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Computer Restarts Randomly, No Stop Error


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#1 rjpobrien

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:58 AM

Hi,

I'm new to this forum but was desperately hoping that someone might be able to help me fix this problem. I apologise in advance about the length of this post but hopefully it will explain everything fully!

My computer will, at least once a day, restart for no apparent reason. It can be after being on for as little as 1 hour or 8 hours. Frustratingly it will not provide any Stop error and so I am unsure as to what is causing this.

I have checked within System Information>Advanced>System Startup and Recovery Settings that "Automatically Restart" is disabled and have also checked the Event Viewer for any error problems but have not had any luck. I don't suspect that the computer is overheating as upon restarting I can log back in and not have a problem for many hours - I was under the impression that if overheating was the problem then it would continue to restart regularly until the computer was turned off so that it could cool down. I have cleaned the computer inlets and fans anyway so that the cooling is as good as new, just in case, but am still getting restarts.

The computer is one I built myself and has an Asus P5B Deluxe Motherboard, E6600 Intel Processor, 2GB DDR2 6400C4 Corsair RAM and a Leadtek PX7600GS Graphics Card. I never had this problem when I first built the computer (admittedly back in Sept 06) and the only thing to change since then has been an upgraded SATA DVD Writer that I added (the old one it replaced was IDE) - I don't know if this would make a difference or could even cause the computer to restart daily. All drivers, AFAIK, are up to date.

I can't think of any other bits of information that might be useful but if anyone can help I would be extremely grateful as it is now driving me mad! Let me know if you need more information.

Many thanks in advance,
Richard

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 11:14 AM

IMO...could be heat-related...could be PSU...could be hard drive, CPU, motherboard, etc.

Seemingly, all you can do is eliminate suspects, one by one.

One other thing I would do...is check Event Viewer for possible clues.

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/40108/how-to-use-event-viewer/

Louis

#3 rjpobrien

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

Hi Louis and many thanks for your fast reply.

I will try and eliminate components over the next few weeks as and when I can get hold of replacements to test with. Any suggestions which I start off with?

Are you sure it would be a hardware problem? While it seems logical I had presumed that it would be software. The system has a dual boot option to another installation of Windows XP Pro and while I rarely use this (it is mainly for Video Editing which I try to keep seperate from my normal use) I have not encountered this problem on the secondary boot partition. The only difference between the 2 is the software installed which makes me think it is a software problem but atm I can't think of any way of isolating which program is causing it. I hope that makes sense.

Thanks again for your help. If you or anyone else can think of anything else it might be or a way I can identify the problem more effectively then I would be very grateful to hear it! In the mean time I'll look into testing the hardware.

Many thanks,
Richard

#4 hamluis

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 03:44 PM

<<Are you sure it would be a hardware problem?>>

Did I say that? Of course, I'm not sure...but every journey has to start somewhere :thumbsup:

Generally...I find that XP will generate a cry for help when most things go wrong with the O/S. Note that I did not say "the system."

The one exception to this premise...would be corrupt system files...and, even then, error messages are generated when "important" system files have been found to be damaged/corrupted.

I am not saying that XP finds/reports on every instance of damaged system files...I don't know that at all. I just know that there is an incredible amount of documentation available on just about any recognized damaged system files.

Typically...if an application results in a crash/reboot...the system will record the error onscreen or in Event Viewer. Hence, the link.

Lacking any sort of help or cry for help from the system via the O/S...I have to resort to just guessing.

Hardware is the big area where XP cannot help itself or the user very much. It can detect certain problems caused by drivers, but only in a general way. It can detect certain problems in memory...but won't necessarily pinpoint the cause of the problem. It can detect certain problems with hard drives, but not with the precision of the diagnostic programs available at the websites of hard drive manufacturers.

Heat-related problems are detected only because it's a self-preservation scenario (at least, that's the way I look at it)...the system turns itself off.

File system (NTFS or FAT) problems are sometimes detected...often not. More guesswork, with the ultimate way of dealing with such being a reformat/clean install (since everything installed depends on the file system).

Since I believe that you have an XP install CD...you can try a repair install and hope that takes care of whatever is wrong. Shotgun approach and it won't be effective if it is a hardware or file system problem.

You can easily test the hard drive...you can easily test the RAM...so I would start with those two.

And...as always...it could be malware-related. I don't touch on that much because it's not an area I know much about, other than how to keep my two computer systems fairly free of anything other than adware/spyware which is removed quickly.

In any case, I hope you see why I stated what I stated...in the manner that I stated it :flowers:.

Systems are complex.

Louis




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