Win7 home-built HTPC shuts down without an error message, why?
February 22, 2012 10:46 AM Subscribe
My home-made HTPC running Windows 7 shuts down without warning, first after prolonged use playing HD (720) videos with VLC. Then it stopped twenty minutes into an episode, and switching to Media Player Classic seemed to be the answer. Then the computer shut down after about 20 minutes of simply being idle. And there's never a "sudden shutdown" error message when I reboot. How do I diagnose this, or what could be wrong?
The computer is built with new computer parts in an old tuner case, with USB ports and a power button cut into the front panel, and a PC rear panel, including exhaust fan, in the rear. This is run from a wooden entertainment center with low overhead clearance and a solid back, but ample space on the sides of the case for air circulation.
Still, I thought temperature was an issues, so I thought additional airflow could help. I rotated the case ~90 degrees, with the vent fan closer to the front of the shelf, but the computer still shut down while running.
Every time the computer turns off and we reboot it, it starts back up as if there was never any problem. No option to start into safe mode, no message in Windows that the computer unexpectedly shut down.
What's the best way to gauge the temperature of a Win7 system, and check for the maximum temperature safety level? (I'm sure there's a better term for this, but the words elude me).
Or am I looking the wrong way, and should I be running malware and virii checks? We don't use this computer to browse the internet much, and the only things we have downloaded are freeware apps from the developers' websites (specifically VLC, Media Player Classic, and InfranView, plus Firefox and Chrome), so up to now I've assumed it's a temperature trigger of some sort.
I'm writing this question without direct access to the HTPC, but I'll post the full specs later today.