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System crashes every hour

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February 9, 2008 10:52:02 PM

I upgraded MB+CPU+RAM in mid January, and about two weeks later (last Saturday) I started to have interesting issues - my computer was working normally and all of sudden - black screen, just like the power has been cut off - and reboot normally right after. Roughly an hour later - the same thing again. That happened 5-7 times, then everything was back to normal for one week, but today (again, Saturday), it started doing it again.

Description of the problem:
Crush-reboot once an hour. I have not observed anything unusual before the crush other than something was spinning for about 5 secs. I thought it was the CD initially, but now I think it is the fan in the back, or at least that where the sound is coming from. No error message, no blue screen, straight to reboot.

Here are the things I checked and ruled out so far:
1. It does not appear to be overheating. I installed Intel utility that monitors the temperature of the CPU and MB, and everything looks peachy, I mean green. There are also no warnings saved in the log of the monitoring software.
2. No viruses. Installed Norton AV last week, checked everything.
3. No errors on the C drive. Ran chkdsk today.

Information about the system:
Intel DG33TL motherboard, Intel Core 2 Duo CPU 4400, 1Gb of Kingston memory on two sticks. Since the system has on board video, audio, and most of the things needed, I only kept my old PCI WinTV tuner card.
HDD: Seagate 120Gb IDE drive.
System: Windows XP Pro. I had it (HDD/system) for about 5 years, and I have managed to make it work with the new MB. After some gymnastics the system booted up into safe mode with CD support, and I was able to install all Intel drivers. It was working great for about two weeks.

I am not a very technical person, so if you are asking to copy some logs or something like that, please do tell me exactly where to get it. OK, I'd better, finish, I am due to crush again soon. :( 

Thanks in advance!

UPDATE: In case you do not want to read the whole thread, my computer was crashing every hour like a clockwork for 24 hours, and stopped at 2:30 EST Sunday. I expect it starts crashing again on Sunday afternoon or evening. At least, that what the bizaar schedule was the last time.

More about : system crashes hour

February 9, 2008 11:31:16 PM

Update: just crushed again. It does look like it is the fan that goes off for 3-5 seconds before the crush. I had Intel Utility thing open at the time of the crush and it showed nothing - no change in either fan speed, not high temp, nothing, kind of just froze...

I am thinking, since it is something so predictable, do you know of any utility that attempts to run like that - several attempts every hour, if all fail, attempt again one week later?
February 9, 2008 11:32:22 PM

Could be issues with windows since you used a old HDD. Or your PSU might be failing. What kind of PSU do you have?
Related resources
February 9, 2008 11:48:47 PM

PSU - Power Supply Unit? You mean the case and all the stuff in it?

The case is IW-J508N-ATX. It does have that 2x2 power supply wire/plug that is needed for this board (my old one did not use it). It's around 4 years old.
February 10, 2008 12:01:43 AM

Probably not enough voltage and wattage for your new system. What is the wattage?
February 10, 2008 12:14:47 AM

Says "max output power 300W (+3.3V & +5V = 200W)" on the box where the wires are coming out from.

Is that what you asked about? I am not an engineer, I work in marketing, so please bear with my ignorance...
February 10, 2008 12:24:07 AM

If not a temperature problem, possibly a hard drive problem, or PSU problem.

I agree with roadrunner. And it is NOT just a matter of wattage. Older PSU's tend to have relatively high 5 volt and 3.3 volt outputs and relatively low 12 volt outputs. Modern PC's need the opposite.

It's also possible that your PSU is overheating and shutting down because of a 4 year collection of dust and grunge inside it. You can take it out of the case, take the cover off, and clean out the inside with a small brush.
February 10, 2008 12:29:01 AM

Well ya your PSU max is 300 watts and the 3.3&5V use 200W. That leaves 100w for your 12 rail. Thats only 8.3amps on the 12v, which isnt enough. Buy atleast a 550 watt with atleast 24amps on the 12v rail.
February 10, 2008 12:36:03 AM

^You beat me to it, the PSU has to go. Additionally, save all the files you want to keep and do a fresh install.

