My PC is suffering from random restarts

By Quickshot ยท 25 replies
Jul 8, 2007
  1. Hello to everyone.
    As you can see, this is my first post here even if I knew about this forum for quite some time (and read some topics of course).

    I had a problem for quite some time but first, here are my system specs :
    Manufacturer : MSI
    Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.06Ghz (Intel 945P)
    ATI Radeon X1600 (256Mb)
    1 Gb of RAM (DDR2 SDRAM, 266Mhz)
    Maxtor 6V200E0 (200Gb of space)
    Operating System : Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2

    Now, here are the details of the problem I am having :

    Well, this problem didn't appeared recently. We (my father and I) didn't buy and entire PC. Instead, we bought the parts and put them in the same case. I mainly uses PCs for gaming and that was the PC of my dreams... But as soon as I started using it, I realised that it was "unstable".
    In fact, it was restarting randomly. Often, when I turned my PC on, it could restarts itself only 2 mins after the startup and, a occasionally, one or two hours after. Then, when it starts Windows again, it could either restarts itself again after some mins or "stablize" itself. When it stops restarting and has therfore "stabilized" itself, I haven't noticed any problems while running games or running other applications like listening to music, surfing on the web, etc... My main problem is that it takes some time to "stabilize" itself : the most restarts that my PC has done before stabilizing itself was of 6 restarts !
    Little precision : When it starts, sometimes I get the message from Windows XP asking me if I wanted to Send or not an error report.
    Additional Information : Just after buying the parts for the PC and when I realized that it was unstable, I changed from an Nvidia graphic card, to an ATI Radeon (the one mentioned above). The problems didn't stop.
    I formated my hard drive but it hasn't resolved the problem.

    Well, that's my story. I really don't know what to do or what is causing this problem. So, here I am, asking for your kind help. Thank you.
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    it sounds like it might be a driver problem or temperature problem to me. did you use good thermal paste on the cpu and are your graphics drivers etc up to date?
  3. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I used a tool called SpeedFan in order to know the temperature of my PC. Here are the results :
    System : 42C
    CPU : 51C
    Aux :46C
    Hd0 : 49C

    I've also updated all of my drivers but the problem is still present.
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Let's get a second opinion:

    Download and run Everest Home (it is free):

    Once you download it, click on it and let it install and then run it from the icon on your desktop and then click on Computer, then Sensor and report the voltages and temps shown by going to the VERY top of the screen and click on 'report', then 'quick report-sensor' and then 'plain text' and save it then go to C:/programs/lavalys and open that folder then open Everest Home folder and then reports and then copy and paste it to here.
  5. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    it sounds like your pc is a bit warm but nothing i'd call critical. i'd like to see what everest says as well though.

    actually, do you know if the Hd0 sensor is for your hard drive? if it is then that's pretty hot and will definitely need cooling. you can get coolers like this and this off eBay for quite cheap and i've found them to be very effective when screwed to the bottom of the drive.
  6. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I think the Hd0 sensor is for my hard drive because I also used an online tool at and it reported a temperature of 50C for my hard drive.

    My report is attached to the post.

    Attached Files:

  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Not much info from your motherboard there - anyway, those temps for HD and cpu are on the High side.

    How is your case cooling set up. You appear to need more air in (front) and more air out (back or top).
  8. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Well, I have a single cooling fan but my father thought it was enough because it was quite big.
  9. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Blowing out? Where does the air come from? Side vent holes?
  10. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    either way you definitely need cooling on your hard drive. i used to have a drive that went up to (and often higher) than 50C and had masses of problems. after i put fans like the one in those links i gave you earlier the problems almost stopped.

    it would also be a good idea to have at least an 80mm fan at the front of case to bring air in and at very least an 80mm fan at the back of the case. if you have one at the back already that's quite big then it's probably a 120mm but obviously i haven't seen it so i don't know for sure ;)

    42C is quite high for a temperature inside the case, so you will definitely want to look at more cooling. you want as much air passing through the case as you can to keep the temp down. it would probably be best to have a 120mm fan at the front of the case which would bring some air over the hard drive but does not mean the drive doesn't need its own cooling.
  11. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Yeah, blowing out. The air actually comes from the side mainly.
    I think I'll try to put some more fans in the case. I'll give you some feedback if it solved the problems. Thank you for the quick and precise answers CCT and Daveskater.
    I also want to test my RAM and I know about a tool called memtest86 but I can't get it to work... That is because I haven't got any floppy drive available at the moment and I haven't been able to make a bootable cd with their .iso image. Do you know of any other tool or can you explain how can I make memtest86 work ?
  12. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    you're welcome :)

    how've you been trying to put the iso file onto the cd? there's many ways and some won't come out right ;)
  13. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I don't know... I put the iso file on the cd burned it, didn't work. Then I mounted the iso and burned onto a cd what was inside of it and it didn't work either.

