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Strange Restarts - What's Going On??

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  • CPUs
  • Computer
Last response: in CPUs
January 5, 2006 5:24:29 PM

Hi there -

This is my first post - so i apologise if i'm treading on any toes or anything (have i even posted this in the appropriate section?!?!?)

Anyways if anyone can help me out, please have a go!

I'm having a regular problem with my brand new computer. Here are the specs:

Windows XP Home
AMD64 Athlon 3500+ Venice-core Socket-939
1,024MB 400mhz Dual-Channel Branded DDR RAM
250GB Maxtor P-ATA133 7,200RPM HDD
16x Sony DW-Q30A Double-Layer DVD-RW
ATI Radeon X700 512MB PCI-Express


The computer is (maybe once every couple of days) freezing for 2-3 seconds, then restarting instantly without warning...i then get the XP error message "this computer has recovered from a serious error" when restarted, and the last three error logs taken are as below:

C:D OCUME~1-LOCALS~1-Temp-WERf5c3.dir00-Mini122805-01.dmp
C:D OCUME~1-LOCALS~1-Temp-WERf5c3.dir00-sysdata.xml

C:D OCUME~1-LOCALS~1-Temp-WER90e7.dir00-Mini122805-02.dmp
C:D OCUME~1-LOCALS~1-Temp-WER90e7.dir00-sysdata.xml

C:D OCUME~1-LOCALS~1-Temp-WERe6ed.dir00-Mini123005-01.dmp
C:D OCUME~1-LOCALS~1-Temp-WERe6ed.dir00-sysdata.xml

The computer usually does this when writing a dvd (either in preparation or during actual burning) or when i am playing far cry or half life 2.

This suggests to me some form of conflict, or maybe something over-heating??? Has anyone any thoughts at all or come across such an issue before?

Any help would be very much appreciated. It's just quite annoying as my last computer never went wrong. Now I get a better machine to discover it's actually...not better!!

More about : strange restarts

January 5, 2006 5:41:20 PM

Go to your System Properties, Advanced Tab, Startup and Recovery section, and hit the settings tab.

Ensure the following box is UNCHECKED: "Automatically Restart."

If it was checked, then unchecking it will probably fix your problem.

If it doesn't then come back in here and tell us.

-mpjesse
January 5, 2006 5:43:03 PM

Your system seems to be failing. Since its a brand new computer, you should turn off "Automatically restarts".

Right-click My Computer->Properties->Advanced tab->Startup and Recovery Settings-> System Failure

That will hopefully stop it from rebooting itself. From there you may be able to glean more information about the issue. It should at least tell you which program died on you.

Did you build this yourself? What motherboard do you have?

It sounds like a hardware conflict or a driver issue.

Overheating would more likely go from a smooth framerate to a choppy one, or some immense slowdown from the CPU throttling.
Related resources
January 6, 2006 10:14:21 AM

Thanks for your comments -

I've tried the problem with the AUTOMATIC RESTART option both checked and unchecked, it doesn't affect it unfortunately

To answer your question nobly, the motherboard is

"nForce4 chipset with 512MB X700 PCI-Express graphics card"

I bought the PC online, as a complete kit. I've checked the BIOS with a more technical-minded friend, he says its not overclocked and mostly on auto settings, and well put together with good components.

I should point out maybe that the Hard disk is partitioned with an approx. 10gig-230 gig split, with windows running on the 10 gig and all my games on the 230. could this be affecting the computer?

I don't mind reformatting, as long as i know it should stop the problem.

Once again, thanks for your help.