With on board everything I don't know that a 550 is required.
February 10, 2008 12:39:54 AM

I actually cleaned it pretty well when I upgraded - threw like 3 swifer dusters away! Most of the dust was behind the front panel, where the air is sucked in. I am probably a lot better at dusting then hardware installation :lol:  .

The Intel utility does record voltage, too. I was about to post when... well, you know, that time of the hour came.

Here is goes:
Ideal - Actual - Within the range
12V - 12.434 - yes
5V - 5.175 - yes
3.3V - 3.374 - yes
1.3V - 1.258 - yes
1.2V - 1.223 - yes

If the voltage was getting out of wack, it would be recoroded as an alert, would not it. I don't have a single alert in the log. Also, the case was picked out by my ex who worked for mister softy, he knows his bs, but for obvious reasons I can't get advice from him now. Also, given how it crashes exactly after one hour, I doubt we are dealing with random events.
February 10, 2008 12:41:24 AM

Prolly could skimp a little but 400-550 not to big of a difference in price especially with rebates and you got room to upgrade. Better to have a little extra then just bare minimum. A good 550 can be had in the $60 range.
February 10, 2008 12:44:17 AM

The volts are there but the amps are not there. You need a PSU with higher amps.
February 10, 2008 12:50:23 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Prolly could skimp a little but 400-550 not to big of a difference in price especially with rebates and you got room to upgrade. Better to have a little extra then just bare minimum. A good 550 can be had in the $60 range.
This one will do Corsair VX 450w Power Supply - CMPSU-450VX - Buy.com

@OP: The PSU may not be causing you problem but you should get another before that one blows up and takes out the mobo etc.

Right click on My Computer and click Properties -> Advanced Tab -> Startup and Recovery Settings and uncheck Automatically Restart. When it crashes it should blue screen and give you some information. If it doesn't then it is probably the PSU.
February 10, 2008 12:53:04 AM

He said black screens are the problem not blue. Black = loss of power. 450 is a waste of money if he plans to upgrade to non integrated parts or a quad core PSU anytime soon.
I recommend http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... and before you flame I have used these in atleast 50 builds with no problems ever.
February 10, 2008 1:05:18 AM

The automatic restart has been checked off for a while now - still reboots.

How about this, if my gut feeling is not lying to me, it will stop rebooting in 3-4 hours. Then, I restart it around noon on Sunday, so that it starts its new cycle next Sunday? (I generally don't turn my computer off, and only reboot when absolutely need to)

I would really hate to go buy a new case, and come back with the same problem, and so far, I do not see how the wattage/voltage/apms can jump every hour like a clockwork. Maybe, I am missing something, so please explain.
February 10, 2008 1:08:14 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
He said black screens are the problem not blue. Black = loss of power. 450 is a waste of money if he plans to upgrade to non integrated parts or a quad core PSU anytime soon.
I recommend http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... and before you flame I have used these in atleast 50 builds with no problems ever.
Oh, now the flame is on. [:zorg:2] [:zorg:2] [:zorg:2] :kaola:  :kaola:  :lol: 

So, do you like it because it is shiny? It's a tier 4, bad idea. And just because you foisted that junk on 50 people doesn't make it a good PSU. :non:  :lol:  :lol: 

By the way, with a name like Blonde_Belle I pray to the Lord above that he is a she. Especially since she was talking about not getting any help from her ex.

Next point, Windows could be shutting down on the crash so it makes sense to disable Automatically Restart to rule that out.

I wouldn't have flamed you except you asked for it. Sorry. :cry: 
February 10, 2008 1:12:19 AM

Blonde_Belle said:
The automatic restart has been checked off for a while now - still reboots.

How about this, if my gut feeling is not lying to me, it will stop rebooting in 3-4 hours. Then, I restart it around noon on Sunday, so that it starts its new cycle next Sunday? (I generally don't turn my computer off, and only reboot when absolutely need to)

I would really hate to go buy a new case, and come back with the same problem, and so far, I do not see how the wattage/voltage/apms can jump every hour like a clockwork. Maybe, I am missing something, so please explain.
I would be very surprised to find that occurring. Now a virus, possibly planted by your ex could shut the PC down like clock work. You should save your data do a zero write to clear any crapola that might not be cleared with a format and load the OS again. Oh, and change out that junk PSU before it blows up you system. What's that three times I've said that, with a link to a good single rail PSU for cheap? Yup, I think so.
February 10, 2008 1:22:24 AM

"Now a virus, possibly planted by your ex could shut the PC down like clock work."

