One of the main reasons why a computer may keep shutting down is overheating. If the computer is overheating, it will automatically shut down in order to protect those vital parts that may otherwise be damaged by the heat.


So shutting down is a good thing. It helps protect your computer and your files. It's a safety measure not a fault!


Even the most non-technical computer user knows that a computer makes a noise from time to time. That noise is a fan designed to keep everything cool, and it works much as a thermostat may do on your central heating system. When the heat in your machine reaches a certain temperature the fan (or fans) will kick in to fan cooler air over the components, and as the heat reduces to the correct level the fan will switch itself off again.


If your fan seems to be coming on a lot, and staying on longer, it's a sign that you need to check things over.

The most obvious place to start is the vent holes or grids. All machines have them, and they're designed so that the fans can suck in cooler air from outside the case. Desktops are particularly susceptible to getting these holes blocked with dust. The unit is placed on the floor under a desk and forgotten about. It's time to bend your back and check the vent holes.


I've seen people take a duster and wipe a lot of dust off these slots, but if you do that, all you're really doing is pushing the dust to the inside of the case. Far better than to take a hoover to it and vacuum all the dust up.


Whilst you've got the hoover in your hand, take the side off your case and take a look at the fan (or fans) and you'll probably find that these are covered in dust too, and that makes them far less efficient.


WITHOUT TOUCHING ANYTHING WITH THE HOOVER, give the whole lot a good hoover up and make sure all the dust is sucked up off your fan and from all the corners of your case.


Nine times out of ten these housekeeping measures will have your computer up and working OK in no time at all. It's very rare for a computer to keep shutting itself down due to software or hardware failure, and an accumulation of dust induced overheating is far more likely to be the problem.

Curing this problem first is both cheap (as in free), effective, and usually all that's required.