Computer reboots when burning DVD, capturing DV video, virus scan, watching TV or when it just feels like it

Posted on 2004-11-07
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
MOBO - Asus A7N8X Deluxe
Processor - AMD Athlon XP 2600+
RAM - 512 MB crucial
DVD - Sony 500a
Video Card - 8500DV
SATA HD & IDE (problem predates the SATA drive being added)

Trend micro virus software.

I suspect that it is the video card that is causing the problem just due to the flakey nature of the swiss army knife approach.  I get a variety of error messages - none of which really tell me anyting - hardware device, device driver etc.  I have tested the RAM - no problem.
Question by:clyochum
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment


       Turn off antivirus and burn DVD to see if your PC crash again.
    Ugrade the BIOS, upgrade your Windows OS, scan the disk (c:\> chkdsk c: /F and reboot), defrag your hard disk...

       If you can provide more information such error messages in the event viewer which right before crash, then
    people can help you more.

    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    run microsoft memory diagnostics on it
    you make a bootable floppy, boot to it, and it will run diagnostics until you stop it, and it will tell you how many errors it generated, let it run overnight to see that memory is not the issue (or swap with known good memory out of another computer that uses the same type of memory).  
    Reboots can also be power supply issues, so if it is not memory, and you have ruled out software, try swapping power supplies with one of like specifications.
    good luck
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    How did you test the RAM?  My main system at home suffered similar reboots, and I tried it with just one stick at a time, and it still did it.  So, I thought the RAM wasn't the fault... till, many hours later, I ran memtest86 -  - use "Download - Pre-Compiled Memtest86 v3.0 installable from Windows and DOS" option
    and found 65000 errors on the first stick, and 32000 errors on the second.  System had been fine for 9 months.

    Random reboots can also indicate heat problems - do you have any mobo utils to check the temp?  Some BIOSes will do it too - see what is registered just after a reboot.  Most CPUs are fine to about 70 degrees C (but I'd be happier if they were showing 30-40 degrees!)
    can also check it with Everest:
    under Computer.. Sensor
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    Reboots can be caused by anything really.
    Hardware : most likely are memory and ram, but it can be anything, so :
    start with a minimal config : 1 ram  stick, 1 disk, video card, kbd + mouse and test. if it does not reboot, start adding devices, till you find the one.
    Software : you can disable a bunch of software in msconfig :
    Start>run; now type msconfig +enter
    select the startup tab, check disable everything
    select the services tab, check hide microsoft services, check disable everything and reboot.
    If the problem is gone, start adding the services again.
    Yo disable the restart option,
    start>control^panel,>system>advanced tab, click settings in the restart section and uncheck restart the computer automatically

    Author Comment

    I ran SIMMTESTER and it reported no errors.  I ran it for several hours - not overnight.

    Power supply is 350 w

    XP SP2 is fully upgraded.  I am running the latest BIOS.  

    I will turn off the antivirus and try to burn the DVD now and report back.

    Thanks, Cliff.

    Author Comment

    Thanks everyone.  Bought another memory module - no problems.  Put the old in with the new - same problem.  Is there anyway to isolate the bad memory area and use the chip or is it toast?
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    no, if the memory module has issues, it's toast
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    however, it may be under warranty...

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