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June 30, 2006 4:40:28 AM

I have no clue where I'd put this question, but here is better than others I think.

My current computer just had some problems today. My mom was working on it and it just randomly shut down by itself and then started to restart. Once it got to the windows 2000 loading screen, it did the same thing. It shut down and started to restart.

my question is, do you have any ideas what could be causing this? or suggestions of ways to go about figuring out what is wrong?

its possible that it was just some fluke thing but before I plug it back in and try booting it up again, I hoping there would be some way to see if there is actually a problem. I rather not have something bad happen like frying my motherboard or such things.

So any ideas/suggestions on how to go about this would be greatly appreciated!

thanks, xJedix

More about : question

June 30, 2006 7:21:38 AM

i'm thinking........ blue screen. And it's auto rebooting because by default, that's what Windows does.
June 30, 2006 8:00:09 AM

How good are you at reinstalling Windows?
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June 30, 2006 8:40:10 AM

I would monitor the temprature of ur cpu
June 30, 2006 12:00:29 PM

may have to go into BIOS and snoop around for it
June 30, 2006 12:44:46 PM

Same thing happened to me when I tried to install new ram...
June 30, 2006 2:09:45 PM

I have re-installed windows many times, if I need to I'll do it again.

How do you monitor the temperature of the cpu? this computer and motherboard is like 4 years old so it doesn't have many settings in the bios.

Is there a way to check if any of my ram is bad? I haven't recently added any so I don't know why that would have any affects now.
June 30, 2006 6:36:30 PM

There's a free ram testing utility called Memtest86. Works very well.... I use it to test any system build for anyone before giving it to them, and on any system I get, which I suspect of having ram issues.
June 30, 2006 9:56:35 PM

Does it stay in bios without rebooting? Leave it there for an hour, if it doesn't reboot on it's own, odds are it's either ram or windows.

Yes you want memtest, but *don't* go to memtest86.com. That's an old version. Go to memtest.org. Assuming you have another working machine, you can burn the iso to a cd, and then boot off of that to check your ram. Remember that you need to leave memtest running for a long time for conclusive results. Overnight would be best, but let it run the whole test at least 40 or 50 times.
July 2, 2006 2:59:25 PM

Okay, I did the memtest. Twice actually, ran each for over an hour. First time I did one pass and then second time it did two passes. Both had no errors.

After having the problem, I decided to try starting up the computer again. Everything worked fine. Then like yesterday after it had been on all day, the same thing happened while my mom was listening to music. It shut off, started to restart...etc...

It kind of seems to me like it might be an overheating problem. Cause it only happened after being on for a long time. Plus my cpu fan has been making more noise then usual. I'm thinking of replacing the cpu fan and adding an extra 120 mm fan on the back for extra ventalation.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any other ideas? thanks, xJedix
July 2, 2006 6:41:36 PM

Go download Everest Home Edition and use it to check your temps. Post your idle and load temps here. Knowing what your computer's specs are would be handy as well.
July 4, 2006 2:01:49 AM

Okay, after boot-up... and normal idle temps are

Motherboard: 73 F
CPU: 73 F
AUX: 73 F

After being on for 9 hours, just doing some web browsing

Motherboard: 73 F
CPU: 73 F
AUX: 77 F

with load it was the same as the previous. I don't know if the sensors are really working right cause they don't change much no matter what I'm doing. The case feels really warm on the outside when I touch it(the side panel) Also, the computer seems to be running very slowly as of late too. Takes a long time for the initial boot-up and long times for programs to run. Becomes very laggy easily.

for computer specs: (note, the computer is like 4-5 years old)
this is a gateway built pc

amd athlon thunderbird 1 ghz proccessor (socket A)
2x64mb ram chips 133mhz
1x512mb ram chip 133mhz
40gig hdd
32mb nvidia graphics card

don't know what else you want, everest says the motherboard name is unknown o_O

thanks, xJedix
July 4, 2006 6:35:51 AM

For those working in metric (like myself) the above posted temps converted are:

73F = 23C

77F = 25C

Now that that's out of the way, idle temps are not a problem. In fact, the "On for 9 hours after some web browsing" temps aren't a problem either. But if the load temps are being shown as the same as the idle temps, then you either have an incredibly efficient heatsink/thermal paste, or the sensors aren't reporting properly.

Give the processor a full load..... run SETI@Home or Prime95.... or anything that will max out that chip. After it's been going for awhile (about 10 minutes or so), open the case and touch the heatsink. 1 of 2 things will happen:

1. The heatsink is really hot, and it ends up burning your hand.
2. It's not hot, and you have bad contact between the cpu and heatsink.

If number 1 occurs, get some ice for your hand, and while you're tending to the battle wounds, do a hard drive defrag.
If number 2 occurs, pick up some Arctic Silver 5 and apply it to the heatsink. Don't apply in a big glob in the center though. Spread it around first, then attach the heatsink and check the temps.
July 4, 2006 3:43:43 PM

lol, I like how you worded your post :) 

anyways, I had seti running for about 20 minutes and then touched the heat sink. It wasn't even a little bit warm. So I'm guessing it is what you said, the heatsink isn't making contact with the cpu to disperse the heat.

I'm going to go buy that stuff and apply it. Is there anyway of actually determining the temperature of the cpu? or once I apply the artic silver, see if the heat sink is hot?

Thanks, xJedix
July 4, 2006 4:32:45 PM

go to mersenne.org download prime95 and say just stress testing that will test your cpu fsb and memory after that report your results.
July 4, 2006 4:56:18 PM

Simply impossibile: temps on very low power CPU (20W) with a super heatsink (no water or other strange things) are be always 5-6 degrees over ambient temperature, this is physic.
July 4, 2006 5:36:45 PM

Once you apply the AS 5, just feel the heatsink again. It should be noticably warmer. Given your specs, it probably won't be burning hot, but you should feel a difference.
July 6, 2006 6:26:56 PM

okay, I applied the artic silver 5 and so far everything seems to be running great! the heatsink was actually warm after having a load.

thanks a lot for the help! - xJedix
July 6, 2006 6:52:35 PM

What are your temps now? I wouldn't mind seeing how much of a difference the AS5 made....
a b B Homebuilt system
July 6, 2006 7:29:09 PM

Start windows in safe mode and scan for trojans and viruses before doing a reformat.
July 9, 2006 2:34:00 PM

I did check the temps with everest, but Like we found out before... I'm pretty sure the sensors are off or not working. Cause it still doesn't change, there at the same temperatures as my one post.
July 9, 2006 5:59:39 PM

odds are your boad doesnt have any thermal sensors or there only very limited aka you cant access them from the bios or the os and the program is trying to read a sensor that doesnt exist so your best bet is to not listen to it.
!