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My XP Pro machine just "shuts off" and immediately reboots at random when running Windows XP SP3. Could it be something with the "dump"?

Posted on 2008-10-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
When running Win XP SP3 my computer reboots at random, often during the middle of something. It did not do it when using MaxBlast to clone one disk to another, for it was on several hours for this. But if I leave it on regularly, with the icons and wallpaper showing, it will not go more than an hour without the rendom reboot. Also, when it boots up I have to reset the screen resolution and refresh rate, and the "winlogon.exe" error keeps showing. I'm so frustrated that I'm going to do a clean install (of everything, darn it) on another machine, but I still want to keep this one for back up. Besides, I want to know what is causing this. (Also, I put in a new power supply, and no luck there.) When the machine is not re-booting, it works well and I can use all my programs -- but of course I never know when it will reboot on me. Some mentioned that "dump" might be at fault.
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Question by:josephbusey
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15 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:authen-tech
ID: 22645292
First of all, lets change the automatic restart option so you will get a blue screen...then maybe you will be able to get a hint at what is causing the problem.  Right-click on my computer and go to properties.  Select advanced and choose Startup and Recovery.  Then UNCHECK the box that says System Failure: Automatically Restart.  

Next, I would check through the event log by clicking start/run type eventvwr and hit ok.  Check the system log for errors that could indicate a crash.  

I would also go to http://www.memtest.org/ and download the memory test disk to check your ram for problems.  This can cause a similar problem if you have a glitch in your ram.  If you have other memory compatible with the computer on hand...swap it out and see if that helps.  
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:mgonullu
ID: 22645456
using a XP boot CD, make a repairand then roll back to SP2
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL
ID: 22646295
Check in your c:\windows\minidump folder for the dump files, rename the extension to .txt and post the most recent ones here for analysis.
Also memtest will be a good idea and make sure the test runs for a minimum of atleast 3 passes
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Author Comment

by:josephbusey
ID: 22650566
I give up. How does one attach a file? I checked the box, which opened a blue field ADD FILE, but I don't know what to do from there. There seems to be no way for me to attach a file.
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Author Comment

by:josephbusey
ID: 22650641
for authen-tech: when I did what you asked I got: "STOP: c:000021a {Fatal System Error}.  The Windows Logon Process ystem process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0x0000096 (0x00000000 0x00000000). The system has been shut down." On reboot I got: "Bad_Pool-Handler" and had to use Go-Back to set the computer back before I defeatede the Automatic Restart.

for mgonullu: when I put the original WinXP disk in and press "r", it just comes up with a DOS prompt, and I don't know what to do from there. How does one "repair"?

for eXpeLLeD_4RM-heLL: I did what you said but now have no way to attach a file (see my prior post about not knowing how to do it).
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by:eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL
ID: 22650912
oh, sorry 4gt 2 mention change the extension of the file from .dmp to .txt and then attach the file
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LVL 9

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by:authen-tech
ID: 22652109
error c:000021a    - I googled this
It means the SAM is corrupted.  The most common reason for this is a hard disk issue, or a warning of a hard disk problem.

Because a repair reinstallation does not replace the SAM, this is a non-starter.

My best advice would be to do a clean install.  You want to thoroughly test the disk drive afterwards, or perhaps if you can find the drive manufacturer diagnostics for the hard drive on their web site, start their before bothering with a new install.
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Author Comment

by:josephbusey
ID: 22809244
I gave up and just reloaded everything (though it was hard to find since some is 10 yrs old). But, my 98SE machine was for junk e-mail and for one DOS program I never could get to run on XP. Thanks for everyone's help.

Joe Busey
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 22943150
Joe,

Looks like you've been abandoned... In reading through this, your original question (about why your computer is dumping) was answered by authen-tech, so please make sure he gets a good portion of the points. I'm in agreement with him; generally, the two kinds of dumps I've experienced are either a) a hard drive going bad or b) a power supply going bad. So in that case, unless you reformatted the drive, I'm not sure you're going to have long-term success just by reinstalling. You might... but don't be terribly surprised if you don't. It would be prudent to start backing up all your data.

To repair XP: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm gives some pretty good step by step instructions, along with some things you have to watch out for.

To upload a file at EE:
1. Check the box.
2. Click the Add File button
3. Find the file on your computer (note: if it's a .DMP file, you'll have to rename it to .TXT, and if it's bigger than 5mb, you'll want to zip it after that)
4. After it uploads, give it a description
5. Click Submit.

If it's too big, there's a file upload system at http://www.ee-stuff.com that works too.

ep
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:authen-tech
ID: 23111985
Question answered and other experts backed up my answer - even recommending I get points.  Would like them if possible.

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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 23112586
Lee,

No objection to refunding the points; as you have noted, he did not use anyone's solution.

However, please consider PAQing this one, rather than deleting it. Just because the asker didn't use the solution(s) offered doesn't mean they're not the right ones. If authen-tech is correct (and my experience is that he is), then reloading the OS is at best a temporary fix, and his hard drive is likely to be failing.

Were the question one that could be answered "you can't do that", you would be recommending awarding the points for it, even if the Asker refused to accept it as the answer. I think this is only marginally different, and you know more about OSs than I do. But a correct answer is a correct answer, isn't it?

Regards,

ep
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Computer101 earned 0 total points
ID: 23144932
PAQed with points refunded (250)

Computer101
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