Stu
January 6, 2006 12:07:56 PM

maybe it's hardware-related...some cable not plugged in tight enough could cause this, so open your case and check if everything is plugged in tight, especially your harddisk
January 6, 2006 1:04:00 PM

What is the power output on your power supply?
January 6, 2006 1:57:34 PM

I had this same problem. My memory timings seemed to be set too aggressively. I relaxed the CAS latency from 2 to 2.5 on my Corsair XMS memory (that was incidentally rated as CAS2) and that seemed to fix the problem. I guess it was an incompatibility issue with my motherboard. Hope the anwswer is as simple for you.
January 6, 2006 2:45:01 PM

Try either raising memory timings (as TurdBurglar suggests) or slightly increasing memory voltage (Which I would suggest to TB, rather than relaxing timings...;) )
January 6, 2006 2:57:26 PM

Unfortunately, my cheap Chaintech MB does not allow me to change memory voltage settings :cry:  Poor choice of a MB on my part. Stupid low price...luring me in...grrr
January 6, 2006 3:08:07 PM

Also, don’t discount the possibility of Power Supply problems; if your system is running on the edge of your +12 rail you may experience intermittent restarts. What make/model is it?
January 6, 2006 4:53:01 PM

Interesting that it keeps resetting after the Auto Reset. That tells me its not a Windows issue, its a hardware issue.

You could try reformatting, and if/when you do, dedicate more than 10GB to your system drive! Wow, I've never seen any computer that comes like that. The lowest I've seen is 20GB for the system drive, and that sucked already.
But it shouldn't cause you problems unless your system drive is full. If it is, that might explain it.

What brand is the computer then? Some no-name, or like Dell or HP or something?

I doubt its a PSU issue, a 300W should be able to handle that configuration, and if he ordered it online, it should at least have 300W w/ acceptable rail output. Its not like he has a 7800 or something. Doesn't hurt to check though.
It could be a bad PSU - that brings back memories of random resets and me having to finally trace it to the PSU. Might want to try swapping PSU's for a few days and seeing if that helps. Or get a PSU tester.

If its absolutely random (doesn't matter what you are doing on your computer), I would suspect an intermittent PSU that is dying. Heck if what you said is happening, it could be restarting w/o you even knowing about it if you're not there.
January 6, 2006 9:06:10 PM

Quote:


I doubt its a PSU issue, a 300W should be able to handle that configuration, and if he ordered it online, it should at least have 300W w/ acceptable rail output. Its not like he has a 7800 or something. Doesn't hurt to check though.


I had (yes, notice the HAD..) a 250w PSU that I used to test a Sempron 3000+ and a motherboard with integrated video. I installed all the component, even got to install XP.

I did use that same 250w to test an OCed Athlon1000 with a nforce2 motherboard...

Now, this PSU don't want to power an old P3 500 MHz..

While 300 watts might be enough, it is really pushing the limits with A64 CPU. Especially if is is one that come with a case. It may work for some time.. like mine did, and then fail.
January 6, 2006 9:29:58 PM

Try using a different stick of memory. Memory can cause major issues sometimes with certain boards.
January 6, 2006 9:35:00 PM

Thanks for the advise, but I do know for sure it is a PSU failing problem.
August 12, 2006 2:15:43 PM

HI....
I'm new here


My computer is kinda different but i started having the same problem as soon as I installed the sony dwq30a dvd-rw drive....


Could that be the cause?
August 12, 2006 3:36:26 PM

i had exactly the same problem with my pc...restarts when playing demanding games or when accessing the dvd drive......it turned out to be the PSU...i was using a cheap no name psu, even though it was a 550w PSU the rails where just not stable on it and it was a peice of junk

i got myself an Ennermax noisetaker 600w and my machine has been Totally stable for the last 18 months...not 1 single random restart.

i would also advise downloading Memtest

http://hcidesign.com/memtest/

and testing to see if you get any errors, memory errors can cause reboots too
August 12, 2006 4:38:07 PM

Check your capacitors near the voltage regulator and your RAM. Mainboard manufacturers cut costs by using less than ideal capacitors in their motherboards. I'm not saying that this is your problem, but when I switched to x64, almost every capacitor on my board was either leaking or bloated at the top. They should be perfectly flat on top. Dell has a known issue with blown capacitors, especially with their Foxconn motherboards and they have spent an insane amount of money on warranty replacements for some of the accounts that I used to service. Even if this does not apply to you, hopefully someone else might save some time troubleshooting if they read this.
August 12, 2006 5:04:43 PM

in my experience reboots is either power supply or RAM. Since RAM is easier to test test your ram with memtestx86 and then if you can check the psu with a volt meter. Otherwise take a gamble and buy a new PSU. highly recommend enermax.

