from slow down to constant reboots

Posted on 2011-04-29
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Had a client today whose computer he says started slowing down in the last few days that it was difficult performing simple operations. The slowing down gradually got worse until finally the computer kept rebooting on its own every time right after windows was loaded. When I picked up the computer today and ran it at my lab, non of those problems existed. What would you attribute this problem to. This is a Dell Windows XP SP3 with Intel processor.

Thanks in advance.
Question by:now2010

    Accepted Solution

    my guess is harddrive or memory, and possibly overheating. Run memtest and chkdsk /r and look for errors, and also make sure it isnt to hot where the customer had it. Considering it stopped rebooting when you took it it might be an environmental problem, heat which is causing the rebooting, or possibly power issues.
    LVL 82

    Assisted Solution

    by:Dave Baldwin
    I would say he nevers turns it off.  I have finally been able to convince a few customers to turn their computers off at the end of the day because they finally worked in the morning when they did that.  Several popular programs appear to have memory leaks that will eventually use up all memory and crash the computer.  When that happens, they sometimes won't boot up properly the next time.  It could also be due to marginal cooling that let's the internal temp on some things get too high to work properly.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    Some times rebooting will help i will also check two things.
    One of them is their Profile. If you login as your self you wont be able to replicate the issue.
    Second is Check if Antivirus is running in the back ground. Some time AV is cheduled during specific times and it makes the PC very slow.
    Ask user to launch Task Manager and check if there is a process for AV .

    Author Comment

    I must mention that right off the bat at the clients location I booted in safe mode and the computer worked fine (no rebooting). Do you think if it was overheating issues, then safe mode would have duplicated the problem. Any thoughts on that?

    Assisted Solution

    if t was overheating you should run a stress test like prime95. once you get prime95 running on all the cores it will crash pretty damn fast if it is a overheating issue
    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    >>  Do you think if it was overheating issues, then safe mode would have duplicated the problem. Any thoughts on that?


    Where was the computer located?  In good fresh air or a place where the air was trapped.

    And in Safe Mode the computer isn't stressed as much as in Normal Mode.

    The slowing down is a symptom of overheating occurring.  The computer is compensating for excess heat by slowing down.   This isn't necessarily the fault - more checking is required to confirm.  Open up and see if the heatsink and fan are jammed with dust.  Any dust in the interior?  Fan spinning freely?
    LVL 27

    Assisted Solution

    Using the good suggestions so far you may well have resolved the problem, and quite possibly it was temperature related!
    However, if the issue remains, could rebooting after automatic MS updating have been a possibility, at the clients location?

    An unstable mains power source at the same location, and/or a flakey computer power supply perhaps?

    Further help ...
    Advanced troubleshooting for shutdown problems in XP:
    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    could be the envirronment : lan, router, AC problems, Radiations..

    Author Comment

    Thank you all for the excellent suggestions. If it happens again, I will look for dust on the heat sink/fan and run prime 95.

    Author Comment

    The client did say he never turns it off so that could be an issue as well.

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