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Computer crashed continually; bought new computer and the same errors occur

Posted on 2004-10-29
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I am hoping against hope that I can get some new insight into a problem that we have been working on for over a week.

The computer was crashing (shutting down by itself) constantly, often triggered by connecting to the Internet or opening aol.  (But not always - it also was shutting down when the Internet was not involved, i.e., when trying to back up files on CD.)

When the "system has recovered from a serious error" message would come back up, the Details would show these two files as being problematic:

c:\Windows\Minidump\Mini102604-03.dmp
c:\Documents and Settings\Leonardo\Local~1\temp\wer2.tmp.dir\Sysdta.xmc

(Leonardo is the username)

We troubleshooted with Dell and Netgear, uninstalled the firewall and internet security, uninstalled the wireless mouse, etc.  Finally we decided to just cut our losses and buy a new computer.

However, the new computer has the same exact thing happening.  Frequent crashing that doesn't seem to have rhyme or reason why it is occuring.  (Sometimes related to aol, sometimes related to internet, sometimes just working with files).  It seems to be getting more and more frequent that it shuts down, so that it impossible to use the computer.

The error files that come up are the same as above, with the exception of the username for the new computer.

Do you have any insight on what could be happening or what we can do?

Artella
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Question by:artella
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    Expert Comment

    by:Callandor
    Two different crashing computers lead me to think it is something outside the computers - perhaps the power outlet the computers were plugged into are not in spec, and passing extreme values?  Is the environment they are in friendly to computers?
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Both computers have been plugged into a battery backup.  Could that make a difference?

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    Assisted Solution

    by:nihlcat
    Power was the first thing that came to mind for me as well.  Do you have a surge protector in place?  Since you have switched computer, I assume you switched power cords, but if you didn't, try replacing the computer power cable.
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    No, we actually did not switch power cords, but I can do that.

    But I'm wondering, have you heard of this happening before, a power cord causing crashes?  How could a power cord cause this?
     
    I hate to admit this, but my husband is being very stubborn and refusing to believe that it could have anything to do with the power cord.  He says one has nothing to do with the other.  I wondered if you had anything concrete that I could share with him. (But don't worry - I'll switch to the new power cord even if I have to do it behind his back!  lol)

    Thanks.
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Also - yes, there is a sure protector in place.
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    by:nihlcat
    I see.  Well, what we're doing right now is troubleshooting.  It is virtually impossible to help if we can't narrow down possible causes of a problem.  

    I have nothing concrete to give you, except that I had worked as a PC tech and Sysadmin for a fair strech and I have seen a 50 cent cord bring a computer to it's knees on more than one occasion.  It may have NOTHING to do with it at all, but Callandor is right:  Unless the PC is sitting on an Indian burial ground, some outside condition must exist.

    Let us know what you find out. :)
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Thanks - am switching the power cord now.  Thanks for the insight.  Will let you know!

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    Expert Comment

    by:nihlcat
    You may also consider that the surge protector is givving you trouble.
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    Expert Comment

    by:eccs19
    As for the power cord,  we have 1 computer (out of about 20) that everytime the power goes out for some reason, we have to replace the power cord on that 1 pc.  New cord, and computer runs flawless till the next power outage.

    Perhaps something to try may be to plug the computer / surge protector directly into the plug, just to eliminate the fact that perhaps there is an issue with your UPS. Sometimes cheap brands = trouble.
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    Expert Comment

    by:stockhes
    Take a look at this link

    I am guessing the Sysdta.xmc
    was a typo and should have been

    Sysdta.xml

    http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/8407.html

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    Expert Comment

    by:nihlcat
    Yes, but this happened on two different computers.
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    Expert Comment

    by:stockhes
    Yes but .XML sounds (I)EXLORER like and could be caused by something from the outside world

    and if that is correct it will also happen on a third computer



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    Expert Comment

    by:woodendude
    Two computers....hmmmm.... were two different operating systems installed or was the same disc used to install the OS? If not it would definately seem to be a power problem. As stated above try it with out the surge protector, with a new cord, use a different electrical outlet, even in someone elses house if you have to.
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Ok --- here's the report, and more questions.

    I switched the power cord to the new power cord that came with the new computer and the situation does seem to be much improved.  For several hours it has not crashed.  However....

    Whenever AOL is on, there seem to be problems with the Internet connection.  As long as AOL is closed, things work fine, but if AOL is open, the Internet gets disconnected frequently.  Furthermore, when I have tried to shut down and restart a couple of times, I still get the same "recovered from a serious error" message as when I had the crashing message, even though the computer didn't actually crash (I shut it down manually, but it says that it recovered from a serious error).  It also still presents the two files (above, in the first message) as being the problematic files.  These were the files listed as the bad files in both the old computer, and the new computer prior to changing the power cord.

    Everything in the new computer is new, and was installed on the computer at purchase, including both the OS and AOL.

    Thoughts?



    Any thoughts?  
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    Expert Comment

    by:eccs19
    Perhaps it's your AOL.  You say this "and was installed on the computer at purchase, including both the OS and AOL"  Were these using your disks, or were they pre-installed when you got the computers home?
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Pre-installed on both computers.

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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Hi all --

    We changed out the power cord AND the surge protector, and for two days everything was fine.  No crashing at all, and everything worked great.  It seemed that the power cord was, indeed, the problem.

    Today it seems we are back at square one with the constant crashing.  Same exact situation as my original post.  It's the new computer we're working with -- now with a new power cord and surge protector.

    Any thoughts on what I can trouble-shoot or do next.

    ~Marney
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Also - if I should award points and now re-open a new question at this point, let me know.  I'm now to how the forums work.  Thanks -
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    Expert Comment

    by:woodendude
    Take the entire box over to some one else's house and try it.
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    by:woodendude
    AOL.... I've never used AOL, but can they not possibly be using the same disc for AOL at this comp. store, maybe it is the AOL., but truly my thinking is maybe just maybe something with your home electrical messed both up before surge protectors were used, is this possible?
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    Author Comment

    by:artella
    Stockhes psst earlier:
    ****
    Take a look at this link
    I am guessing the Sysdta.xmc
    was a typo and should have been

    Sysdta.xml
    http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/8407.html
    **********

    Are these things I should try?  I wasn't sure if Stockhes posted that link knowing it was happening on TWO computers.

    M.
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    Expert Comment

    by:eccs19
    Just to reconfirm, did you try plugging directly into the power plug without using your UPS?
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    Assisted Solution

    by:stockhes
    Hey Artella

    When same things happens to two or more different computers my logic says:

    Its something from the "environment"

    Environment in this case = Physical location(power/ emc)
    or
    Installation disc 's

    or from the plug you have to the internet( Malware/virus/ crappy ISP software)

    its all up to you what you do or believe
    but this is about the problem you descibe

    Take a look at this link
    I am guessing the Sysdta.xmc
    was a typo and should have been

    Sysdata.xml
    http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/8407.html




     
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    Accepted Solution

    by:
    It could be the users habbits or things they are doing online that are causing spyware or a virus to be downloaded It could be something in their email they are bringign over again and again into the new enviroment. Try scanning for viruses and AD ware.

    http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php

    http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

    see if that helps...also get rid of AOL uninstall it and change ISP's. AOL is horrible.
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