FireFox 3 turns my PC off... I think??

12th September 2008, 20:09
Hi all,
I'm in a pickle. Ever since I installed Firefox 3, my PC keeps turning itself off about every hour or so.
This is driving me nuts right now.
Any help will stop me from getting my precision hammer out.

Please can someone advise me

Thanks in advance

12th September 2008, 20:27
I would be very strange Lizzie if Firefox was turning your computer off. Are you saying it just shuts down without warning, or shuts down gracefully, i.e. behaves as if you had selected shutdown, even though you haven't.

Check immediately if your cooling fans are running (power supply and CPU and any others fitted). If you can, go into the BIOS and monitor the CPU and other temperatures. Also take a look at the event logs, see if there's anything in there.

12th September 2008, 20:34
Thank you for you reply good sir. I have been baffled by this.
Yes my PC shuts down instantly, no warning. Almost in the blink of an eye, I've not had this problem until I installed Firefox 3, although I should add that I have a little program called Dephormation 2.1 installed. This is to combat Phorm, I don't relly understand the complex things surrounding it, but I had to configure FF3 in the (about:config). I'm not sure if that would have a bearing.


12th September 2008, 20:52
A sudden shutdown like that is usually related to a hardware fault. Essential you check your cooling fans as soon as you can, and the temperature monitor (some machines can monitor temperatures within Windows if they have the utility, otherwise you should be able to access it via the BIOS). You need to be sure something isn't overheating before moving on, so as to prevent more serious damage.

Look in the back of the power supply (at the rear usually) and see or listen that the main fan is working. Remove the lid and check the smaller fan on the CPU is working.

With the machine powered off, you can turn the fan blades on the CPU cooling fan with your fingers, and ensure the fan is nice and free. As a precaution touch your fingers to the metal chassis before you do this.

If you're happy the fans are working, and the temperatures aren't too high (CPU temp should be below 70C, usually well below that). I would start to suspect the computer power supply.

I can't personally see how Firefox would down computer power instantly like that, but hey, at work I'm constantly surprised at the weird things computers do.

Hope this helps a bit.

12th September 2008, 23:21
Thank you very much indeed. I shall follow your advice and see where it takes me. I'm a little slow on these computer techy things, so I will let you know in due course.


12th September 2008, 23:36
I agree that it is unlikely that Firefox would cause this but you could try stopping using it for a while and using Internet Explorer instead. If the fault still occurs this is clearly not the cause.

You don't say if this is a laptop or a desktop machine. If it's a desktop you should hear the fan running and feel the hot air coming out of the grill at the back of the machine. If its a laptop the fan should cut in as the machine warms up. If the machine gets hot and you can't hear the fan running it could wll be broken.

If you suspect the hardware and are not up on computers it is best to get a knowledgeable friend to help or take it to an engineer to check out.

13th September 2008, 00:39
Ah, my apologies benjidog. I have a desktop, 2 months ago fitted with a brand new power supply, new 2GIG of RAM, 2 new fans. All which are running right as far as I know.
I can feel the air coming from the rear grill, and I can hear the fan doing it's thing.
It's not so much hardware, as having to lurk in the BIOS which throws demons at me.
Well, would you believe it. I clicked on the Quick Launch and the damn thing shut down, so Firefox 3 would seem to be off the hook.
This is getting odder?

I will have to do some investigating in the morning. For now... thank you benjidog!!

13th September 2008, 09:51
Did you check your CPU fan? If the computer shuts down when you start programs it is indicative of CPU overheating.

I can understand people being a little fearful of going into BIOS, but remember, even if you change something inadvertently, you will be given the option to exit without saving when leaving BIOS.

Depending on the BIOS, you should see an option for 'Hardware Monitoring' or 'PC Health Status'. These are merely for monitoring so you should be ok to look at these.

Two important things to look for:

CPU Temperature
CPU Fan speed

Typcically temperature would be between 40-70C after warming up. I would expect it to be closer to 40 than 70.

CPU fan speed can vary between 2000 - 4000 RPM, typically 2800.

I've seen CPU fans running at well below 1000 as the bearing gets tight, this would allow the computer to run ok for a while, then strange things start to happen as it gets hot.

Some BIOS will also state PSU fan speed, and chassis fan speed if you have one fitted. You're normally looking at speeds of about 2500 for these.

If your fans and PSU were replaced so recently I'll agree the above shouldn't be happening, but I'd certainly check anyway. Especially the CPU details.

13th September 2008, 10:01
You may a virus. Have you scanned the machine for one?

13th September 2008, 12:02
Okey dokey. I have installed Everest for monitoring my PC, here are a few readings.

I did vacuum the old girl out this morning (carefully I might add).

