Computer restarts randomly

By gabbo93 ยท 16 replies
Dec 4, 2007
  1. Hello, as the title says my computer keeps restarting randomly, mainly when burning movies or playing games, or even sometimes while using msn messenger. it used to come up with a BSOD but i changed the setting so it would just restart because i found it of no help. i have tried to remove one of my ram modules and then the same with the other to check if one of them is bad, however they both run the same seperately.

    i have tried to used the Microsoft memory diagnostic tool and it came um LRAND failure. i went to see what ram module it found the error in and it turned it found 995 errors split up into both rams. i am running out of ideas, i was pretty sure it was the memory, i hope it's not the motherboard or cpu because that generally means a new computer completely.

    However it wasn't always like this, it was only after i bought a new dvd drive, hard drive(because it stuffed up) and a new ram module.

    Also for some reason my minidump folder is always empty i'm not sure what that means, because it does crash a lot.

    My Specs are:
    Pentium 4 3.00ghz hypthreading enabled
    1gb ram 2*512mb
    lite on dvd burner
    lg dvd reader
    128mb graphics card

    any help would be appreciated thankyou.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Your only choice is to buy or borrow another memory module, and try it alternately in each slot to see if performance returns to normal.
    However, it is very unusual for both memory modules to go bad at once. You should be concerned about what caused that double failure.
  3. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    I understand what your saying but what could cause a double failure is there anything else besides the motherboard that can do that?
  4. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Yes a bad/dieing power supply. Are the ram sticks new?
    Go into BIOS (usually DEL on start-up before windows loading screen) and Advanced chipset (mines Cell Menu) and make sure Dimm settings are on automatic. (this controls your latencies). Also increase Vdimm (voltage to RAM) by the smallest unit there.
  5. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Thanks for your help, and to answer your question one 512mb ram stick is new the other one is the original one and i have bought a new dvd drive, hard drive and power supply since i bought the computer.

    I bought the new power supply because the old one died.

    I did what you said but the dimm settings were already auto and i couldn't find the setting that changes the vdimm. But i don't see how it will help if the power supply is dieing wouldn't that i would need a new one and if it ruined my ram sticks wouldn't that mean i would need new ones of them?
  6. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Upping the Vdimm just a smidge will prob help reduce the bsods if it's related to weak psu, but if the psu is really under powered and is straining then you really need to replace it before it damages any/all components.

    The reason I suspect a weak psu is b/c it happens when pc is under heavy load. But this could also be an overheating issue. Make sure your cpu HSF is clean and you have good case ventilation. Do you have any means to measure cpu temp? A P4 3GHz should run around 65-70C, any higher and you're getting in bsod country or auto clock down. Do you know if you have thermal paste or a thermal pad between cpu and HSF? If it's a pad it's prob due for a change out and then just use Arctic Silve thermal paste instead. (after removing all remnents of pad).

    What are the specs of PSU, see the label on side of unit. see my sig below for example of psu label. Need Watts and amps on 5v and 12V rails.
  7. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    i've attached mini dump files and i couldn't find out the specs of my power supply, is there a program that could do it for me?

    also i just remembered that while i was installing my new hard drive i realised that the the graphics card wasn't even inserted into the slot properly, it was just lying down in the case so i just plugged it in. when i installed windows i forgot that i had to install the driver for the graphics card. but now i remembered so i installed it, could that be the problem, because it was mainly when the graphics card got used too much like when playing games the computer crashed?

    and if so does that still mean i might need to get new ram cards and a psu?
  8. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Sorry but I don't have the MS program to read those mini dumps, so you'll have to wait until someone who does comes along.

    You should be able to read the label on the side of the PSU (at the top back of your case when you take the side of case off). In my sig below is an example of what a PSU label looks like. This will tell you how many watts (ex. 450W) and hom many amps on 12Volt rail (ex. 12V - 25A).

  9. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    The one i have at the moment us 400w with 12v rails and my old says is a juster sps 2000w i have no idea what that means.

    If you had the program from microsoft that reads dump files, would you be able to understand what it means because this tells you how to use the program and where to get it from.
  10. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Well I have installed it and looked through a few logs, but I just can't seem to catch the problem, so I gave up trying to read logs.

    Here's the thing about a failing psu or overheating cpu: they can cause all sorts of failure modes which show up in logs as various software app errors running at the logs aren't perfect as a diagnoses tool. Often they are excellent, but only if you have absolute confidence in the hardware of the pc first!

    What gfx card is that 128Mb?
    A P4 3.0 GHz, will draw close to 10A off the 12V rail. when I first built this rig I have now (typing from) I had a generic 450W PSU. In one week I blew it up to the point black smoke poured out the back while I was playing HL2!
    I have a s939 AMD 3500 and was running a 128Mb 6600GT at the time. 1 SATA HDD and 1 DVD only. Poof..up in smoke. I was lucky I didn't kill my was only 1 week old as I said.
  11. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    So does that mean don't know what might be wrong with my computer?

    Or is it most likely a dying cpu or psu? Because if its either one of those my bet is on the cpu because ever since i bought this computer there has always been problems so i don't know.
  12. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    My bet is on that psu. Your P4 3.0GHz isn't much diff from current draw as my AMD 64 3500 and I had the 128Mb 6600GT gfx card (although you didn't say what gfx card you have) in mine when I blew my 450W psu. I'm surprised your psu made it this far.
  13. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    ohh sorry my gfx card is a Radeon 9200 Se Family 128mb and i've already had to change my psu because it got wrecked....could this be because of the cpu?
  14. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Do you have Prime95? Dload it for free. Run that on blend setting and see how long it can go. Run it at least 30 minutes. If no errors then your ram and cpu is probably ok. (not just prob, very ok).

    To run P95 stress test, when the program launches, click Test/stop. Now click Options/Torture test/blend.
  15. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    i ran p95 and it gave me this error
    FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4
    Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.
    what does this mean?

    and if i do need to get a new psu what do you recommend for my specs??
  16. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Hmmm, you might have some bad RAM then. I would think your PSU could provide enough power to run the CPU full out (P95 is really working the cpu and ram), but not anything on your video card. So unless your psu is really dieing (which it still be) you prob have some bad ram.

    Try running with just one stick at a time. Run p95 again and if you get errors, swap in the other stick. If you get errors on both sticks (or more), then I think we're back to a psu failure (i.e it's not likely both sticks are bad).
  17. gabbo93

    gabbo93 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    I've already tested the ram sticks individually but i didn't use P95 i just tried burining and playing games and they both crashed.

    My uncle is saying that it can be the hard drive maybe bad driver could a bad driver cause all these problems? And he says not to trust programs like P95 if you don't know much about them. What would you say about that?

    ps; i don't really mind what you say about him.
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