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Spontaneous Reboot


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#1 spiritcloud

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 06:54 PM

Hiya folks.

My wife's computer spontaneously reboots itself. There doesn't seem to be any specific thing that causes it. Sometimes it happens while web surfing, sometimes while using various software, sometimes while the pc is just sitting there unused. It doesn't give any error message or warning--just reboots. The problem started about 4 months after the pc was purchased. Sometimes it does it more frequently than others. Currently it is doing it several times a day, even 3 or 4 times in an hour.

About a year or so ago, we did a full backup, reinstalled Windows, and restored the backup. That didn't work. Which implies the problem carried over in the backup, or a hardware issue?

The manufacturer's(e-machines) tech support claimed it was a problem many were having, and replacing the power supply would fix it. I installed the new one--no fix.

One suggestion is that there may be a loose hardware connection inside the pc somewhere.

Another suggestion is there may be a physical flaw inside a memory stick, causing the pc to reboot when a certain memory level is reached.

Another suggestion was that it was overheating and shutting down for protection, but the temps look really good.

My wife has thought that it reboots more often when she views sites that contain a lot of flash content(she uses the most current IE), but it also does it when IE is not running.

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. My wife uses her pc for work, and this problem is very disrupting.

Here's some pc info:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+
192 MB PC3200 DDR RAM (this number seems odd, because I thought we installed a 256MB dimm)
80GB HD (Master)
10GB HD (Slave)
Windows XP Home Edition w/ SP2

I believe her Windows Update is mostly current. And....her Windows XP cd is lost somewhere. bah. Is it possible to use an XP Professional cd to repair or add/remove Home edition things?
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#2 Rimmer

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 07:12 PM

Re the missing 64MB of RAM - that would imply you have onboard graphics and have allocated 64MB of system memory to their use. Hence the System RAM now becomes 192MB.

Testing your RAM is easy enough. There is a free RAM diagnostic called Memtest86 which you can download from here Memtest86.

Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run at least overnight, unless errors come up right away, and then examine the error count.
(If you have no floppy drive there is an iso image available to create a bootable CD.)

What are you using to see the temperatures?

The new power supply you installed - was it identical to the old one?

Check on the manufacturers website for updated drivers for the motherboard (esp all the onboard devices) and install them.

Is there a model number for the PC?

:thumbsup:

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#3 usasma

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 09:35 AM

As long as you haven't disabled it, Windows will log an error to the Event log automatically on any crash.

So, go to the Event Viewer (Start...Control Panel...Administrative Tools...Event Viewer) and left click once on the word "System" in the left hand pane. Then, scan the listings in the right hand pane looking for errors that occurred around the time of the restarts.

Once you've found it, right click on it and select "Properties". There'll be a bunch of info about the error there - just copy it down and post it here.
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#4 spiritcloud

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 04:34 PM

Thanks for explaining the RAM number, Rimmer. I should have figured that out! I have this free handy little app called EVEREST. Shows all sorts of detailed info about the pc, including temps for motherboard, cpu, aux, and hard drive(s). That's what threw me off with the RAM--it lists it broken down instead of a total.

Every error in the log is identical, and seem to coincide with the restarts.

Source is: DCOM
Type: Error
Event ID is: 10005


Here is the main properties text:

DCOM got error "The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it."
attempting to start the service iPodService with arguments "Service" in order to run the server:
{7A7FB085-6068-4898-8CCA-480A9187277C}


Freak. I am going to scream if this whole time the problem has been something thinking it needs that iPod service to be running. We've never even had an iPod. Is there a way to figure out what is attempting to use the service?

I am skeptical that this can be the cause of the spontaeous reboot, because I disabled that service long after the problem started. But...here's hoping! :thumbsup:

Anyway, any further thoughts are appreciated.
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#5 spiritcloud

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 04:45 PM

Sorry, Rimmer. Forgot to answer all your questions!

I never actually checked the new power supply to see if it was identical. I assumed it was because e-machine's tech person sent it. Now that I think about it, that isn't the best reason for confidence. heh Could the problem be that the power supply isn't giving something enough juice?

