Why does my mom's computer keep randomly shutting down?

Um my mom's computer like randomly shuts down. We bought it in august 2004, and it's about 2.5 years old, and it's a Gateway running Windows XP home. The electrical in my mom's room is kind of crap, and sometimes it seems that's the problem even though her room doesn't get a power surge every 3-5 minutes. We took it in to best buy and Geek Squad couldn't do squat to resolve the problem. They say "they couldn't duplicate the problem." even though I think it's probably because they're saying that because they don't want to honor their own extended warranty. Apparently be$t buy has a history of bad customer service. I did a google search and it turned up customer complaints from 10-15 years ago. anyway so it keeps shutting down randomly, geek squad reinstalled windows, but it still didn't work...never again is a geek squad agent touching my mom's computer.

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It could be a cooling problem.

    Make sure the fan is running and the air intake slots aren't blocked. They should have at least an inch or two clearance from any obstruction.

    Also, if the CPU sits next to a window where the sun beats on it it can overheat.

    If the machine gets too hot it will automatically shut itself off without warning to keep it from burning itself up. Mine used to do that before I figured out what the problem was.

  • Mike
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Probably heat related. Check the air flow, and check for dust bunnies. If found, get rid of them. They are evil. If you are comfortable, test the output on the power supply with a meter. If your PSU is serving up dirty (or bad) voltage, you will have problems.

    If you think it's the electrical in the room, try using it somewhere else, even another house for a while, and see if the problem persists.

    Also check the event viewer for any errors that may help lead to the reason. If it is not heat related and it is a program or service, the event viewer is where you will find it. Get to it by:

    Right click My computer


    Event Viewer

    Focus on the System and Application logs. Look for the Warnings(yellow) and Error(red) logs, note the time to see if it coincides with when the PC shutdown on its own or rebooted on its own.

    I've fixed many a problems troubleshooting with the event viewer.

    Good Luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Well,the problem,you stated above is the usual virus stuff.....

    first of all,try running an anti virus scan in your pc.....

    if you are not able to complete it,and the system shuts down,

    check out the power supply....

    ANd in case you dont have a UPS,Get one!!!

    If you have a UPS, give it for a service to the original manufacturer.......

    any more problem,

    feel free to mail me



  • 1 decade ago

    Use a surge protector. Might wanna look into a new Power Supply Unit. It appears its dieing out.

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  • Marc G
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Try replacing the power supply box with a brand new one. Usually, these are the first components of the computer as it ages.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    why? cuz you broke it!

    Just kidding.

    Seriously - Gateway computers are CRAP. Best Buy is a sham. It sounds like the power supply is getting ready to die - you can get one for under $40.

  • 1 decade ago

    Could be the power source is going out.

  • 1 decade ago

    Loose power cord most likely

  • 1 decade ago

    Did you try changing the system battery? Your card will have a digital clock-like battery that might need changing.

  • 1 decade ago

    it is possible that your mom's room electrical is bad or you have a virus.

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