it off from heat, letting it sit idle will not either.

Are you using any strange screensavers? Anything that kicks in after a certain amount of idle time could cause this to happen. Be sure to check all your power options by going to Start / Control Panel / Power Options, and make sure you set everything ot never shut off (if that's what you want).


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Cleaned, reseated and working like a charm. So far. I know there was one slightly bent pin, I straightened it and its working. I don't know if that will cause problems in the future or not.

kcnychief: my bios shows a cpu temp of 43 to 45 C, a system temp of 28 C and fan RPM of 2636. Are those good or bad?
what type of CPU you running? different CPU's have different idle temps.... some higher, some lower. my A64 3700+ runs at about 30C.

P.S. might want to edit your signature, and put your system specs in it. comes in handy when you have a problem such as this, then we have an easy way of getting the info, instead of asking and waiting for a reply. just a bit of advice.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
This thing is playing Oblivion like a charm all of a sudden. I mean load times are quick, there is no choppiness when I move. I'm shocked! But in a good way!


OSNN Veteran Addict
The temps are ok for a 3.4 gig prescott (they run hot).

Pulled the chip out of the socket? Was the locking lever on the socket all the way down and latched? If not that would explain why it came out and possibly the unexplained shutdowns.

My money is on an energy saver feature you don't know is set. Heat problems will get you gaming, not showering.

Some Pentiums have some newer energy saver features that reduce CPU clock speed. That could be acting up. Go through all the pages in your bios and in the windows properties page and make sure there is no "shut down" when idle set.

Most likely something is "helping you out" by turning off your PC when it thinks it is idle. The fun will be finding it.

If you can straighten a bent pin without it breaking off it should last forever. Just try not to rip it out of the socket again. ;)
yeah..... what Lee said..... bent pins can really suck sometimes though. one person from the one company at the MarketPro Computer Show had someone walk up to him with a CPU.... and at least half of the CPU had bent pins. he was sittin there with a utility knife trying as carefully as possible to bend them all back.

Yep, pretty much any P4 runs pretty hot, Prescott's especially. check for something that's set to power down on idle. seems like the more likely cause.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Well it ran all day yesterday. I played games and I did my divx encoding, all with no shutdowns. I still can't be certain it was heat but I do know that it's working now. Can't argue with results I guess. Thanks for all the advice.


OSNN Dino Addcit
looks like a standby problem. I suggest you go to power options from the control panel and disable standby. It could work, you may wanna disable the screen saver as well for testing.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Slimfady said:
looks like a standby problem. I suggest you go to power options from the control panel and disable standby. It could work, you may wanna disable the screen saver as well for testing.
Already done. I even checked the power settings in the bios. There is nothing in there to suggest a problem either.

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