Model number is C2684 (emachines). Only physical changes I've made are switching the power supply and removing the internal modem--both given to me as possible solutions to this same problem.
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#6 Rimmer

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 05:48 PM

Could the problem be that the power supply isn't giving something enough juice?


That was the thought behind my question, looking at the e-machines website they put some very low-powered PSU's in their machines (e.g. 200W for a P4 machine!) and if the original was underpowered for some reason and you replaced it with the same power rating PSU then the problem would not be fixed. However there have been no upgrades to the system that you have commented on so that line of thinking may be a red-herring.

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#7 VB4

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 10:55 PM

I work at a computer repair shop so I get to see a lot of these problems, most of the time we cannot reproduce the same problem as the customer becuase we dont use the computer at the same level as they would. But how we start to fix this problem is to first clean out the temp folder, cookies, and tempory internet files. Second if you seem to find that while you are doing this it restarts on you try doing it in safe-mode, this can bring some anwsers. First of all when in safe-mode many of the normal windows processes and services are not loaded so windows does not hog all your computer's resources. And if it does not restart at all during this process then that may mean that it is a software problems and just may need to reload windows, if it does that that means it is a hardware problems and the next steps is to narrow it down to what it may be.

Edited by VB4, 07 January 2006 - 11:02 PM.

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#8 Rimmer

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:41 PM

I agree running the system in Safe Mode will give a lot better idea what the problem is. That and working on the memory tests.

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#9 usasma

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 08:00 PM

A google for several of the terms in the error message points at iTunes problems (and maybe some other stuff). There's a nice discussion about this problem (among other things) here: http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?t=11729&sid...b28c787d07520bb
- John
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#10 spiritcloud

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 03:12 PM

Hey Rimmer...

Can you give me more detailed instructions on installing memtest86? The only instructions in the readme file are for Linux. I just don't have the time right now to figure it out.

Thanks in advance.
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#11 Rimmer

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:16 PM

Maybe you downloaded the wrong file?- you want this download:
"Download - Pre-Compiled Memtest86 v3.2 installable from Windows and DOS"

Extract the downloaded ZIP file to a folder on your desktop (so its easy to find). In it you will find a readme which contains this:

To install Memtest86:
- Extract the files from the zip archive
- Open the directory where the files were extracted and click on "install.bat".
- The install program will prompt you for the floppy drive and also prompt you to
insert a blank floppy.
- To run Memtest86 leave the floppy in the drive and reboot.

NOTE: After the boot floppy has been created you will not be able to read the floppy
from windows. This is normal.



Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
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#12 spiritcloud

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 11:28 PM

I don't know what the problem was. I did it on my pc and it worked. Hers said funny stuff that didn't make any sense. I'm wondering if it froze up before it finished and we didn't notice. (I'm a backseat driver for most of this.)

Anywho... We'll run it overnight and see what happens.

Thanks!
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#13 spiritcloud

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 02:41 PM

Is it supposed to keep restarting? Says "Loading........." Then restarts every few seconds.
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#14 Rimmer

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 06:25 PM

No it should just load to a blue(?) screen with test and error statistics ticking over.

From what you said before you only have one stick of RAM? If so shut down the machine, take out the RAM and install it in a different slot. Make sure it clips in firmly - the plastic levers at the ends of the slot should pop up into place when the stick is inserted.

Then try Memtest again.

If it still reloads continually you may have a corrupted download. Download the file again and create a new floppy to try.

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#15 spiritcloud

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 03:58 PM

OK...I opened up the pc, checked all the connections I could, switched the memory stick to a new slot, switched the power cord, cleaned out a lot of dust and lint. (Still haven't done the memtest.)

Problem continues.

I wrote down all the power amounts, but how can I tell if the power supply is not putting out what the components need? Am I going to have to compare the specs for what each individual one needs against what is available?

--------
Here is what gets entered into the log now when the computer restarts itself:

Source: Save Dump
Type: Information
Event ID: 1001


The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x10000050 (0x848b0c55, 0x00000001, 0xbf823a90, 0x00000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini011006-02.dmp.

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