P4 3 Ghz Randomly restarts

Dear All,

About a year ago I built a PC for my friend. In the last 6 months or so it has decided to randomly restart with out any warning etc. For the first 6 months of it's life it was fine with no problems. I feel it is a result of the hardware we have added to the system. Which is another stick of 512 mb RAM. An additional Hard Drive, and a replacement PSU as the last one went pop. I am pretty sure it is not down to the additional Hard Drive.

I have noticed whilst in the BIOS the voltages of the 5+ and the 12+ do fluctuate up and down. Is this normal. The PSU was cheap.

Hope you can shed some light on the matter.

Many Thanks,

Who is Participating?
Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
Test your Memory Modules

Windows Memory Diagnostic

The Windows Memory Diagnostic tests the Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer for errors. The diagnostic includes a comprehensive set of memory tests. If you are experiencing problems while running Windows, you can use the diagnostic to determine whether the problems are caused by failing hardware, such as RAM or the memory system of your motherboard. Windows Memory Diagnostic is designed to be easy and fast. On most configurations, you can download the diagnostic, read the documentation, run the test and complete the first test pass in less than 30 minutes.

To run Windows Memory Diagnostic, you must reboot your computer with the disk or CD-ROM on which you installed Windows Memory Diagnostic in the drive. After the reboot, Windows Memory Diagnostic will load and its interface will appear. After loading, the first test pass will begin, using the default standard test suite, and continue until complete, unless Windows Memory Diagnostic is either paused or exited. Once the first test pass is complete, Windows Memory Diagnostic will begin a second test pass using the same settings as before. Windows Memory Diagnostic will continue to run test passes until you exit

Memtest86 - A Stand-alone Memory Diagnostic
Memtest86 is thorough, stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers. BIOS based memory tests are only a quick check and often miss many of the failures that are detected by Memtest86.

DocMemory Diagnostic
DocMemory diagnostic software can be installed on a single self-booting floppy disk, making it independent of any operating system.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
What operating system?
espokeAuthor Commented:
Windows XP SP2
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
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

Next: Make sure your service packed up!

OR Visit the update site


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

CPU Overheating: Your system will reboot to protect itself, monitor your CPU heat with
Hmonitor (1 Month Trial) http://www.hmonitor.com/
CPUCool http://www.podien.onlinehome.de/

For CPU operating Temperatures follow this link

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

Computer Restarts Unexpectedly When You Browse the Internet

The Computer Reboots in the "Installing Devices" Section During a Windows XP Upgrade

Automatically Reboot Option Does Not Work if the Paging File Is Set to Zero in Windows XP

The Computer Is Stuck in a Restart Loop After You Upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Me

Windows XP Restarts When You Try to Shut Down Your Computer


*****More reading!*****

espokeAuthor Commented:
Fantastic! That has given me plenty to work with! Many Thanks....Not sure if I can do this but I have added more points!
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
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