Question PC restarts itself seemingly at random

Cheeky_Chris

Distinguished
Nov 19, 2013
109
0
18,680
0
Hey everyone,

Kind of at the end of my tether here and hoping that I may be able to get some help. Warning that this is going to be long but I'm hoping someone with more expertise than me will be able to point me in the right direction here.

To start, let me list my specifications.
i7 4770k
Asus Sabertooth Z87
16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum
EVGA RTX 2060 Super
NZXT C650

I know many of my PC components are old first off, but hear me out.

About 4-5 months ago I started having some really random problems with my PC shutting off, usually during games. It would randomly shut off and then restart, as if someone had ripped the cord out. No errors, except the occasional ‘windows didn’t shut down correctly last time’ type of message. No biggie, it could be that it's overheating I thought. So ran some stress tests and CPU temps were never above 65°C in prime 95 and GPU temps were never above 70°C in various tests, furmark and unigine etc , so I thought it can’t be overheating. Most importantly, it didn't shut off at all during any of these stress tests.

Fine, maybe it’s the PSU I thought. This system is from late 2013 so wouldn’t surprise me if the PSU was on its way out. So I swapped my corsair 750w PSU for the NZXT one. Exactly the same issue happened again. Right, well maybe it’s the ram, so I downloaded and ran MemTest86+. The first time I ran it I stepped away and came back to it about 30 mins later with all the screens off but my CPU fan at max RPM, while all other fans were off.

Okay so must be the ram then, but I’ll run the test again, just to make sure. Ran the second time without any issue. 3 hours later all my ram had passed the stress test.

So lastly, I have installed a fresh version of windows, not removing all of my files, but I manually removed most of the clutter and reinstalled. Nope still having the same issues.

The really weird, and very annoying part of it is that I can’t replicate it on demand. Sometimes I can play for 10 hours over the course of a week and have absolutely no issues, or like earlier where I booted up Forza Horizon 5 and within 20 mins it had restarted and the CPU fan was at max rpm just like when I ran the first memory test. Sometimes it will do it in a game and a couple of weeks back for example it restarted and before I could even unlock my pc it restarted again.

Sometimes it will restart and then I will boot up a game and it does it again 5 mins later, sometimes it will restart and I can boot up and play something for the rest of the evening. My wife has also had it happen to her while using Revit.

I go into event viewer and all it tells me is that ‘Windows shut down unexpectedly’, so I’ve no idea what is causing it. It doesn’t seem to show any events for about 20 mins before the shut down happens either.

The only other thing I can think off is that I added a Samsung 1tb SSD back in November of 2021, around the time it started doing this weird random shut down thing. I’ve tried it on games loading from that SSD and a different SSD but the problem is still the same. I will try and unplug it and see if that is the issue somehow, but as I've mentioned it could be a week before it shuts down again or it could do it in 5 minutes. I'm also going to update the BIOS thought haven't done that in at least 4 years I reckon, so weird it's started doing it now.

I would just replace the older components in my PC, but the problem is at the moment I’m perfectly happy with how they are performing. It’s proved that it can go for a long time without having a panic and randomly restarting, as it’s been doing that on the above hardware, with a different PSU, for at least the past 2 years. If I can narrow it down to one component or one thing at least I can deal with it, but I can’t!

Any advice welcome!
 

AJNameS

Respectable
Apr 5, 2020
548
94
2,490
102
Checking out the motherboard is a tricky-headache story, that 'd cost cash and work to try. Still, putting a cheap H81/B85 motherboard is an option.
Removing every single type of overclock of the system and going with factory sets instead can happen to eliminate the problem. Another idea is to disable intel turbo boost via bios, I guess downclocking wouldn't do better. Who knows, the cpu might be doing trouble there. Reordering the ram sticks, change CMOS battery, reset bios via the jumper... These things might not be the (main) reason, but might happen to magically solve things.
Another, are you running windows 10 or different OS?
What games crash the system? Just Forza Horizon, or more and what ones?
Is it completely sure that it isn't the electro (currency) randomly happening to stop?
When you open the case and do some screwdriver-story, is it clear that there is no metal or something not being on the right place there, including under the motherboard?
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
corsair 750w PSU
Corsair is the brand of the unit, while 750W is the advertised wattage of said unit. Can you state what the model of the unit is?

