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PC Restarting Issue! Help Please!

By Ding Daddy
Nov 15, 2005
  1. Hi first post here. Computer is dying and I have been in distress the past few days. My computer randomly restarted the other day after mozilla froze up. Since then I have not been able to log back onto windows because my computer is stuck in a restarting loop. I've seen this topic on these forums before, but I was hoping for some fresh answers!

    After receiving the error IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, I checked it out with another computer and found it could be a temperature problem or lose RAM. My RAM is sturdy but when checking BIOS I my CPU is running at 100 F and my system temp. is 91 F. Is this high enough to cause these constant restarts? I checked all my fans and made sure all the connections were ok. I have two side fans which run and my power source fan is also running. This is why I am confused!! A bit ago when attempting repair again, I got a different error, this time I got PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGE_AREA . Oh wow...I just tried again and I got a new error, PFN_LIST_CORRUPT. What is going on!? Ok I tried one last time and I received the IRQL error again. I'm thinking this is more than a temperature problem. Please Help!

    P.S. - My PC is almost 5 years old, so could old age be an issue here?

    Specs are always helpful:
    P4 2.0
    768 DDR RAM
    XP Pro
     
  2. mossimoboy

    mossimoboy TS Rookie Posts: 121

    I'm not quite sure what to do but I can knock off one of the culprits.
    100*F is considered decently cool, so I doubt it's a heat problem.
     
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

  4. LesStrater

    LesStrater TS Rookie

    It's not a heat issue if it happens as soon as you start a cold computer.

    Constant restarts can be an indication of the Sasser virus which is what it was programmed to do. It's very difficult to get rid of.

    Set your BIOS to boot off your CD drive. Boot from your Windows XP Pro CD. If you can boot from that CD and the machine doesn't do that restart trick, then you have the virus not a hardware problem.

    If it's a virus issue, remove the XP CD and press F8 while booting from the hard drive. At the menu, try restoring your system back to a restore point when it worked properly. If that doesn't work, Boot off your XP CD again and tell XP to repair the system at the install menu.
     
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    you are having memory failures. run memtest86 overnight
     
  6. Ding Daddy

    Ding Daddy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Whenever I try to repair via the XP cd I got the errors I mentioned in my first post.

    I have checked my RAM and it is in properly, I've removed most all the dust inside. I can't get to my desktop no matter what route I try to take because the computer restarts. This is why I cant run a Memtest, but I guess that doesn't matter because its probably not that! I've been using my roomate's computer to read all of yours posts, which I appreciate, thank you.

    Just tried to repair again, got the same error, IRQL_NOT_EQUAL...

    When I dont boot off the CD I get the option to start in a few different safe modes, the previous setting when Windows worked, and start normally. None of these work! I just restart after selecting.

    So does this sound more like a hardware problem? I dont feel like its my RAM, but I dont know. Please keep the help coming I'm getting frustrated! Does it sound like I'm just going to have to reformat? or replace some hardware?
     
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Memtest+ is a stand-alone program that can be put on a bootable floppy disk (download the floppy image) or bootable CDROM (Download the burnable ISO). Download it here: http://www.memtest.org/. This means it can be run without Windows... or even a hard drive. ;)

    IRQ not less than or equal to usually indicates a driver problem. Can you boot into safe mode by tapping F8 a moment before Windows startup? If you can, there's a good chance it is a driver issue. If you can't, it is very possible you have a hardware problem or a more serious windows issue.
     
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    memtest86 is a dos self-bootable program. you boot off a floppy. If you can't boot off a floppy, then you are having hardware issues for sure.
     
  9. Ding Daddy

    Ding Daddy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yo I've been running the memtest for almost 23 hours now. What am I looking for? I have 460,000 errors and 0 ECC Errors. How much longer do you think it will take? and what happens at the end of the test?
     
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    You can end the test now. It'll go on forever until you stop it. I usually run it for 6 or 7 hours myself.

