troubleshooting Question

Computer Rebooting on it own, trying to troubleshoot possible causes

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Bigdoggit asked on
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I work for a company that during normal business has to record 8 to 12 hour videos.  I recently took the position over in an effort to fix long standing issues and complete forgotten projects.  I say that because the computers were here before I arrived.  There seems to be an issue with computers randomly rebooting.  At first I believed this to be a setting, perhaps Automatic Updates with Windows. (all systems run Windows XP Pro and we have Small Business Server 2003)  However, I have been able to see the problem myself now and three different computers.  Two of them are EMachines, identical components inside, and the other is a Dell Optiplex 745 just purchased.  Now, I've become suspicious of the video capture card, but let me tell you what I know and what I've seen.  The reboots on the EMachines gave no error messages, just rebooted.  The Dell went to blue screen and told me the video card may have gotten caught in an infinite loop.  On the EMachines, I originally thought overheating, however upon sending the report to microsoft and reading the associated replies and suggestions, they suggested a device driver may have caused the issue.  The video capture card is ATI TV Wonder 200, and these computers do have ATI video cards, Radeon I believe, but I can check if someone thinks that info is vital.  Getting back to overheating though, I did remove the side panel, ran all the same software again for quite awhile and had no problem.  Near the end of the day I put the panel back on and the thing restarted within a minute.  I had been running everest pro and the CPU & Hard Drive temps did not show any climb.  There was an AUX temp, but I have no idea what it is measuring, if anything.  (I need to mention, this is an intermittent problem, I cannot not always recreate it, in fact, seldom can I)  So, now I'm wondering overheating.  However, with the DELL, this happened once, went to blue screen like I said earlier, then ran for 3 hours without any problem.  Since that is a new machine, and since I looked inside, I can be sure dirt or grime isn't an issue, or at least I feel confident I can, so the fans should be working.  Another thought that crossed my mind was the power supply not being strong enough.  We run video capture software, Active Webcam while other computers were using the Media Center included by ATI for recording software.  Restarts have happened on computers using both software packages.  We run a software program that is kind of like Pro Tools (the audio recording software) in that it records multiple channels, we record something like 15 I think, but the software measures medical stuff, Flow, ECG, brain activity, etc.  Also, we run PC Direct which is software to remotely control a piece of equipment in the room with the patient.  The power supplies have max. of 305 to 350 W.  Now usually I like 400 to 500 W, but maybe this is enough.  The processors are Core 2 Duo for the new Dells, I want to say 2 GHz.  They have 1 GB of ram.  The Emachines are running the first generation dual core processor by intel.  

The last thing I can think of to toss in the pot - I did check the event viewer, saved them actually for looking back at.  Right before a system error that is identical for both EMachines I could watch the problem happen on, I noticed the IMAPI CD-Burning Com Service entered its running state.  I cannot understand a link, just thought that was at least coincindental.  

So, now you have my novel - I hope this just wasn't a lot to read but helps make sense of the issue here.   will periodically check back to answer any questions anyone has.  Thank you in advance for you time and help.


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