Computer Randomly Restarts.. Please Help!!!!

Well I have a 5 year old system that I built and it randomly restarts, sometimes 10+ times per day and it is beginning to interfere with work. I'm typing as fast as I can right now, hoping that it doesnt restart before I get this posted.

P4 3.0Ghz core
Radeon 9600 pro graphics card
Soundblaster audigy SE sound card..

Running Windows 7 with 2GB of memory and 200gb of hard drive space.

I have no idea what to do to diagnose this, please help!
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  1. I'd say start first by looking at your ram and power supply. Are you getting BSOD (blue screen of death)?

    Try new ram, or run memtest. Also you can do a memory test by inserting your windows 7 cd and start like your going to install but select repair computer and select memory test.

    You can also check for any errors occurring by looking through windows event viewer.
  2. What kind of power supply?

    If it's an old generic PSU, replace it with one of these:
    Corsair 400CX (30 amp 12 volt rail)
  3. I dont get a BSOD or any kind of warning, I did change out the power supply although I went with a cheapo 350w one. It seems like it most often fails whenever I try to install a program or when I'm running certain programs which makes me think my HDD might me bad.
  4. Well I did a chkdsk scan and it was taking really long so I went to bed, when I woke up my computer was sitting at the login screen so I dont know if that means all is well?
  5. First you can run some basic tests, try memtest, run it multiple times (let it loop 3 or 4 times) and make sure your ram is good. Check your temps, are any of them abnormal? Clean out your case, could be a simple overheating issue caused by a dirty heat sync.
  6. I agree it could be a matter of heat. Download speedfan 4.40 and run it see what kind of temps you are getting. Also what is the ambient temp in the room and in the case?

    If it is mostly when installing or using a program it could be heat or ram. Also when running chkdsk use the /F trigger to fix any found errors on the drive. As a bench tech I found that the power supply contributed to 90% of most PC problems, not sure why but it seemed to be the base of the problem or at least part of it. The rest seemed to be adware/spyware, viruses, memory leaks caused by improperly uninstalled applications or installed ones.

    To be honest it could be a lot of things, your computer keeps log of everything, especially Windows 7 and how it organized. You can find teh critical menu in event viewer and it will tell you about power failure, restarting or shutting down improperly when its happening and you can dig around to find a lot of info as to why.
  7. ALSO!

    This just popped into my head!

    Download a program called Whocrashed, it will tell you if a driver is causeing your computer to crash. Once it crashes when you boot that program will tell you who is at fault.
  8. Okay... Heres a bit more detail to whats going on. My computer only restarts when its being used. I can let it sit all day and it wont restart. When I go to install a program like Microsoft Office then bam restart about halfway through at the same spot every time. I think it may be a bad hard drive but I'm not sure.
  9. Could be one of the following.

    A. Bad spot on the HDD and when it reaches it the comp crashes.

    B. Same thing for RAM

    C. Bad microsoft office disk

    D. Driver issue, refer to my last post.

    Many things could be the issue, try doing tests and narrow it down.
  10. Just reinstalled win7 same thing... Tried installing WinXP Same thing different program.

    I went to install ZoneAlarm Pro and it started acting up. Finally got it installed but every so often it randomly restarts. I'm guessing it is either trying to draw from a bad sector or a bad spot on the memory.

    Blah... What do I need to do to determine bad HDD/ Bad Memory?

    I've tried running basic tests and both appear fine but I'm convinced otherwise.
  11. mem test and seagate has hdd tools. How many times do i have to repeat myself?
  12. I've ran those tests and I pass them all with flying colors... You dont need to repeat yourself at all :)

    How are these Numbers as far as Voltages are concerned?

    Value / Minimum / Max
    Cpu Vcore - 1.34 1.3 1.34
    Vin1 2.61 2.59 2.61
    +3.3v 3.25 3.22 3.28
    +5v 5.03 5.03 5.11
    +12v 11.71 11.58 11.71
    -12v 13.70 13.70 13.63
    -5v -12.22 -13.31 -4.03
    +5v VCCH 4.92 4.92 4.95
  13. The +3.3 and + 12 volt outputs are a little low, but in tolerance. The -12 volt output is out of tolerance if it is being read properly, but because it doesn't provide any meaningful power to the system, it really doesn't matter.

    The -5 volt reading is bogus. No modern PSU has a -5 volt output.

    I can't tell about Vin1.
  14. jsc said:

    The -5 volt reading is bogus. No modern PSU has a -5 volt output.

    Actually I modded a fairly new PSU into a desktop testing PSU and it has a -5V.
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