Athlon Semperon 3000+ (1600 mhz)
Motherboard = Asrock AliveNF6G-DVI

Motherboard = 33 deg
CPU Temp = 49 deg
CPU Diode = 53 deg
Aux = 46 deg
GPU Diode = 58 deg
3 x Maxtor hard Drives = 32 - 34 deg
Cooling Fans = 2961 - 3013 rpm

My PC is not overclocked (whatever that may be?)

Bob, judging by the stats you stated. It would seem that the temp isn't excessive. Not that I understand it by a long shot.

Bob, thank you very much for showing me what to look for.
It hasn't turned off yet since the vacuum job. It was quite dusty in there.


Hugh MacLean
13th September 2008, 12:40
I did vacuum the old girl out this morning (carefully I might add).

I was going to suggest this as this happened to a friend of mine recently. I knew it had the hallmarks of overheating so I took off the cover and low and behold the motherboard was covered in dust. Got the "Hoover" out and it's been fine ever since.

Disclaimer: I wouldn't recommend using a vacuum cleaner to do this unless you have a steady hand. (Jester)


ian d.cameron
13th September 2008, 13:01
There is a small USB purpose made Hoover with a soft brush and soft rubber nozzle available. Got mine in Tesco’s awhile back. It even has a wee light on it.
I even heard of this but never tried it.
Take a plastic cup and put a hole in the bottom, secure a straw inside and out with bluetac then tape the cup to a Hoover nozzle. Supposed to be good for cleaning the keyboard without sucking up the keys.

13th September 2008, 14:55
Well this sounds like a mixture of good news and bad news.

If the fan and temperature are OK it is likely to be a software error of some kind so I suggest the following:

1. Check your hard disk for errors if you have not already done so. Go to Windows Explorer and select your hard disk, right-click on it and select Properties, then select the Tools tab where you will find an option to do this. Click on Error Checking and tick Automatically correct file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors tick-boxes. You will probably have to log off to enable the checks to be run.

Retest the system after this - if it is OK you can stop here!

2. Check that you have the latest Windows updates (you didn't way what operating system version you are using). As long as you have a kosher version of Windows you should be able to get the updates by clicking on Windows update if it is on your Start Menu or at this URL:

Retest again and if OK stop here

3. Get advice on repairing or re-installing Windows.

4. If all the above fail, you will definitely need expert advice as the problem is likely to be either something odd about drivers, or a hardware fault that will require diagnostic tools to track down.

13th September 2008, 17:31
Hello benjidog,
I have found out the problem. It was the last Windows update, my wife & my own PC have the same problem now. (Yep, both PC's have legit XP Pro).
I think I can rectify it, if the problem happens again. Just un-install the update, and let it update it again. That's assuming it was a bad installation of that particular update.

In the meantime of a waiting game with my PC.
I thank you for your gracious help


14th September 2008, 22:51
Sorry didn't reply earlier Lizzie, been walking over Dartmoor. Yup your BIOS readings look ok to me. Hope you've got the problem sorted.

It's actually surprising what a bit of dust can do.

I've just allowed the latest updates to go in on my XP computer so I'll keep an eye on it, but a sudden power downage is a strange thing for software to do. A blue screen crash yes, but an instantaneous power down ... that would be weird.

I'll keep an eye on it though.....

Meanwhile hope it all works.


14th September 2008, 23:12
This whole group of threads "Computers and the Internet" is building up to be a very valuable instructional library for people like me. There is nothing like a step by step, blow by blow guide to help us elder/novice types through the traumas of computer malfunctions or usage manipulation.
I dreaded problems with my computer more than the dentist until the experts on this site guided me through the maze of checks recently and I suggest that some of these more specific sets of guide lines be grouped to form an on going manual related to this SN site for the insecure and timid among us.
Thanks to all the experts for your wisdom to date.


14th September 2008, 23:18

Do you happen to know the exact name of the patch you had to remove as I am having a similar problem myself now! :(

15th September 2008, 18:19
Hello Brian,
I wish I could be more help. The patches I removed were Windows Media Player Security update (KB954154) & Windows Security update (KB938464).
They just auto installed again, but I don't actually know if these were the problem. I have gone back to Firefox 2 as a test. My PC is still turning itself off.
I am clueless as to what this is. I am leaning towards the updates though, with no way to stop them installing.


15th September 2008, 18:22
I still think you may have a virus

15th September 2008, 18:36
Well JoK, I'm going to run a virus scan, anti-spyware stuff and see what they find.
I have uninstalled all software prior to 3rd Sept, see what happens.
I will let you know the results.


