I know there are a lot of threads about this across the internet but none of them really point to a particular cause or a fix.
Over the last few weeks, with increasing frequency, my computer has been randomly shutting down at non-specific intervals, while performing low power tasks. As far as I can tell, it is not overheating.
It gives no warning, does not run shutdown scripts, it's as if I've had a powercut (I haven't).
What I've tried: I thought initially it was a problem with Windows 10 so I have done a clean install of Windows 7 on my 128GB SSD.
There was some mention of a faulty power strip causing power issues. I plugged the computer into a wall socket and had the same issue.
After doing this I had several problems, which may or may not be relevant. Windows Update did not run. It hangs for ages and ages. I left it for a while, and when I came back, the computer had once again shut down.
I also tried to install the drivers for my audio interface (a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6) and they constantly fail to install, and I have no sound. The computer will still randomly restart when watching a youtube video, unzipping a .RAR, installing software, and others. I really can't pinpoint it.
Every time it happens, I get a Kernel-Power 41 error in the Windows Event Viewer. Lots of other people have reported this problem - eg. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/46250-63-random-restarts-critical-kernel-power-event-task
The way I see it, I have some hardware which is causing this error, but I don't know which part. My main guesses are, in order of likelihood:
The PSU (a Corsair CX450M)
The USB headers. The first time this problem happened to me, I got my leg caught in a USB cable connected to the front panel and pulled it out, cleanly but sharply. The computer instantly shut down. That was a few weeks ago. After that, sometimes when my computer went into sleep mode, it wouldn't come back on when I used the keyboard or mouse. And then about a week ago I started experiencing the shutdown problem. I have to manually restart. Did I break something here?
The RAM - I've read a few places saying badly seated RAM is to blame, and to try just 1 stick (it's a pair of 4GBs)
The motherboard - something on the main board (Gigabyte GA-F2898XN-WIFI) is failing. In which case I'd most likely end up building a new machine.
The GPU - a (cheap) PowerColor R7 260. It's always worked fine.
Another thing about the USB headers. I mentioned I ripped out a cable by mistake. Could this also explain why my computer is failing to communicate with my Komplete Audio 6? Also, when I was looking to change the boot sequence in the BIOS to the (bootable) Windows 7 USB flash drive I had inserted, it didn't show in the list. I ended up having to run it from within Windows.
Can anyone offer me any guidance on this? Any similar issues?