Every time i try to do a scan on my parent's winxp computer it shuts down part way through. It doesn't go though the whole shut down process, it's just like someone pulls the plug. It does this during disk cleanup, virus scans, or spyware scans. I can't tell if it's one location that's causing this. I'm not sure if it's some errors on the hard drive or a virus or something. I think it's time for a reformat if I can find their XP cd.
Could be a number of things, including a virus. Try booting into safe mode and running the scan again.
However this sounds a lot like a memory issue. I'd suggest downloading the bootable floppy or CD ISO image of Memtest86+[=http//www.memtest.org/#downiso]Memtest86+
and allowing it to run at least one full pass (20-40 minutes depending on PC speed and RAM amount). If even a single error is reported on any pass, then you've got a bad RAM module or a bad memory controller. If you have more than one module, remove all but one at a time and re-run Memtest. Keep swapping modules in and out until you find the bad one. If no single module comes up bad, but you get errors when combining them, it could be your memory controller or a bad DIMM slot.
I've already tried booting in safe mode, so i'll try Memtest later tonight.
Well I ran the first test with both sticks of RAM in. The computer just shut down in the middle of it again. I'll try one at a time later.
[quote17eceda3b4="drummer_kew_03"]Well I ran the first test with both sticks of RAM in. The computer just shut down in the middle of it again. I'll try one at a time later.[/quote17eceda3b4]
Definitely a hardware problem then, most likely memory. Make sure the RAM modules are seated fully, as well as all add-in (PCI) cards. Remove one module at a time and try again.
Also check your temps when this happens. You could possibly be overheating. Check CPU and chipset fans to be sure they're working up to spec. If a CPU fan is going bad, most CPU's will shutdown once a threshold temp is reached. However if you can immediately reboot and run for awhile before it happens again, it's probably not overheating.
Completely agreed with the above. Are you overclocking at all? Even the tiniest overclocking can crash an unstable system.