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PC Restarts Itself Without Any Warning

Hi,

Starting last week, my PC (bought early this year) somehow restarts itself without any warning, unlike the Blaster worm. The screen just turns black, like when you press the reset button.  I happens mostly when I am watching DiVx and XviD videos using Windows Media Player, randomly. Sometimes a few hours after watching, sometimes soon after I open the file.  One time it happened just after I logged in into my Windows XP.  It didn't happen when I left my PC on without running program, nor when running Media Player for running music for a few days.

At first I thought my power supply is the problem.  Then I used ASUS Probe to log the voltages supplied and found that there was no drop in voltages at all.  From the log, I also found that the temperature of the processor was well within the treshold.  I considered some conflicting driver problem, so I updated my video card driver.  Virus scan with latest virus definition found no virus.  I have also reinstalled my Windows XP, but it still happens.

My PC spec:
ASUS P4C800 Deluxe
1GB Kingston HyperX
Sapphire Radeon 9600 Atlantis 128 MB
Maxtor SATA 120 GB
TDK Cyclone CD-RW
MSI DVD
Power Supply 450 W

Software installed:
Windows XP (up-to-date)
Latest Radeon driver
DivX 5.2
XviD 1.0.1
PowerDVD


Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
0
phi_rad
Asked:
phi_rad
3 Solutions
 
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
XP reboots?

Bit of a tricky one to track down :-(

First make sure you have all the latest Drivers (particularly your graphics card)
#To find out what hardware you have, use
Everest Home Edition http://www.lavalys.com/download.php?dlid=1
#To get your hands on the latest drivers
www.driverguide.com

Next: Make sure your service packed up!
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/results.aspx?productID=4C937A02-BAE0-4317-A1A9-0C56CD979D05&freetext=service+pack&DisplayLang=en

OR Visit the update site

http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp


Next You need to find out what’s going on. XP by default will reboot if it has a problem, you need to turn this feature off!

If your using "classic Mode" Right click "My Computer" >Properties >Advanced > In the "startup and recovery section click "Settings" > Untick "Automatically restart"
If your not using Classic Menu Start >Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System >Advanced > In the "startup and recovery section click "Settings" > Untick "Automatically restart"

Now If Windows has an error it will normally stop with an error message, you will need to pastes the "Entire" error message here.

*****Other things to consider*****

Bad RAM : This can cause random reboots to check yours use
http://www.memtest86.com/

CPU Overheating: Your system will reboot to protect itself, monitor your CPU heat with
Hmonitor (1 Month Trial) http://www.hmonitor.com/
OR
CPUCool http://www.podien.onlinehome.de/

For CPU operating Temperatures follow this link
http://www.3degs.net/weblinks/view.php?id=5

Underpowered or failing PSU (Power supply unit) PSU output is rated in watts (W) its capacity SHOULD be written on it, what is it?

Unlikely but you may be infected with a virus go to
Trend Micro (Housecall) http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

*****Known XP "Reboot" issues*****

Windows XP Restarts Unexpectedly or Restarts When You Shut Down the Computer
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;320299

Computer Restarts Unexpectedly When You Browse the Internet
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;316416

The Computer Reboots in the "Installing Devices" Section During a Windows XP Upgrade
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;311839

Automatically Reboot Option Does Not Work if the Paging File Is Set to Zero in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;320846

The Computer Is Stuck in a Restart Loop After You Upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Me
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;318018

Windows XP Restarts When You Try to Shut Down Your Computer
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;311806

WINDOWS XP SHUTDOWN & RESTART TROUBLESHOOTING
http://aumha.org/win5/a/shtdwnxp.php



*****More reading!*****
http://www.compphix.com/rebootsunexpectedly.html

http://www.windows-help.net/WindowsXP/troub-03.html
0
 
CallandorCommented:
If it only happens when watching videos, I suspect the driver for the video card.  Every new release of drivers is supposed to be an improvement over previous versions, but sometimes they introduce new bugs, and this is especially true of Radeon drivers.  Try dropping back a few versions and see if that makes a difference.
0
 
OpytkCommented:
As callandor said, the newest ATI drivers tend to cause a lot of problems.

If stepping back a couple of versions proves to difficult or impossible, you could try the Omega Drivers.

http://www.omegadrivers.net/

Supposedly they're more stable.
0
 
phi_radAuthor Commented:
Hi all,

I have the latest Sapphire Radeon driver and Windows updates installed on my system.  I have also disabled "Automatically Restart" even before posting here.

I don't think CPU overheating causes this, because I monitor the temperature using ASUS Probe provided by ASUS.  My PSU's capacity is 450W, which I believe sufficient for all the hardware I have currently.  I will try dropping back a few versions of the video card, and the memory test later today.
0
 
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
ThanQ
0
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