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Random reboots


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#1 Uzag

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:28 AM

Hi!
My computer has started to continuously reboot itself lately and sometimes it doesn’t even boot. This error is really bothersome, but it’s especially making me nervous as I have no clue of what’s going on; I’m really lost when it comes to internal hardware.
Any help is greatly appreciated!


The computer
Windows XP (Professional, SP2)

Intel Core 2 DUO CPU
E6750, 2.66GHz
2.67GHz, 2.00GB RAM

(I fetched this from Control panel/System, but
I’m not sure if it’s the/all information needed).

The error
- The computer reboots for no apparent reason.
The time interval between to boots heavily varies. The computer can run fine for days and then start rebooting several times on just one day.
Once it has rebooted, it seems more likely to reboot again after just a few minutes.

- Sometimes, after the reboot, the computer does not boot at all.
Usually it will make an OK-beep on start-up, but this won’t happen when it “locks up” like this. The fans will be running. The will screen remain black (I had an exception to this, but I stupidly forgot to type down what it said. I think it listed the graphic card and another hardware component).
If I unpower the computer for about 30min, it will start and run as usual again. I’m unpowering by using a “utility power switch” (I don’t know what these are called in English, but here’s a picture of one...; http://www.bowkonsult.fi/images/Steckdosenleiste.jpg ).

- I’ve seen this error maybe 1/year until the last month, and it has become very intense during the two last weeks.

- I’ve seen the blue screen... So far it only stayed on screen once and at another time it rapidly flashed by before the reboot. Usually I won’t get to see it at all.

Possibly related?
- I’ve just tested the RAM by running MemTest84. I let it run for 13h, where it made 16 passes and roughly found 6350000 errors. I admit that I don’t understand what this means but it doesn’t look proper...
I don’t know if it’s relevant, but think all the errors came in a batch. Thus, it ran some passes, got all the errors and then continued to make passes without any issues.

- It doesn’t seem overheated. However, I’ve not tested this! I’m uncertain how to test it as well as the error is so random.

- I can work with really large documents in PhotoShop without any issues.

- The error seems to be more likely to occur if playing, say, “highly customizable flash games”. Although I don’t play it in particular, I think FarmVille would make a decent example of such game. Basically games that make the computer load and keep track on a lot of data at the same time?

- 3D computer games may “mess up” or freeze the computer when displaying certain special effects. I’m not sure if this error is related at all, but I think it has occurred far more often lately.
The “mess up” will make everything to lag heavily and all skins seem to get scrambled up (say, the ground is covered with creepy faces instead of rock). The sound will keep running. If I manage to shut off the game in this state, the computer will run fine from there on.
The freeze up will start as extremely heavy lag, and then the screen will freeze. Usually the sounds keep running more or less successfully. The computer will beep if I try to alt+ctrl+del. I need to boot when this happens.

Edited by Uzag, 19 June 2011 - 02:12 AM.


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#2 jodav

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 07:21 AM

Hi Uzag

A couple of things that I would try 1st would be,

Check Device manager to see if there are any problems there with installed hardware (Exclamation marks, question marks etc).
If there is then update relevant drivers. To access device manager, Click START, RUN, then copy and paste "devmgmt.msc" without the quotes and select OK\ENTER

Check what your graphic card is (make and model), go to the manufacturers website to see if they have released newer drivers than the one installed. You can check your driver version and date etc in Device manager by expanding the Display adapter and double clicking on your graphics card.

Assuming it is a Desktop, Following ESD precautions (google ESD precautions), Remove your graphic card (if it is not integrated) and memory sticks, and blow out the card and sticks together with the relevant slots, computers do not like dust bunnies and they can cause intermitant faults like this, and even kill the hardware.
While you are in there, give the motherboard, fans etc a good blow out also and any other cards installed (may be wise to do this outside of the house). A can of compressed air (bought from most computer shops) is ideal for this as it does a very good job, and more importantly,the less physical contact from yourself and the hardware the better regarding ESD charges (static electricity).

To help indicate if you have a faulty stick of memory,If you have more than one stick installed, remove one stick and see if problem goes away,then vica versa.

Good Luck,
jodav.

#3 Allan

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 08:01 AM

First let's make sure it isn't a blue screen error causing the reboots.

Download BlueScreenView:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html
unzip downloaded file and double click on BlueScreenView.exe to run the program.
when scanning is done, go to EDIT - Select All
Go to FILE - SAVE Selected Items, and save the report as BSOD.txt
Open BSOD.txt in Notepad, copy all of the content, and paste it into your next reply

#4 Uzag

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 12:36 PM

Thank you very much!

- All installed hardware looks fine in the Device Manager.

- I found some really fresh drivers for the graphic card. I installed them and ran one of the games that I knew would trigger the error 3D game error. Even thought Iíve not tested it thoughtfully, the game ran perfectly for 30 min until I shut it off myself; before it took 2-5min for it to crash. Fantastic! :D

- There was a lot of dust inside chassis, especially around the graphic card, including its slot. The RAM-parts where creepily sparkly clean...

When/if next crash occur
- When I cleaned out the dust, I located two RAM... sticks. Can I remove either or does the remaining one have to be in a certain slot?

- I sadly couldnít fetch any blue screen data, I suspect my cleaner program have gotten them. Iíll make sure to nab it next time!

#5 hamluis

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 12:47 PM

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
Louis

#6 Uzag

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 01:12 PM

Oh... uninstalled x_X
(I've never gotten issues from it so far but I did not know how high risks and how small the benefits there are. No more cleaners for me!).

#7 jodav

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 02:40 PM

Hi Uzag,

Nice to see you may be getting somewhere. It is always best to use bank 1 if only using one stick of memory. It depends on the board but it is usually the closest one to the CPU. If it is motherboard that uses duel channels, have a look at the manual, if you have problems.You can not cause any damage so do not worry.

Good Luck, I will keep my fingers crossed for You.
jodav.




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