Ha-ha-ha!!! Well, you see he was not an ex back then, but of course, there could always be targeted "critical updates" :pt1cable: 

Well, since he set up the drive, I have the HDD split into C and D, and D has all of the files. Plus I backed up before the upgrade, anyway.

How about this - my system is cluttered with old drivers, some of which I can't seam to get rid of whatever I do (thanks, ATI!), I was thinking of getting a SATA drive, and installing the system there, while using the IDE just for files. I think that would be the next step, assuming I am back here with my headache next Sunday. OK, it's time now...
February 10, 2008 1:24:08 AM

There is no way it can be that accurate, something is screwy. What are you using for antivirus?
February 10, 2008 1:27:07 AM

Am I smelling a TROLL here? Just asking.
February 10, 2008 1:29:11 AM

... just logged back on
I am telling ya - friggin' clockwork, I even checked the system log!

I am using Norto Antivirus - 6 months free came with the MOBO purchase, that's the first thing I tried last week.
February 10, 2008 1:30:02 AM

Lol. All the systems I've built are here in my home town. I always use Ultra modular PSUs. You got to take the tier chart with a grain of salt. Its someones personal opinoin and nothing more. Mostly based on price range then anything. To each his own. The one you linked to is a great choice by all means. Not much upgrade room though. The system in my pic has an Ultra 500w with only a 20pin running a 24pin mobo and has an intel e2180 overclocked to 3.33 24/7. Its been running 24/7 for 5 months and the PSU cost me $45.00. I'm not running a highend graphic card though, only a 512MB 8500GT.



February 10, 2008 1:30:14 AM

No, no troll. I wish...
February 10, 2008 1:33:30 AM

Guys, last Saturday I did some cleaning up in the office, and it would just reboot and reboot and reboot- I was not doing anything on the computer! After 3 or 4 times I started googling viruses that could do it...
February 10, 2008 1:35:32 AM

roadrunner 197069, I guess I struck a nerve. Actually the tier listing is many peoples opinion, jonnyguru etc. They have Ultras higher on the list as well. But do what you want, I was just giving you a hard time. It still is a tier 4 though.
February 10, 2008 1:37:49 AM

Here is what you need to do. Upgrade the PSU to the one I linked to and reload windows. You might try AVG or Kaspersky free just to get another angle on the virus definitions. It's probably the PSU or the cobbed up copy of XP.
February 10, 2008 1:43:47 AM

OK, let's have that PSU conversation later.

I think it started rebooting after 4 pm. So, assuming it is on 10 attmepts to whatever it is schedue, I should be done at 00:25 EST or around that time. Let's see.
February 10, 2008 1:45:06 AM

Nope no nerves struck, just sayin I've had good luck and I assume out of 50, 0 are bad so from my own experience it dont belong on the t4 but I dont really care about that list anyhow. Its more of a noob reference in my opinoin.
February 10, 2008 1:46:15 AM

Oops, 1:25, actually. Bad math.
February 10, 2008 1:47:42 AM

can I just change a PSU, and keep the box? Do I need to know anything about electricity beyond 8th grade physics to do it?
February 10, 2008 1:51:31 AM

Change it. It is a very easy process. 1st grade level.
February 10, 2008 1:54:58 AM

8th grade physics, where did you go to school? If it was a mid tower aftermarket case e.g., not Dell etc. then probably yes. I don't know how much dough you have but Antec has a Sonata III with a nice PSU for not too much cash, although I imagine you aren't up for what is effectively a complete rebuild.

What is the model of the case?
February 10, 2008 2:33:40 AM

You are correct, was not in the US, I think physics started in 6th grade.

