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Spontaneous shutdown

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Everything Else...Otherwise Classified... » Spontaneous shutdown « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   

I dont know if this is hardware or software related.
I have a friend's Compaq Presario 1500 laptop that is about a year old, running XP Home. About a month ago it started crashing spontaneously every now and then, meaning sudden shut off of all power (no blue screens or error msgs to give me a hint, no freezes either, just wham, OFF.)
If I run a scan such as McAfee antivirus, or Spybot, it always crashes like this within a minute. The owner of the laptop says he thinks if he doesnt do anything at all, just leaves it on, that within a couple hours it crashes (but I'm not sure if thats just because Hibernate was enabled and he didnt know the difference.)
What I have done so far:
Stopped some unnecessary services and stopped many loaded programs running in memory (to take a load off the processor) and still got the same crash response when running McAfee or Spybot. Reinstalled Spybot and updated it manually, tried running again - same crash response. (Spybot had gotten rid of some spyware previously a long time before this started happening, however the user never updated it, so I know it has some spyware on it now.)
Found the hard drive badly fragmented so ran thorough Scandisk, then ran Defrag, which took two hours but finally fully defragged it. Got rid of all temp files and cookies manually, cleaned up Startup via Msconfig so that only McAfee is loading now, and now only necessary services are loading. Disabled Hibernate and power shutoff settings so that everything should be Always On. Still get the same crash response when I run Spybot or McAfee. Ran Scandisk again, still got the same response.
Tried running the Symanetec Security Scan from their website, that also crashed it.
One thing I noticed: the system does NOT crash when I run Scandisk or Defrag, arguably just as processor/memory-intensive as running AV or Spybot. So can this be bad memory? Bad hard disk controller perhaps? The only time I see it crash is when I run either an Antivirus scan, or a Spybot scan.
When I run Windows Update, it has no problems... installs and reboots normally. All updates have been applied. McAfee scan engine as well as virus definitions have been updated. Of course my friend says that he hasnt done any changes, such as install new software, etc and has no idea what could be causing this sudden problem. It "just started doing it."
Event viewer shows (I cleared before I started, to make sure I was seeing only relevant info): Application log: no problems Security log: Lots of Success Audits every few seconds, with a Failure Audit of Policy Change Event 615 every ten minutes or so - this is weird because I dont usually see so many records; remember I cleared these logs before I started System log: Error Service Control Manager Event 7023 every ten minutes or so, among a whole lot of Service Control Manager entries that are fine.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance.
Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - 11:22 pm:   

HMMM, Mcafee and Spybot result in a shutdown when run with lots of audits. Sounds like virus activity to me. First thing to do is boot up in safe mode and log in as administrator.
Next disable system restore then reboot again in safe mode to flush system restore cache. Run msconfig in safe mode and check for any suspicious entrys such as Kazaa and turn them off. Reboot normally and do an online virus scan at Symantec or Trend Micro. Clean up what ever it finds. You may have to reboot again. Than re enable system restore.
Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2004 - 6:14 pm:   

E.S. As you can see from my post I already investigated suspicious services (I use pstools run off a CD as well as Windows configurations)and turned off anything else loading. This crash is not acting like a virus, anyway. A virus is usually fairly easy to identify. And anyway, since my last post I have gotten one Symantec online scan to finish, with no viruses found.
Also since then I have run Memtest (3.0) to see if I could get any info on the RAM installed, and it crashed during that as well. (Also tried 2.9 but same result.) The only time it crashes is when running processor-intensive scans. So, I know its nothing to do with the OS now - it must be processor /heat /memory /battery
/somehow-hardware-related. Any other suggestions?
Posted on Friday, February 6, 2004 - 8:45 pm:   

Sorry about that, should have reread the original post, heres a novel approach to an age old problem if its heat related, get a fan and have the air blowing in toward the rear or side, which ever way the air passes through. It works on PC's with the side cover off when heat might be an issue.
Normally a battery won't cause a system to crash it will simply shut down as your problem seems to be.
If the battery is failing than at high cpu load it can't handle the current demands. Most laptops have some pre warning when a battery runs low, if the battery has a weak or dieing cell the pre warning is useless because there isn't enough power to keep the laptop turned on.

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