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Diagnosing computer crashes

beero1000

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Help me diagnose my desktop crashes.

I have been having intermittent computer crashes for a little while now. No errors, no blue screen, nothing in the logs, etc. The computer just goes dark and then cycles back on. This has persisted across fresh installs of two different OSs (Windows 7 and Ubuntu), so I'm assuming it's a hardware issue.

Time between crashes varies from a few minutes to a few days, and seem to happen when I'm actively using the computer. I don't think it's happened while the computer has been idling. I can make it much more likely (although not guaranteed) by stressing the CPU to 100% for 60 seconds.

Running memtest for 18+ hours yielded no errors.
System Testing - passes all relevant tests.

I'm leaning towards replacing the power supply.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Power supply or cooling. Both of them have deadman switches that will insta-kill the system if they go out of bounds.
 

beero1000

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My guess was power supply. I figured I'd get another opinion before I tried replacing it.
 

Kharakov

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My guess was power supply. I figured I'd get another opinion before I tried replacing it.

Symptoms match a power supply issue that I had in the past... replaced it, and stuff worked.
 

beero1000

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On the bright side, the power supply is still under warranty so I opened a ticket with the manufacturer. Waiting to hear back if I should RMA.
 

ZiprHead

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Before you replace the power supply, take a quick look at the capacitors near where the power supply connects to the motherboard. They look like little tin cans. If any of them looks a little "bloated" or leaky, your mobo is going bad. A new power supply would be a waste of money if so. Cheap diagnostic trick.
 

Berhuny

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I had a similar problem and it ended up being what in my mind was the most unlikely culprit. I replaced the power strip / surge protector and that solved the problem.

Edit: just to be clear, my hardware problem was not anything with my PC but with the power strip that plugs into the wall.
 
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ZiprHead

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When that light on the surge protector starts flashing, it's time to be replaced. That's telling you the internal thyristor has given up it's life to save your computer.

Make sure to give it a proper burial.
 
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