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Why does my computer continually reboot

I have a Compaq Presario S5400NX Running a P4.  My issue is that the machine once powered on continues to reboot.  Sometimes I'm able to see the bios but it immediately reboots.  I've tried swapping RAM, Power supply, unhooking all and some ide and nothing seems to change it.  I'm left with mobo and/or CPU but wanted a second opinion.  Thanks in advance.
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GTKINC
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GTKINC
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1 Solution
 
CallandorCommented:
If this happens during POST, try resetting the BIOS.  A faulty or inadequate power supply could cause this, as well as loose wires.  Check for loose connectors on hard drives, which would cause power fluctuations, and check for a bad reset button by disconnecting it entirely.
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garycaseCommented:
If you've unhooked everything except the motherboard and video, and have already tried a second power supply, then I agree it's either motherboard or CPU.  Most likely motherboard.   Clearing CMOS (per Callandor) is a good quick-check to ensure it's not just some unusual corruption in the BIOS - but from your description it seems it's not even POSTing, so it's certainly sounding like motherboard time.
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SunBowCommented:
bad reset button? Interesting idea, that.
It is something hardware, like bios. Try to get to point of clear/reset. Look for HW dips or jumpers for a helper option.
CPU? I may have missed it, that better be seated well and I see no comment on its heatsinks or fans or anything
Now if we had more freezer space ...
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FriarTukCommented:
check your manual for a cmos reset jumper on the mobo, follow instructions to reset the cmos back to factory defaults, if that doesn't work try removing the battery on the mobo for 1hr.
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phototropicCommented:
If none of the above suggestions resolve your issue ( and surely one of them must), you might consider checking for overheating.
If for some reason the CPU fan is obstructed, or the heatsink is not making contact with the chip, the processor can reach critical temp. in less than a minute, and will then shutdown. I admit this is a long shot, so check out everything above first!
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PCBONEZCommented:
The factory power supply on that model appears to be a 250 Watt PSU.
I strongly suggest you aquire a higher capacity PSU
! Especially ! if you've done any upgrades and ABSOLUTLY if you've added any optical or hard drives to the system.
It typically takes another 25-35 Watts (each) to support added drives.

Here's a PSU calculator. Add 'at least' 25 Watts to what it suggests as a safety margin.

~~~~~~

Another possible problem is overheating.
Make sure your air paths are clean.
(Especially the CPU cooler.)
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PCBONEZCommented:
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PCBONEZCommented:
On the PSU.
Adding one memory module can take another 20-40 Watts (ball park number)
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
The machine has had nothing added to it.  This being the case the factory PS should be adequate.  Funny thing is, I removed the MFG front panel connector plug and reseated it and the machine has been running for about a day now.  I'll keep my fingers crossed and repost.  
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CallandorCommented:
It sounds like bad contacts on the front panel connectors.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
It would appear that this was just a coincidence.  The machine has resorted back to its old ways.  Not sure if I will replace the mobo.  We'll see though.  I'll repost.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
I forgot to reset the bios.  Tried that and all is well for now.  Lets see what time tells us.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
That didn't take long.  Rebooting again.  Can I get some final opinions?
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phototropicCommented:
Can you get into the BIOS to check on temperatures?
Callandor's suggestion about bad front panel connectors makes sense. Try removing the front power switch connectors from the m/board and then power on the machine by shorting the terminals with a small screwdriver. Try removing any reset switch connectors too, if present.
If the machine powers on and stays on, you have found the cause of your problem.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
I have pulled the front panel connections from the mobo and started the machine.  So far so good.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
The machine has been up and running with the front panel connections disconnected for almost a full week and it seems to run great.  Good call.  Now I just need to find the replacement part.
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CallandorCommented:
It's probably the reset button - when it makes intermittent contact, the system reboots.  You just need a momentary on/off switch.
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GTKINCAuthor Commented:
Replaced the front panel buttons and now all is well.  Thanks.
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