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Need help resolving random restarts


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#1 kalel86

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:21 AM

Folks,

I have an issue with my computer randomly restarting and I need help finding the root cause.

So far I have replaced the power supply, motherboard and the hard drive.

I have scanned the memory using memtest86, passed.

I do not sense any overheating of components on the motherboard or video card.

I suspect the culprit is the video card but I am not convinced as swapping with an older video card produces similar restarts. However, it should be noted that the older video card does not work well in general (fuzzy lines). Uninstalling video card drivers also does not help - still restarts randomly.

Motherboard BIOS is up-to-date and latest chipset drivers are installed.

Automatic restarts are disabled in XP. No BSODs before restarts. Event viewer used to show 'disk error' before I had replaced the hard disk. The restarts did not go away after replacement.

I have an Asus P4P800 motherboard with a P4 2.8ghz processor, and swapped it with an ECS 848p-a with a 3.0ghz processor, to see if that was the cause but still restarts. Also, should mention that I swapped the Asus with a used ECS mobo, also possibly defective.

Running Windows XP Pro SP3 on:

ECS 848P-A mobo, P4 3 Ghz, 2.0 GB Ram, ECS 848P-A mobo with a new 750 watt PSU (ultra lsp750), Sapphire Radeon HD2600Pro 512 MB video card, western digital caviar 1tb hd

I am pretty much running out of things to test/change without buying new replacement components. Please feel free to shed some expertise.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 12:53 PM

<>

Does that mean that the system boots into XP successfully on occasion? A random event is one that happens and does not reflect a pattern.

Do a search of your system for any .dmp files.

If you find any, follow the procedures at Help Diagnosing BSODs And Crashes (BC) - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/176011/how-to-receive-help-diagnosing-blue-screens-and-windows-crashes/

FWIW: Memtest86 is not the recommended program for testing RAM, the current version of Memtest86+ is deemed to be more reliable.

See Known Problems at Memtest86 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest.

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

If you used the same hard drive when you replaced the motherboard...chances are that you shoud encounter problems, since all drivers and settings on the hard drive...relate to a different board.

<>

Does that mean there are no errors reflected in Event Viewer...which relate to a situation that can cause rebooting?

The Asus board has onboard video...how does this tie in to your theory re video card?

Issues on a system where the motherboard/CPU has changed would typiically lead me to the power supply or questioning the installation of the board/CPU. Since you replaced the power supply, then I have to ask if you applied thermal grease properly to the CPU when affixing...and have you checked all fans for proper functioning?

...and since the issues span these component changes, with no error messages noted...I'd also consider the possibility that the motherboards were not/are not properly mounted.

Louis

#3 kalel86

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 07:57 PM

<<Does that mean that the system boots into XP successfully on occasion? A random event is one that happens and does not reflect a pattern.>>

Typically boots into XP. Restarts almost immediately sometimes, other times it runs for hours before it reboots. Have not found anything in particular that can trigger the restart.

<<Do a search of your system for any .dmp files.>>

No minidumps found. There are no BSODs, just restarts. The event viewer logs do not show anything suspicious.

<<FWIW: Memtest86 is not the recommended program for testing RAM, the current version of Memtest86+ is deemed to be more reliable.>>

Will try this instead.

<<If you used the same hard drive when you replaced the motherboard...chances are that you shoud encounter problems, since all drivers and settings on the hard drive...relate to a different board.>>

I was using the old hard drive on the replaced motherboard. That is when I noticed the 'disk error' messages in event viewer and ran a disk check utility from western digital. The utility reported a failure and I had it RMA'd. The new hard drive has a fresh install of XP and is still encountering restarts.

<<No BSODs before restarts.>>

<<Does that mean there are no errors reflected in Event Viewer...which relate to a situation that can cause rebooting?>>

As far as I can tell, there are no such messages listed.

<<The Asus board has onboard video...how does this tie in to your theory re video card?>>

The Asus board does not have onboard video. Only one 8x AGP slot. My theory is that the video card is cooked somewhere causing intermittent reboots. I have tried this card on a friend's computer, did not see a restart but it may just have been a lack of waiting it out.

<<Issues on a system where the motherboard/CPU has changed would typiically lead me to the power supply or questioning the installation of the board/CPU. Since you replaced the power supply, then I have to ask if you applied thermal grease properly to the CPU when affixing...and have you checked all fans for proper functioning?>>

I did not touch the CPU on either motherboard. Whatever grease was on there from before should still be there. It is possible that both mobo/cpu's are cooked somewhere.

The first thing that I replaced after the motherboard was the PSU, thinking that the video card was not getting enough juice. Used to run on a 450 W PSU with 16A on the +12v.

Using a motherboard monitoring tool, I think that the temperatures are pretty average. CPU temp is floating around 50 deg C. Fans are all running normally.

<<...and since the issues span these component changes, with no error messages noted...I'd also consider the possibility that the motherboards were not/are not properly mounted.>>

Is there anything in particular in terms of mounting a motherboard that I should note? I do not have very many connections to the case. Only power led, power and reset switch.



Louis
[/quote]

#4 hamluis

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 10:19 PM

You're right about the onboard video, sorry...it's hard for me to focus when basketball games are on TV all day :thumbsup:.

http://www.wikihow.com/Properly-Mount-a-Mo...board-in-a-Case, more at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sou...mp;oq=&aqi=.

Louis




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