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Constant reboot cycle/dead PC: conflict with graphics drivers?

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#1 radxx


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Posted 19 January 2009 - 03:37 PM

Hi there, I'm an infrequent visitor here, but this time I need help, BAD!

This is a long post, I tend to waffle, so brace yourself.

I'll start by telling you my problem.
It started with a full system scan for viruses and spy/ad/malware. I had gone out and when I returned the scan was about 8hrs in but when I sat down to check the progress and MOVED the mouse to shake off the screen saver I could smell an obvious electrical smell, like burning or overheating. I knew it wasn't from anything else but my PC so I shut it down.
After 5-10 mins I started it up again to see if it was okay, it ran as normal; loading windows etc but the PSU was making a hissing/clicking noise, which I didn't like one bit, so I shut it down again. And left it.
Confident it was nothing else on the system but the PSU I made plans to buy a new one.
After fitting it a few days later and powering up it started to loop. Never getting further than the windows welcome screen.
There was one or two BSOD, but there was no details on them just the usual: " If this is the first time you've seen this message reboot your system" etc etc.

So now I had a new, working PSU in a PC that wouldn't start so I set up an older PC (the one I'm using right now) to help with solving my problem. Which was a pain cos I had to swap my network adapter everytime I tried something new, jus so I could get online.

Anyway, after resetting the BIOS settings to default (I double checked them just in case) and rebooting, then trying one change at a time, like I'd been advised, I tried reinstalling XP. I figured if its a system file or generic driver problem it would be easier to do this than it would be to try to find an individual problem file on a pc that wouldn't boot up.
It took 11 1/2 hrs to do this one thing!!
But when it did the pc seemed to work for a while, inundated with "Windows has recovered from a serious error" messages and also some new errors.
Most notably " windows/system32/lsass.exe terminated unexpectedly by NT AUTHORITY/SYSTEM Status - 1073741819"
and "nVidia card caused an error - could not complete a draw operation"

The rebooting cycle then started again. I figured it was something to do with my graphics card. Had problems with it b4. Updates and such not actually helping. So in safe mode with the BIOS cacheable and L1 cache and L2 cache all disabled i deleted the video adapters and set about reinstalling from the nVidia cd.

This took a long time (something to do with the L1/2 cache turned off, I think) I ended up going bed at 4:40 am! Bloody machine!!

First thing after I got up I booted up straight into windows with the BIOS all set to normal and it whizzed straight to my desktop. Woo hoo! i opened some appz, surfed the net, checked on some settings and thought about the amount of reinstalling there was to come :-s I then rebooted to make sure everything could settle down properly.

Big mistake

Reboot loop started again and nothing I could do to change it this time. unable to get to safe mode, even! I knew that I could if i disabled the caches again. I thought about using the recovery console to repair the windows installation instead of a full reinstall but before I had chance to do anything the pc died!

Stone cold

No overheating smell. No crackle or pop of components going on the fritz, jus... nothing. Tried checking all connections and rebooting but this time the HDD didn't even cycle up, the power was on, the 4 fans I have on my tower were all spinning but that was it. Nothing on screen, couldn't press restart or even the the on/off switch on the front of the case.

My first obvious question is Can it be brought back from the dead?

Second would be how to fix the mess of a problem I outlined above, incase it does work again so it doesn't happen again in the future.

Thank you so much for reading this far, ppl.
Here's my specs

ECS K7S5A Pro motherboard, SiS 735 chipset
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (1.99GHz)
80Gb HDD
nVidia GeForce MX 440 SE (64Mb)
2x512Mb Crucial DDR pc2100 266MHz
10/100 network adapter
Creative SoundBlaster LIVE! 24bit sound card
and OS is Windows XP
I do have SP2 but on seperate cd, so when reinstalling there's always that second step involved

I'll wait as patiently as I can folks, thanks for getting here and for any help you can give.

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#2 Sneakycyber


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Posted 19 January 2009 - 07:04 PM

Well first off, If you have moved the HDD a different computer there is a good chance that windows will need to be re-installed or at the minimum a repair install. Second the power supply going bad (the burning smell) may well have caused damage to the motherboard or other components as well. The only sure way is to test the components on a known good motherboard. Since you are able to get to the bios screen and the computer POST (Power On Self Test) I would start with trying to repair windows in the computer you originally had problems with. If the computer is incredibly slow I would have to guess there is a problem with one of the components. You should take them to a computer shop and have them tested to be sure wich one is faulty. You could order a new motherboard and determine that its not the motherboard and you will be back at square one with having to pay shipping and restocking fees on a motherboard you don't need. Unfortunatly these are your best options and the options a shop would try.
Chad Mockensturm 
Network Engineer
Certified CompTia Network +, A +

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