    Anyway, I've got myself another problem. Normally I would post it elsewhere in the forum but I think that it is tightly tied to the problem I described above.
    In fact, like I said above, I'm a "gamer" and like most gamers, I prefer it when my games are updated. The game is Armed Assault. I downloaded the patch that would update my game from version 1.05 to 1.08 but during the installation, it said that it couldn't read one of the files. It told me to re-download it and reinstall the game too. I did like they said but it was worse ! I couldn't even extract the patch from its "winrar status". I tried to update with the first patch I downloaded but it didn't work. I said to myself : "There must be a problem somewhere".
    So, I install the game on another PC in my house, I update it to version 1.05, and then to update 1.08. I crossed my fingers and... it worked !
    Then, I realized that my PC had a problem. I don't know why it didn't managed to install this patch. And, I think that it could be because of the problem with the random restarts. Do you think that it could be a problem of temperature (that I will solve in a few days or weeks), or could it be something else ?
  14. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Get your XP cd handy, go to Start, run, type 'sfc /scannow' (no quotes - let it run and put the cd in if it asks.

    That will correct any OS file erros (hopefully you have a SP2 disk but it'll still fix many).

    After that, go to Windows Update and make sure you have any critical downloads.
  15. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Sorry for the late reply. Well, I did what you told me to do CCT but when I restarted my PC, it couldn't enter in Windows anymore. So I reinstalled it and yet again, the random restarts continued to appear.
    I've just installed another fan but the restarts are still here. I'll install another fan in a few days/weeks.
    If it is not the high temperature of my PC which is causing the random restarts, what do you think it is then ?
  16. yakwhacker

    yakwhacker TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Check the event viewer under Administrative Tools in the Control Panel. Look for errors under "Application" and "System" whose timestamps sync up with the restarts, and post the info for them here if you find any. It definitely sounds like a hardware issue. I would run a MemTest as well.
  17. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I've checked the event viewer and saw mainly errors coming from some applications like my anti virus not starting. I checked the time of these errors and saw that is is the morning mainly, at the same time as my PC restarts.
    I did a MemTest and had 7168 errors (not sure on the number of errors) on the 3rd test of the 1st pass. On the 2nd pass I didn't get anymore errors.
  18. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    hmmm... *bump*
  19. RoccoWoodbridge

    RoccoWoodbridge TS Rookie Posts: 16

    how much memory do you have , and how much of it is in use at start up ?
  20. rickk1

    rickk1 Banned Posts: 68

    In reference to event viewer, there is a place online that will let you enter the source and id into it and it will tell you about the problems.
  21. Nirkon

    Nirkon TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    It probably is a temperature thing, since 49 inside the case is very hot, for example, inside my case at room temperature is 29C.

    Intel insists (they probably did their research), that air comes in from side and front, and blows out at the rear.

    i guess thats the most efficient way to cool it.

    it could also be a computer problem, virus, spyware, i had friends with that problem, heck, i probably had that problem too, years ago, when i was like 9/10, when i didn't know much about computers, and my pc was probably the most popular virus bar on the net :)

    try doing scans with a couple anti-spyware software/anti virus.

    good luck!
  22. Quickshot

    Quickshot TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Sorry for the late reply again....Had a lot of school work.
    Anyway, I've just replaced my 1 Gb of RAM by another one and ... it seems to work well so far. ^^
    So, I think the RAM was the problem. I'll do some more tests on the RAM but the replacement seemed to fix it.
    I have one more question though : If I put the 1Gb of RAM that wasn't working in the secondary slot while keeping the "good" 1 Gb of RAM in the primary slot...Do you think it will continue to work without the restarts ?
  23. Nirkon

    Nirkon TS Enthusiast Posts: 202

    We can't tell, but try it! the worst that can happen is that you get restarts, if that happens just take the other gb of ram out... but for games you should prey that both the sticks work :)
  24. yakwhacker

    yakwhacker TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Negative. I doubt it. Try it if you must though :)

    I'm glad the memtest showed you what was going on, but I would continue monitoring your temperatures as well- could be high temps in your case fried your stick of ram. Why not just leave the side off and blow dust out twice a month or so?
  25. y'know...surprisingly, i had a friend who had almost exactly the same problem.

    her laptop kept restarting. but memtest showed that her memory was fine in her case. we're still not entirely sure why it kept restarting. but we had a good guess that it was the heat. we opened up the computer and found something incredibly odd. her laptop had a heatsink that literally touched her cpu, and at the same time as fanning the heat off the cpu, it was trying to cool the rest of the system as well. not to mention it was dusty as all hell.

    anyway. i'd have to agree with yakwhacker about trying to use the old memory with the new. as soon as you plug it in, it's going to start screwing with the system. treat the old RAM like it has the plague. once it starts coughing and sputtering, it's dying and will stay dead.
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