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Comp reboots randomly w/ no BSOD no error message

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#1 wallyszczerbiak


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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:09 AM

Win XP Pro
Intel dual core
I don't really know too many other specs off the top of my head. The system is at least 3 years old though.

The problem started almost a week ago. No new hardware, no new software. It will reboot randomly sometimes giving me just a few minutes, sometimes giving me a half hour or so. There is no blue screen of death, no error message, no "windows did not shut down properly" etc etc. The screen simply goes black & then the boot process starts up.

At first I thought it was heat but as of now I have the sides off & even the power supply sitting outside of the case. The room itself is not warm.

Then I thought perhaps it was caked on dust. I got compressed air & cleaned out the CPU heatsink & all the vents & fans (case fans, heatsink fan, power supply fans)

Then I thought it might be the hard drive failing. I would hear a click every now & then when it was first loading up all the programs that start w/ Windows. I have 2 spare hard drives from my old computer & I reformatted & did a fresh install of Windows on both drives & still have the rebooting problem.

Then I thought maybe it was the RAM. I have 3 gigs in the form of two 1gb sticks & two 512mb sticks. I've tried it with just the two 512mb sticks, I've tried with the two 1gb sticks, & currently I'm using one 1gb stick. Still rebooting.

Then I was hoping it was the power supply. I took it to my local computer shop to have it tested & they say its fine. Of course they advised that it could be failing under load. I did notice burning smell that I never noticed before when I took the power supply out. I googled but all I can find on that subject is brand new PSU's "burning in." My PSU is far from new though lol.

I've disconnected most non essential components. (Disconnected devices: DVD burner, 2nd hard drive, pro audio card) (Wireless adapter is still connected, I don't have a video card or anything like that)

For kicks I've tried to run the system w/ firewalls & antivirus software disabled.

It doesn't matter if I'm using the computer (internet, running programs, etc) or if I simply just leave it on. It's going to reboot either way. I boot it up, go play xbox for awhile & when I come back it's rebooted (I can tell because I'll open a blank notepad).

I find it peculiar that it DOES NOT reboot if it's in safe mode. What's the deal with that?

So what do you guys think? The computer shop charges $45 just to figure out what the problem is. I hate to do that because if the total repair bill is going to be a couple hundred bucks or more I'd probably rather just get a new computer (I just now thought about this... if it's the mobo or cpu I'd have to have them install it & I'm sure they'd charge me another $30). Do you think I'm over reacting? Should I just take it in?

Thanks for your time

Oh yeah, I've tried to set it so that Windows doesn't reboot if it has a failure but that doesn't seem to take.

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#2 Budapest


    Bleepin' Cynic

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 02:25 AM

Have a look in the Event Viewer for any errors at the time of the reboot.

To open the Event Viewer go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer. Alternately, go to Start > Run and type in "eventvwr.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter.

Check in all the categories.

If you find an error that occurred at the time right-click on it and select properties. Copy the information in the window and post it back here. This will help us diagnose your problem.

How To Use the Event Viewer
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 kgbezt


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Posted 14 June 2009 - 01:28 AM


I have a similiar problem and already spent lots of time and money on this problem. All the standard items have been checked (PSU, RAM, ect.). Also nothing in the events log or even a .dmp file that I can access.

Initially I did get an PCI.SYS error but after reformat and reloading this dissapeared but the random reboot remains. This happens within a few seconds after system start up to hours but it seems to be getting worse by the day. In fact, the PC is basically now useless, other than in safe mode.

BTW, its a Intel P4, 2GB RAM, with all the updates and so on.

Any advice will be appreciatted.


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