Computer Shuts Off Randomly

by on September 21, 2007

Q: I have a computer running Windows XP and sometimes it just shuts itself off. When I restart it the system gives me the system was shut down improperly message. Any idea on how I can stop the computer from just shutting off on it’s own?

A: Before delving into the possible hardware issues that can cause your PC to shut itself off, do as much PC maintenance as you can. Run Windows Update, defrag your PC, run Disk Cleanup, and run anti-virus and anti-spyware applications. Clean as much unnecessary information from your PC as possible and make sure that Windows is running without any problems by uninstalling rarely used and questionable software.

One of the most common causes of a computer shutting off is overheating. You should check your PC to make sure that the fans are not obstructed and that they are evacuating enough hot air from your PC case. You should check the fans on the case, the fan on your PCs power supply, and the fan on the CPU. If they are all spinning without obstruction and are clean (you may need to clean them), leave the cover of your case off for a while with the PC running to see if it continues to shut off at random. If it doesn’t shut off with the case open, you may consider adding additional fans to your case if it can accommodate them to move more air through your case when the cover is on.

If your PC continues to shut off at random, there could be problems with your motherboard or power supply. Contact the PCs manufacturer for additional help diagnosing the PC. They may have additional troubleshooting steps to walk you through that are specific to that PC, or they could have information on known problems with your PC model. If your PC needs to be diagnosed further by a professional, the Manufacturer’s technical support department may be able to refer you to a local repair technician to assist you further.