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Random Restarts with Windows XP

Posted on 2003-03-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi

I keep getting random restarts in Windows XP.  My PC spec is:

Windows XP Home
AMD Athlon 2400+ 2Ghz
2 x 512MB RAM (DDR 333MHz)
Connect 3D Radeon 9500 Pro 128MB Graphics card
Gigabyte GA-7VAXP Ultra MoBo
380 Watt PSU

I think that is the important stuff.  Anyway, this problem only really happens when I am playing games.  The PC will just randomly restart.

My CPU temp only ever gets to a max of 40 degrees and the systems temp gets to 37 degrees so I don't think it is a heat problem.  I also have 380 Watts of PSU so don't think that is the issue.

I am all out of ideas and would really appreciate some help.

Thanks
Mark
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Question by:eelesmar
10 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 8201812
Make sure you have updated/latest video card drivers?  Could be a ram issue?  Try running the game with just one stick of 512?  See if it performs better (in the case of the lockups).  Could try a fresh install of windows XP to see if it is not a bad OS installation or some corrupted drivers etc.

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Author Comment

by:eelesmar
ID: 8201830
I don't think it is a driver issue as have the latest drivers.  I will try the RAM suggestion and post the results later.  Are there any programs out there that allow you test for bad RAM?
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Expert Comment

by:Huseyin1
ID: 8201832
Hi
Just before your machine shuts down, do you get an error message? How do you know the temp of your CPU when your playing games, because thats the only reason i can think of, overheating....
But if you dont think this is the cause then why not try and eliminate the possibility of the game being the problem, you could open many many applications and at the same time monitor the temp......just a sujestion.......
H
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 8201879
Go to Start-Control Panel-System-Advanced-Startup And Recovery.  Maybe unchecking the Automatic Restart will show you error messages.
I had random lockups with my XP Home system.  Two things seem to have changed it.
The first was taking my CDRom and DVD drive off of the same chain.  I now have an add-in controller with both hard drives on separate controllers and my CD and DVD on separate built in controllers.
The second thing that seemed to make a difference is a little hardware monitoring program that came with my mobo.  I took it out of Startup and haven't had a lockup since.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 8201883
COuld be a bad load of the game?  what games are oyu playing?  Try uninstalling and reinstalling?
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Author Comment

by:eelesmar
ID: 8201925
I don't think it is a driver issue as have the latest drivers.  I will try the RAM suggestion and post the results later.  Are there any programs out there that allow you test for bad RAM?
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Author Comment

by:eelesmar
ID: 8201949
I have a sensor to monitor the CPU temp at all times that I can see.  It never gets above 41 degrees.  This is happening with all games so not sure if it is to do with a specific game.  I have read in places that it could have something to do with having Anti virus software running at the sametime.  Could this be an issue?

Slink9 - I will try your 2 suggestions.  I also got some monitoring software with my Mobo so it could be that.  I will take it out of startup and see what happens.

I still think it is going to be that RAM as have seen it mentioned on other sites....we will see.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:matguy
ID: 8203516
Also of note, 380watts on a PSU doesn't inherently equal quality.  PSU's are kind of like Car Amplifiers, 380 watts on the cover doesn't always mean 380 usable watts at the terminals, or on the other hand with a real good unit, it might say 380 watts on the cover, but really be able to put out much more.

Anyway, with random "pop" restarts I generally point my first finger at the PSU as most other restart inducing errors give some kind of blue screen or memory dump at least once in a while.
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Author Comment

by:eelesmar
ID: 8209007
I did some 'jigging' with the whole thing last night and seemed to sort it out.  I went in to BIOS and increased the voltage to the RAM by 0.2V and it seems to have made the whole thing more stable.  I am also running the board on the lowest settings.  It seems stupid that you can't run a board and all your gear on higher settings.  What is the point in spending money on it all.  Oh well we live and learn.  Anyway, I am hoping that the fix will continue to work and wasn't just a fluke!
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