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Windows XP shuts down unexpectedly

Posted on 2004-10-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Your help would be appreciated.  For the past three weeks I have found that when I first start up my PC in Windows XP Pro normally and get to the desktop the screen will go a complete blank (or sometimes it will show coloured stripes) seemingly when I click on a button or try to open a window.  The computer locks up, I power down, it starts up ok on restart, then the same happens.  After about the third or fourth startup things seems to settle down and the rest of the day is ok.  Coincidentally I cannot get Windows to start up in Safe Mode - gets halfway and then reboots.  I have done most things the experts would recommend ;-) checked out the current adapter software, repaired Windows, updated all files both Office XP and Windows XP (this all happened before SP2 so I can't blame that).  I'm wondering if I  have a hardware problem although I am trying the software side first.  My Shuttle has a built in Video Adapter.

Mike
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Question by:melmitt
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by:qfren
ID: 12295743
Hi:

Hv u try to reseat the hardware? especially RAM...those cards...


mc
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12295780
agree with qfren - Id also be suspecting the graphics card :)
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AbacusOnsite earned 200 total points
ID: 12295877
If you have tried the repair option in Windows XP, there is not going to be much else you can do in terms of software.  You said you updated the driver for the video adpater, right?

Here is what I would do, if this were a customer's issue (or my issue, for that matter):

First, clear the CMOS.  Look in your motherboard manual for instructions in how to do this.

Next, upgrade the firmware to the latest rev.

Do some testing.

Pull everything that you can out of the system, except the essentials... processor, memory, systemboard, and hard drive should be the only thing left.  Disconnect all other cards, devices, printers, drives, and any extra memory (you should leave 1 stick in).  Try to boot the system and recreate the issue.

If that doesn't work, try swapping out the memory with an extra stick.  If you don't have another, go to the next step.

Replace the hard drive with a spare (small capacity, inexpensive ones work best).  Install Windows XP on the newly-installed drive... and see if your computer still gives you problems.  Yes, installing an OS can be time consuming, but money is tight you don't want to be replacing hardware needlessly.  Do you?  If the new install gives you the same issues, you definitely have a hardware issue.  

From that point, you will know what you are dealing with.  If it's hardware, you could do some part swapping or run diagnostics on your PC hardware.  Sometimes, the system manufacturer will have diagnostic tools that you can download from the website.  I would take the latter route first.

If the problem seems to be with the OS, then it may be time to start fresh.  I know that reinstalling all those apps is a pain in the rear, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:melmitt
ID: 12296925
Thanks for help.
GFren I do not have a video adapter card - it is integrated to the motherboard.
Abacusonsite - will try all that you propose - but will take some time.  Will report back

Mike
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Assisted Solution

by:Asta Cu
Asta Cu earned 50 total points
ID: 12373848
I've upgraded to XP SP2 and love it, but not before doing my homework and testing for compatibility in terms of HW and SW first; and where needed, getting updated patches, drivers, etc.  So highly recommend that.

I just want to be sure that everyone who has upgraded to XP SP2 knows that there is still some FREE Microsoft for that upgrade, unless it is OEM installed, at which point the responsibility lies with the OEM to resolve.  Not for points, just to be sure this is known and the free resource used, where applicable and while it lasts.

Hopefully Experts here can (or have) help(ed) you, but it may be worth some time to check out your FREE options here in the event it is an issue that requires escalation to Microsoft for a solution that doesn't yet exist.  I'm not sure how long this will be free, and have used the Tech Chat interface and been happy.  But as always, your call.

http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?LN=en-us&gprid=6794&x=16&y=11

Asta
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 12681752
Thanks, Mike; happy I could be of 'some' help to you.  Best wishes, ":0) Asta
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