By Randy Tyndall 1087023
#525842 This situation has been rearing it's ugly head more and more it seems, although I cannot say for sure that it hasn't always been an issue.

First, the issue...As I fly in FSX I have, on occasion, watched a video from Facebook or YouTube. Sometimes I can watch the complete video and everything...the computer, FSX, and the video goes as normal. It seems, however, that every once in a while the computer will shut itself off during the flight/video. Most annoying, especially if I am in an ACARS flight for a VA, because I lose that ACARS connection, obviously, when the shut off occurs, and consequently, the flight record so I have to do it over.

Symptoms...Note, this is not a Crash To Desktop (CTD) or Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). The computer simply shuts itself down. I can immediately restart it and and Windows starts normally. I say this because it is important to understand this seems to be a completely "routine" shut down, not like a sudden power loss from a from power outage where Windows warns you when you turn your computer back on that it was not shut down properly. If I access the Internet after restarting my computer any webpages I had open when the untimely shut down happened are immediately opened back up. In other words, it doesn't start at my default web page (Firefox), but goes right back to whatever page I was on when the shut down occurred. I do, however, have to restart FSX, my pilot client, and ACARS and reconnect to VATSIM.

This "shut down" only occurs if I have a video up that I am watching as I fly. I can have multiple pages, weather engines, Navigraph Charts, Skyvector, etc open all day long...well, for hours at least while I am flying...and a shut down never occurs, unless I start to watch a video. This is most frustrating if I am watching an instructional video with FSX open so I can "follow along" doing what the video author does in FSX and the aircraft as he does it in the video. FSX is in windowed I can tab back and forth between the two. Also note, when doing this instructional type videos I am not connected to VATSIM, just trying to learn a specific airframe process so I can someday connect and fly with it.

System Specs...Ancient by today's standards, but only four years old.
Dual-Core with 16GB RAM and 3.8 GHz CPU, Win7 Pro 64-bit, an ATI Radeon 4550 series Graphics Card, Hardwire Internet Connection (not WiFi) direct from Modem (no router in between), FSX Boxed Deluxe with SP2 that easily handles most "sliders" at 75% or higher with no issue or stutter or low FPS issues, even with high impact payware aircraft or sceneries.

Really frustrating, but I have learned when flying for a VA on VATSIM or even on VATSIM just for my own pleasure I never, never, ever watch a video anymore to pass the time while on cruise.

By Evan Reiter 1314720
#525855 Is it safe to assume you're using Windows 10?

It has the sounds to it of a power supply issue (although I know you mention you don't get a message saying Windows hadn't shut down correctly). I don't know much about PC hardware, but I can't imagine it would be too difficult to grab a new (more powerful) power supply, try it, and if the problem persists, you could return the new power supply and rule that out.

Could you post the specs on your current power supply? Perhaps someone who is better-versed in PC hardware could comment on whether that is sufficient.
By Randy Tyndall 1087023
#525867 Thanks for the reply Evan.

I posted some of the specs in my original post, including that it is Win7 Pro 64-Bit.

It is an HP GC758AV originally delivered from the factory with WinVista, but I bought it from NewEgg after they upgraded it to Win7 Pro 64-Bit.

Here are the Power Supply Specs...

365 watts maximum...Operating Voltage Range: 90 – 264 VAC; Rated Voltage Range: 100 – 240 VAC; Rated Line Frequency: 50/60 Hz; Operating Line Frequency Range: 47 – 63 Hz; Rated Input Current: 6.0 A; Rated Input Current 80 Plus: 5.0 A; Current Leakage (NFPA 99): < 450 µA; System Heat Dissipation: Typical 222 btu/hr (56 kg-cal/hr) Maximum 1916 btu/hr (483 kg-cal/hr); System Heat Dissipation 80 Plus: Typical 171 btu/hr (43 kg-cal/hr), Maximum 1557 btu/hr (392 kg-cal/hr; Power Supply Fan: 92 mm variable speed, Power Consumption in ES Mode – Suspend to RAM (S3) (Instantly Available PC): <2.7 W

That's the original spec. NewEgg did a "Gaming" upgrade to it when they installed Win7 so I'll have to open the tower (it's a desktop) and see if that included a beefier PSU.

Never a hiccup or problem in the 4 years I have had it, except the problem noted above. It's not a recent problem that just showed up, but has been happening for probably a year or so and I have just lived with it until finally posting here.

I thought PSU also...but it has done so well over the last four years.

By Daryl Selby 1155588
#525999 Just spitballing here, but it could be an overheat issue too.

In an older computer I once had it would shut down after a bit of running moderately hard (anywhere from minutes to an hour). After realizing i've never de-dusted it (is that even a word?!?) over the 4 years I had it, I downloaded SPECCY to verify it was a heat related issue, opened the case and blew out all the dust with a can of air and cleaned it up really good. Then, I removed the CPU heatsink and scraped off/replaced the thermal paste, and fired it up and never had a problem for the remaining 2 years I used it before building my current computer.

Might want to give that a shot given your computers age.... thermal paste does dry out after a while and eventually has little to no effect, and it being 4 years old i'll bet that when your processor is stretching its legs its not cooling efficiently.
By Randy Tyndall 1087023
#526005 Thanks Daryl for the reply,

Never once thought about the heat sink, although I did (and do often) blow out the tower case and vents. Each time it powered itself down my first move was to feel the tower, but it never once has felt warm. A poorly working heatsink may not give itself away in a "warm" tower case, though.

I know where the heatsink is and where the new thermal paste should go, but tell me, where does one buy thermal paste and how much does one put on or does any excess just "squeeze out" when you reattach the sink like it does on a CDI Automotive Ignition?

By Daryl Selby 1155588
#526020 Removing and reapplying is pretty easy... I found a short youtube tutorial on doing both...

As for the thermal compound.. if your in the U.S. you can find it at any Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, Microcenter, and any place locally that sells computer components around the world should also sell it, as well as a variety of online sources, such as Amazon and Newegg. From what i've found in my research through various tech videos the type really in the scope of things don't matter. They all do about the same thing.