New Computer Frequently And Suddenly Reboots

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles Bober, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    What the......? I recently built my first system. Admittedly I keep my computer on for many hours, sometimes up to 18 hours in a given day. Now this happened on my old system near the end before I built the new one. I chalked it up to a combination of overheating and being taxed beyond it's capabilities (not enoug RAM, processing power, or hard drive space to do what I wanted it to do). But now, this is happening up to 3 times a night on my new mega-computer and I'm getting very pissed off.
    Here's what I built:
    • P4 1.8Ghz
    • Abit TH7-R motherboard
    • 1GB RIMM memory
    • Pioneer 116 DVD-Rom drive
    • Plextor 40/24/10 CDRW drive
    • Creative Audigy Platinum sound card
    • Visiontek 5564 Xstacy Personal Cinema video card
    • Maxtor 60GB 7200RPM HDD
    • Maxtor 20GB 5400RPM secondary HDD
    • Creative Inspire 5300 5.1 speakers
    Anyway, I'm thinking overheating. I purposely left the sides off the case from day one to let heat escape. Now I only have 1 internal fan BUT I have a medium oscillating fan permanently planted in the back of the case always on high. I purchased 2 more internal fans but stupid me bought the wrong ones (I bought fans with power connectors and can't install them because there aren't any power connections free internally...DOH!!!). I did not install the heat checker thing on the motherboard because, with this being my first build, the diagram in the manual is horrible and I couldn't make heads or tails out of it.
    I'm running Win2k Pro SP2. I use Norton Personal Firewall 2001 (which has NAV bundled with it) and perform Live Update everyday. No viruses are ever found. I'm on a cable modem and occasionally get a Security Alert about the Sub Seven Trojan virus attempting to access my system. But AFAIK, NPF blocks it. I perform Windows Updates on a regular basis and have Critical Update Notification installed.
    If you guys need more information, just let me know here or e-mail me at [email protected]
    So my friends, what's the deal? I'm scratching my head on this one. Any suggestions, comments, or assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    First of all, check for bios updates for the motherboard. Might help.

    Second, start disconnecting stuff. Take out some of that memory if you can, and shuffle it around (run first with one chip, then with another etc). Take out the sound card and run without that for a day to see if it stabilizes, and the same for the other cards if not.

    If you're down to running with cpu, memory and graphics card only and it still reboots regularly, you need to replace one of those components.

    I recently bought a motherboard from MSI that didn't like to work at all with a Celeron 1200 cpu. I sent it back eventually and got an ASUS board and I have yet to see a bluescreen or other stability issues. Mine is also on virtually 24/7.

    Oh, and as for heat checking - there should be a built in sensor for the CPU heat. There is almost assuredly software included with your motherboard to monitor hardware health that will allow you to see it. If not, download from Abit.
     
  3. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Get MotherboardMonitor herehere. With this, u might actually see what temps ur getting. We almost have the same setup...1.8 but I use an Asus MB. U shouldn't be getting heat issues unless ur overclocking like I am.
    BTW, what OS?
     
  4. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    A P4 chip won't crash if it overheats, it will just slow down as much as it takes to cool down. But it could be the motherboard chipset or the video board overheating.

    I'd suspect the RAM. If you have 2 banks of 512MB then you can take one out and see if the problem goes away.
     
  5. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Most likely RAM. Wayne has the right idea; if it still crashes, see if you have a friend that has compatible RAM.

    Could also be the power supply going or not having enough juice; do you know what wattage yours is rated for?
     
  6. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies guys.
    As stated above, I'm running Win2K Pro. The power supply is rated at 300W. I am not overclocking.
    Since the memory is only 2 months old, do you think the e-tailer would swap it out? The memory is under the e-tailer's brand name so I assume they would.
    I'm glad to hear this is not an overheating problem.
    You guys rock!!!!
     
  7. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    My solutions have been mentioned before, but I had a similar problems.

    1) First time I had a bad power supply. (replaced cheapie that came with the case.)

    2) I flashed my mobo BIOS. It had stability issues after installing my new vid card but the BIOS upgrade fixed that problem.
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I had a similar problem to this. My PC would intermittantly reboot itself, then it got worse and worse to the point that when it boots up into windows, it would immediately rebbot again. If left in DOS it was fine. Turned out to be the motherboard itself.
     
