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Windows XP/Computer Keeps Restarting


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#1 DownWithMalware

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:43 PM

Hello there,
This is my first post and the first time using the forums other than reading the malware removal guides. I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, but this seemed at the moment, the best place to post this help request. Also I am unsure whether this is related to OS problems or hardware problems...

My problem is this:

In the past 2 hours, my computer has been restarting constantly. I can fully load windows and start using programs, but after 4-7 minutes the computer will make a quick 'tick' noise. (it makes this same noise at the point when the computer fully shuts off then turns on when I manually restart). I don't receive any blue screens or other error messages. The computer just restarts as if normal and then for 2 seconds after loading bios, I see the option to load either Windows XP Professional or something recovery related. The first couple times my computer restarted, windows would load CHKDSK, but it did not find any errors.

I was worried that a fan or something had broke and as a result the temperature of the machine had increased. So i looked into finding a program that would show me the temperature of my hardware. Here is my result: http://imgur.com/zRyTB ... As you can see it only shows the temperature of my hard drive, but the temperature is pretty low (I think) at a constant 36-39 C. This makes me believe that the issue is with the power supply and not the fans.

Also another note: Just a day and a half ago, my dad was replacing our stove & oven and for whatever reason, the power in my room went completely off for a second (for the entire house too i think). It restarted my computer but I didnt have any problems afterwards or the next morning.

Of course I am also very bad with viruses and come across them a lot. I recently ran into some SKYNET viruses, but managed to get rid of those using MalwareBytes. Maybe i have picked up another virus that has this current effect?

My Specs are:
Dell GX260 Case
Windows XP Professional SP2
580W Power Supply
1600x pro ATI GPU 512mb
Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
1 GB Ram
1x20GB Western Digital HD
1x80GB Maxtor HD

yep this is a really old PC, but I don't have many needs for a new computer so I would like to have this one still functioning.
So far, my PC has amazingly been on for about 25 minutes!! ( hope it stays like this).

Please let me know what you think. If this seems like a power supply issue, I could probably replace it soon. If this is a software issue, I would appreciate any guides on how to fix it. If this is in the wrong forum, I apologize and will post a new one in the appropriate place. Also feel free to ask me questions and I will try to answer Asap.

Thanks,
DWM

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 10:19 AM

Hi :thumbsup:.

1. Disable Automatic Restarts When Windows Crashes - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/74644/how-to-disable-automatic-restarts-when-windows-crashes/

2. Run the chkdsk /r command. Start/Run...type chkdsk /r (space between k and /) and hit Enter. Type Y in response to onscreen query and hit Enter. Reboot the system...the command will run to completion, before booting into XP.

Once you get BSOD error message, post the content.

Louis

#3 DownWithMalware

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:05 PM

Hello.

Thanks Hamluis for your reply.

I have followed your instructions on disabling auto restart. I also completed the second step. here are my results from CHKDSK:

CHKDSK is verifying files (Stage 1/5)
File verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (Stage 2/5)
Deleting index entry PE299D~1.DAT in index $130 of file 72.
Deleting index entry Perflib_perfdata_ed4.dat in index $130 of file 72.
index verification completed.
CHDSK is verifying security descriptors (Stage 3/5)
Security descriptor verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (Stage 4/5)
file data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (Stage 5/5)
Free space verification completed.

After that I received a menu that ended real quick but I got a glimpse of something like this:
The Volume is clean.
CHKDSK completed.

However, I DID NOT receive a BSOD even with Automatic Restart disabled.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:19 PM

Thanks :thumbsup:.

Are you still in the reboot loop?

I just looked at that temperature data you posted...it's nice for some to know the hard drive temperature, for me the only temp that matters is the CPU temp. You don't need any special program (normally) to check that, it's usually visible in the BIOS/Setup data.

Did you check all fans inside the case for functionality, including the PSU fan?

Cleaning the Interior of your PC - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

Have you checked Event Viewer for possible noted errors which might shed clues?

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

Louis

#5 DownWithMalware

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:27 PM

Hey Hamluis. I have taken your suggestion and checked my Event Viewer. I don't see anything serious in Application, Security, and ACE. I'm assuming you want me to check System for errors.