NZXT C650
How old is the unit in your build?

So lastly, I have installed a fresh version of windows, not removing all of my files, but I manually removed most of the clutter and reinstalled.
That's known as a reset, which is not the same as an OS reinstall. Also, where did you source the installer for said OS?

About 4-5 months ago I started having some really random problems with my PC shutting off, usually during games.
that's a sign that the PSU is incapable of delivering power to the entire system when said system is taxed or you're suffering from an overheating issue.

Did you manually install all relevant drivers for your platform in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator?

Might want to see if your power delivery on the CPU side looks off, like blown or swollen caps, or perhaps fluid leaking and leeching into the motherboard PCB around said area.
 

Cheeky_Chris

Distinguished
Nov 19, 2013
109
0
18,680
0
corsair 750w PSU
Corsair is the brand of the unit, while 750W is the advertised wattage of said unit. Can you state what the model of the unit is?

NZXT C650
How old is the unit in your build?

So lastly, I have installed a fresh version of windows, not removing all of my files, but I manually removed most of the clutter and reinstalled.
That's known as a reset, which is not the same as an OS reinstall. Also, where did you source the installer for said OS?

About 4-5 months ago I started having some really random problems with my PC shutting off, usually during games.
that's a sign that the PSU is incapable of delivering power to the entire system when said system is taxed or you're suffering from an overheating issue.

Did you manually install all relevant drivers for your platform in an elevated command, i.e, Right click installer>Run as Administrator?

Might want to see if your power delivery on the CPU side looks off, like blown or swollen caps, or perhaps fluid leaking and leeching into the motherboard PCB around said area.
The C650 is brand new since about January, I installed it to try and fix the restarts.

The drivers I didn't install run as administrators, so will try that next for sure!

As for the motherboard, I'll have it apart and have a look. Might be worth taking it apart and putting back together anyway.

Super odd thing that I have noticed is that running games without the side panel seems not to have it restart so far (case is a Fractal Design Define R4), I've only had it off for a few hours gameplay at most so will need to keep testing when I get the chance next week. Would be very perplexed if that does fix it, all the fans are running fine and CPU and GPU temps are all good, plus it's been running that way for years and the stress tests don't seem to cause it even after extended running.

Will see if refreshing the thermal paste does anything as well as I'll have it apart. I'll report back if I ever figure anything out!

Thanks :)
 

Cheeky_Chris

Distinguished
Nov 19, 2013
109
0
18,680
0
Checking out the motherboard is a tricky-headache story, that 'd cost cash and work to try. Still, putting a cheap H81/B85 motherboard is an option.
Removing every single type of overclock of the system and going with factory sets instead can happen to eliminate the problem. Another idea is to disable intel turbo boost via bios, I guess downclocking wouldn't do better. Who knows, the cpu might be doing trouble there. Reordering the ram sticks, change CMOS battery, reset bios via the jumper... These things might not be the (main) reason, but might happen to magically solve things.
Another, are you running windows 10 or different OS?
What games crash the system? Just Forza Horizon, or more and what ones?
Is it completely sure that it isn't the electro (currency) randomly happening to stop?
When you open the case and do some screwdriver-story, is it clear that there is no metal or something not being on the right place there, including under the motherboard?
Yeah, thought about that as well but it's never been running an overclock, on either CPU or GPU.

The RAM sticks is something I've tried, unfortunately, which didn't turn up much luck. Heard the CMOS battery could be a solution, and I guess why not to see if I can fix it cheap!

OS is Windows 10 yes!

Good question on the game front. I haven't found a game that doesn't cause a restart, running off of any of my drives. Noticed it in DCS: World, Monster Hunter Rise, Horizon 5; even Revit when my wife was using my PC for some work.

You know thinking back now the metal thing could be a really simple solution. I installed a new SSD in November 2021, roughly around the time this started to happen (tried reformatting the SSD and unplugging etc). Thought I only noticed this in about January 2021 but it's possible it could have happened before without me paying a random restart much attention. Very possible that karma is biting back here and my quick, lazy hide-it-all-behind-the-motherboard wire stuffing trick has come back to haunt me, maybe the case is shorting the motherboard?

Will open it up as soon as I can, likely next week now, and report back :)
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS