memory and device driver problems

By coveta
Apr 28, 2007
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  1. Good Day to you all

    This is my first posting on your boards. Let me tell you straight away that I am no expert with computers.

    I am using Windows XP professional SP2 with AMD Athlon XP 3000 Radeon 9250/9200 series. Installed memory 1024mb.

    My problem is that the system boots up OK but at a random time shuts down, whether I am using the system or not. The reboot tells me that the system has recovered from a serious error, probably caused by a device driver. The other strange thing is that sometimes I have a 1024mb of memory showing and at other times only 512mb.

    Today I unplugged all my USB leads before starting and lo & behold it showed the gig of memory, I then plugged in the mouse/keyboard (microsoft) and after a short while the system closed down. On reboot I only have 512mb memory showing.

    Usually my system will run OK for the rest of the day after the initial shut down.

    Earlier this week I took the tower into a local computer shop who informed me that after three days running and testing the start up installed programs that "there was absolutel nothin wrong with the system"

    But as I have stated above it took only 1 day for all to go awry again!

    Thanks for any help that you may be able to offer
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    It could be many things, i.e., heat, power supply, etc. It could be your memory (RAM) that is faulty and faulty RAM will cause all kinds of headaches. It could be software issues, hardware issues, etc. You mentioned driver fault which could be a myriad of possibilities.

    Here is what we need from you: Minidumps. Minidumps will record important information on what is causing the issues or at least point us to possible causes. Here is how you find them:

    1. Go to your C Drive and click it on.

    2. Find the Windows Folder and click that on.

    3. Now look for the Minidump Folder and click that on. What is inside this folder is what we need. I made a separate folder on my desktop in order to retrieve them when I need to attach them to my psotings here. So once you make that folder on the desktop then transfer the minidumps to this folder.

    4 When you post back just attach the minidumps as you would a Word document to an email. If you have several please put them in a ZIP format.

    * Hope this is clear.
  3. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Run the memory test from www.memtest.org, and for at least 7 passes or four hours, which ever comes sooner.
    Take a look at your memory to see if each module is labeled the same... cl2 or cl3, value ram vs regular ram.
    Some memory modules will not play nice together if they differ in type, size or tier grade.
  4. coveta

    coveta Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I have located the minidump folder but there are no entries in it! Nothing at all
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    I would say your PSU is failing based on your symptoms. Unplugging your USB devices and other stuff then plugging other things that result in a pwer drain resulting in a crash could indicate a failing PSU or bad drivers. But a mouse/keyboard driver should cause a crash so I'm inclined to say it's your PSU. Of course check your RAM, that's easy.

    A system that old probably has a bad PSU.
  6. coveta

    coveta Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I have found that my minidump folder was being cleaned!. I have hopefully attached the contents since they have been saved. I have been monitoring my system as close as I can and have noticed that each day when I boot it up it shows 1gb of Memory, after a while it will crash. Sometimes it will reboot automatically other times I have to disconnect/connect the power supply to enable a reboot. If it shows 1gb of memory it will either stop halfway through the reboot or act as it would when I first boot. However when I see that only 512kb of memory is showing it will reboot and behave itself for the whole session.

    Thanks for your help
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