My PC suddenly reboots while I am still working!

Posted on 2000-03-13
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I had this same problem earlier and thought it was a software problem. Finally after several such re-boots one day the power unit conked out and I had to replace it. Things went fine for two months after that. Now again the reboot has started out to occur. After each such reboot the standard Win 98 screen appears advising me to shut down the machine properly next time and automatically runs scan disk!

I have an Intel PII 266mhz with a 4.3 GB Quantum HDD, a16 MB AGP Card, CDRom drive, 128 MB Ram, and an Intel motherboard with 512 KB Pipelined burst cache. The softwares are all working fine. I am certain this is a hardware problem but just can't ascertain what to do about it! I am scared of losing my data. Would appreciate any advice and help!


Question by:Confused1
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 2613946
Are you using a backup power supply with a built in surge protector? If you live in an area where the voltages are always changing up and down (sometimes as much as 15 volts) then this could be part of the problem, with a good BPS then you will eliminate this possibility, plus you have some extra protection.
If you are sure this isn't a problem then take a good look at your power supply, maybe it simply isn't suppling enough wattage for your system and is operating in an overloaded condition causing premature failure.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 2613960
Also make sure all cooling fans are working and there is no dust build up anywhere causing overheating problems.

You may want to try removing the computer cover and running like that for a few days to make sure it isn't heat related

Expert Comment

ID: 2614122

NUMBER 1:  MAKE BACKUP OF YOUR CRITICAL DATA FILES WHILE YOU CAN!  forget the programs for now, get the irreplaceable data on floppy, tape or whatever backup means you have available to include R/W CD..

That the system ran fine for two months than started again is weird.  Chances of it being the power supply again are slim.  If you can drop down to 64 meg of ram and try 64 at a time u can rule out possible bad memory.  Naturally, if it runs okay you can use the process of elimination to take it down to the bad memory module.

If the memory proves okay, get out the lady of the house's blow dryer and pump a little hot air into the system while its running.  We are not talking frying, just enough to warm up the insides above normal temps.  Prior to doing this make sure all pluggable components on the motherboard are firmly seated to include BIOS chips.
Hopefully this will rule out heat related motherboard problems.

While this is happening go back thru your mind and figure out if you have loaded or unloaded anything recently software wise that you might have done before.  You know the seldom used but trusted utilities, etc.  Think about what you are running when problem occurs, is it always the same application or applications at the same time.  A conflict can be a real pain in the rear.

Did your make sure all your cables, etc were FIRMLY seated before you did all of this.  If you did, chances are we talking prob intermittent drive problems.  Snatch a drive from somewhere, do a disk to disk and let her rip with it as the primary.

If you got this far and the darn thing is still running send we need to really talk about this problem being hardware..

Good Luck...
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Expert Comment

ID: 2614491
Some reboots are related to sound events. Remove the soundcard and test yo machine. (especially if it is an ISA card)

Expert Comment

ID: 2615519
try checking the contacts from your power unit to the motherboard.

Accepted Solution

imryl earned 100 total points
ID: 2616190
The first thing that you should check is the fan of the CPU, open your case, and see if its working, second check the fan in the power suplay, and all other fans in the case (if you have any).
The agp gfx cards tend to heat up alot, so you should buy a fan for it, or buy a PCI fan card, that should do the trick.
If you have an AWARD bios installed, check on the power options and turn off auto shut-down, and tep wach.
and if all that fial, then its the motherboard, and then...
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 2617573
Please do not use comments from others as your answer, this is not good manners, please change your proposed answer to a comment and post all comments as comments. Also please lean to spell at least a few words so as to look like you know something.

Please reject the proposed answer since that info was posted in a comment earlier. Don't support the lazy points stealers

Expert Comment

ID: 2618760
Now now Rayt333 lets not jump to conclusions.  Perhaps it was just a genuine comment.  Besides Imryl has only been enrolled since 9/3/2000 (brit date) so perhaps he\she is not accustomed to the rules as well as you are.
Oh Yeh And less ov duh scurilus reemaks on bad speleng.  rite.

Expert Comment

ID: 2618941
The problem should be easier. Please verify if your PC work well without the
RESET button connected to the mother board. It seems strange but sometimes the reset became randomly active.

Expert Comment

ID: 2622502
Check your autoexec.bat and config.sys
file. I install a new prgram that put a
setting in my autoexec.bat file that caused it to reboot.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 2677710
Why did you accept that as the answer?? All he did was basicaly repeat what had allready been said in comments, except he posted as an answer?? This is called supporting the answer or points stealers

Have you ever heard of giving credit where credit is due?? You shouldn't give the credit to someone who only copies the comments of others

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