Random Restarts: Hardware Failures HELP!

By cjohnson_85
Jun 14, 2005
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  1. For about six months now, I have been experiencing random restarts while using Windows XP. The problem started after I moved my PC to my new house, and I hadn't installed any new programs or hardware for several weeks. It had been very stable for several months before. I have unchecked the "restart on system failure" box, and still the restarts occur, with a blue screen appearing for half a second or so, not long enough to read. Microsoft OCA reports that the error is caused by a hardware failure. The erros truly are random and do not occur during specific tasks or programs. My computer will, at times, restart several times at night while I am not even using it. It may go several days without restarting, or may restart several times during a day, but has never gone an entire week without a reboot.
    Here is what I have tried:

    Flashed BIOS to the latest revision.
    Replaced power supply (with a 500W Antec)
    Reformatted and reinstalled Win XP (w/ all updates)
    Swapped out RAM from another computer.

    I am willing to spend money on new hardware, but I would like to find some way of determining the exact problem before I spend money replacing everything. Any advice would be helpful.

    My specs:
    P4 2.6, 800 bus w/HT
    512MB PC3200
    GigaByte 81PE1000 Pro F11 rev. Mobo
  2. kol_indian

    kol_indian Newcomer, in training Posts: 368

    Looks more like a heating , do u use any software to moniter system temp, also is the insides of your PC dirty(dusty) try cleaning them preferably using a brush (be sure to ground urself properly before cleaning), if u have already done this than post back to explore at other possibilities.

    Hello and Welcome to techspot :wave: :wave:
  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso Newcomer, in training Posts: 25,948   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    If after following Kol`s advice, there is no improvement, you might want to do the following.

    Do a full virus scan, making sure your virus definitions are upto date.

    Also go HERE and follow the instructions carefully. Print them out if you can.

    Once you have done that go HERE for instructions on how to post your Hijackthis log.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  4. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    temperatures

    I installed Hardware monitor and ran it in windows; it listed my CPU and mobo temp at 25 Celsius which seems too low. For a more reliable number, I checked the temp in the BIOS; it was at 29 celsius. After about 5 mins of CPU Burn-in tests it had gone up to 32, still plenty low. I'm going to run the Burn-in for an extended period of time and also try Lucifer to see if it finds any errors. My case is a bit dusty so I plan to thoroughly clean it when I have time. As for spyware and viruses, i just reformatted, and have always been careful about not downloading spyware-ridden software. I scan with Ad-Aware and Symantec Corporate AV everyday and neither has found anything. BUT... i'm getting desperate so I suppose I'll try howard's advice.
  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso Newcomer, in training Posts: 25,948   +19

    You might also want to consider downloading and running the Memtest86+ programme from www.memtest.org.

    Let it run for at least seven passes. If you don`t have a floppy drive, there is an iso version that you can burn to cd, and then boot from that.

    This will test your ram for any problems.

    Regards Howard :cool:
  6. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I already swapped the memory out of another computer, so unless it's defective too, that shouldn't be a problem. I have the memtest program on the Ultimate Boot CD (very nice to have) so I'll run it with both tests to see whats up. I ran Lucifer for a few hours yesterday with no problems, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. I still need to dust. I hope it isn't the CPU..... thats $200 I don't really want to spend.
  7. kimbo.ati

    kimbo.ati Newcomer, in training Posts: 224

    Hi ,

    i used to have a similar problem but that was with a
    amd athlon xp 2800+.

    my computer used to reset during games and when im not playing games.
    i turned down the FSB speeds and now it never resets or gets critical errors.

    hope this helps, :)
  8. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hmm. If I could get it to run stable with a sligtly lower FSB, I'd take that. I don't want to give up to much performance.

    Anyway, after running lucifer for a few hours with CPU and FPU testing turned on, I came back to find 10 errors. The errors kept coming when I tested the FPU exclusively so I suppose this is where my problem is. Too bad you can't just buy a new FPU.... a 2.8 P4 478 w/HT is about $175.

    Sooooo I'm trying to find someone with an 800MHz FSB P4 for me to borrow. If I swap out CPU's and the problem goes away, I won't have a huge problem throwing down the cash for a new P4.
  9. kimbo.ati

    kimbo.ati Newcomer, in training Posts: 224

    Yeh, if you were going to buy the same cpu you should just upgrade a little.
  10. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Forget the whole FPU thing. I ran the test on a system I knew was fine and it reported FPU errors. After reading some other posts on the issue, i've found out that apparantly Lucifer incorrectly reports errors on the FPU. I have another P4 system that I can swap CPUs with so thats next on the list.
  11. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Swapped my CPU with another P4 machine and it has been running without restarts for a week, longer than it ever had before. It is a 533FSB P4 rather than a 800, so that could be part of it, but at least I have gotten somewhere. Unfortunately the other machine doesn't support 800MHz FSB so I can't put my CPU in there. I'm going to order a 3GHz Prescott P4 to replace it with and hopefully that will be the end of my problems.
     
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