It's some kind of a generic case. The insides say PowerMan FSP300-60BTV. I don't know if that refers to the electric part of it or the case itself.
February 10, 2008 3:10:38 AM

So, I guess the physics they taught was 6th grade physics. I have no idea what a powerman case is. Can you Google it and give me a link, then I can tell you if the PSU will fit. Or you could possibly pull the PSU and measure it. It's a form factor question.
February 10, 2008 4:50:53 AM

These are the specs from an Antec 500 because the jerks at Corsair don't give form factor specs., I could have missed it.

3.39"(H) x 5.91"(W) x 5.51"(D)

Check these against your case, the depth is the only one in question, I think, although I'm not on top of business right now. If it fits then change it. Even if it doesn't fix your problem, it will save the hardware from imminent destruction.
February 10, 2008 4:53:17 AM

By the way, I love the marketing of that below POS PSU. I almost wanted to buy one...NOT.
February 10, 2008 5:24:55 AM

Sounds to me like the PSU, and/or the Windows install (reformat, and reinstall windows)
Go to the Egg, and get a new PS, look for FSP, Zalman, or, the afore mentioned Corsair
February 10, 2008 6:30:16 AM

One question, did you read the thread before posting?
February 10, 2008 8:04:21 AM

Blonde_Belle said:
http://www.pacificgeek.com/product.asp?ID=37936&C=216&S...

Looks like powerman is a rather standard PSU.

If you got 4 years from an InWin PSU, you did very well. Spec wise, it is more than adequate for your set up, even with the newer components.

Given your minimal specs, an Antec Earthwatts 380 would be plenty as a replacement, and not break the bank.
February 10, 2008 8:32:29 AM

Is it rebooting (crashing) on the hour? ie.
If so an application could be automatically starting up which taxes the system, overheating the CPU and making it reboot. (The app could be an upgrade offer or update of some sort).

Does it still do it if you stay disconnected from the internet?

If it is rebooting at regular intervals - Have you checked your power saving settings. Like a screensaver - you can make the monitor switch off to save power. Are the settings also telling the drive or PC to close down or whatever, even though it fully reboots?

Do you have a kid that regularly walks in the room and reboots your pc?

I would take it all apart, clean everything and reseat the CPU with fresh thermal paste. Then put it all together again. Like others have said - a Hard drive format and windows install again should eliminate any virus concern.
How soon after the install and being connected online did you install your antivirus or security software?

Do all of the above, keep it clean and clutter free for good airflow. What have you been doing differently since it has been having problems? (giving it more work, more components - connecting it online etc).
February 10, 2008 8:42:49 AM

Blonde_Belle said:
I upgraded MB+CPU+RAM in mid January, and about two weeks later (last Saturday) I started to have interesting issues - my computer was working normally and all of sudden - black screen, just like the power has been cut off - and reboot normally right after. Roughly an hour later - the same thing again. That happened 5-7 times, then everything was back to normal for one week, but today (again, Saturday), it started doing it again.

Description of the problem:
Crush-reboot once an hour. I have not observed anything unusual before the crush other than something was spinning for about 5 secs. I thought it was the CD initially, but now I think it is the fan in the back, or at least that where the sound is coming from. No error message, no blue screen, straight to reboot.

Here are the things I checked and ruled out so far:
1. It does not appear to be overheating. I installed Intel utility that monitors the temperature of the CPU and MB, and everything looks peachy, I mean green. There are also no warnings saved in the log of the monitoring software.
2. No viruses. Installed Norton AV last week, checked everything.
3. No errors on the C drive. Ran chkdsk today.

Information about the system:
Intel DG33TL motherboard, Intel Core 2 Duo CPU 4400, 1Gb of Kingston memory on two sticks. Since the system has on board video, audio, and most of the things needed, I only kept my old PCI WinTV tuner card.
HDD: Seagate 120Gb IDE drive.
System: Windows XP Pro. I had it (HDD/system) for about 5 years, and I have managed to make it work with the new MB. After some gymnastics the system booted up into safe mode with CD support, and I was able to install all Intel drivers. It was working great for about two weeks.

