Fixed: Microsoft Windows 7 random shutdown, event ID 41, task category 63

Log Name:      System
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power
Date:          3/29/2010 12:59:12 PM
Event ID:      41
Task Category: (63)
Level:         Critical
Keywords:      (2)
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      Vu-PC
The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns=””&gt;
<Provider Name=”Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power” Guid=”{}” />
<TimeCreated SystemTime=”2010-03-29T19:59:12.752414500Z” />
<Correlation />
<Execution ProcessID=”4″ ThreadID=”8″ />
<Security UserID=”S-1-5-18″ />
<Data Name=”BugcheckCode”>0</Data>
<Data Name=”BugcheckParameter1″>0x0</Data>
<Data Name=”BugcheckParameter2″>0x0</Data>
<Data Name=”BugcheckParameter3″>0x0</Data>
<Data Name=”BugcheckParameter4″>0x0</Data>
<Data Name=”SleepInProgress”>false</Data>
<Data Name=”PowerButtonTimestamp”>0</Data>

The above error event happened on my PC for about 2-3 weeks and I couldn’t figure out why for awhile.  My PC would be running normally with all the usual apps running.  Messenger, Firefox, Windows media center, etc. all at the same time.  The random shutoff would happen every few hours, sometimes 3 hours other times 5 hours.   Everytime, it would just shutdown without any warning or sign of failure.  At first I checked with Windows 7 support and forums and found out that many people had this issue with Windows 7 RC.  I was running Windows 7 Premium, not RC.  I read more and more people on the forums saying this happens to them with a new build so of course they blame the software and not the hardware since the hardware is new.  It seems everyone was pointing to the software.  However, I didn’t suspect the OS but actually the hardware.  The reason I suspect that I had a hardware failure was the fact that the shutdown was sometimes a restart.  The PC would shutoff and then try to restart itself.  Sometimes it would work and other times it would go into a loop shutting off and restarting by itself.  That clearly made me think it was the hardware since after the instant shutoff the OS is not in control of the PC anymore but the hardware is. Opening up the case I found that there was a huge amount of dust. The dust had clogged up the heatsink causing the airflow from the fan that would normally cool the CPU to not reach the CPU. The actual problem was my CPU was overheating.  All the dust inside the case has caused my heatsink to become ineffective.

Solution (At your own risk):

Open up the case and carefully remove the heatsink.  Clean out the dust that is in the tower.  I used an air canister to clean the dust that was stuck inbetween the heatsink grill.  Then I cleaned out the dried up thermal paste.  You need to apply new thermal paste directly on the CPU.  It’s recommended that you place the paste on the center of the CPU so when you place the heatsink the paste will spread out evenly.  Now, my CPU runs cooler and the whole tower runs quieter.  The PC does not shutdown randomly any longer.  I suspect some of the new builds that has the random shutdown problem has to do with the incorrect or loosely heatsink install.

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5 Responses to “Fixed: Microsoft Windows 7 random shutdown, event ID 41, task category 63”

  1. WWE Says:

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  4. Jason Ochs Says:

    Yup! This is the only site that has the same solution I came up with. I installed “PC Probe” utility that came with my motherboard and found CPU was running too hot. I pulled the CPU fan off and discovered the CPU paste was like clay and flaked right off. I put some new paste on and now my CPU is 50-70 degrees cooler and no more power offs. Note to system builders, if you build your own PC never pay an extra fee to add cpu paste to your CPU order. Always buy that separately in a tube and put a ton on the CPU when you install it. Obviously mine didn’t hold up and its only been a year.

  5. rob Says:

    I have that problem but my CPU is cool! its not overheating :S
    sometimes that problem happen cuz two audio driver crash the system! theres some conflict!
    or maybe the power supply is break

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