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PC restart automatically

Posted on 2005-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a P4 - running XP it runs just fine browsing the web, watching 30 sec videos, or writing.

Whenever I run an application the constantly runs for over 3 minutes  (spybot, longer movies, and games)  - epecially those apps that take up system resources,
the PC cuts off like a lightswitch (suddenly)  and then restarts.  Sometimes it says:  Keyboard error or keyboard not present. at BIOS and when I restart its ok

I reattched internal power cables, checked fans/airflow, turned off all automatic restart and disabled restart (shutdown -a).

The PC worked fine for the past 6 months with no problems, no major changes except swapped a CD-ROM with a DL DVD player, which works OK.
Also PC's been running kind of slow lately.
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Question by:pdoriley
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 13771141
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/products/download.php?dlid=1&lang=en
#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
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by:pdoriley
ID: 13771352
Well I just ran a RAM - memory test from a boot floppy,   It started the test, about 3 minutes into the test the PC shut down again -  I guess this eliminates the OS/software/virus possibility.    

I have a nice 400W PS and good cooling.  

We've really narrowed it down here.   When RAM is being accessed for 3 solid minutes it shuts down.   But what would explain why I can sit here and type on experts-exchange using the same PC, and everything is fine.  (but im confused about this, I mean, don't apps and processes continuously use RAM too - how is it that I am able to type here, just not run progs for longer than 3 mins?)  

Please somebody put all of these clues togeather and come up with some nice solutions/suggestions
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 13771483
I would go for the simple answer - the RAM is not stable for running a program for a length of time.  This could be due to a defect or because it is running beyond what it is rated for.  You can swap different RAM in, or try lowering the FSB.  Which P4 do you have (including FSB), and what RAM do you have?
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Accepted Solution

by:
reedsr earned 2000 total points
ID: 13771506
just a shot in the dark but I troubleshot a machine last week that would randomly not start, shutdown on its own, not post, and scramble the graphics all at different time intervals.  Since your system is behaving in erratic ways such as shutting itself off automatically, complaining about the keyboard, and not much else the following may be of great help to you.  I too was a bit skeptical at first when i was working on that computer but what I had found was a little dust bunny under the motherboard which once removed, the system performed normally.
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 13771695
yes make sure that the dimm slot is free from dust and also the dimm connectors
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Expert Comment

by:MrBillisMe
ID: 13771808
I'll add this as well, since it complained about the keyboard go ahead and swap it out, I have seen bad keyboards lock machines up.
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Author Comment

by:pdoriley
ID: 13772143
mobo -  Syntax SVX400    http://64.168.125.230/support/syntax/Motherboard/P4SVX400/manual/SVX400(1.0).doc
processor -  Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz
memory -       DIMM1: Kingston KVR266X64C25/512 512 MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM  (2.5-3-3-6 @ 133 MHz)
OS -   XP Pro Sp2 - installed all latest drivers from Windows Update / Manufact websites

what is FSB and how to lower it?

             
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by:pdoriley
ID: 13772297
Tried a different keyboard, same problem.  Dimm slots cleaned and RAM reseated - same problem

That leaves me:
RAM swap - I don't have another stick - A last straw
Lower FSB - how do I do this?  [I didn't change anything and its worked fine for the past 6 mos.]

Dust Bunnies!   Can someone tellme the best way to clean a MOBO?  Compressed air?  and How do I get into those RAM slots and little cracks?



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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 13772312
Your PC2100 RAM does not have a high enough bandwidth for a P4 2.4GHz cpu - you need the next step up, which is PC2700 (or faster).  FSB is Front Side Bus, which is the frequency the cpu uses to communicate with other components on the motherboard.  You can look for a setting in the BIOS to lower it from 133 to 100, but you would be running 25% slower.  A better solution is to get faster RAM.
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by:pdoriley
ID: 13775254
Who said dust-bunnies??? lol  Reedsr?   I just disassembled everything, took the Cpu out and dusted it, then I Washed the heat sink in the sink, cleaned the fan, reattached everything and now, it's looking ok.  I finished an entire SPYBOT scan without it shutting down.

Lookin good for now, I'll run some more tests and see how it goes.



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Expert Comment

by:reedsr
ID: 13775304
i am telling you those crazy things conduct more electricity then one might think
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Expert Comment

by:eatmeimadanish
ID: 13776110
Your answer is to replace the powersupply.  This problem is most certainly due to a underperforming powersupply.  I would test with a bigger watted one and see...
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Author Comment

by:pdoriley
ID: 13779292
I ran a test accessing memory for well over an hour and it's working fine now.

The only thing that I did was disasemble everything from the motherboard,  and dust the MOBO thoughly and also the pentium and wash the heatsink and wipe down the fans and reattach everything.  It works fine now.  I suspect dust bunnies, it was pretty dusty.

GOOD CALL REEDSR
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Expert Comment

by:reedsr
ID: 13780304
glad to hear that everything is working now
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Expert Comment

by:traajkumar
ID: 13787538
If you are a qualified electronic technician or you can get help from technicians, see the motherboard. If any capacitors may blown big sized or leak oils from inside. If you can replace them, or you can replace the mainboard from suppliers. It will work without any problem.
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