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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My daughter's 4 year old Dell (XP professional) has started going into stand by mode for no reason. I have the power settings set to Never go to stand by and have the screen saver turned off.

The kids in the Geek Squad don't have a clue. One suggested that I remove it from the enclosed desk so that it can get more cooling air but as soon as I set it up on top of the desk it did the same thing. However today it has been on for over 6 hours without a problem.

My research indicated that the fan may not be working but the Geek Squad kid said that the fan was still blowing and I do feel air blowing out of it.

Any ideas?
 

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That is odd. If you have the power scheme set correctly it shouldn't turn off. I have that same Dell and from day one the hibernate mode never worked right. It would always freeze the whole thing and I'd have to reboot the PC. Had to turn off the hibernate mode...
 

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When it is off have a look inside the power supply (look in the fan opening). If it is all dusty and covered in crud then you may well have a heat problem, air can't flow through it.
If it looks all dusty, open the computer up and have a look iside for more dust accumulation. If it has it, get it cleaned out (compressed air) and blow compressed air through the power supply and clean off the fans.
Most off the shelf computers have a power supply that is barely enough for the computers they power and if cooling is restricted you are in trouble, especially if you have added anything that uses more power, ie hard drive, upgraded graphics, more memory...
 

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KayGee said:
My daughter's 4 year old Dell (XP professional) has started going into stand by mode for no reason. I have the power settings set to Never go to stand by and have the screen saver turned off.
Have you checked the "sleep" button on the keyboard? Is it stuck/intermittant? I had one machine at work that had this issue (someone spilled some coke on the keyboard and didn't say anything... :) ) You can change this feature in the "Advanced" tab of power management ("When I press the sleep button..." dropdown change to "Do Nothing").

I've also had issues with a UPS telling the machine (incorrectly!) that the batteries are dying and to shut down. Do you have a UPS connected AND the management software installed AND a connection (USB and/or serial) to the UPS? If so, you may want to temporarially disconnect this.

Make sure you're virus/spyware free and have all current OS patches installed! Some variants cause random reboots/stanby cycles.

You may want to try setting the standby mode for some specific time to see if the service is actually working correctly.

Good luck!
 

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KayGee said:
Any ideas?
Several ideas...
  • When's the last time it was cleaned out? (Especially the fins around the CPU cooler.)
  • Is the CPU fan working at all? Or working properly? Dell probably has some kind of software diagnostic tool already installed on that box. Look for them under All Programs > Dell.
  • I would unseat and reseat ALL of the cards and cables...especially the RAM.
  • Last but not least, I would do a RAM test to see if it's not malfunctioning. There are many free apps out there that do this for you. Do a Goole search for "RAM test software".
HTH
 
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