Newly assembled pc requires clearing of CMOS before it will reboot

I have assembled a new computer using AMD Sempron 3000+ on an ASUS K8V-MX motherboard, Kingston KVR 400/256MB RAM, Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80GB HDD.  There are no expansion cards installed, but do have front panel USB ports.  Whenever I boot the computer, Windows will run for various amounts of time before locking up, when I attempt to reboot I get nothing until I clear the CMOS, but then the sequence repeats.  Sometimes Windows (XP Home) runs for 10 seconds, sometimes for several hours???
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clbraun74Asked:
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RamonReisCommented:
Are you sure the CPU is not overheating?
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mav7469Commented:
What are you using for cooling the system?  For a test, remove the side cover and run the system.

Good Luck

Mav
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CallandorCommented:
Try booting into the BIOS and monitor the cpu temperatures.  You should be able to see a spike in levels if the cpu is overheating, unless the diode is broken or the problem is elsewhere.  If the cpu is overheating, the heatsink should be hot.  If the heatsink isn't hot, it may not be flush against the cpu and has poor thermal transfer.
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sda100Commented:
Hi clbraun74

Well, the obvious things to check are motherboard, memory and CPU.  As the motherboard is not the easiest component to check, and CPUs rarely work intermittently like that - what can you do about memory?

Can you replace the memory with something else?
If you have 2 sticks, can you take one out?
Is it in the memory slot with the lowest label? (ie. the first slot)

Does the CPU heatsink feel too hot to touch?

If you can get into the BIOs, you should be able to test your CPU as it will be running full pelt.  In the BIOS, watch the CPU temperature and see how high it goes before (or if) it reboots.  If you have the cover off the case, although you can touch the heatsink, the lack of airflow over the heatsink will actually make the system hotter (a good test though!)

And, what are you doing at the time it actually crashes?  Are you playing a game or is the PC just sitting there?

Steve :)
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SamNaqviCommented:
hiya, Usually random system lockups (specifically intel, Generally AMD) are the result of some processor operating threshold being crossed. Intel has a deliberate active controller that cuts off power when the processor is heated above a certain limit. this is becoz the logic functioning of the hardware ceases to be predictable on that tempurature and the processor state is 'undetermined'. Other cutoff thresholds can be voltage (surges), some shorted circuitry or wire inside (do check for proper earthing, this causes trouble too), an IDE cable scraped and touching something metallic randomly or it can be something as mundane as excessive dust in the power supply causing a short ( I had a fried spider do this in my power supply once). Anyz, the problem (given the current description) points to a hardware fault. you could try moving the system physically to a new location (a new socket, a more ventilated place etc).. and then tell what happened... :)

Ciao!
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willcompCommented:
When boot fails and you have to reset BIOS (clear CMOS), how far into boot process do you get?  Any audible alarms (beep codes)?

Is CPU fan operating after lockup?

Does BIOS report CPU and memory correctly?

There is a recent BIOS update available that addresses CPU fan speed permissive.  Probably should flash BIOS with current version.

http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

The strange part is having to clear CMOS to boot.  Implies a motherboard issue or BIOS permissive.  Also won't hurt to try another power supply if BIOS update doesn't help.  They can, and do, cause strange problems.
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aba3000Commented:
I had already this problem, in general is the memory that was corromping the cmos (and making the windows crash).
Check your memory with memtest 86+ http://www.memtest.org/  - direct link to burn the iso image http://www.memtest.org/download/1.65/memtest86+-1.65.iso.zip. Burn opening the image in softwares ike Nero (don't just move the file) using Open Image or just Open comand.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
If you have to reset BIOS to get computer running, this is an incorrect CPU speed determination by the BIOS, meaning the CPU is not fully supported by the BIOS.  It manifest as run once, wont run again until CPU reset.  The solutions is (1) run the CPU at lower bus speed until you find a compatible setting, or (2) try for a BIOS update.  This fix in only about 30-40% of cases.
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clbraun74Author Commented:
After taking the motherboard back to the vendor, they tested it and told me it was bad. They replaced it for nothing though, so nothing lost other than a little time. Thanks for all your help. I'm going to split the points evenly in appreciation of everyones input. Thanks.
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sda100Commented:
Hmm... nice even split there!

Steve :)
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willcompCommented:
Basically same thing I was getting at earlier.  Oh well them's the breaks.
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clbraun74Author Commented:
Sorry about the split mistake. My fault. I put in a request to change it.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
So what was the problem?  Was it the incorrect CPU identification by the MB that required CMOs clearing, as I pointed out, or was it some other issue?
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willcompCommented:
One extreme to the other.  Like scratcy, would like to know solution.
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clbraun74Author Commented:
There was a hairline crack on the backside of the board. Couldn't see it without magnification.
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