First, my problem - System Instability in the form of:
1) Trouble booting AND
2) Trouble staying up for long periods (> 1 day)
The boot problems manifest themselves differently, sometimes POST errors, sometimes not. Sometimes can't find ntoskrnl. Usually it goes away and boots fine after 2 or three goes with a bit of a rest in between.
The uptime issue manifests itself when I leave the machine on and go to work/bed (same thing sometimes). When I return many hours later its hung and beeping quietly.
Second, my system details.
Epox 8KHA+, Athlon XP 1600+
2 x 256M Crucial, PC2100
1 x 80GB par. ATA HDD, 1 x 120G par. ATA HDD
Hercules Prophet nVidia GeForce3 Ti200
Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD burner
Samsung DVD ROM
Audigy Sound Card
ToPower 420W Power Supply
The whole box is about 2.5 years old, no problems with it at all to date.
Initially I suspected the mobo, but recently I've started to think Power Supply. I've tried checking the voltages using Motherboard Monitor, but am having a couple of issues with a couple of the readings that I suspect are MBM bugs rather than voltage problems.
My readings are:
Core 0: 1.74V
+3.3V : 1.52V <- I think this is a MBM issue.
+5V : 4.87V
+12V : 12.16V
-12V : 2.28V <- Haven't investigated, but it can't be right surely!
-5V : 0.64
There are voltage readings in the BIOS too, but I'm not sure which ones correspond to above. VCore, +5V & +12V are obvious, the rest I'm not clear on. (Vagp, Vio, VDIMM, VBAT, 5VSB)
I know its hard to diagnose these things remotely, but could I possibly be on the right track thinking Power Supply? What else can I check to confirm?
Sorry for the long post, but any and all tips/advice much appreciated.
CPU temp is fine. Normally it sits around 37, maxes out around 43-45.
I haven't spotted Fortron Power Supplies here yet (I'm in Australia), we do have Enermax though which seem to have a good name as well.
I had very similar problems as what you're describing about a year ago. Replaced my 350W PS with an Antec 430W and haven't had the problem since. I can't guarantee you have the same problem but it sure sounds like the one I had.