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P4 system reboots randomly - seen a similar question, but specs are different.

Posted on 2003-10-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hey, Ok I saw a similar question, but I suspect I know what the problem may be, but I'm not sure, so some input would be great.

Okay first of all, the system is a P4 2.0ghz on an ECS motherboard.  Until recently, it didn't reboot randomly.  First thing is, the motherboard manual says it accepts up to 333mhz ddr sdram - which is PC2700 right?  Okay, so my dad bought a stick of 512mb simpletech pc2700 ram.  First of all...the computer refuses to run it at 333mhz.  The BIOS has a setting for the RAM speed, and regardless of how I configure it(ie 166mhz, 133mhz) it always defaults to 266mhz.  I tried changing the cl setting, but that doesn't seem to make a difference.  So I gave up on it, and at some point, my father bought another stick of ram..this time pc2100.  At the time, I forgot we had 2700 in there.  But 2100 runs at 266mhz, so I figured ok..well it'll be the same speed.  Having said all that...it seems that the random reboots have started since I put in the stick of pc2100 (256mb).  

The frequency of the random reboots isn't particularly consistent.  My parents are programmers, so usually oracle, apache, java and other processes are loaded at startup.  Usually when they're working, it doesn't reboot.  Maybe twice it's happened.

The time where it usually reboots, has been the following two times.

- encoding a divx movie
- when I'm playing madden 2004

I have a Gainward Ti4200 128mb which is less than 6 months old, so I don't really suspect that.

Here are the rest of the specs:

Western Digital 80gb 8mb 7200rpm
Maxtor 30gb 7200rpm
Seagate 30gb barracuda
ATI TV Wonder pci
TDK 48x cdrw
Toshiba DVD
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
Linksys NIC

Another point of interest may be the case.  If you remember the company Quantex, we bought two computers from them - same case, in 97,99.  So we're using the same case.  Admittedly, it doesn't allow for much airflow and there aren't any extra fans in this one.  My own machine uses a dragon case w/ lots of fans.   The last time I opened the machine, the hsf on the cpu was uncommonly hot.  Not to mention the harddrives..wow I haven't noticed heat like that before.  So now i turn the disks off after 10 min.

anyway, i'm sorry if the info I've given is a bit out of order.  But if anyone has ideas, I'd appreciate it.
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Question by:PrasVT
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jhance earned 250 total points
ID: 9611061
I think you have defective RAM.  Try swapping the RAM you have out for another module.
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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 9611380
I agree with jhance -  If you pull the stick you put in, and use the existing RAM, does it function properly??  If so, yeah, probably RAM . . .
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