PC powers down suddenly

Mag - Jan 8, 2009 at 12:34 PM
 Gordon James - Jan 8, 2009 at 12:55 PM
I have an older laptop that I wanted to give my daughter. I cleaned off a lot of old programs and files, etc before I gave it to her. It is running Windows XP and was functioning OK but would suddenly power-off unexpectedly. I expected a virus so I ordered a replacement restore disk from Toshiba to reformat the drives and start from scratch. I started the restore from CD and followed the prompts. It indicated that it deleted the primary partition and was starting to reformat my drive. Then it shuts down. I have tried multiple times and each time it shuts down when attempting to reformat the drive. The laptop does seem a bit warm but the fan does run so I am not sure if its a hard rive issue, motherboard issue or if it is overheating.

If I guess its a hard drive issue and replace the drive, will my restore disc still work if the hard drive is not the same type/size as the original drive?

How would I clean the laptop to reduce the possibility of overheating?

Since this is an older laptop, I don't want to invest too much money in fixing it but I am pretty computer-literate so I am willing to try. Thanks for the help - my daughter is sad that she has not been able to use her Christmas present.

1 response

First, What OS are you tryine to set up?

I am assuming Windows 98 or Win XP where you have stated it is an older laptop.

If WIN98 and you are able to boot ot a floppy or CD
you can also do some diagnostics from floppy or CD before you spend time on multiple attempts at installing.

If XP and you plan to format the drive as NTFS, you need to be a little more selective on your diagnostics.

If you can boot from I CD there is one process I use to test hardware that you might find helpful.
Download a copy of KNOPPIX from www.knopper.net
This is an ISO file, which is an image of a bootable CD.
Burn the ISO file with your favourite burning software.
Now boot from this CD and you will have a complete operating system that works from the CD.
Play with this for a while and see if you computer shuts down (overheating, bad Power supply . . . what ever)

If it shuts down you have a hardware problem.

If it does not shut down you are likely to have a software related problem in your attempts to install windows.

For an idiot proof install of windows XP, I use TINYXP.
This comes as an ISO image you download through the bittorrent network.
This is an automated install disk that asks you a minimum number of questions and then runs unattended.
Boot it up, tell it which hard drive to install to (Choose reformat as NTFS) and walk away.

After the whole process is complete you have the option of changing this install of XP to your license #
(or not) to keep Mr Gates and the anti piracy people happy.

please email me if you need further help.

Gordon James