Computer restarts after running for about 8 min, 20 sec

By UnWarierMage224
Jan 3, 2010
  1. Hi all,

    So the title says it all. My desktop PC restarts after 8min 20sec of uptime.
    It will restart after 8min 20sec of idling, or it will restart after I click an icon to run a program (Firefox, usually).

    I can't run checkdisk/antivirus/memory testing programs because once the 8min 20sec timepoint has passed the computer restarts... so these programs get nowhere.

    I'm thinking that this might be a Power Supply problem, from other searching and whatnot I have done. How can I tell if it is a PSU problem or if it isn't?

    What I find odd about the whole bit is that it reboots after such a time (timed with a stopwatch so that's how I know)... if it was a PSU problem wouldn't the computer not start at all?

    If you all need any system specs, I'll provide them.


  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Defective component...
    Inadequate or too much thermal paste. CPU fan is failing, or is wobbling. Bad memory module. Bad power supply. Bad capacitor on system board. Hard drive is in early state of failure. Overheating from inadequate cooling somewhere.
    What is the brand and model of the computer, or the motherboard. What is the configuration... hard drive, memory,cooling, power supply. Is it overclocked?
  3. UnWarierMage224

    UnWarierMage224 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 69

    Hi Ray,

    This is a Dell Dimension 5150.... It has not been overclocked.

    All the info below is from Dell's support site (the system information they give me when I put in my Service Tag):

    Hard Drives:
    1 CC306 Hard Drive, 160G, S2, 7.2K, 8M Lead Free, SGT-TNK
    1 CC306 Hard Drive, 160G, S2, 7.2K, 8M Lead Free, SGT-TNK

    1 TF811 Processor, 80551, Pentium D Smithfield For Desktops, 820 2.8, BO, Server

    2x 512MB Samsung SDRAM (I think)

    I am also hearing some buzzing noises from the computer, maybe a loose cooling fan?

    Exact info from support site:

    0 4X388 Instruction, Preparation- Material, Deviation, Dimension Increase, Number
    1 TF811 Processor, 80551, Pentium D Smithfield For Desktops, 820 2.8, BO, Server
    1 J4628 Keyboard, 104, Universal Serial Bus, United States, Entry, Liteon
    1 W7751 Mouse, UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS..., 2 Button, Lead free Entry, Primax Electronics Ltd
    1 DF965 Kit, Software, Overpack, Windows XP, MCE05U, Digital Video Disk Drive, ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
    1 CF093 Kit, Speaker, 120V, A525, Lead Free, Zylux Corporation, Dell Americas Organization
    1 KJ920 Assembly, Dvd+/-rw, 16X, Ide Nec Corporation, CHASSIS 2005...
    1 D9926 Assembly, Digital Video Disk Drive, 16X, Half Height, TOSHIBA SAMSUNG STORAGE TECHNOLOGY..., 05 Lead Free
    1 FF190 Card, Multi-Media, TVT2 Full Hieght, Media Center 05
    1 KF659 Kit, Remote Control, MCE05U, LeadFree, English
    1 UC946 Card, Graphics, 256, Radeon, X600 MRMGA+
    1 Y9457 Card, Controller, 1394A, PC Interface, Full Height, Adaptec Lead Free
    1 CC639 Display, Flat Panel Display, 17 Dual Voltage, E176FPF, Midnight Gray, DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
    1 W8805 Assembly, Floppy Drive, 1.44MB External, Universal Serial Bus Teac, Underwriters Laboratory
    1 KD104 Assembly, Flash Storage Device Universal Serial Bus, Reader Half Height, TEAC..., CHASSIS 2005...
    1 R6401 Assembly, Cable, FLEX-BAY Dimension, MATRIX,SMITH,MINI TOWER...
    1 M8865 Assembly, Cable, Serial ATA Primary, MATRIX,SMITH,MINI TOWER..., 2.0
    1 CC306 Hard Drive, 160G, S2, 7.2K, 8M Lead Free, SGT-TNK
    1 CC306 Hard Drive, 160G, S2, 7.2K, 8M Lead Free, SGT-TNK
    1 CD940 Kit, Software, Wordperfect, 12 PLUS-TRIAL
    1 JD601 Kit, Software, Ghost, 10, ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MFGR...., ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
    2 F6761 Dual In-Line Memory Module, 512533M, 64X64, 8, 240, 1RX8


  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I am very familiar with that model. But do not have a ready answer. It is merely the long and tedious work of ruling out possible suspects.
    I would get a few nylon cable ties, or velcro wraps and reposition all the cables inside the case... to rule out the noise.
    Then I would try running with one memory module, then with the other.
    It may very well be the power supply. So can you borrow one from a friend, or an unused computer for a few hours?
    Or go to, where they have excellent power supplies at a reasonable price, and choose something like the FSP group, Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, depending on your budget... We really trust the FSP group for price and reliability.
    But with our experience on that model and the next model up, I would suspect the CPU fan which becomes wobbly and inconsistent in its speed.
    It if is possible to do so, trade out that memory with another machine. If not, run the free download of MemTest86 for four hours or seven passes (whichever is longer)... one memory module at at time. This is a heavy time consumer, but it is important to rule out memory, cpu fan, and power supply... and that will take care of the memory.
  5. UnWarierMage224

    UnWarierMage224 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 69

    Hi Ray,

    I'm starting to think it's the memory because I yanked one RAM stick and ran memtest and it went past the 8:20 mark and the test ran to completion on the remaining RAM stick... I put the RAM stick I removed back into the computer and I got the same reboot at 8:20 problem.

    I ordered new RAM so if that's part of the problem that's at least fixed. Going to continue probing, though.

    Thanks for the tips.

    - 'Mage
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Yup. You have it figgered. Good work!
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