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I have no OS installed, and I am trying to use a linux boot disc. However it is not a linux problem....if I just leave the computer on at the no operating system found message, it still turns off.

I thought maybe it was overheating, but I am 90% sure that is not the problem.

What else could cause this?

I should have mentioned, it's a laptop.

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You say you are 90% sure it is not overheating so you have probably already left it in BIOS at the temperature screen until it shuts down. Can we presume the temperature has leveled out well before shutdown? – Mike Fitzpatrick May 3 '10 at 6:11
90% isn't that high when it comes to confidence regarding a failure of this magnitude. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 3 '10 at 6:33
I am 99% sure it is not overheating. It is not getting hot, the fan does not turn on like it normally does if it gets to hot, and the room temperature is very cold. – Jack May 3 '10 at 11:32
If the fan doesn't seem to be turning on, maybe the fan is stuck. That would certainly explain what you're seeing. – Fake Name May 9 '10 at 11:39

Power supply failure? Damaged motherboard? Does the PC speaker produce any (and what) sounds when you turn it on?

Try to replace the power supply. Check your motherboard for swollen or leaked capacitors.

Also try booting with a very base set of devices, to see if any of them is problematic. Disconnect the hard drive, remove all RAM banks except 1, unneeded PCI cards, etc.

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+1 for the simplest yet best troubleshot advice. – dag729 May 3 '10 at 10:26
Ugh, I just read it is about a laptop. You will have some difficulties disconnecting hardware or replacing the power supply. However the least you can do is to open it and look for traces of physical damage - burns, disconnected tracks between the electronic components, non-healthy looking capacitors... – Ivan Petrushev May 3 '10 at 14:44

Try to take a look at your PSU: just four days ago I faced the same behaviour, and the cause was a melted PSU.

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Are you having it power off while it's plugged into power only, or does it happen both on AC and battery power, or only when on battery? This could help determine if the battery just isn't holding a decent charge.

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yup, plugged in with or without batter, and just with battery, it always happens – Jack May 10 '10 at 2:29

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