Computer shutdowns a problem
My computer has been working great for the last couple of years, but lately it just magically turns itself off after I use it for a while. What could be causing this problem?
There are a lot of reasons for your computer turning off all by itself but I am going to use this question to emphasize on one major problem that causes PC's to shutdown and that is overheating.
In the past computers did not generate a lot of heat and components such as fans and heat sinks where non-existent. Now-a-days with faster and more power hungry PC's they generate more heat then ever. Because extreme heat can damage internal components like your CPU, video card, hard drive or power supply your computer can automatically detect when your system gets to hot and shut itself down before damage occurs.
This being said, on most computers it will only monitor your CPU temperature and not other heat sensitive parts so you could be damaging your computer without even knowing it.
Being proactive can ensure that you never run into overheating problems. Most computers are designed to properly cool the critical components so there is no need to purchase any extra cooling products.
The main cause of over heating is due to dirt build up inside the computer often caused by putting your computer in a poorly ventilated area. Use the following tips to ensure your computer is cooled properly.
1) Make sure your computer is in the proper location.
The worst place for your computer is on the ground. Although it seams like a great location because it is out of the way, it's actually sucking up all the dirt and dust that settles to the ground (gross eh?). This is even worse if you have any type of pet because the hair tends to collect on the ground and your computer will suck it up like a vacuum. The best location for your computer is at least 1 foot off the ground.
On another note, some computer desks come with cubby holes for your computer to sit in. Your computer cool's itself from front to back, so it sucks air in the front and exhausts it to the back. If you have your computer inside your desk cubby hole and the door closed it will not be cooling itself at all. When placed inside a desk it should be able to breath in the front and exhausts in the back with no barriers or obstructions.
Important Note: You should never smoke in the same room as your computer. Nicotine acts much like glue causing the dirt and dust to stick to every component inside your computer and will ultimately cause dirt to collect 10 times faster. Oh yeah, that's right, not to mention smoking is bad for you.
2) Dust and dirt is the enemy.
Even thought you have your computer is off the ground your computer can still collect dirt and dust inside. Much like an oil change you should always keep an eye on your computer and check it every 6 months. Simply open the case and give it a visual inspection. Do not touch anything inside your computer as components are very sensitive to static electricity (Remember rubbing a balloon on your friends head? Not the same thing!). Check for dust build up on "heat sinks" and "fans". If you do detect dust build up, clean the inside of your computer with compressed air in a can or use an air compressor fitted with the appropriate nozzle. Carefully blow out fans inside the power supply as well as the exterior fan and in and around the heat sinks followed by a general blowout of all remaining dust.
3) Noisy fans are a sign.
If your computer starts making humming or grinding noises from the inside it probably means one or more of your internal fans are on their way to a place better known as the trash. I cannot stress enough how important it is that all the fans function properly, should you notice any problems you should address this issue sooner than later. Final note, unless you're absolutely comfortable with tackling this problem, do not attempt to fix it. Call a professional to replace or repair the fans.
Taking these tips into consideration will help make sure your computer does not become a victim of over heating and thus shutting down during your search for the greatest You Tube video.