Why does my PC shut down when I play games or access certain web pages?

Question

My computer keeps turning itself off. It gives no warning, it just turns off. When I'm doing nothing but surfing the web or using art programs or chatting, it will usually stay on 7-12 hours. Sometimes it stays on longer or for a couple days. However, when I start playing games, it will barely last 15-30 minutes. I don't mean games like Doom 3, I mean any games. Even flash games seem to turn it off after a few tries. I first noticed this when I installed The Sims. It would allow about half an hour of play if I let it stay off for about half an hour in between plays. Now I've started playing Ragnarok online, and it will only last 5 minutes tops. The problem first started after I cleaned the blaster worm off my computer. I know I deleted the virus, so I know that's not it. Some body please help, it won't even let me play flash games for very long! The problem seems to be getting worse instead of better, even if I let it stay off for a while. Once I left my PC off the whole weekend, hoping it would help, but it still only let me play The Sims for an hour. I have plenty of memory, I've deleted almost all my files. I haven't got the power supply setting on a time limit either. Plase help!

Answer

This question was answered on September 20, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Your problem could be a couple of things, it can be either your power supply, your CPU, your

RAM or just drivers for your video card.

Well, if your power supply does not provide enough power to the PC it is possible that the

computer will shut down when you play certain games. If you do need to replace your power

supply it would be wise that you get a very powerful one, even if your system doesnt need the

additional wattage. Usually anything 400W and up should be sufficient to keep a system running

smoothly. There are ways for you to test your power supply, but they arent very practicle, you

would need a DigitalMultiMeter or an AalougeMultiMeter. Or if you are tech savvy you can

attempt to test your power supply by following the advice on this web page:

>http://www.duxcw.com/dcforum/DCForumID3/447.html</p>

If you access the BIOS on your PC you can check under the power settings to see if the

computer is set up to shut down once the CPU reaches a dangerously high temperature. Most

new computers have this setting enable in the BIOS. Usually when the CPU begins to overheat

the computer will make a series of beeps (repeating high and low beeps). If that is the case then

it is possible that your CPU is overheating. What you can do to fix that is to purchase some

thermal compound and a more powerful heatsink fan. You must remove the current heat sink

fom your CPU and place a small amount of the thermal compund (about the size of a pea)

directly onto the CPU, then re-seat the new heatsink normally.

An easy way to test your RAM would be to simply replace it with RAM that you know is

working to see if you still have problems. Or you can try MemTest86+ it is a RAM checking

utility that you can download from here:

>http://www.memtest.org/</p>

The last remedy would be for you to go to your video cards website and download the latest

drivers for your card. This tends to be the easiest remedy, but as I mentioned it can be a

number of things. Good luck!

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Author

Posted by sean of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on September 20, 2004