USB External HD Causing System Reboot


I just built my first computer and i wanted to test how powerful the system was by running multiple applications that i could potentially use in a given session. I had the following applications open and running:

1. Firefox
2. Microsoft Excel
3. Windows Explorer
4. Windows Media Player
5. Internet Explorer
6. Resident Evil 4
7. Synching data between the local hard drive and a USB external hard drive (Western Digital My Passport Essential 320GB)

The data synching between the USB external hard drive and the local hard drive normally causes my system to reboot after around 5 minutes. My past experiences with unintended system reboots lead me to believe that it's a PSU issue, but i have a 500W PSU which should be plenty for my setup. Does anyone know what else it could be causing the reboot?

My current setup:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Antec Basiq 500W PSU
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
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  1. Best answer
    You might want to get a little more specific on the RAM. I can think of a few sticks that match that description...

    Assuming you're not getting any BSOD or other error, a few things come to mind. I don't believe it's the PSU, but that's certainly not the best Antec unit out there.

    The first thing I would try is downloading Prime95 and a CPU temp monitor. Run them together (and nothing else) for about an hour and see what the maximum temps are. I suspect that the CPU might be overheating with that large load. If this crashes the computer, it's likely the HSF is either not seated properly or not working properly. If you're using stock cooling, I'd go ahead and spend $30-40 on a good HSF (the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus is excellent).

    Another thing to try is downloading MemTest86+ from Burn the ISO file to a CD, restart and enter BIOS. Set the RAM to the manufacturers specs. Then set the computer to boot from the CD. Restart and let this run overnight or through at least 7 passes. This is testing that all the RAM is working properly.
  2. Thanks for the advice. I didnt' get the BSOD. The computer will suddenly reboot by itself. The stock HSF that came with the processor was pre-assembled so all i had to do was seat it on top of the CPU. I only had to apply light pressure to snap the clips in place, so AFAIK, it should be seated correctly.

    I decided to replace the stock HSF anyway because the fan gets loud during normal use. It spins at around 5K RPM when i'm gaming. I ordered the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler a few days ago because i read a lot of good reviews for it. It should be delivered tomorrow.

    I haven't noticed the CPU core get above 48 degrees Celsius during normal use. I haven't had time to run a full stress test, but after around 15 minutes of testing, the CPU core temp was at 52 degrees Celsius and no errors were detected. Again, i'll run a full hour test later when i have time.
  3. I installed a new PSU (Corsair 650w) and ran the same test by plugging in the external HD and synching data with the local hard drive. So far, no random reboots. *knock on wood*
  4. Best answer selected by foggydj.
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