I am not a very technical person, so if you are asking to copy some logs or something like that, please do tell me exactly where to get it. OK, I'd better, finish, I am due to crush again soon. :( 

Thanks in advance!

My 2 cents worth,

1) Don't use intel mb's, i know there generally good but,

2) Use high ql psu's, they don't have to be expensive, ie. antec basiq 500w - dual 12v rails $79 OZ.

3) Vista H Prem seems more stable to me than XP Pro and gives more support.

4) There have been reports of kingston compatability probs (generic Hynix or lemmel are great - margenally slower)

5) Fit new HD's after 4 years max.

I could go on but i'am tired :sleep: 
February 10, 2008 3:54:08 PM

a_dude said:
Is it rebooting (crashing) on the hour? ie.
If so an application could be automatically starting up which taxes the system, overheating the CPU and making it reboot. (The app could be an upgrade offer or update of some sort).

Does it still do it if you stay disconnected from the internet?

If it is rebooting at regular intervals - Have you checked your power saving settings. Like a screensaver - you can make the monitor switch off to save power. Are the settings also telling the drive or PC to close down or whatever, even though it fully reboots?

Do you have a kid that regularly walks in the room and reboots your pc?

I would take it all apart, clean everything and reseat the CPU with fresh thermal paste. Then put it all together again. Like others have said - a Hard drive format and windows install again should eliminate any virus concern.
How soon after the install and being connected online did you install your antivirus or security software?

Do all of the above, keep it clean and clutter free for good airflow. What have you been doing differently since it has been having problems? (giving it more work, more components - connecting it online etc).


Yes, I think it is an application that is doing it. I also think that this application probably came with the HW that is no longer on this computer, like... old mobo. It could be doing some sort of meaintenance/testing and sending commands to the mobo (one of them is interpreted to increase the speed of the mobo controlled back fan), and one of them does it in.

There are no kids in the house, and the computer kept rebooting throught the night, every hour, even though obviously I did not log oninto it every hour. I will try it with no internet connection, but since its rebooting without being logged onto, I would expect to continue rebooting.

The thing is clean, trust me, I am the swifer master of the house. Plus there is no old HW on mobo other than a fairly recent WinTV card. I did detach and reattach the fan to the CPU when it started happenning, though.

I installed Norton last Saturday, when I realize it was not an overheating issue (my first hypothesis). I did the whole LiveUpdate thingy, and ran a full check. I did not have any antivirus on my computer for 4year, and the only thing Norton found was some low risk adware. I don't think I had a virus problem in my entrie life because I don't use Outlook at home, and don't run suspicious stuff from the internet.

The only thing I chnaged before having those issues - I installed new IE7, which works fine, and I don't think is cause any trouble. I have not done anything differently on this computer, and since it reboots even if noone is logged on, I don't think its a regular application (by regular I mean something designed to run on any computer).
February 10, 2008 3:59:26 PM

So, I have a followup question - my old mobo was ABIT KT7, how do I find and erase everything that came with it? Unfortunately I no longer have the original CD from that mobo.
February 10, 2008 5:37:36 PM

Just crashed again :-( I disconnected the ethernet wire before the previous crash, crashed, then crashed again an hour later. So, internet is ruled out.
February 10, 2008 8:20:01 PM

OK, it stopped doing it. Last crash was at 2:30 EST. I'll be back when it starts again.
February 11, 2008 5:15:24 AM

Try reloading the OS, said already. Duh.
February 11, 2008 7:22:56 AM

Click start -> run and type msconfig click startup and uncheck anything you don't absolutely need to start. Click start -> run and type services.msc look for services that are running that might be the cause. Stop them and set them to disabled. Be careful in services.
February 11, 2008 10:01:16 AM

I have never been able to install a new mb,cpu,and memory without doing a complete reformat of my harddrive.You still have drivers on your harddrive which are conflicting with your new components.You will have to reformat your harddrive,and reinstall your operating system.
February 11, 2008 11:05:01 AM

Even though everyone has pretty much determined the PSU as the culprit, just letting you know this same exact thing happened at my workplace. The user would be working away on his PC then all of a sudden it would reboot without any BSOD's. We were able to trace the problem to the PSU.
!