K urgess
15th September 2008, 18:53
I've just had a similair problem.
Every time I put a blank DVD or CD into a drive the machine rebooted.
If I blinked I missed the blue screen of death because it happened so fast.
Mine was due to a program called Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD but on one occasion Windows reported the wrong program at fault.
Does Windows give you an error report when the machine restarts and asks if you want to send it to Microsoft?
It's not a Dell GX270 0r GX280 motherboard is it (Capacitor problems)?
Have you checked the event logs to see if anything has been reported?
For that last go to control panel and double click on Administrative tools.
Double click on the event viewer icon and check for errors in the application log.


15th September 2008, 19:12
If you want to "turn on" the blue screen of death, rather than just let the computer restart on it's own accord you can do this through System Properties.

Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System > Advanced > Startup and Recovery settings > and under "System Failure" uncheck "Automatically Restart"

I can't remember, but I think the process is practially the same on Vista.

15th September 2008, 20:05
Well update all,
I'm at the moment running on bare bones PC, just the net installed.
I reinstalled my system, adding Avast & Commodo as opposed to Norton the Devil. So far so good, I've been up and running for about an hour, no power down YET!!
I'm not confident of the problem being gone. But fingers crossed, I hope it's cured whatever ills it may have.
But, after reinstalling, I can only see that it would be hardware problem.
My PC is totally clean now.

Sheesh!! Anything else happens I will let you all know.
I'm as confused as I ever hope to be


15th September 2008, 21:42
A befuddled update.
The problem is still here and getting worse.
A trip to the PC shop tomorrow is now the only course for me.
It's cutting out minutes apart, so this will be my last post until fixed.

Sorry if this doesn't help other with the same problem


K urgess
15th September 2008, 21:51
That sounds very much like you have a power supply problem.
If Windows isn't telling you why it's shutting down then it must be hardware related.
Windows is very quick to tell it wasn't shut down properly.
The power supplies get hot even with the fan going and can shut down if they start getting old and are loaded more heavily as the CPU gets busier.


15th September 2008, 22:10
Hi Kris,
After 20min it's still running. I must agree with you it does sound like power supply. I only had a new one in 1.5 months ago. I will see the fella tomorrow and get it replaced.
Although I might add, I also removed a faulty DVD drive that was still in my PC housing. I forgot it was there. I don't know if that could be a bearing too. And the fact that i'm a little dubious of my SATA connections.

Confused even more now!


15th September 2008, 22:19
I sincerely hope it is a power supply problem. The reason I say that is the PSU is easily replaced. I suppose even though the PSU is new, it could be faulty.

Because if it isn't the PSU, the next stop is the power switching circuit on the motherboard, and that could get expensive.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

15th September 2008, 22:22
You could try disconnecting all the drives (hard, floppy CDROM and so on) then switching the computer on and just letting it sit in the BIOS and see if it powers off after a while. If not, re-connect the drives one by one testing it between times.

Perhaps something faulty is bringing down the PSU after a while.

K urgess
15th September 2008, 22:24
I've had a problem with the SATA on this machine.
Had to have a cable replaced but I can't remember what the symptoms were.
I've had a problem with one of my drives taking a long time to come ready and then sometimes locking up the machine completely. A Maxtor drive that I've since replaced with another Hitachi.


16th September 2008, 18:01
Howdy people,
Well, I've got my answer. A strange thing but, the CPU fan had broken away fractionally adrift from it's base. I've had a temporary fix until a new motherboard can be afforded. £130 for new motherboard & AMD 5000+ CPU.
Either way I am back up and running again. Apparently it's something that can happen to such a delicate piece.

Oh yep, I had a similar problem as you Marconi, mine was a jumper setting on the SATA drive. And, the brand new SATA cable was faulty.
I must admit I do learn much from you guys as I go along, and I thank you all very much for that!!


K urgess
16th September 2008, 19:02
That's a strange one, Paul.
They have to be tightly fastened down and a little heatsink compound never goes amiss.
Let's hope that's the fix and it lasts for a while.


16th September 2008, 20:40
'Er nope. Same problem. It certainly looks like a new motherboard & CPU on Thursday.
Damn the expense of £130 makes me weep.
Needs must and all. Hopefully this will correct the problem once and for all.

What a saga 'eh!!


17th September 2008, 11:17
Sorry to hear that Paul.

Fitting a CPU fan/heatsink assembly can actually be quite tricky with some sockets as the tensioned mounting system can drive you to picking up a 10 lb hammer. It's a bit like changing the plugs on a Reliant 'Dell Boy' Regal van.[=P] So it's not that difficult to do damage.

Hope it all gets cleared up.