I'm seeing a lot of 'information' categorized data. Here is a snippet:

The ipod service service entered the running state.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


and another one:

The Application Layer Gateway Service service was successfully sent a start control.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.



I am also seeing some errors between blocks of information:

DCOM got error "The system cannot find the file specified. " attempting to start the service BITS with arguments "" in order to run the server:
{4991D34B-80A1-4291-83B6-3328366B9097}

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


The Background Intelligent Transfer Service service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


As for checking the temperature of the CPU... I cannot find anything in BIOS that gives me temperature data at all... However I have checked each fan including the CPU fan and they all seem to be functioning. I also cleaned my case yesterday to see if dust was an issue but that did not seem to stop the crashes. It is fairly clean now.

Thanks for your replies so far,
DWM

#6 DownWithMalware

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:39 PM

Hey, I checked BIOS again and did not see any temp information. Here is some info related to CPU and power that I can access:

CPU Speed ...... Normal
Processor 0 ID F29
Clock Speed..... 2.80 GHz
Cache Size....... 512 Kb


This is from Power Management:

Suspend Mode S1
AC Power Recovery On
Low Power mode Enabled


Before I had this issue, I had suspend mode to S3 and Low power mode disabled. I tried changing these values in hopes that it would fix my problem, but to no avail. Also my PC seems to last longer with these settings, but it might something completely different. I am really not sure.

Thanks,
DWM

#7 hamluis

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:49 PM

Take a look, http://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/background-...will-not-start/.

Generally, you can disregard information items in Event Viewer...they are of lesser importance than the errors. The errors indicate when something is wrong, while many of the info items merely affirm what is right.

To give your system better protection from malware:

a. Always install critical updates issued by Microsoft when they come out. Some users don't seem to realize that these are more than just changes issued to irritate users...which perspective leaves their systems minus the maximum level of defense which it could have today.

b. What AV program is installed?

c. Install both Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware (or similar programs) to assist your system in maintaining a good security posture.

Louis

#8 rosiesdad

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:55 PM

One issue if its a corrupt file in Windows would be to run sfc /scannow it tries to fix any system files that arent system original.

If its hardware issue, logic seems it could be a PS, look on ebay for a direct dell replacement. Look on the orig PS for a dell part nr, just buy the same one.
Some models of dells use a proprietary PS. You might find a used gx260 for about twice the price of a ps, then you would have a ton of spare parts.

Also, you could try removing the cmos battery for a while, hold the start button and boot up.

#9 DownWithMalware

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:01 PM

Hey Hamluis. Thanks again.

A: I understand and I realize I should've stayed up to date. I've turned on automatic updates for now.

B: I have Avira Personal Anti virus. Avira Guard is always on in the background.

C: I have used Malwarebytes before and its done very good things for my computer. (Killed SKYNET) I'm currently running another scan and it looks like its catching a pretty good amount of viruses ( godam viruses). Its odd because I hardly do anything but visit social media sites, use documents and use VOIP.

Regarding the link: Ah, I remember a while ago I had looked for unnecessary services to disable that would free up some CPU on my pc. I found a website that advised turning off BITS and other services. I didn't receive any negative results from disabling those services and haven't had any issues regarding that since I did this 7 months ago.

Thanks for your support so far. If you can find anything else I'd appreciate it. I will also update this topic if something new comes up!

#10 DownWithMalware

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:11 PM

Hey rosiesdad, thanks for your reply.

thats a very good idea that I hadn't considered and will look into it. However the only issue I see with that is the original PSU that came with the GX260 could not support all the hardware I had so I had to upgrade it to a 580W PSU that my friend had a spare of from previous gaming rigs. I also have my eye on a very cheap PSU on newegg thats available for $20 only. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817170010

I am not sure on how to remove the CMOS battery, but I guess I should google it. If you know a link off the top of your head that has guide ( and maybe some pictures) that would be very helpful.

I will try using the sfc /scannow command in run right now. Thanks for your help.

edit: it looks like this requires Windows XP SP2 CD to use the sfc command. I will have to get a copy from work to try this.

