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dell dimension 4400

Posted on 2004-09-21
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Hello,
I have a Dell Dimension 4400 at it's factory level configuration... I am experiencing random reboots at many different intervals.

After reading the many posts on "random reboots" I suspect the following items to consider:
1. video card
2. memory
3. power supply
4. o.s.
5. fans/temp

I have addressed #4 and completely formatted the drive. I have also replaced the hard drive with a brand new drive.

Items 1-3,5 remain... and I am looking for a smart way to troubleshoot these items. The random reboots do not write an event to the event viewer in winxp... The reboots occur wether or not winxp or win2003 server is installed so I am leaning away from software and towards hardware. I have 384 mb of memory installed and I have read that the larger amt needs to be in slot 1 so I will check that.

Anyone have any good programs to use or experience with this type of thing?
Is anyone convinced that it's probably a power issue or temp? I stray away from these two causes only because it can be left on for many days idle and it does not reboot.. Memory, there are no running programs other than the o.s. so why all of a sudden would it just reboot unless I am working in a program?

Any thoughts?

Tony
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Question by:tadduci
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by:Callandor
ID: 12114256
Whether you are aware of it or not, memory is being used by the system all the time, so it can be the cause.  Swap in memory that you know works from another machine.

The other possibility is a flaky power supply.  Again, you may be right on the edge of what it can handle, and something small can send it over the edge.  Swap a similar rated power supply in.
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by:Callandor
ID: 12114271
And I forgot - a bad motherboard can also cause random reboots, but leave that as your last choice.
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by:tapkep
ID: 12115554
To test memory - download utility from http://www.memtest86.com and run it for several hours.

What is temperature of CPU and inside case? Also, is power supply hot, when you touch it?

Inspect motherboard for bad capacitors (http://www.badcaps.com).

You can also have problem with power supply (btw, you must use Dell power supply, because it has the same connector, but different wiring).
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Author Comment

by:tadduci
ID: 12115686
ok will try and award points after I test.
thanks.
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 12116510
Do you have SP2 installed on your system?
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Expert Comment

by:tfjeff
ID: 12118339
rebooting problems can also be caused by a power supply, this would be a pretty simple swap as well
jeff
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tfjeff earned 300 total points
ID: 12118525
one of the easiest things you could do would be to boot to the dell dimension resource CD and run dell's system diagnostics
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by:tadduci
ID: 12119216
im going to try that diagnostic cd... tonight...
I have sp2 installed clean with winxp pro...
tony
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 12120450
"After you install Windows XP Service Pack 2, your computer restarts continuously"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;873161&Product=windowsxpsp2

"Your computer repeatedly restarts after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;878474&Product=windowsxpsp2
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Assisted Solution

by:XSINUX
XSINUX earned 200 total points
ID: 12121819
Have just one stick of Memory and try bootin the system. If you have no luck with both the sticks then , the are alternatives...

it becomes simple and easy to analyse if you are able to boot the system in Safe Mode.

The Restarts because By Default is Programmed to Restart when an error ( BSOD - Blue Screen of Death ) is Generated. Most probably this can happen due to faulty Memory or Bad Cache Memories on Processors.

The Best way to do this is ( In safe Mode if you can go )

Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "System", "Advanced" tab, in the "Performance" section select "Settings", "Advanced" tab, there is some setting which Implies " Automatically Reboot WIndows on Errors " have this Unchecked. After doing this , the System would generate Blue Screen Errors rather than Restaring.

More Info :

Startup and Recovery Options: By default, XP is configured that when a system failure is encountered the system automatically restarts. This behavior may at times be desirable, especially if a system is unattended and and a reboot is necessary to restore a system to operation. Unfortunately, it also makes it very difficult if not impossible for a user to read the messages that are presented that may provide clues to a shutdown problem. To prevent the system from automatically restarting:

Right click [My Computer] click [Properties] and select [Advanced] tab.
Click the [Settings] button in the [Startup and Recovery] section.
Remove the checkmark from [Automatically Restart] in [System Failure] section.

Pay particular attention to these messages as they may provide valuable clues to shutdown issues.

Record the BSOD Messages : It looks like this :

Stop 0x0000000A or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
Stop 0x0000001E or KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
Stop 0x00000024 or NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM
Stop 0x0000002E or DATA_BUS_ERROR
Stop 0x0000003F or NO_MORE_SYSTEM_PTES
Stop 0x00000050 or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
Stop 0x00000077 or KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR
Stop 0x00000079 or MISMATCHED_HAL
Stop 0x0000007A or KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR
Stop 0x0000007B or INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE
Stop 0x0000007F or UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP
Stop 0x0000009F or DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE
Stop 0xBE or ATTEMPTED_WRITE_TO_READONLY_MEMORY
Stop 0xC2 or BAD_POOL_CALLER
Stop 0x000000CE or DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS
Stop 0x000000D1 or DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
Stop 0x000000D8 or DRIVER_USED_EXCESSIVE_PTES
Stop 0x000000EA or THREAD_STUCK_IN_DEVICE_DRIVER
Stop 0x000000ED or UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME
Stop 0x000000F2 or HARDWARE_INTERRUPT_STORM
Stop 0xC000021A or STATUS_SYSTEM_PROCESS_TERMINATED
Stop 0xC0000221 or STATUS_IMAGE_CHECKSUM_MISMATCH

This would help one to Identify which component is causing the Problem.

Hope this Helps..

Cheers
Sinu

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