Plug and play error

Ok so I work on comps for people who cant go to over priced computer stores. Well in doing this ive seen alot of bad things. that being said a friend of my wife sent us a computer that has a motherboard with 24 pins and a power supply that has 20 pins.

This isn't a custom built system it's an HP Pavilion a6683w with Vista home basic. The reason this "wonderful"specimen was sent to me was because an error keeps coming up that I've never seen before. "windows must now restart because the plug and play service terminated unexpectedly." Then it proceeds to restart shortly there after. Nothing strenuous has to be going on for the system to do this. You could let it be sitting on the desktop or login screen and it will restart within 30 minuets.

You can only imagine how frustrating this can be, I can't scan for viruses or any other mal-ware because it never has time to finish. the reason I mentioned the pin configuration is because i thought that something might not be getting enough power, such as the CPU or the G-card (which is on-board).

Would fixing this problem be as simple as getting a 24 pin pwr supply??
And I have an extra pci gcard I could plug in to it and see if that works, but i doubt it because there doesn't appear to be any problems w/ the current gcard on the mobo. the screen might flicker some b/f or after the warning comes up but thats all thats odd in that department.

I am not sure about viruses because I just got the comp today and I always ask before reformatting. <--which might fix the problem. I'm not sure how old the computer is because my wife is going to find out tomorrow (it has a dual core CPU and SATA hdd and cd/dvd so not too old), and it is clean on the inside, because i originally thought it was just over heating but that doesn't appear to be the problem as it restarts not shuts down with no warning.

Thank you for all your help with this issue!
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  1. The difference between 20 and 24 pin PSUs is 24 pin gives the 12v to the MB a better ground, not more 12v power. The 24 pin came about when graphics cards became so much more powerful demanding more 12v from the PCIE slot. The added 4 pins created better 12v ground to the MB. The PSU is not the problem at the moment. Registry corruption sounds more likely. A repair install of the OS should solve the problem. A clean install of the OS would be better.
  2. badge said:
    The difference between 20 and 24 pin PSUs is 24 pin gives the 12v to the MB a better ground, not more 12v power. The 24 pin came about when graphics cards became so much more powerful demanding more 12v from the PCIE slot. The added 4 pins created better 12v ground to the MB. The PSU is not the problem at the moment. Registry corruption sounds more likely. A repair install of the OS should solve the problem. A clean install of the OS would be better.



    Thank you for your quick response! I will definitely recommend that to the owner! I guess I had misread another article that was talking about the psu and mobo. thats good to know
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