Help Me Please! Possible Motherboard or Processor Failure?

By Jayb118
Jun 18, 2007
  1. Hi, recently I started having real problems with my system where after a random amount of time (could be hours or minutes) it would just suddenly switch off and then start again. Only it would be stuck in a constant phase of stopping and starting without even enough time for the monitor to load i spose you could say it was a it like a cd skipping. At first i thought it could be a virus or software fault, however the system never stayed on long enough to perform a full scan so i decided to format, now i'm stuck in a worse position because i have wiped the partition and go to reinstall XP but it never gets through the format part because of the same problem occuring.

    I then tested to see if it was the hard drive causing this by taking one out of my Dad's pc and booting from that, after a few hours it started the same process of on off on off.

    I then tested the power supply by swapping to another one, but still i have the same stop start problem.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that it might be maybe the motherboard or maybe the processor failing but i'm not sure, i also thought maybe the system might not be recieving enough power from the PSU but again i'm not sure and with this only starting recently i doubt it is.
    So i'm kinda hoping someone here can shed some light on this for me :)

    Oha nd my system is a 3.0ghz P4 with XP service pack 2 and 1024mb ram and a GeForce 6800 128mb graphics card and 120gb Seagate harddrive.

    Thanks guys :)
  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Check ALL mobo connectors, particularly psu and IDE/Sata controller cables. (with the power off, power plug pulled and power button pushed once to clear the caps)
  3. Jayb118

    Jayb118 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the quick reply :) Okey i've checked all the cables and did what you suggested, my system is currently started up and going into the windows setup, just waiting to see if it messes up. Can you explain to me please what you meant by "clear the caps" cause i don't know what that means lol
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Capacitors on any device remain charged after the electricity is disconnected - modern motherboards, like 'instant on' tv's, actually don't completely power off when shut down - so devices like capacitors remain powered and charged at HIGH voltages.

    Thus, shut down, pull plug, press power button will help to discharge them.

    On my comp, I like to watch the fans spin up when I do that with the plug pulled.

  5. Jayb118

    Jayb118 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Oh right lol well my mobo is three or four years old now so it's not that new. Well it has just died again a minute ago and gone into like the constant restarting state i don't get what's wrong with it.
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    How many ram sticks you got?

    Assuming 2+, have you tried the 'remove all but one and try it and then swap for the next one and do this until it works' routine?
  7. Jayb118

    Jayb118 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I have 2 512 sticks and no i havent tried that yet but i will do now i didnt think ram could cause this. I've had problem with the ram before where i could not get windows to boot and all i had to do was switch the two sticks over but it worked fine afterward.
  8. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    After you try the ram checks, make sure your cpu heatsink is secure and the fan works and all heatsinks AND your psu vents are clear of dust, etc.
  9. Jayb118

    Jayb118 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Ok well ive checked the ram, its all fine but i still get the same problem, i'm just gonna dust it all down inside now
  10. Jayb118

    Jayb118 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Lol well it's been a couple of days now with no problems at all :D After all that it was just dust that was causing it. Thanks for all your help CCT :D
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