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Computer Beeps and Then Shuts Down
Anand writes in with a hardware question
Question: When I use my computer for about two hours or so, it starts beeping louder and louder and then it eventually starts to shut down completely. This has been going on for a couple of months and I finally decided to get help. Do you know how I can fix this? If you could, that would be great. My computer is running on a Windows XP Home Edition system, has 533 MHz (very slow) and 382 MB of RAM.
Answer: It’s hard to say what the beeps mean without hearing them or knowing the pattern. But I'm thinking it’s a warning from your computer that it is overheating. Many computers have safeguards to prevent them from being damaged by shutting them down when they get too hot. You should check your CPU temperature and fan speed to make sure it is not getting too hot.
Try going into your BIOS and see if you have a section that shows your processor temperature. It may be in a section called PC Health Status or something similar. Let the computer run and keep an eye on the temperature and see if it starts to go up. You can also check your thresholds and see what temperature the computer is set to shut down at.
I would also open up the case while it’s off and see if there is a lot of dust on your components and clean it off with some compressed air in a can since too much dirt can cause heating problems. One other thing to check is to make sure your CPU fan and other fans are running. You can turn on the computer with the cover off and make sure all the fans are working including the one on the power supply. There may also be a section in the BIOS about fan speed telling you how fast the fan is spinning. Different fans will have different speeds but make sure it is spinning at least 1500 RPM.