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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not sure what happened to my wife's pc. It is a self built pc running Windows XP, it has 512 MB ram and running a Pentium 4 2.0 GHz processor. She said that it was working fine yesterday she played a couple of games and checked her email before she went to bed. When I got up this morning I noticed that her computer was trying to restart. It was stuck on the Advanced Boot Options screen. I tried to select an option but it was froze. I powered off the unit and restarted it. When it came back to the Advanced Boot Options I tried to boot normally, the pc instantly turned off and restarted. When it came back to the boot screen I tried the Last Known Good option, but the same thing happened, and the same thing happed with safe mode. I have tried every option on that page with the same result. I noticed that there was a cord pluged in to the usb port on the front of the machine. I unpluged it and tried again. This time it made to the first Windows XP screen and then it restarted. I have tried to boot to the win XP cd but it will not load either. It will load all of the files and finally sayes that it is starting XP but then to pc restarts. I can not find my automated system recovery disk to try that option. I have just finished running a memory test on it and every thing passed. I finally tried to boot to a copy of Knoppix that I have had laying around. It boot fine and as far as I can tell is working great. I can see all of the files on my harddrives and seems to be working fine and the cpu is functioning normaly. I don't have a clue where to go next, I really don't want to wipe the hard drive and start from scratch.
Any ideas would be great.
Thanks in advance.
dayle
 

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a general guide to troubleshoot random reboots, If it don't apply then skip and go to the next.
you can run the Ram test and hard drive test without booting into windows,(they run of a floppy or cd)

Microsoft says whenever a computer freezes or reboots (crashes) you need to run chkdsk
Start, my computer, right click on your hard drive, select properties, select tools, error checking click "check now"(chkdsk).
(General maintenance can save alot of headaches, see link below for general maintenance)

Hard drive
Download the diagnostic tool and check your hard drive
Hard Disk Drive Diagnostics/Utilities

Overheating

Description

When your CPU overheats, it will usually cause your computer to reboot. Video card overheating causes artifacts to appear on your screen, and usually wont cause reboots.

Diagnostic

Enter BIOS upon powering on your computer. Most BIOs have a hardware monitor. Use this to check your temperatures and fan speeds.

There is also hardware monitoring software that can check your temperatures from Windows. Your hardware monitoring software should have come with your motherboard. If you have no monitoring software, you can go to www.cpuid.com and get PC Wizard. PC Wizard is an easy to use program that will let you know what kind of temperatures you have, and what your fan speeds are at.

Causes

CPU overheating is usually caused by a failing CPU fan or improperly applied thermal paste. Fortunately, these 2 causes are easy to fix. If the CPU fan is dead, buy a new one and install it. If the thermal paste is improperly applied, remove the old paste off and apply new paste.

Another method is to take a house fan and open the case blowing the fan on high into the case.
if this helps we know its heat.
Goto radio shack buy a can of PCB cleaner (printed circuit board) unplug computer for an hour, open case spray everything starting from top working down to the bottom make sure you get the cpu heatsink and video card really goods.

Power Supply (PSU) Problems

Description

It is important to have a functioning, proper size of PSU for your computer. Having an underpowered or failing PSU is often the cause for random reboots. To get an estimate of how powerful a PSU, use this PSU calculator and add about 50W to the minimum power the calculator gives you.

Diagnostic

The easiest and best way to diagnose a faulty PSU is to swap it with another one that you know is in good working order.

Flowchart for ATX Power Supply Repair
Causes

PSUs just die after a while.

RAM

Description

Faulty RAM and RAM slots can cause random errors/reboots.

Diagnostic

The best way to determine if RAM is your problem is to run your computer with one stick at a time, and see if the problem occurs for either stick. This obviously doesn't apply if you only have one stick to begin with Also, try the RAM in different slots. The actual slots might be causing RAM-failing like problems. The next step is to run memtest86 to determine if you have faulty RAM.

Drivers
Visit the manufactures website and download the latest drivers for your hardware.
 

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Your right but don't forget the F option for CKDSK this is the repair function.
The Hiren Bootup CD wich is to be downloade from the net contains a lot of tests and repair options.
bernardus
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The problem is it is not a random reboot, it just won't let me into windows. I don't believe that it is a heat issue because the pc has been turned off almost all day(plenty of time to cool) and I still can't get any farther. I pulled the memory and ran them one at a time but still the same result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, I believe I have it narrowed down. I have tried a different power supply in the pc but no help. I have tried a different harddrive with no change. I have tried to run the ram one stick at a time and with no change and with no ram I get the post error. When I tried the XP harddrive in my second pc it booted up and ran perfectly. So I believe that leaves me with the processor and Motherboard. I have tried to run the Hiren Bootup CD but I every time I try to run some of the apps I get error saying that the app was aborted. Is there any way to tell which is bad without swaping them out with a different processor or motherboard??
 

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Hiren's bootup CD runs in virtual mode with a RAM disk so it should run on your memory if you test it. Youre CPU could be tested as well without a HD to be used. If that fails it is probably your mem the PCU or the Mainboard. Dont forget the cables to your drives which give very often random errors. Another option is to run a chech with the Diskettes if you have one. Some of the programs found on Hire's CD can be used on a diskette. In fact Power quest or Symantec Partition program can generate a set of resque diskettes just to run a check. But I believe something is being corrupted. Hiren's CD never give me trouble alltough some utilities won't work because of NTFS or other update errors. Swap memory or take one out to avoid a mem problem?
You get heatproblems after the PC has been standing on for a longer periode not at ones when cooled off. A option is to put a fan extra just outside a homefan would do. Electronics can hamper both when they're cold or when they're warm.
You could try another HD and just load Windows alone to test.

there is a forced logoff option in the accountssettings, should be deselected!
bernardus
 
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