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Reboots without warning when using Ethernet?

Please help: I never used to have a problem using Ethernet, but recently whenever I'm online my computer either completely freezes or reboots without warning. It seems to only happen when I'm using ethernet, though--when I use a modem I haven't had a problem. And it seems to only happen when I'm actually using an internet program--like Outlook or Explorer or AIM.

Oh, and I use Windows 98, and my computer is a Dell Inspiron 5000.

Does anybody know what the problem might be? I can't tell you how frustrating this is.

Thanks!!

Ung Lee
unglee@princeton.edu
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unglee
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unglee
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1 Solution
 
yipihaCommented:
Now this is weird. I constated this kind of intempestive reboot only with drivers problems.

Do you still use the modem ? If not it is possible that the applications you use try to connect via a modem which does not exist anymore...start by disconnecting the modemn if it link to your computer then...

First - Download and install the last driver for your ethernet card using the exact references and a search on google.com with the words 'driver download'. This will generally bring you the very last driver for your card.

Second - In Start/Settings/"Control Panel" click on "Internet Options", click on the "Connections" tab and remove all "Dial-up and Virtual Private Network settings". Close all open Internet explorer windows then relaunch Internet explorer and try again.

Third - It is possible that while not reported a 'ghost' modem still causes problem. Reboot your computer and just after the memory and hard drives check press the F8 key. This will bring the Windows Menu, select Safe Mode. Once Win98 Safe Mode is launched, in Start/Settings/"Control Panel" click on "System" then select the "Device Manager". Select "modem" and remove all occurences you find. Select "Netwrok adapter" and remove all occurences which are NOT your ethernet card. Reboot your machine and try again Internet Explorer.

Fourth - Windows may have reported a 'ghost' modem in the network neighborhood. Right-click on "Network Neighborhood", and click then remove any occurence starting by "Dial-up adapter". Reboot and try again Internet Explorer.

Fourth - We have normally solved all drivers problems so I am lost too. Only other possible problems I see are related to processes that crash your computer when you connect on the Net (No need to worry about potential viruses yet, some very fine firewalls can crash win98 on a daily basis). Activate the task manager by pressing ctrl+alt+sup and use 'end task' for all applications but "Explorer". Then launch Internet Explorer and see if it solves the crash problem. If yes, you may want to retry several times untill you find which application crashes it. The last option will be to download a monitoring tool to see what processes are running on your machine without being indicated by the task manager and terminate them to find the suspect one.
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KingsizeCommented:
Hmmm.  could be hardware, could be software.

* check for viruses/trojans
* Check PSU cables
* check PSU voltages
* Check the cpu temp/fan/heatsink assembly
* Re-seat memory
          ethernet card - screw securely in.
          and other expansion cards.
* Check for shorts
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ungleeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help. I've tried some of the suggestions, but to no avail...Perhaps I'll just take the sucker into the shop.

Other possible causes:

-I bought and used the ethernet card in the US, and now I am in Korea. Could that be a factor?

-Also, there are different voltages here in Korea.

-Kingsize mentioned cpu temp--How would that cause my computer to reboot without warning? I have noticed my computer seeming to overheat recently....

That's all I can think of now. Thanks!

Ung
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ungleeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help. I've tried some of the suggestions, but to no avail...Perhaps I'll just take the sucker into the shop.

Other possible causes:

-I bought and used the ethernet card in the US, and now I am in Korea. Could that be a factor?

-Also, there are different voltages here in Korea.

-Kingsize mentioned cpu temp--How would that cause my computer to reboot without warning? I have noticed my computer seeming to overheat recently....

That's all I can think of now. Thanks!

Ung
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KingsizeCommented:
An overheating CPU can cause all sorts of problems and is usually associated with:

A failing PSU
A failing fan
The heatsink coming away from the cpu
thermal grease being extruded
Rise in ambiant temperature

You might also want to consider a UPS.

Check your cpu temperature against its specifications.
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yipihaCommented:
Yup, Cpu overheating [or just central unit overheating] may cause the pc to switch off to protect itself or eventually reboot - but I thought your pc crashed only when you used Internet. You can eventually let your pc on without using the specific applications you named to see if its a more 'general' problem link to the whole computer. If not it may be more related specifically to your card so try to use another ethernet card to connect or use yours in another machine to see what happens.
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KingsizeCommented:
I recommend testing the computer with another PSU, borrow or swap one of similar specification (watts and amps) if you can.  This will help eliminiate components.

You could also test the PC with a game or the like that stresses components (demanding 3d)- if the error repeats it will help isolate hardware rather than software.

If stable in 3d-games try re-installing or updating internet explorer.
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eecomputingsCommented:
The questioner gave no more feedback, but there is good info in the thread, so PAQing for zero points.

eecomputings
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