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computer restarts suddenly without any apparent reason

Posted on 2007-10-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
hello,

I'm running a custom built P4 which started to restart several times without any reason. I tried everything I knew and nothing would do. I updated almost every driver (some of them I can't find....), I cleaned all the fans, made tests to see if it was due to an overheat. I tried to find information in the event log, but nothing in there. I ran a memtest, didn't find errors. Thought it was Vista, I formatted my HD and reinstalled XP, it did not work. I ran virus tests, I ran the W32.Blaster.worm removal tool, didn't find anything.

I still think it may be related to faulty memory sticks, because I don't trust that memtest program... or it could be any other hardware device...

Here's my config:
Intel P4 3.0Ghz (not overcloaked)
2X512 MB RAM 400Mhz Kingston running in dual channel
AGP Radeon 9550 graphics card (256MB)
Dynex DX-SC51 5.1 sound card
D-Link DFE-530TX PCI fast ethernet adapter (rev.A)
Maxtor 7Y250P0 Hard Drive
BENQ dvd dual DW1610 cd/dvd drive

What I think it could be is a conflict between the D-Link card and the ethernet controler on the motherboard, which I'm not able to install correctly.

Any idea of why the computer could restart? Oh and when it does restart, it shuts down, restarts, then doesn't last for more than a minute and restarts again. It does so forever, I have to close the computer myself and wait.
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Question by:flopizzz
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:manishksingh97
ID: 20118251
Just Change ur SMPS Every thing willbe fine.
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Expert Comment

by:jimtech
ID: 20118254
Have you checked your Power Supply?  If suddenly is restarting as you say, I would go with the power supply first.  Unhook everything from it except the hard drive and monitor and see if will come up and stay on at your login or desktop screen.  This will determine if there is a short in it or if the power supply is bad/going bad.  Also take notice if it beeps once or more times on the startup.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:upul007
ID: 20118340
You could also check your event viewer (at command prompt, type rventvwr and enter). Check the logs during the time immediately before the restart. Let us know what you see.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:jimtech
ID: 20118356
One other thing I wanted to let you know about, the following messages can be found at http://aumha.org/win5/a/shtdwnxp.php in case you are still having problems.

REBOOT INSTEAD OF SHUTDOWN
Most Win XP shutdown problems reported thus far have been that it reboots when shutdown is attempted. This may be a global symptom emerging from several distinct causes, because, by default, XP executes an automatic restart in the event of a system failure. Therefore, more or less anything compromising the operating system during the shutdown process could force this reboot.

Disabling the restart on system failure feature may permit the exact cause to be isolated: Right-click on My Computer, click Properties, click the Advanced tab. Under Startup & Recovery, click Settings. Under System Failure, uncheck the box in front of Automatically restart.

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nobus earned 1035 total points
ID: 20121722
>>   I don't trust that memtest program   <<   that's odd - everybodey regards it as the best; but you can run windiag instead :   http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

>>  a conflict between the D-Link card and the ethernet controler on the motherboard, which I'm not able to install correctly.    <<   then test if it restarts with the card removed, and the on-board disabled.

Basically, it can be due to almost anything hard ; you can diagnose by running with devices disconnected, or disabled in the bios.
Good candidates are PS, and mobo - btw; did you test with another disk drive too?
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Expert Comment

by:dreamyguy
ID: 20122070
could you check the system event logs in your event viewer and copy paste any messages that you see there about unexpected reboots or a bugcheck error code? that may help us diagnose the problem better.
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Author Comment

by:flopizzz
ID: 20122951
>> could you check the system event logs in your event viewer <<  : >> I tried to find information in the event log, but nothing in there <<  In XP, not a single event is saved.... in Vista there was a message saved, it said: "shutdown unexpected" (event ID):6008
<Provider Name="EventLog" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="32768">6008</EventID>
    <Level>2</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2007-10-02T23:42:59.000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>31949</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>Mathieu-PC</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>19:27:09</Data>
    <Data>2007-10-02</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>1284</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Binary>D7070A000200020013001B0009002302D7070A000200020017001B0009002302600900003C000000010000006009000000000000B00400000100000000000000</Binary>

that's what I had... doesn't reveal much!

About memtest, I'ts not that I don't trust it but my problem happens every once in a while, the program won't diagnostic it (if it has something to do with the mem) as long as it doesn't occur during the test. If it does, the comp will crash and the test will be lost.

I'll add that it's hard to test and long to test because it crashes about 2 or 3 times per day, I have to wait for it to crash to see!! I'll test the D-Link card, but I really think it makes sense that the problem comes from the SMPS.

Finally, I didn't test with another drive, it would be sad if it were that because the one I'm using is 1 year old...
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Expert Comment

by:dreamyguy
ID: 20123174
so you've had vista as well as xp and you've still had the issue? If that's the case then it sounds clear to me that its a hardware problem. since you think that it could be an issue with the dlink card, it would be a good idea to start the system out without the dlink card being plugged into the mother board and then allow it to run for some time to see if the issue occurs again.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:upul007
ID: 20124307
Did u check the event viewer.
0
 
LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 20125438
Can you upload the .dmp files from c:\windows\minidump to http://www.ee-stuff.com? We might be able to isolate the faulting module....

I dont believe it is a hidden folder.....

But you can always verify if it is even set to minidump...

Contro Panel>System>Advanced>Startup and Recovery, and make sure it is checked to do a small minidump, and note the directory...
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Author Comment

by:flopizzz
ID: 20126733
I would like to send a minidump file but the folder doesn't exist. I went in
Control Panel>System>Advanced>Startup and Recovery    the box is checked and the location is : %SystemRoot%\Minidump   which would be c:/windows in my case.  I guess no minidump files have been saved. As I said, there is nothing saved in the event viewer when the comp crashes.
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Author Comment

by:flopizzz
ID: 20126740
oh and yes I have "show hidden and system files" enabled
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Author Comment

by:flopizzz
ID: 20126770
next time it's going to crash, I'll turn on a multimeter that I plugged in a power connector from the SMPS, I will probably be able to determine if it is the source
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 20129026
did you try what i suggested ?
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Author Comment

by:flopizzz
ID: 20216237
oh well! we had almost everything bad :(  I tried to play crysis demo as a video card stability test and the computer crashed, I tried again, it crashed again! So I downloaded VideoCard Stability Test (google it if you want ;)) and the computer always crashed after 45 seconds of test. I removed the card, installed the drivers for Intel integrated graphics and everything works fine!

What brought me to this test is the fact  that when the computer crashed, it often crashed again and again and again... that's what brought me to think it could be something else than the SMPS.

To make sure, I ran tests that stress the cpu, the memory and that bring heat into the machine. (tests like Superpi, Prime 95 torture test, etc)

Thank you for your support, I'll have to change that graphics card!
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