Dell optiplex 980 keeps switching off at random


Standard Member
Hi everyone.

Bought the machine a few months ago.

Seems power down when not in use. Like overnight. Not always. Sometimes will stay on.

I have checked the power settings and they have been set to never sleep.

I need the machine on always as it's used as a media server for the house.

Does anyone have and ideas or solutions for my problem.

Thanks in advance.


Distinguished Member
If this has happened ever since you got the machine and it's never powered down while you're streaming media off it then I'd be inclined to think it's a feature myself and I'd start looking through settings.

Check the advanced power settings and if this is the install of windows it came with check through the dell settings and use msconfig or similar to disable all the startup programs you're not explicitely using.

Make sure the 'automatically restart' option is off in advanced system settings/system properties (advanced tab, startup and recovery). I wouldn't expect a shutdown if that's on but there's no harm in trying.

Do you have any video recording equipment? (smartphone, laptop, webcam, camcorder etc.) If so it might be worth setting that up in front of this system (with monitor attached if it doesn't usually have one) so you can catch the moment the shutdown happens and see if there's any incriminating evidence (blue/black/red screen of death, or dialogue box with prepare to shutdown countdown). You'll probably have to have it on lowest quality to get hours of footage so you might not be able to make out the exact text but with something like this any clue is going to help narrow down the cause.


Standard Member
Thanks a lot.

I think the fact that it only happens when the machine is idle leads me to believe that it must be a setting somewhere.

Will take a careful look at settings.

Failing that at least I have dell support.

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