My PC is a Hi-Grade Xperian all-in-one home entertainment system. It's really compact and there isn't a separate computer tower (like most other PCs), so stuff like hard drive and speakers are all built in. Here's a pic and product description:
And here's some info about my system:
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 1
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz @ 2790MHz
Available/total RAM: 186/511MB
Available/total HDD space: 26/111GB (C drive)
My computer was bought in January 2004, so I've had it for more than 2 years now. It's always been working nicely until March this year, when my PC started shutting itself down at random. At first, it only happened sporadically, but now it shuts down whenever I use certain programs, like the following:
- Albatross18 - Online mmorpg golf game, probably graphic-intense and takes up a lot of RAM.
- iTunes - PC is fine if I just listen to music on it. If I use iTunes to rip a CD, it tends to shut down halfway through.
- Photoshop - Shuts down most often when it's actively used, like when I'm zooming in on a picture or using any of the tools, like the Polygon Lasso tool.
- Corel Painter 9 - PC will shut down anytime while I'm in this program, as often as it does when I use Photoshop.
- Ahead Nero/Windows Burning Wizard - PC shuts down every now and then when I'm burning things onto CDs.
The frequency of these shut-downs varies, but from observation:
- Albatross18 will almost always cause my PC to shut down, usually about 1-2 minutes after the program has started.
- iTunes can rip about 4-5 tracks off a CD smoothly before PC shuts itself down.
- I can run Photoshop and Corel Painter and zoom in on things for around 15-20 minutes before a shut-down. The interval
- Out of 4 burning sessions, I can expect my PC to shut down during 2 of them (I've wasted quite a few blank CDs because
I use Photoshop and Painter the most, so on a daily basis, I can expect my PC to turn itself off 5-10 times.
If my PC shuts down, I usually wait about 30 seconds to 1 minute before restarting it, then Windows will start up fine. Sometimes if I go for the power-on button too quickly, the machine will run until it gets to the Windows XP welcome screen then turn itself off again, so I have to wait a big longer before I restart. Other times, I get a WinXP error screen that tells me Windows has shut down unexpectedly, and I have options like going into Safe Mode, which I tend to ignore, and Windows will start as normal after the 30 second timeout.
I'm not really sure what causes it to keep shutting itself down like that, but I've asked around and I've been told an all-in-one PC like mine is prone to overheating, which I'm skeptical about because the cooling fan is working fine as far as I know and I can feel a breeze at the back of my PC, not to mention the fact that it'd be slightly odd for it to suddenly overheat when it's been problem-free for 2 years!
A friend told me that I might be low on RAM or virtual memory, but I still have 26gb free on my C drive, and my Physical Memory is decently high according to the Performance tab on Windows Task Manager. At first I thought it might be due to my low HDD capacity, but I've since freed up about 20gb and the computer still shuts itself down as always.
Another person said that it might be that I have some dust inside my machine, so I did some hoovering at the back today (outwardly, my PC is quite clean compared to some people's), and it's a weird all-in-one system so some external clean-up is all I can do as I don't know how to take it apart and clean inside. I doubt it's dust, though I'm not sure, but after cleaning it up a little, it's still been shutting itself down.
On top of that, Corel Painter keeps exiting itself whenever I save changes made to a PSD file (this has been happening since 2 days ago), not sure if this is related to the bigger problem of my PC's shut-downs.
Anyway, this is quite a nice and expensive PC, so I don't want to replace it yet as I don't think it's beyond rescue. I don't want to restore Windows to default or do any of that stuff until I've exhausted all my other options.
So.. anyone has any idea why all this is happening? Even some insight would be helpful. Thanks!