    And with that many errors, I'd say it is safe to assume that you have some serious ram problems. Sounds like you need to replace them.
     
  11. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Try the below to begin your troubleshooting effort:
    You are going to have to do a barebones setup and test each component. This will read a lot harder than it actually is. The initial procedure takes only around 10-15 minutes. The follow on troubleshooting may take a lot longer though. Also, please do not skip steps. Do everything in order and as listed or your troubleshooting will be flawed.

    Caution: Please remember that turning a PC off does not mean there is no power going through it. Modern systems maintain a trickle of power to keep the standby functions running. You either have to turn off the switch on the Power Supply Unit (PSU) itself or unplug the system from the wall. Unplugging is best. If you have a LED on the mobo that is lighted all the time. make sure it is out before proceeding. Also, be aware of static. Make sure you wear and ESD strap or discharge yourself on a steel part of the case before touching anything inside.

    First, unplug the PC from the wall and then open it up. Disconnect all the drives (floppy, CDROM, DVD etc.)from the motherboard (mobo) and also disconnect your Hard Drive(s) from the mobo. Do not leave the hard drives connected. The system will boot into BIOS just fine with no hard drive attached. Unplug the power from all those drives you disconnected from the mobo. Remember to disconnect the front panel firewire and/or USB ports.

    Next, remove all the RAM, except for one stick, from the mobo. Some mobos are very picky about where the RAM needs to be placed so make sure the one stick of RAM is in the correct slot as per your manual.

    Now you are stripped down to a barebones system. The PSU, the mobo itself, 1 stick of RAM, the CPU/HSF and video card. Reset your CMOS/BIOS while the system is stripped down, unplugged and open. You do this by removing the battery and then moving a jumper near the battery around. Usually there are a set of three pins with two covered by a jumper. You move the jumper from pins 1&2 to pins 2&3 and let it set for a few minutes then reset the jumper to pins 1&2 and replace the battery. CMOS and BIOS will be back at default settings after doing this.

    Now check that everything is seated correctly, both the 4 pin and 20 or 24 pin power is connected and secure and if so then plug the PC back into the wall and make sure that any LEDs that should be lighted on the mobo are lighted. If all is still well then turn it on. Hopefully she boots right back into BIOS.

    If you get back into BIOS you can start troubleshooting by turning the PC off and unplugging it and reconnecting peripherals one at a time. The idea here is to connect and reboot until something hangs your system up This presumably is the bad piece of gear.

    If you cant get into BIOS and have the same problem as before then you know it is either the PSU, the RAM, the CPU, the mobo itself or the video card. Change out each these until you get into BIOS. I would start at the PSU as it is usually the guilty party in a situation like this and is also easy to change in and out you are down to just 2 plugs now remember). Next up would be the video card and/or RAM and if still no luck then things get hard as you now have to consider either the CPU or the mobo.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
     
  12. foycur

    foycur TS Rookie Posts: 114

    As someone who has recently gone through this, if you have a PC that's not booting up with no juice (i.e. no fans, nothing happens when you push your start button), ALWAYS look at the PSU first. I learned the hard way that my PSU was going south. I'd get goofy looking graphics, the computer would boot spontaneously several times, and then one day when my son was playing some low res game it went out. I got another PSU from a friend, hooked it up, and it seemed to boot fine. So, ALWAYS consider the PSU, especially if it's a cheapie (around 30 or 40 bucks). It pays to have a nice PSU in there, especially a dual rail if you're not overclocking your beast.
     
  13. Ding Daddy

    Ding Daddy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I happily inform you that I am writing this from my computer! I tried running one stick of RAM at a time. I tried my 512 and my computer did something weird. Then I tried the 256 and here I am now! My next step is to order a new stick, possibly a new 512. Thank you all very much, I'm glad I stumbled upon this community.
     
  14. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Good news!

    Just a suggestion, but before you buy that new ram, post your motherboard make/model along with the type of ram you have that works.

    This way we can help you buy some new ram that will be best suited for your computer.
     
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