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I built a computer for a friend about 3 years ago. A few days ago the computer crashed to bluescreen and then shut down. When booting the next time, there were artefacts all over the screen. The computer would boot into Windows and then crash again after about 30 seconds. This was an obvious graphics card issue I thought, so we got a new card (GTX 660) and popped it in.

Everything was looking good, the computer booted into Windows, but it still shuts down after about 30 seconds. No bluescreen, beeps, artefacts, or diagnostics information at all, just a shutdown. This made me believe that the PSU (Corsair 520w) couldn't handle the graphics card. The recommended wattage for this GTX 660 is 450w.

We ended up buying a new PSU (Corsair 600w bronze certified). This PSU should handle a system with a GTX 660, a Intel Quad 6600, one optical drive, one hard drive easily. Yet we get the exact same shutdown after about 30 seconds in Windows.

I have tried booting into safe-mode to remove old graphics drivers with Driver Sweeper, but it still shuts down after a while. So I don't think the drivers are the problem.

This is driving me nuts. The next component to switch could be the motherboard, and that means we might aswell get a new CPU when all we wanted was to replace a faulty graphics card. I don't know what else to check. Since I can't find any diagnostics information, it just feels like fumbling in the dark. Any ideas?

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If Windows actually shuts down, check the Event Log for the reason. –  Oliver Salzburg Mar 2 '13 at 12:46
    
It doesn't shut down the proper way (Windows is shutting down..). It just turns off like it would if you switched the power off. –  nctrnl Mar 2 '13 at 12:58
    
Just for added spec detail, what motherboard is being used and did the owner overclock any segments of the system? –  Carl B Mar 2 '13 at 13:33
    
Don't know the model of the motherboard but I will check. No overclocking or similar advanced tweaking has been done. –  nctrnl Mar 2 '13 at 14:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

These symptoms usually go with a thermal shutdown due to a loose or improperly installed heat sink on the CPU. Modern CPUs automatically shutdown if they get too hot to protect themselves against damage. If pressing the heat sink down to make sure it's not loose doesn't fix the problem, I'd pull it off and redo the thermal paste.

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Turns out my friend had tampered with the heatsink and not attached it correctly. –  nctrnl Mar 4 '13 at 20:37
  1. Did you check CPU and other component temperatures in BIOS, maybe overheated component force windows to shutdown.

  2. Always check for viruses of computer.

  3. Did you try new windows installation?

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1. Actually haven't checked the temperatures yet, but I have felt the air from all of the fans (PSU fan, CPU fan, graphics card fan, fan on the back of the case, + there is a top fan that blows air into the case) and it's ice cold. 2. Haven't done that yet. 3. Nope. Really don't want to reinstall Windows yet, and feels somewhat risky to add another hard drive to boot from in case the motherboard is faulty and ruins it with a power surge or something. I will take this step into consideration but I want to do some easier troubleshooting first. –  nctrnl Mar 2 '13 at 13:01
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maybe your CPU heat sink is not installed well, so CPU going to overheated and ..... –  Kaveh Mar 2 '13 at 13:04

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