Can't finish reformatting, keeps restarting

By jaybird40206
Jul 8, 2008
  1. i just had to reformat my 2003 gateway. windows xp is the os. before reformatting, my computer kept shutting down and restarting every 15 seconds or so after startup. i figured there was probably a virus so i inserted my windows xp cd and restarted my computer to start the reformat process. it asked me if i wanted to restore the factory way and i proceeded. it then prompted me to the blue screen where it shows the progress of the download. it gets to 3 percent every time and then just freezes and shuts off, then restarting and prompting me to a thank you screen from gateway and to hit any key to restart. then i get a message about boot media after restarting. and the process goes over and over and over. someone please help me and point me in the right direction. is it my hard drive? or should i trash and get another. dont want to.
  2. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    It could be a faulty power supply, what are your specs?
  3. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    It's either the cpu badly overheating (clean fans and check the heatsink is secure) or as whiffen suggested a failing psu.
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    I would put my money on memory related problems. Take out the modules and replace them one at a time if you can - make sure they are clean and have not had muck blown all over the connectors by the chip fan. Use an eraser - gently!
  5. jaybird40206

    jaybird40206 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    specs? lol. wish i knew

    best thing i can say is that it is a gateway 2003 1.8 ghz. 1.1 gb ram. i have tried to run memory test such as a GWscan and something else but i cant even load a cd into cd rom. its only regognizing the windows xp dvd i have in the dvd player/burner. i tried windows vista but that did not work either. i had someone tell me could be a fan blown or comp is overheating, but i doubt that. i just cleaned it.
  6. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    just another idea then, check to make sure nothing got unplugged when u cleaned the computer. u would be surprised how much it might help us to help u if u would give u're system specs.
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    The following information suggests it is neither of those, although I wouldn't count them as impossibilities
    I've never had a *bad* hard drive cause a computer to restart while formatting from a recovery disc (and I've dealt with many, many, many, many failing hard drives), but if it does this at 3% every time, perhaps that part of the media is defective. I would try running a drive diagnostic to see what the results are.

    RAM, PSU and Overheating will manifest themselves in almost seemingly random ways. Restart at 3% during a format - every single time - suggests something predictably empirical. A drive failure can be just that.

    You can download your specific drive manufacturer's utility from here:

    Or you can nab a free copy of UBCD and make a bootable CD using the ISO, which contains many of these utilities (and much more):
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