GL
August 12, 2006 5:14:39 PM

With my computer problem started with dwq30a

prior to this there was no problem so I assume my ram should be fine and i used memtest and didn't find anything

I doubt its a power supply problem because it does not restart when power usage peeks....like during burning

It usually restarts after a burn procedure ....(randomly i might add-for example it was fine for about 10 minutes then restarted) or immediately after a burn error

just incase it is of any help I use Nero
August 12, 2006 5:30:12 PM

When you get this error message, it's in the form of a BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) right? Those lines that show access to a file in your temp folder are just memory dumps - that happens whenever there is a BSoD. It's created by windows for debugging purposes. BSoDs appear whenver a windows component has a serious error. However, the error itself could be caused by a hardware/driver conflict so it doesn't necessarily mean that it is an actual windows file that is problematic.

Taking into consideration that you are experiencing freezes and restarts when doing two particular things (burning a dvd or playing a game) means is curious and I'd find whatever the two have in common.

Memory is the first thing that comes to mind. Burning and playing games uses your memory functions so I'd follow wallis advice and run memtest to see if your memory has issues.

As far as heat related issues are concerned. If it was video it would freeze or what you see would look really crappy until it shutdown (the GPU). Taking into consideration what you do when it happens, since video really isn't a part of burning vc/dvds but heavy usage of the CPU is, then it could be something as simple as reseating the heatsink/fan (using something like arctic silver 5).

A PSU problem would cause restarts. Since burning a DVD/CD and playing a game will cause involved components to draw more power, too much draw on the amps would do that. Having a PSU with an abundance of watts really doesn't matter as much as having an abundance of amps. Amps are far more improtant. However, you don't appear to have equiptment that would really tax a PSU. If the PSU is bad or cheap this could affect it. It would be rare for a PSU related problem to cause a BSoD though - usually things just won't start (like no video or you have arbitrary equipment dropoffs), freeze, reboot or stop working suddenly (like the video just inexplicably dropping off).

So, my early suspects are heat and/or memory.

I would take a look at the PSU, though, and find it's specs because it doesn't just have to be one problem but a problem related to another problem (like a bad psu causing restarts causing fragmented drivers files causing bsods).
August 12, 2006 6:00:33 PM

I would expect you to get error messages like that after multiple restarts.

Cold reboots like that will only cause cluster formations - lost clusters, fragmented files, and drivers are, after all, software. You are having a driver conflict and it is made worse by the reboots. It may get so bad that you'll have to do a clean reinstall of windows just to clear the matter up.

restarts after burning could be caused by heat (if it is not a PSU symptom) as burning media is very CPU intensive.
August 12, 2006 8:12:59 PM

Hey after your computer restarts and the Send Error To Microsoft appears press SEND, they an internet explorer window will appear and if any HARDWARE is the problem it will tell you, if not then you will just have to bring it to a technician.
August 12, 2006 9:13:47 PM

Quote:
Thanks for your comments -

I've tried the problem with the AUTOMATIC RESTART option both checked and unchecked, it doesn't affect it unfortunately

To answer your question nobly, the motherboard is

"nForce4 chipset with 512MB X700 PCI-Express graphics card"

I bought the PC online, as a complete kit. I've checked the BIOS with a more technical-minded friend, he says its not overclocked and mostly on auto settings, and well put together with good components.

I should point out maybe that the Hard disk is partitioned with an approx. 10gig-230 gig split, with windows running on the 10 gig and all my games on the 230. could this be affecting the computer?

I don't mind reformatting, as long as i know it should stop the problem.

Once again, thanks for your help.

Stu


For myself, I would have given 20 gig to the OS part of the partition. That aside, unless your OS is fully taking up the 10 gig you gave it, or maybe trying to overun it, the partition shouldn't have any effect on the computer running properly.

Reading over the comments on the power supply, your psu may be big enough by the specification, but not actually putting out what it claims. Without enough power, the system will crash out, especially in games or when using additional hardware, as you have noted. Check the line readings, and if they are below spec, then the psu is the most likely problem. Even if the readings are in spec, but just barely there, you still might need the next larger psu for smooth functioning.