Computer continually restarts

Posted on 2008-10-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi I have a customer whos HP computer continually restarts
It gets to the 'safe mode, last good .., start normally etc  ' screen as soon as any of the options is pressed it restarts
I have had other machines with a similar restart problem, but this one seems to restart immediatly after selecting an option, whereas other machine seem to load to the windows splash screen or log on , and then restart

I have tried
chkdsk /r (twice)
hdd diagnostic
pull all pci hardware
reset bios to defaults
- none worked

Now im all out of ideas except for reinstall which i was hoping to avoid

Also I did the chkdsk with XP Home rather than XP MC which i dont have - would this affect the repair ?

Please help!

Question by:AffordableComputers

Assisted Solution

divyeshhdoshi earned 50 total points
ID: 22773566
your system may have virus/spy.

please check autoexec.bat, system.ini and other system config files

Author Comment

ID: 22773615
Thanks for that - how do I check those files?

Assisted Solution

SM17CH earned 50 total points
ID: 22773765
It's crashing when starting the windows loading sequence

could be some corrupt or missing system files

If you get your hands on the correct media centre cd then you should be able to perform a repair install of windows.

thats probably your best bet of finding out whether it is corrupt system files or something else.


Assisted Solution

Milan_Ojh earned 50 total points
ID: 22773877
LVL 27

Assisted Solution

Jonvee earned 300 total points
ID: 22774025
It's conceivable you have a failing power supply.  Have you a spare PSU handy you could try?

Although you did a memtest & the RAM passed, no Tester is an absolute guarantee.  Suggest you try a replacement RAM.

Another option is to remove the HD, connect it to a spare machine and scan for virus/Malware.

Inspect & reseat all remaining and accessible connectors and expansion cards -- which no doubt you've already done :)

The mobo has to come under scrutiny .. swollen capacitors, etc ...

Finally, i'm presuming you cannot enter the advanced options page to disable automatic reboot successfully?
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Assisted Solution

eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL earned 50 total points
ID: 22774059
Firstly before the windows splash screen press F8, it should bring a menu up, look for disable automatic restart and press enter. therafter see if you get a blue screen and post the blue screen back here.
I have a feeling that it may be a corrupted driver or service that may be causing the issue. Also download UBCD4win from and create a bootable CD, there are a number of spyware tools and diagnostic tools available on the CD that you can use. Use UBCD to see if you have any .dmp files located in
C:\windows\minidump folder, change the extension of the files to .txt, zip the latest 5 files and post back here for analysis.

Author Comment

ID: 22782759

Ok thanks for all your comments -  now that i have disabled auto restart as suggested  , pc comes up with the following which may give us more insight into the problem:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
If this is the first time you 've seen this Stop error screen restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
The BIOS in this system is not fully ACPI compliant. Please contact your system vendor or visit for an update BIOS. If you are unable to obtain an updated BIOS or the latest BIOS supplied by your vendor is not ACPI compliant, you can turn off ACPI mode during text mode setup. To do this, simply press the F7 key when you are prompted to install storage drivers. The system will not notify you that the F& key was pressed - itwill silently disable ACPI and allow you to continue your installation.
Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x000000A5 (0x00010007, 0x0000003c, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)"

PC is a HP Pavillion a1355a Media Centre PC
I searched for latest BIOS but the HP driver page only has the windows based driver
which i cant run cause pc wont start

In addition to this I also tried :
Removing drive & virus check with Malwarebytes anti malware
swapping memory
swapping PSU

Author Comment

ID: 22782765
I also tried to run F10 HP Recovery, and also XP setup , and the ACPI BSOD came up in both cases
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 22783465
The cause of this message is always errors in the ACPI BIOS. Usually, nothing can be done at an operating system level to fix the problem. See the articles linked here for more details.
More details here>

Located an earlier thread>
"ACPI BIOS not compatilble stop error, BIOS is Updated and compatible":
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 22783545
Conceivably the problem is your mobo, but consider this article (for Win 2000) > 

"STOP 0x000000A5" When Installing Windows 2000:

and ...
How to force a Hardware Abstraction Layer during an upgrade or an installation of Windows XP:

You could therefore try a reboot, and press F7 when you see the "Press F6 if you need to install a third-party SCSI or RAID driver" screen.   Hopefully Windows will automatically disable the installation of the ACPI HAL and install the Standard PC HAL.   If successful you could then try a BIOS update.

Accepted Solution

AffordableComputers earned 0 total points
ID: 22784247
Hey Guys - turns out it was the onboard NIC - I disabled that in the BIOS, now everything works fine!

Thanks for all your help - hope this helps someone out there!

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