17th September 2008, 18:15
Thank you Bob, my 10 Ib hammer will hopefully not needed. One thing though, I took one side cover off my PC and the heat has gone down quite a lot. Even the hard drives were warm - hot to touch, now they are cool.
I would think it's not a good thing to take any covers off though!

Tomorrow's new day for my battered PC, new life and hopefully no problems.


K urgess
17th September 2008, 18:46
Are you sure the main case fan is working, Paul?
Also that the filters are clear.


17th September 2008, 21:17
Ah, yes! My case fan (sat at the top of case & black plastic) is working. The CPU fan is still working. Filters? What are they? I can't see anything that looks like filters.
It's been running now for 3hr 10min without cutting out as yet. And the temp still seems to be the same as of my post at 18:15 today. That must be a good thing. I have read that heat is a awful killer to computer components.
New CPU & motherboard tomorrow should solve it. Hopefully??
Thanks Kris, I've never had problems quite like these.


K urgess
17th September 2008, 22:30
Strange to find the case fan at the top of the case, Paul.
My system has got three fans. One on the CPU, one in the power supply unit at the top back of the case and one on the case itself at the back under the power supply. The last two normally blow outwards and suck air in from the front of the case. Sometimes there are grills in other places. The air intake grills can get blocked with dust and those are what I was referring to as filters.
If it works for longer with the side off then it tends to indicate that it's overheating because of lack of airflow.

PCs can be a pain in the proverbial when the cause of a problem is not obvious.


17th September 2008, 22:45
Kris, I think you are right. My computer is still running at 4hr 37min. The fans I can see are CPU fan, Power supply fan & the little black plastic one on the roof of the PC.
I look at the small plastic fan, and it doesn't seem to do much. Perhaps a more powerful one (if that is possible).
The air grills (filters), are not very big, very thin slatted vents. Maybe some inventive tweaking would increase air flow. I have another side cover with an extra fan incorporated into it, maybe seeing if that would fit on could improve things.

Thanks for the info Kris, I may just be able to get my PC to do what it's supposed to.


18th September 2008, 20:36
seems as if a virus like anti spyware xp that downloads itself behind xp updates.

K urgess
18th September 2008, 20:55
If your machine is infected with a virus they normally re-write your hard disk or send information out on the net.
The don't make your machine shut down for no apparent reason and then let it start again.
I don't see how anything can download itself behind updates unless it comes form the Microsoft update site. Besides if you have efficient virus software and firewall you are relatively safe unless you open something from someone you don't know.

29th September 2008, 15:42
Well, my computer is now fixed, with a new motherboard & CPU. I have good temps now. £130 lighter, but next time I'm going to have a go myself. What horrors that will bring......


29th September 2008, 17:28
Lizzie, your PC problems are not things that I have not come across, however, building your own confuser (I can spell) is not that difficult. I first came into the "Computer World" about 10 years ago and built my first one about 12 months later. Always remember to keep your Anti-virus and Fire Wall up to date. All this I have learned over the past few years and I am now 66.............pete

2nd October 2008, 10:36
I installed FireFox on my computer, and now it's behaving very strangely.

It keeps calling me Dave .... and says I'm not adhering to the strict principles of the mission, and that I should sit down, take a stress pill and think things thru.

And it insists I stay away from the computer power socket on the wall, or it will have to disconnect me .......

Sorry lads..... just joking .... :D

It's this Pusser's Rum .... bloody good stuff.

18th October 2009, 16:49
Hi All,

A friend of mine has a problem.

Every time she starts up a sign comes up that System 32 is not working. I checked this on the internet as I am not there, and recommendations said IE8 could be a problem if it was downloaded recently. I advised her to download Mozilla Firefox (as it advised on the internet) then un-install IE8.

This seems to have worked ok but when she down loads anything i.e Itunes etc the computer just shuts down. Could this be a fan problem or what?

Could do with some feed back as I am not there to try to sort it out.

p.s Forgot to say that the shut down has been going on for a long time previously



Pat Thompson
18th October 2009, 16:54

The latest Firefox causes all sorts of mayhem on my machine, I had lurk in a couple of the techie websites and it is, by all accounts, a comon (ish) problem. They recomended I downloaded and installed an earlier version so I did v3.014 and since then all has been sweet as a nut.

18th October 2009, 20:05
'Er nope. Same problem. It certainly looks like a new motherboard & CPU on Thursday.
Damn the expense of £130 makes me weep.
Needs must and all. Hopefully this will correct the problem once and for all.

What a saga 'eh!!


Hi Paul!

I'd be disappointed if the service man didn't try to get right down to the individual failing component!

Changing Mobo/Cpu & fan seems somewhat drastic as only probably one of them would be causing the problem..

But I guess it saves a little time!

Hope you are in good shape now!