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Here is a sequence of events:

  1. My hard drive recently died and I have been slowly re-installing all of my programs / drivers.

  2. I installed the Realtek sound drivers from Gigabyte's website.

  3. I noticed that my MSI afterburner wasn't letting me change the settings on one of my graphics cards. Normally I OC the core of my 2 6950s to 950mhz with 1250 voltage and 310mhz memory. The system is watercooled.

    I thought to myself that I should re-install afterburner, and attempted to do so. I went to 'uninstall or change a program' and click uninstall on afterburner.

    Immediately the system shut down.

  4. Upon restart, the computer got to the log-in screen and shut down.

  5. Upon second restart, a stuck red pixel appeared in the center of my monitor (weird) - and has since disappeared.

    It allowed Windows to load; after 2 minutes of being on the desktop it shut down again.

Does anyone have any idea how to diagnose this? I really hate to have to load from a 2-day old backup, format again, or do system recovery.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Ok the problem was that my water pump for my graphics cards was overheating (it was seated atop the radiator)

I moved it, and now windows is no-longer shutting down on its own.

The problem with afterburned showing 0mhz on my one card is still present, but I will make a new question for that...

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Overheating elements are almost always the reason for immediate shutdowns. You won't even get a blue screen, it's the moderboard doing the shutting down. – TFM Aug 18 '11 at 3:38
Good to know, now I won't be as worried about going away on a vacation. It did a full shut-down, and not a restart. Which I think is much better so that it doesn't get stuck in a loop – Alex Waters Aug 18 '11 at 3:57

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