DWM

Edited by DownWithMalware, 30 November 2009 - 07:13 PM.


#11 DownWithMalware

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:15 PM

Wow. it caught about 350+ infections. Some rootkit, some rogue stuff, and some windowsupdate hijacks, and trace malware. Looks like I'll have to beef up my machine. I'm surprised my PC hasn't restarted in about 45 minutes though. Lets see if the infections had anything to do with the restart issue.

(thanks for everyones help so far)

#12 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:16 PM

FYI:
Social media sites are great for malware that uses top notch social engineering.

The real face of koobface (pdf):

http://us.trendmicro.com/imperia/md/conten...ace_jul2009.pdf

I have been seeing a lot of this one and those without an updated AV/AM will get all the components active. When that happens, nuke and reload is all that is safe.

#13 DownWithMalware

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:16 PM

Hello, I am finally back with some news about my issue.

What I have done in the meantime:

Tried taking out RAM and then putting back some replacement RAM. - At first, taking out one of my 512mb ram sticks produced a good result; I could keep the pc on for a couple of hours. However, it did not last long and restarts became frequent again. Trying this again and again did not produce the same results.

Tried taking out my x1600 AGP ATI card - This didn't work either. Immediate restart sometimes

Tried a separate Power supply. (Athena power or something was the manufacturer). This did not go well at all; As soon as I plugged it in and turned the switch on, it made a pop noise and a small cloud of smoke came about- the PSU still kept running, but I turned it off and it would not turn on anymore.

Installed a new Hard Drive and installed Windows on it. This worked very well in that it lasted for around 5 hours. I Actually thought I had fixed the issue and was super duper happy until it restarted at some point. Eventually thought, it started to restart frequently again. Very disappointing.

I also installed an updated version of BIOS. This did make the computer last longer at first, but like most other changes, it eventually reverted back to frequent restarts. Also, I took out the BIOS battery and put it back in with no real change.

The last thing I tried was removing all unnecessary hardware such as my CD drives & DVD drives and floppy drive. No noticeable change.

I made sure to clean the machine as well by using one of those pressurized can dust blowers. I took out the cpu fan and cleaned it and also made sure there was nothing in the video card.

In the end though, nothing good lasted too long. I keep finding myself frustrated at my computer as it constantly restarts sometimes loading windows OS, sometimes while I'm in windows and running a program. Going into safe mode was never succesful. it would restart at some point, even after I had reinstalled windows.

Some error messages I received:

Alert! Previous attempts at booting this system have failed at checkpoint [Keyb]. For help in resolving this problem, please note this checkpoint and contact Dell Technical Support.


As well as

Alert! Previous attempts at booting this system have failed at checkpoint [Size]. For help in resolving this problem, please note this checkpoint and contact Dell Technical Support.


context; these error messages only popped up when the PC was going nuts and would restart multiple times before BIOS even loaded or showed up on the screen.

Just an hour ago, I tried switching my power extension bar with one that had surge protection to no avail.

I've decided that fixing this might be almost impossible, so I've already begun looking at a new computer build. However, it would be nice to have this on fixed at some point so I can either give it to my brother or my family.

So I would still appreciate any help and insight I can get on this issue. Has anyone run across something like this? To me it seems like it might be the motherboard itself at this point since changing any other hardware has no real effect. Also can anyone explain why hardware changes sometimes makes the machine last longer? Do these error messages mean anything? are they related to the constant restart problem?

I hope I havn't forgotten anything and sorry for the long post.

Thanks,
DWM

#14 DownWithMalware

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:25 PM

And I hate Dell Tech Support. It doesn't seem like I'll be able to contact them through phone or chat support without my service tag (which is no longer on my case for whatever reason) and even then I don't think they will do any support if the machine doesn't have warranty. Dammit

Edited by DownWithMalware, 16 December 2009 - 08:25 PM.


#15 DownWithMalware

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:36 PM

Oooh, I just realized that the CMOS battery might be failing. Could that be a possible cause for the constant restarts? it doesn't seem like it would be since BIOS isn't even used except for the first couple of seconds during bootup...
Thx,
DWM




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