If your computer is having shutdown problems, it’s likely you will fall into one of two camps: either it shuts down without warning or it will give you the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.
Let’s take a look at what to do if your computer switches off without warning:
A common cause of this problem is heat, specifically, the computer can’t get rid of it quick enough. A number of components on the motherboard need to be kept cool and do so using heat-sinks (small or large blocks of metal with fins) and fans.
- Firstly, start your computer and check that all the fans are turning (you will need to remove the side panel to do this).
- If any don’t spin, turn the computer off and see if the offending fan is blocked or stuck. If so, try and remove any blockage or see if you can loosen the fan. Restart and look for proper operation.
- If the fan spins freely, check that the fan’s power connector is properly fitted. If it is connected and spins okay it may be that the fan itself is damaged or is not getting power. You can verify this by fitting a new fan. If it works, the problem was with the fan itself, if not, the problem likely lies with the motherboard.
If your computer starts up works for a while and then switches itself off, take a look at the heat-sinks and the blades of the cooling fans, notably the ones on the CPU (processor) and the GPU (graphics card). Over time, dust, moisture, cigarette smoke and the like clog up fans and heat-sinks and reduce their efficiency. The components heat up gradually, until reaching reaching a critical temperature at which point the system shuts down to protect itself. If you’re feeling confident, you can carefully remove the build-up with a toothpick and hoover.
If it still shuts down without warning and you are feeling especially brave you can try replacing the thermal paste on the CPU and GPU but this process is fairly fraught with danger and should only be tackled if you are extremely confident of success or have a back up computer.
If your computer displays a Blue Screen with an arcane and confusing error message, read here:
The blue screen is a sign that something has gone fatally wrong and Windows simply cannot continue or recover from it. The causes of blue screens are many and varied but the specific error message (StopCodecan be a useful tool in tracing the root of the problem. Some common error messages are listed below with their possible causes:
- Stop 0x0000000A: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL : Faulty hardware, normally RAM or faulty device driver.
- Stop 0x000000D1: DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL: Faulty device driver.
- Stop 0×00000024: NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM: Faulty hard drive.
- Stop 0×00000050: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA: Faulty RAM or other computer memory.
- Stop 0x00000019: BAD_POOL_HEADER: Faulty hard drive, device driver or RAM.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, merely some of the more common ones. If your error message isn’t listed, search online for the error code and you should turn up a few resources.These tend to fall into three categories: drivers, RAM and hard drive. If you have updated a device driver recently you may be able to uninstall the update by starting in safe mode and using Add/Remove programmes in the Control Panel. Testing RAM and hard drives is a bit more involved: Memtest86 is a popular RAM testing tool and hard drive manufacturers produce their own testing tools. Both of these can be found online.
If your PC or laptop still has a problem after following the above guide, get in touch. We are a computer repair and technical support company based in Llanberis, Gwynedd and we serve Llanberis, Caernarfon, Bangor and the surrounding areas in Gwynedd and further afield.