Desktop computer stays on about 2 seconds then shuts off

5 pts.
Enterprise Desktop
Microsoft Windows XP
When I turn on my desktop computer it will only stay on about 2 seconds then shuts off

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Who is the manufacturer of your computer? I would call their support line if it is under warranty. You will probably need to open the case and remove all pci cards and all but one memory module to start with. Try booting, and if successful add one card or memory module in at a time and again see if the pc boots. If not successful you are probably looking at a motherboard issue. Try different memory modules and try them one at a time and in each memory slot until system boots, if it will boot. Basic hardware troubleshooting steps are required here. What did you change, if anything before the problem began? Did you add a new card or peripheral? If so, remove it and try again. etc etc.


Also make sure the PSU is working as expected.
We had a similar situation a few months ago, and the problem was in the power supply.

(LoneWolfBW) – It also might be a heat issue. We found one of our servers shut itself down without warning, I found that the CPU heatsink/fan had stopped functioning and it was powering down automatically to protect against overheating.
(Koohiisan) – Is your power button messed up? We’ve had a few that were stuck in, so that when you turned it on it immediately sensed that you were holding the button in to turn it back off! Make sure it’s not crooked or sticky!

Discuss This Question: 7  Replies

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  • mshen
    I think LoneWolfBW is right. It sounds like the processor is over heating.
    27,385 pointsBadges:
  • Subhendu Sen
    Also virus might be cause behind this issue. Run a good anti virus (like MWAV) in safe mode and make sure this is not happened for virus.
    136,700 pointsBadges:
  • azohawk
    We had an issue this morning where a user walked out of her office with her computer operating, walked back in and it was off. Tried turning it on and it came on for a about 2 seconds and shut down. But while it was on we heard the beeps from the UPS, turns out the UPS had failed.
    4,055 pointsBadges:
  • carlosdl
    I agree with azohawk. I would check the PSU, UPS (if present), and will make sure that the fan is working.

    The most common reason I have seen over the years, for computers that turn off on themselves is overheating.
    84,630 pointsBadges:
  • ToddN2000
    Sounds like a power or overheating issue. A system will sometimes shut itself down if it's overheating to prevent any damage to other components like the CPU. Listen to see if the fan is working venting air properly.
    131,380 pointsBadges:
  • Subhendu Sen
    Sometimes, additional hardware adding may cause overheating like graphics card (nvidia) etc. And the existing fans(s) is/are not able to cool, so that time it is necessary to check with a qualified hardware person. However, chances are few.
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  • bhannah
    It sounds more like a failing power supply than anything else. This day and age PC Manufacturers normally under power the system and give you a power supply that barely has enough power to supply the normal system. If the system has had more cards added to it then power supply will not have enough power to supply the system. This is very true if you have additional monitor or a more powerful video card. Test and clean the power supply.
    4,560 pointsBadges:

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