I have been having this strange issue with my machine.
Whenever the machine gets rebooted abruptly (usually due to power failure) when it comes back up on, the machine does not reboot. I have to go in manually into the bios and set the harddisk boot sequence. Then everything is fine.
Which motherboard? Wich BIOS rev? What, in the way of USB devices, do you have plugged into it? Are the boot sequence items always reset to the identical values? Have you ever done the (requisite) BIOS' "Load Optimized Defaults"?
Bilbat will say that the loading of the "Optimized Defaults" affects all issues. It sets up the computer to run properly and lets troubleshooting proceed from a set of knowns, rather than unknowns.
You should try it.
You mention setting the harddisk boot sequence - is it wrong when you go into the BIOS? Is this the boot sequence with "CD-ROM, USB, Harddrive, etc..." or the choice among the harddrives of which should be booted?
After your suggestion, I have configured the BIOS to "Optimised Defaults".
Is there a way to purposefully blue-screen a win xp 64 machine?
The problem is with the "HardDrive boot priority" not the boot sequence.
The OS is on a VelociRaptor disk and I have another samsung 750 GB drive.
After a crash or blue-screen, the bios "HardDrive boot priority" order is jumbled !!
Frozen is such a wide-ranging topic that no one, even on the scene, can generally nail it down. First you have to eliminate Windows - only way to do that is to re-install. Then there's all the hardware items. Once in ten days, especially if you've been having power failures, is not bad at all.
I'd say if it's doing this when power fails or machine abruptly re-boots - don't do that! Get a basic UPS to keep it running until you can power down. Or get a fancy one that'll turn it off for you when activated.
Is this computer un-attended? You can set BIOS to leave the power off when it loses power rather than turning back on - this might be related to your issue. I always set mine this way - when lightning is the cause of power cut, I don't want computer repeatedly re-booting each time there's a surge or brown-out.
Since the running, or stopping, of Windows isn't related to the items in your BIOS, I'd guess you were having a surge problem in addition to power cut-off. Might be a faulty power supply if also happens on Reset switch shut-offs.
Billbat's the power guy, maybe he'll jump back in this one.
The computer is my machine at home which I leave running 24x7. I made it in Jan 2009. I have had the computer freeze about 4-5 times in the past 9 months. Not a big deal but I thought it may be related.
I will see what I can change in the BIOS. I will also try to get a UPS.