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Endless restarting, busted internet, and more!


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#1 FrackinToaster

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:09 AM

First, thanks very much in advance for any assistance or advice that may be offered.

Now on to the issues:

Every 5-7 days, my computer, a custom build I did in Oct 2008, will stop while on whatever random internet page I happen to be on. The status in the bottom left corner says "Done", but it won't allow me to refresh, go to another page/bookmark, etc. If I try to go to another page, i will eventually give me the usual Firefox page present when a connection can't be made (eg. It has 3 tips on what the problem might be, along with an option to Try Again, which does nothing). Checking out the network settings in the Control Panel and trying to repair the connection doesn't help. I seem to be able to still run applications, navigate through Windows Explorer, and do pretty much anything not related to internet.

Logging off and back on doesn't remedy the issue, but restarting does. The problem is that, when I restart, the PC only gets as far as the MoBo splash page and reboots endlessly. It doesn't allow me to get into the BIOS, and never makes it past this splash page. I've thoroughly cleaned all dust from the components and case, and I've checked my RAM and PSU voltages to make sure everything's normal, but the only thing that seems to bring it back is to unseat and re-seat a RAM stick. 9 of 10 times, it will then boot properly and all is well with the internet again. Windows will tell me that a "serious error" occurred and log a minidump in the usual folder, and everything runs smoothly again for 5-7 days. I also defrag regularly. AVG is not detecting any viruses.

My last 2 ideas are 1) to try running with only one stick of a matched pair of RAM I use to see if one of them is the culprit, and 2) re-format.

For reference, I'm running:

Windows XP Home 32-bit w/SP3
4GB Mushkin RAM
Palit Radeon 4850 512MB
2 x WD 500GB HD
Core 2 Duo E8400
Antec 650W PSU
AVG antivirus
Gigabyte EP45-DS3L MoBo

Please let me know if I can provide more info or post a minidump if it will help, and thanks once again for any assistance.

Edited by FrackinToaster, 22 November 2010 - 10:13 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:02 PM

What type of Internet connection do you have?

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#3 FrackinToaster

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:17 PM

What type of Internet connection do you have?


Thanks for the reply. I'm on a cable connection through Shaw cable. It's their "vanilla" high-speed connection, supposedly up to 7.5Mbps.

I should've also mentioned that my girlfriend is running through the same router and has no such issues with her Dell PC. Also, I typically log off my PC for the day, and occasionally when logging back on (once every ten days or so), I'll get the message that there are "insufficient resources" to log back on. The only remedy is to reboot, which again starts the restarting loop.

Edited by FrackinToaster, 22 November 2010 - 04:03 PM.


#4 FrackinToaster

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:23 PM

First, thanks very much in advance for any assistance or advice that may be offered.

Now on to the issues:

Every 5-7 days, my computer, a custom build I did in Oct 2008, will stop while on whatever random internet page I happen to be on. The status in the bottom left corner says "Done", but it won't allow me to refresh, go to another page/bookmark, etc. If I try to go to another page, i will eventually give me the usual Firefox page present when a connection can't be made (eg. It has 3 tips on what the problem might be, along with an option to Try Again, which does nothing). Checking out the network settings in the Control Panel and trying to repair the connection doesn't help. I seem to be able to still run applications, navigate through Windows Explorer, and do pretty much anything not related to internet.

Logging off and back on doesn't remedy the issue, but restarting does. The problem is that, when I restart, the PC only gets as far as the MoBo splash page and reboots endlessly. It doesn't allow me to get into the BIOS, and never makes it past this splash page. I've thoroughly cleaned all dust from the components and case, and I've checked my RAM and PSU voltages to make sure everything's normal, but the only thing that seems to bring it back is to unseat and re-seat a RAM stick. 9 of 10 times, it will then boot properly and all is well with the internet again. Windows will tell me that a "serious error" occurred and log a minidump in the usual folder, and everything runs smoothly again for 5-7 days. I also defrag regularly. AVG is not detecting any viruses.

My last 2 ideas are 1) to try running with only one stick of a matched pair of RAM I use to see if one of them is the culprit, and 2) re-format.

For reference, I'm running:

Windows XP Home 32-bit w/SP3
4GB Mushkin RAM
Palit Radeon 4850 512MB
2 x WD 500GB HD
Core 2 Duo E8400
Antec 650W PSU
AVG antivirus
Gigabyte EP45-DS3L MoBo

Please let me know if I can provide more info or post a minidump if it will help, and thanks once again for any assistance.


Just thought I'd give this a bump/update. I've tried removing one RAM stick, as well as swapping the remaining stick between slots, to no avail. I forgot to mention above that I also occasionally get the message Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service when trying to log on (I sometimes log off for a few hours instead of turning the PC off). I've seen various posts about this same error message, but no conclusive solution.

Thanks as ever for any tips.

#5 DeexEnigma

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 07:02 PM

To me it definitely sounds more hardware than software.

If it were to be software you would be able to boot windows, get in and around and then it'd freeze, but you'd be constantly able to boot windows.
Given that its not letting you past splash on startup, it sounds like its a POST issue with hardware, most likely RAM, or RAM bays given that you re-seat and it comes good.

How long ago did the problem first appear, did it do it soon after your build, or some time into it?
Does the POST beep at you when it turns on? or doesn't it get that far?

#6 dc3

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 07:52 PM

Let's see if there is a RAM problem.

***** A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 FrackinToaster

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:58 AM

To me it definitely sounds more hardware than software.

If it were to be software you would be able to boot windows, get in and around and then it'd freeze, but you'd be constantly able to boot windows.
Given that its not letting you past splash on startup, it sounds like its a POST issue with hardware, most likely RAM, or RAM bays given that you re-seat and it comes good.

How long ago did the problem first appear, did it do it soon after your build, or some time into it?
Does the POST beep at you when it turns on? or doesn't it get that far?


Thanks for the reply, and it does seem to make sense that it would be more hardware-based than software. I'm not too familiar with what errors Windows is capable of when it gets corrupted, but I that was the only thing I could think of that was software-based.

The issue started about 2 months ago, and the build was done in Oct. 2008. I've had little to no hassles until now, beyond certain games notorious for crashing (Fallout 3, etc).

#8 FrackinToaster

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:04 AM

Let's see if there is a RAM problem.

***** A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.


Thanks for the awesome step-by-step! I've attempted to run a copy of memtest that I burnt with Nero as a "data file", but it wouldn't boot from the disc drive, even after choosing it as the priority boot in the BIOS. Is it necessary to use ImgBurn over Nero, or is that just recommended for its bargain price of free?

Pertaining to the first suggestion, I have two RAM sticks. I've tried each on its own, in alternating slots on the MoBo, but the problem still occurs. It does seem to happen a bit less with only one installed, though. Is it rare to have the RAM slots on a MoBo fail together at the same time?

Thanks again!

Edited by FrackinToaster, 10 December 2010 - 02:05 AM.


#9 dc3

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:13 AM

It is not common, but it does happen.

ImgBurn is chosen for the facts that it works very well and that it is free.

Edited by dc3, 10 December 2010 - 11:14 AM.

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