Computer Rebooting

Hello everybody, I'm a new member at Tom's. I'm having serious problems with my 5 year old computer that was running Vista up until a few days ago and is now running XP experiencing the same difficulties. The computer continually reboots itself on almost a random basis. This problem first emerged about 4 months ago, I've managed to live with it as it was very sporadic. I could experience 1 or 2 days when the computer would not stay up for longer than 10 minutes and then go through a entire month without a single reboot before the problem emerged again. I'm far from computer savvy but having worked online for the past 15 years I'm not exactly naive.

My first suspicion was a failed CPU fan which I couldn't remove. Going back a couple of months I used to get by with thoroughly cleaning the computer inside and sometimes requiring fan assistance from the outside. As I say this got me through up until the last week or so, when the problem seems to have got much worse now making operation of the computer virtually impossible.

A further attempt and I managed to get the CPU fan out cleaned that up, problem was dirt and got that working again. Oddly enough I'd downloaded Speedfan to check my temperatures, the software didn't report my computer as being too hot. In fact, the Sony laptop I'm using now was infinitely hotter than the rebooting desktop with fan problems.

A fully working fan again has not stopped the problem. I've run numerous virus checks with Avast and other nasties with Adaware and Malwarebytes, nothing. I've re installed Vista too many times. Same problem and recently formatted the partition Windows sits on and in desperation installed Windows XP. No improvement. The Windows installation disk did report that my hard disk might fail soon, but it's been telling me this for the past 6 months. Run chkdisk no end of times lots of minor looking errors file index orphaned files etc. The last time just two days ago the report noted I think 3 bad sectors on the disk. Through a catalogue of experiences of Windows reporting errors that are not true I wonder about the obvious aim of computers today to be able to tell you acurately what is wrong with themselves. While the idea is novel I am not convinced that the technology currently exists to do this. I believe computers do know when there is something wrong but then snatch at an almost guess at what the problem is so I'm suspicious about Windows telling me my hard disk is going fail soon. Windows has reported so many other problems that have turned out to be untrue.

Blue screens of death are quite frequent on this computer but with no particular error occuring each time, again the computer reports random errors that forced the computer to fail.

The computer has now been on for 48 hours quite happily sitting there with no re boot showing the desktop but if I play a video the computer will reboot very quickly. I'm starting to think that the computer is fine up until there is task load to handle, although this is not always the case sometimes I can be typing an email no video playing and it reboots.

The problem has certainly go nothing to do with videos or WMV I would say it's a task load problem but that diagnosis is not conclusive. I now rather think that the CPU fan difficulties have damaged the main board in some way or that the hard disk is the culprit.

Just would like to ask the experts what they think, sorry this is so long can supply any information anyone kind enough to respond might need.

Best Regards,
2 answers Last reply
More about computer rebooting
  1. owerheat or hd... id say. (just a guess) do you have another hd? or can you get one for loan like from friend try with that if you can.
    also check if you have onboard graphic card and pci-e graphic card try both. so you be sure its not from craphic card.
  2. makedo626 said:
    owerheat or hd... id say. (just a guess) do you have another hd? or can you get one for loan like from friend try with that if you can.
    also check if you have onboard graphic card and pci-e graphic card try both. so you be sure its not from craphic card.

    Thank you makedo626 for your response. Yes I do have replacement HDD's if they're still working. That's not a bad idea well worth a try at trying to isolate what the problem is I'm now up to 72 hours of the computer running continuously. Part of this great mystery is the behaviour of the computer, it's very difficult to force the error to occur, for example, I've been testing with the same video in the past 3 days of the computer sitting on but idle. First play the computer rebooted after about 5 minutes Second play 3 minutes and the third test I'm conducting at this moment the same video has been playing for about 20 minutes now and is still playing as I type this with no sign of the computer rebooting. It actually would not surprise me at all if the video played continuously for hours and hours. So long as you keep restarting the movie. This is the only thing I can say is typical about the trouble I am experiencing that there is no real pattern to the error. It's an on and off come and go sort of situation but now occuring at annoying frequencies that make operation of the computer virtually impossible. Just sitting here watching the video now up to about 30 minutes and no sign of the problem whatsoever. I am convinced it's not a virus or a bug due to formatting the disk. It's just a bare clean new Windows XP installation now with no software put in no internet connection so I would also rule out outdated software drivers as the culprit too. Video now playing 40 minutes as I sign off.

    Thanks again for your time
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