My system shuts down intermittently.
Before you begin
The internal components of the computer are sensitive to ESD (electro static discharge). Damage to the motherboard, memory modules, and peripheral cards can occur if these parts are exposed to ESD. If you are familiar with and have a grounding strap, use it while handling any internal components. If you do not have a grounding strap, it is a good idea to touch the system case anywhere on the bare metal prior to disconnecting the power cord.
Tasks to complete
- Make sure the power cord is securely connected. Make sure the power cord is firmly connected to the system and the wall outlet. Remove any existing extension cords between the system and the wall outlet until the cause of the problem is discovered.
When power cords are left in high traffic areas or placed in a location where they are frequently moved or kicked, they can become loose over time. Extension cords can also introduce poor or inconsistent connectivity because of loose or worn connectors. You should not use extension cords of excessive length.
- Remove or replace any surge protectors. Remove any surge protectors between the system and the wall outlet. Disconnect them only for the purpose of troubleshooting this problem. Plug the system directly into a known good wall outlet. A lamp or hair dryer can be plugged into the wall outlet to verify it is working.
Over time, surge protectors can develop poor connections and introduce a potential for inconsistent power between the wall outlet and the system. Some surge protectors have fuses that must be reset in the event of a surge in power consumption. This could indicate there are too many devices connected to the surge protector with the power limit for the surge protector exceeded. If the surge protector has a fuse and resetting it solves the problem, disconnect some of the devices connected to the surge protector. Make sure the wall outlet is not connected to a wall switch where power can be turned off inadvertently.
Important: Once the problem has been resolved; replace the surge protector if it was found to be the cause of the problem or reconnect it if something else was found to be the problem. Always use a quality surge protector in new or very good condition between the system and the wall outlet. Do not daisy chain or connect one surge protector to another.
- Inspect and clean system airways. Turn the system off and disconnect the power cord. Position the system so that it cannot fall and the inside can be accessed easily. Remove the cover and inspect the inside of the system. Make sure there are no cables restraining the internal fans keeping them from spinning freely. Also, insure that the internal cables are not obstructing air flow near the CPU heat sink or near the rear chassis fan if present. Inspect the heat sink itself. Make sure it is not plugged with dust or debris. Connect the power cord and turn the system on. Inspect all the internal fans and the power supply fan to ensure they are spinning normally. If the system heat sinks or internal airways are plugged with debris, make sure the system is off and use a vacuum to carefully remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the inside of the system. Inspect the power supply air exhaust on the rear of the system. If it seems to have an excessive amount of dust or debris, use a vacuum and attempt to remove it. A can of compressed air can also be used to blow debris out of tight areas like the processor heatsink or the inside of the power supply.
Important: Never open the power supply. Serious electrical shock can result.
Over a period of time nearly all systems collect dust and debris around the CPU heat sink and internal air ways. If a vacuum or a can of compressed air is used to clean the system, make sure the fans are not allowed to spin freely when air or vacuum is applied. Damage to the fan bearings can occur if the fan's RPM (revolutions per minute) rating is exceeded. Be sure not to accidentally disconnect any internal cables when cleaning the system or re-positioning cables out of the airways. If an internal fan is not working, arrange replacement parts or service.
- Turn off power management features. If the system seems to be shutting down when left idle in the operating system, disable the power management settings to ensure they are not the cause of the problem.
Make sure the system has not inadvertently been set to hibernate or shut down after a certain period of time. Disable these settings to ensure this is not the problem.
- Disconnect and remove unnecessary devices. Disconnect and remove all unnecessary devices from the system. Remove all external hardware connected to the system. Remove all peripheral cards and disconnect all drives internal and external that are not necessary to boot the system to the point where it fails.
Removing as many devices both internally and externally will help narrow down the cause of the problem. If all possible devices are removed and the system is still failing, focus can be placed on the remaining hardware and devices still in the system.
If these procedures do not solve the intermittent shut down problem, a component could have an electrical or thermal problem inducing the shut downs. Disconnect and remove as many internal and external devices as possible. Remove any suspect software that may have recently been loaded. It is important to remove as many variables as possible to narrow the focus and find the root cause of the problem. If the system is still shutting down intermittently and as many variables have been removed as possible, the next step could be reloading the system.
If following the above procedures did not resolve your problem, please contact Gateway through one of
the following methods: