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Computer Randomly Reboots


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#1 darkhorizon

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:32 AM

On a friends machine, with the specs of:

400 watt antec psu, known perfect condition
abit vt7 chipset via apollo pt880
crucial 256x2 DDR ram (total 512MB, identical pc3200 sticks, single/dual channel, same problem)
xp pro service pack 2
nvidia geforce4 mx 440 (microsoft drivers... eww)
western digital 80gb 7200rpm
pentium 4 2.4GHz socket 478
etc..

the computer randomly hard reboots

so i tried adjusting the voltages on the ram, using different ram slots, single/dual channeling the ram, and even just using one stick of ram, then the other, to no avail. so i ran a ram check and it comes up with errors on the ram if run for 8+ hours, which im sure is not good, but in my personal machine the ram ran without any problems (did not run ram test, computer runs stable though)

so TWICE when the computer was starting up now its gone to the windows xp loading screen, but in like 8 bit color and freezes on that screen, but if i leave it like that, you hear the default windows boot sound shortly thereafter, like the video card is just not transmitting the data it gets from the rest of the comp.

the computer is spyware free, and i've even tried a format to see if it would solve the problem... well it didnt. im led to believe that the temps are ok. i cant imagine the ram overheating at stock voltages, the processor is decent via the bios monitor, leaving just the vid card in question. but this happens whether the side cover is open or not on the computer, and regardless of the temp in the house. but i've noticed that the computer restarts more frequently if you are listening to music, or watching an avi file of high quality, but this is not required to do it, it will sometimes reboot when idle.

if anyone can shed some insight into this please let me know

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#2 Snapper

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:07 AM

try a bios update. this sometimes will correct issues regarding this. also, verify that the name brand of the ram is on the compatibility list on the mobo's website.
you should go to www.nvidia.com to download the latest drivers.
have you got all the latest windows updates?
when you do boot to windows. click on start>run type in "dxdiag", run the tests it has, check for any error messages.
this is a start, random restarting isues can be cumbersome to troubleshoot, but it usually comes down to heat,video,power,ram,bad caps on the motherboard. not in that order.
Google...Google.....browse..read

#3 darkhorizon

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 12:01 PM

i've tried a bios update, and its crucial ram, but i have an abit av8 mobo on my personal computer and the ram works flawlessly. all of the newest windows updates are installed. and i just downloaded the latest nvidia drivers last night , it wasnt until this post i realized they were microsofts. it hasnt rebooted since i installed the nvidia drivers.. but it wasnt that long ago and is almost normal behavior.

i didnt install the wrong drivers did i?
dxdiag says:
The file nv4_disp.dll is not digitally signed, which means that it has not been tested by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). You may be able to get a WHQL logo'd driver from the hardware manufacturer.

it didnt find any other problems then that, but it just installed these last night, which means it wasnt an issue when the rebooting began.

#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 12:10 PM

It isn't only the brand of the ram but its specs that must be supported.

Is the ram you installed supported by the motherboard?

#5 darkhorizon

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 12:21 PM

if you mean by the speed of it (pc3200.. ddr, non ecc) then yeah its compatible ram. abits website does not list any crucial ram though on its testing, but i've used these exact sticks in an abit av8 and it ran flawlessly.

#6 pascor22234

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 07:13 PM

Just because some RAM works on one computer doesn't mean it will work properly on another. There are still many incompatibilities out there. The "gold standard" for checking RAM is Memtest86, which is provided in an ISO disc image file which can be burned to a CD using Nero, Roxio or the free CDBurnerXP Pro. The burned CD is bootable, so make sure your BIOS is set to try to boot from the optical drive before trying to boot from the hard drive. Run Memtest86 for at least 3 full iterations, preferably overnight. There should be no more than a single error.

Also check the voltage outputs of the power supply. Use Everest to check these. They should be in the following ranges:

+3.3: 3.135V to 3.465v
+5: 4.75V to 5.25V
+12: 11.4V to 12.6V

Actually, the outputs should be very close to the nominal voltages, say, within 0.1 volt.

Also look at the Temperatures" section under "Sensor". The CPU temperature should be under 55 degrees C. While playing movies or games also keep Everest running and check it from time to time for the voltages and temperatures. Perhaps you will be able to diagnose a heat problem or a failing power supply.




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