  9. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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  10. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Your Power supply shouldnt be the problem @ 300watts since you are only running 4 drives (& a floppy) but my first guess would be the MB. Try running the update but make damn sure you dont lose power while doing it :b That would be a bad thing [​IMG]
    Do you have 4 RIMS of 256 or 2 of 512? Unfortunately RIMMS need to be put in, in pairs so if all you have is 2 512mb chips you are out of luck to test these unless you have extra 128 chips or something lying around. Cooling shouldnt be a problem (assuming you have at least a mid ATX case) and you can check the internal CPU heat by going into the BIOS.
    And as stated above the last resort would be to start taking parts like the Sound Card out 1 at a time and seeing if it still has the problem. If it doesnt when you remove 1 part you know thats the problem [​IMG]
    Last and this has nothing to do with your problem but you say you have a 7200RPM and a 5400RPM HD do you keep them both on the same IDE channel? If so then you are hurting system performance and taking both HD's down to 5400rpm speed. You may want to think about getting an IDE PCI card.
    KyleS
     
  11. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys.
    I'm running 4-256MB RIMM's (the brand I purchased does not offer 512MB modules). I could try swapping in pairs to see which is the culprit. I have the hard drives on separate IDE channels. I paired one HDD with my DVD-Rom and the other HDD with my CDRW on different channels specifically for drive access speeds. I've learned especially that when copying cd's that CD drives on the same channel will lag since they're accessing the same resources. Anyway, onto the issue at hand.
    A friend of mine remembered there used to be memory testing programs that ran in DOS (Norton had one he thinks) which analyzed each module. And when it tried to write to the bad memory, the system would reboot. And then you knew which one it was.
    Question is, is there anything out there like that these days? And if so, can I use it on W2K? I did a brief search here at work and didn't find anything as of yet.
    Again, thanks for all your help.
     
  12. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Charles if you can wait till tomorrow I have that software at home and could email it to you so that you could not only check your Ram, but your HD, MB, Processor, video card, etc. Funny I totally forgot about this software till I noticed you mentioning it. :b

    It really is great software and will usually tell you if there is a problem.

    KyleS
     
  13. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    No problem Kyle. I can definitely wait.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  14. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Charles I sent you a personal email containing the files and directions on how to use but if you have questions please just give me a call.

    KyleS
     
  15. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    If you attached the heatsink/fan yourself make sure it's on correctly and snugly. Also, add some heatsink compound to it if you haven't already.

    If you have an image editing program like Paintshop or Photoshop, try creating a large gradient with it. If it's speckled with random errors (it's very apparent upon close inspection) then it's surely your CPU overheating (I know that sounds like an odd test, but it's by far the easiest way I've ever found!)

    Trying different RAM is quite a good idea. These days mobo's tend to be pretty finicky about it.
     
  16. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Everybody's given some pretty good advice, so I'm going to try a totally different angle...

    Since this was happening with your old computer too, I think it's a problem with your AC power. Sometimes a dip in your house power can cause the computer to reboot. Do you have a battery powered backup for your computer? If not, APC makes good ones. At work I use a Back-UPS office. It was under $100. If that doesn't fix the problem then at least you'll have backup for powerfailures to allow you enough time to do a proper shut down.
     
  17. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Good note there Bill as some power supplies/mobos cant handle any power dips and will just restart. Try the utility that I sent you to check the Ram, Mobo, etc to see if that might narrow down your problem but the power could be it.

    KyleS
     
  18. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, thanks to Kyle's generosity, he sent a bootable floppy that had the Quickpro 2000 diagnostics on it. Every single test passed, including the memory.
    Now what do I do? If this is true, how do I determine is this is a mobo issue? Or since I've eliminated memory, is mobo the default problem? Could a "mis-installation" of the mobo cause a short that reboots (I'm grasping at straws)?
    I'm so pissed because I built this new killer machine with all this processing power and memory and the damn thing reboots when it wants to. Or I'm doing stuff and I'm thinking about it maybe rebooting. DAMN!!!!
    Help. I need to get this solved ASAP. Remember, all parts are under warranty.
     
  19. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    If it passes the memory test, I'd replace the power supply. $30 will get you a new one, and I'd bet as much that is your problem.
    Also another thing: make sure there are no metal parts (of the case, screws, etc) touching the back or near the back of the motherboard. If something is coming in contact (even just for a split second) it will short the board and cause a reboot. I've seen it happen, and its the hardest thing to figure out; once you do though, a big "DUH" bubble pops up [​IMG].
     
  20. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I still say either mobo or cpu... but it could be something else too of course.
     

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