Computer Resetting Problems

By Joe Momma ยท 11 replies
Nov 27, 2004
  1. I've had this problem for almost two weeks now. My computer games would usually crash to desktop, so I tried a bunch of things. In the end the only thing that helped was taking off the sides of the case and sticking a large fan right next to it. The crashing was much less frequent, but it still happened. It would take much longer, though, and it the crashes would reset the whole computer rather than crashing to desktop. As of yesterday, the computer locks up even when I'm just in Windows. Before, it was only during 3D games.

    It may sound like a simple overheating problem. But with cooler weather and nothing done to the computer to make it overheat, it seems like much more than that. I'm guessing my processor is fried or something (not that I'd really know). My computer locks up when my processor is about 150 F (65 C), and it only takes a matter of minutes to get that hot, even with 7 fans in the computer and a large one blowing right on the computer. It used to lock up when it was 190 F (85 or so Celsius - yeah, I know, that's hot as hell).

    If it matters, I have an Athlon XP 3000+, Radeon 9800, and a gig of ram. I know it's not a software problem (I've tried many different drivers, versions of DirectX, and I've even reformatted and reinstalled windows XP). It's definitely hardware.

    So, any suggestions as to what's going on, or what to try?
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I agree with you that it`s a heat problem.

    I would suggest a problem with the cpu fan and or heatsink.

    Take off the heatsink, clean the underside with a little alcohol, and also clean the small metal boss on the cpu itself. Make sure that you remove any dust and debris that have collected, and get some good quality thermal paste, and put a blob the size of a grain of rice onto the boss, and reattatch the heatsink.

    You may also want to consider getting a new cpu fan as well.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. Joe Momma

    Joe Momma TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Heat is definitely part of the problem. It only locks up when it's hotter.

    But again, a week ago it reset when the processor was 190 F, and it was only during games. Now, it just resets in a matter of minutes, and it does so no matter what I'm doing. That and there's no reason I should suddenly have an overheating problem with my computer, because weather is getting cooler and my computer hasn't gotten anything new.

    Today, it shut off for 20 minutes and refused to turn on. The motherboard and network cards were lit up, so it clearly had power.
  4. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    You may also want to check for bad capacitors on the mobo look for any that have swollen tops and any stange looking dust where they join the mobo.

    Regards Howard :grinthumb
  5. Joe Momma

    Joe Momma TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I'll look for that when I get the chance. Thanks for the help.

    Anyone else have any ideas?
  6. Joe Momma

    Joe Momma TS Rookie Topic Starter

    None of the suggestions that I could try worked. How much is good thermal paste?

    I'm beginning to lean towards it being the power supply. I remember having this problem before, and I thought it was overheating, but it was the power supply. Except now, it would have to have gone bad (I have a 400W one, which is more than enough to power my computer), and it seems a little weird to me that the games originally just crashed to desktop rather than resetting.
  7. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Themal pase it very cheap typically only a pound or two.

    As regards your psu I don`t think that`s part of the problem but you never know.

    Regards Howard :grinthumb
  8. Skarn

    Skarn TS Rookie

  9. jakh1812

    jakh1812 TS Rookie

    this is really scary you have almost the same set-up as me and i have the same problem ( i think ) my pcjsut decides to reset normally wen loading a new server on a game or during the load screen but a few times today its reset jsut trying to open a song. I thought it may be because of the hot weather but now i guess not.

    i got same processor + gpx card 1 above + 400 w psu + lots of dust
  10. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Joe: The reading of 85C cannot be correct, the Athlon64 series cannot operate above 65C. So the reading of 65C and then the PC restarts is correct, but your logic that is use to operate at 85C before it reset is not correct. Either your memory is cloudy concerning that number or the software used was wrong or you are reading it correctly now using a different software.

    My point is: Nothing has changed other then the max temp number is being read correctly now. So your problem and solution is simple. Remove , clean or replace the HSF and thermal paste. You CPU is fine because it has built-in thermal protection and therefore reset itself whenever the temps got close to 65C. With that being said there might be a reduced life expectancy due to the continuous elevated temperatures for prolonged periods of time. So correct this as soon as possible if you can.

    jakh1812: JUST is how it's spelt. :) Have you checked your temps? Also in your case I might suspect your PSU, 400W isn't much these days. How many amps on the 12V output? You can read this off the label. See the pic link in my sig below for an example.

  11. wastednightmare

    wastednightmare TS Rookie

    Crashing comp

    Hey, would much appreciate some help, im a noob just built 1st computer, specs AMD 64x2 4200+, 2x 512 kingston ram, a8n-e asus mobo, wd 300gb hdd, x1900xtx ati gpu. When i put a big load on the gpu the system crashes, no blue screen, just sound of fans slowing down. this normally happens in games such as f.e.a.r when there is strain on the gpu coz of an explosion or something, but sometimes just walking around the frame rates will drop and the system will die. Have updated all my drivers, turned off auto restart (using xp sp2 btw), and upgraded from a 300w psu to a 550psu w/ 30a on the 12v rail. what is wierd is that the system just dies there is no memory dump in my windows folder. corrent thinking for me is that its teh psu still as its a generic e-buyer 1 and so may not b up 2 scratch with teh gpu. If anybody can help me it would be much appreciated. Cheers
  12. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    If the PSU is just a generic crappy, then it's only running 65 to 70% of it's rated power nominally. That means it can put out 385W more or less continuous, but after that it will really start straining. I did your power requirements and ExtremeCalculator gave 415W at full load (like running a F.E.A.R game). I do think that PSU is to blame. I had a 450W generic crappy and I smoked it in a week. I was playing HL2 and puff, black smoke poured out the back fan area. My specs are only AMD64 3500+ and a 6600GT, 1Gb OCZ RAM, 1 WD SATA Raptor, 1 DVD/R/W.

    Your specs are much higher then mine and thus you need to invest in a real PSU with 550W no doubt. It's always nice to have a little head room.

    You may want to check your CPU temps using your mobo software or Speedfan, just in case you got the HSF on incorrect or not enough thermal paste.

    Enermax, Antec and OCZ and some Thermaltakes (just watch amps on 12V and 5V rails) are good units.
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