What would cause my new PC to re-boot randomly?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Rob Varto, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    I just built a new PC this afteroon and every so often - usually when installing new software, the system reboots! I have a gut feeling it could be the power supply; but I believe I have 400w in there. Any other ideas?

    Here's what Im running:

    AMD XP 2800
    1 gig RAM (Kingston 400 DDR)
    Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB
    Lite on DVD
    Lite on CD
    Two case fans
    1 Neon case light

    could the case light be causing an issue? Heat maybe (the monitoring software says my system is running at 37 degrees)? Im confused. I'd greatly appreciate any insight.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    My guess would be the power supply. Now generally speaking heat could cause this problem, but 37 C is only 98.6 F which is certainly not high enough to shutdown a computer. Hopefully someone else has a suggestion because if you have a non-ATX computer and power supply could run you $150+
     
  3. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I would also guess it's most likely the power supply. I'd get a brand name powersupply: sparkle, antec, enermax are all good.

    Another thing you might check is the video card/drivers. Make sure the card is seated properly, and update your drivers.

    If these don't work, try unplugging parts you don't need, see if the problem goes away. If it persists, try swapping parts you do need.

    Hope it goes well,

    - bones
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Read up on power supplies before you buy a new one. Power supplies are rated kind of funny. Different components pull power off different "rails" from the power supply. Some 400-watt power supplies do not have enough power on the correct rails to power an upper-end AMD chip while another 400-watt power supply would have more than enough for everything in your case. Get a good name brand and go for at least 400-500 watts and you should be OK.
     
  5. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Here is a link to the case I have:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...156-137&depa=0

    It's 420W - I would think that should be enough power. Maybe not...

    One thing I should point out - my cpu is running near 37 degress w/ the sides off of it. I didn't want to close everthing up in case I needed to dig back in there. At what point do I have to worry about heat? Im assuming it will get at least a little warmer in there when I put the sides back on.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Gary Neuwirth

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    I'm running a XP2000+ in an Antec case fully loaded and the 350W Antec that came with it had problems managing the load so I had to upgrade to a 430W.

    You'll find that you will be spending at least a 100.00 for a good power supply. Nice case you bought but they tend to have a weak PS in them. Getting a name brand PS will be a good investment.

    Also add some more fans..especially if you have 2 (you didn't mention HD info)harddrives installed.
     
  7. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Only one HD installed - 120 GB 7200 RPM.

    Im not quite sure how I would add more fans to this case - I looked, but there doesn't seem to be any more fan mounting points - because I did purchase two more additonal fans.
     
  8. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I really don't think heat is a major issue. My Dell laptop's fans don't even come on until temp reaches about 110 F. I think that's a little ridiculous, so I installed a utility to turn them on sooner, but point is under 130 or 140 F you shouldn't be worried about frying components or anything like that.

    Oh, and from looking a pics of the case from the link you gave us, it looks like you could add intake fans inside the front of the case. Just make sure you have them pulling air in instead of trying to pull air out in two different directions.

    Another option is some thing like this: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...888-601&depa=1

    and this:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...116-011&depa=1

    These would help you out a lot with heat.
     
  9. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    I, personally, do NOT think heat is a factor AT ALL, in your case. FWIW, my HTPC (Biostar iDeq 200n w/AMD 2800+ and 2 HDD's) runs in the 40's normally and goes up to 55 under load. But it's rock-solid for hours running Prime 95.
    But since installing and playing BF: Vietnam, the game causes it to reboot. So I'm thinking, in my case, I've got a buggy video card (Sapphire 9600XT). Might wanna check that out first.
    Good luck!
     
  10. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the advice guys! Im going to do the video card check. I recall that I put my sound card in the slot right next to it, so Im going to move it over one slot to allow for more breathing room and heat dissipation. Also, Im going to double check the drivers for the video card and make sure it's fully seated.

    Again, thanks!
     
  11. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    One more thing you should check is your RAM.

    Memtest86 works great. you can make a boot floppy with it. When you boot from the floppy, it automatcially starts testing your RAM.

    - bones
     
  12. James E

    James E Stunt Coordinator

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    it looks like it is your power supply.[​IMG]

    AMD specs are :

    +3.3V 28A
    +5V 30A
    +12V 15A
    -12V .8A
    +5VSB 2A
    -5V .3A

    your power supply is :

    +3.3V 26A
    +5V 36A
    +12V 13A
    -12V .8A
    +5VSB 2A
    -5V .5A


    P.S.
    you might try it without the caselight[​IMG]
     
  13. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Yeah, according to those specs its your power supply. Your CPU pulls off the +12 rail and your underpowered by 2 amps there. That could certainly be the problem. Sorry about the bad news.
     
  14. Kelvin Tucker

    Kelvin Tucker Stunt Coordinator

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    Rob,

    Your comment made me recall (the joy of) building my KT7A-Raid board, and the issues with the Soundblaster and bios settings. To make a long story short, I had to use a specific slot location for each card. This minimized the conflicts of sharing Interrupts with noncompliant boards, which most seem to be [​IMG]

    My bios settings were another story, since I was pushing everything to the limits. I reinstalled everything numerous times, but it was fun at the time! Take a look at one of these FAQs and you will see what I mean -> Sudhian

    Each motherboard tends to have a vocal set of afficianados out there, somewhere, who know exactly which slot shares which intterupt, and other nice tidbits of info. The motherboard vendor usually publishes this somewhere as well.
     
  15. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    With reboots I would look to the ram. Do the memtest thing, check your BIOS settings and make sure they're correct for your ram. Also try one stick at a time and see if the problem goes away. If you have a dual-channel memory board two sticks can be more of a problem
     
  16. Gary Neuwirth

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    edited
     
  17. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I had a similar problem. The cause was a badly-seated heatsink on the CPU! With an AMD processor, you have to be extra careful that the heatsink is absolutely level with the processor. If it is mounted at a slight angle, then one side of the processor will be cool, but the other side will overheat and you will get random lockups and reboots!And, the temperature reported will seem optimal, when in fact it is not!

    So, before you do anything else, check the heatsink...make sure it isn't on backwards, and that it is level. Also, be sure there isn't too much heatsink grease or too little.

    Then I'd check the memory timinigs in the BIOS, make sure they are optimal for the processor. Then run Prime95 in Windows to check general system stability. It should run for 24 hours without any errors. Memtest86 should be used too!

    Good luck...
     
  18. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Where can I find this?
     
  19. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    For what it's worth, this is the error message I get when my system reboots:

    C:WINDOWSMinidumpMini032104-03.dmp
    C:DOCUME~1ROBERT~1LOCALS~1TempWER1.tmp.dir00 sysdata.xml

    I have no idea what this means.

    Also, I ran the Memtest program and passed twice. One thing that concerned me though, was that my system had 52 errors during the #6 test. Again, I don't know what that means, how to root cause it or fix it. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  20. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Well 52 erros points to a possible memory issue even with a pass, did you try each stick seperately and test them that way? I would suggest it.
     

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