Spontaneous Restarts, could be HD? CPU? or MB?

This is a discussion on Spontaneous Restarts, could be HD? CPU? or MB? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I was recently attempting to fix my fathers friends computer, and this is what I ran into: It spontaneousely restarts ...

  1. #1
    Xei
    Xei is offline
    Registered User Xei's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    719

    Spontaneous Restarts, could be HD? CPU? or MB?

    I was recently attempting to fix my fathers friends computer, and this is what I ran into:

    It spontaneousely restarts in windows xp or 98, so I booted from CD-Rom to begin a re-install and while booting off of CD-ROM after XP had loaded drivers the PC restarted. So I checked the temperature and it was 55 Degrees Celcius(which is usually enough to crash AMD's) but it should not restart it. So I checked the voltages for the power supply and those were fine too. Then I thought it could be his DDR RAM, so I removed one stick of 256 and then the CD-Rom loaded perfectly and the install began. Soon after the install of the files, XP began to install devices, and at this point it restarted again and continued to do so for quite some time. Finally we finished the install of XP but the computer still restarts spontaneousely. So I thought that there might be an IRQ conflict, so I removed the sound card, ethernet card, turned off On-Board audio and disabled both serial Address's. Then I thought that it might be his HD so I removed his CD-ROM so that the only device in his computer was then his Video Card and his HD. After doing this the computer restarted continuously over and over every 12 seconds or so. So I put the CD-ROM back in and we were able to get into windows IF, and only IF, we skipped the ChkDsk that wanted to start before running XP... if we allowed it to run then it would restart the PC, if we skipped it we could get into windows. So I began thinking that it may be a bad FPU or something on the MB but that just wouldn't make sense cause during install there surely has got to be many mathematical errors if the FPU was messing up.. so I removed that from the possible list of errors. Now here comes the messed up part, his Boot.INI was corrupt so the OS, by default, tried C:\Windows. So I checked the Boot.INI and it was about 1/8th an execution, it went "MZ... This program cannot be run in dos mode ..... @#$%$##^ etc..." up to 1KB(which did not run, I tried executing it). So I deducted that the errors could not be the following:

    Power Supply: Because restarts usually happend in the same places.
    RAM: Because it was not having parity errors.
    IRQ, or DMA conflicts: Because the computer did not halt.

    So I have come to a final decision that if there were bad sectors in the HD then it would restart the computer whenever they were accessed, this would also be correct in the case of the boot.INI because that would've proved that the Format of C was unsuccessful(I guess format did not restart the pc because it writes, and does not verify) and that Boot.INI was written to a 'Bad-Sectors' on the HD(and I doubt windows install would mess up and write EXE's in placement of Boot.INI). So I am later going to remove his HD, back it up, and do a Low-Level Format with Maxtor's Diagnostics Utility.

    The owner of the computer said that it all started one day when he was playing SpearHead(So I automatically thought Over-Heated CPU, which caused damage) but then he said that whenever Norton would scan a certain part of his HD it would warn that it could not Access the HD then the computer would restart shortly after.

    Hes running a: AMD XP 1600+ and an ECS MB with 512 MB DDR RAM(I didnt record which model), and a 40 GB Maxtor, and a GeForce Ti4200

    I was wondering if anyone has had any similar 'Freak-Problems' like this one. Also, thanks for reading this long and likely annoying message.
    Last edited by Xei; 02-22-2003 at 12:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Has a Masters in B.S.
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,267
    i once had an old pentium 2 board that did something similar to this only more random and it sometimes would continuously restart for about 2 minutes at a time, i tried the processor the ram and the HDD in other systems and had no proplem with them, later got a new mobo and it was all fine...
    ADVISORY: This users posts are rated CP-MA, for Mature Audiences only.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,640
    Originally posted by Salem

    2. Have you tried underclocking it?
    When i did that my pc stopped functioning!

    Remove everything but the essential, Change power supply,
    Test hardware in a different PC, Formant the Hard-Drive.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    98
    change the power supply or the motherboard, or both.iv ran into this before.a bad power supply can burn out a motherboard

  5. #5
    UNBANNED OneStiffRod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    669
    I think it would give you an error msg if it was a HDD problem - I had similar problems and it turned out to be the power supply - in my case it was the PLUG - it didn't fit right and any little shake or movement would cuase interruption restarting the pc... I changed the plug and all was well..

    Check further into the power thing.
    My Avatar says: "Stay in School"

    Rocco is the Boy!
    "SHUT YOUR LIPS..."

  6. #6
    RoD
    RoD is offline
    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    6,331
    >>I think it would give you an error msg if it was a HDD problem

    Not if it fails flat out, and sometimes even if it doesnt it wont report it. I think this is a hdd problem being the predictableness of the problem.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,640
    Originally posted by RoD
    >>I think it would give you an error msg if it was a HDD problem

    Not if it fails flat out, and sometimes even if it doesnt it wont report it. I think this is a hdd problem being the predictableness of the problem.
    If the HDD stops functioning, Windows will simply crash, It won't
    reboot just crash, I know this from alot of expirience. I think
    it could be temperature,RAM,Power Supply,Video Card,CPU.

  8. #8
    Refugee face_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,052
    If it was the mobo, it would beep at you unless he doesn't have a pc speaker. Try replacing the PSU, that should do it.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,640
    Beep at you? At a Spontaneous Restart?

  10. #10
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    4,429
    2 things:

    1) heat
    2) not enough power

    I would check into heat first. Try to find a system utility that will allow you to monitor cpu/mobo heat levels. I have that problem with my computer... if I don't get enough air running through it, it just reboots magically.... especially if I have been gaming or something. I've also seen this problem with my computer when my power supply wasn't big enough. It couldn't generate the power I needed to run all my components simultaneously, so it BSODed in 98, and rebooted in XP. I replaced the PSU and badda-bing, problem solved.

  11. #11
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    4,429
    one more thing... if he did in fact overheat it playing that game... then it may be a touchy beast to start with, whether it is the HD or whatever. You may end up replacing the CPU if it did, infact, overheat at some point. Once something is overheated, it either won't run at all or will run with problems.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,640
    Another idea, Dust! Oke, It sounds strange but enough dust
    can short-circuit your hardware resulting in for example a
    reboot.

  13. #13
    Unleashed
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    1,765
    Originally posted by Travis Dane
    Another idea, Dust! Oke, It sounds strange but enough dust
    can short-circuit your hardware resulting in for example a
    reboot.
    I've never had a problem with that. The family computer, which I'm always being nagged to look at/fix/speed up/spare HDD space ....basically keeps it's casing completely off at all times. I've done that with my newer PC also..no problems on my PC, and the only problem on theirs is a failing monitor(it's older).
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,640
    If you keep your case closed and don't touch it for say, About
    a month or 6, Then the amount of dust in the case starts getting
    lethal .

  15. #15
    Registered User TravisS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    536
    Dust kills moving things such as fans, CD-ROMs, floppy drives, etc... but I've never seen dust kill circuitry

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. questions on multiple thread programming
    By lehe in forum C Programming
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-27-2009, 07:44 AM
  2. reading a file into a block
    By mickey0 in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-03-2008, 05:53 AM
  3. Upgrading my old CPU (for another old one!)
    By foxman in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-11-2008, 04:41 PM
  4. Can you still view the bios screen with a bad CPU?
    By HyperCreep in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-31-2006, 05:57 PM
  5. CPU temp
    By PING in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-28-2006, 05:25 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21