After going through selective startup, I have determined my computer is restarting during Windows startup only when the plug and play service is selected and tries to start. If I uncheck that service, the computer starts and remains running fine. Otherwise it restarts everytime during startup.
The computer is a Biostar 6100-939 MB, Athlon XP 3600, 2 Gigs Ram, Win XP SP3.
I've been having some issues recently. Things started when my DVD drive started having a lot of failed burns. The drive is a few years old and has a lot of use, so I figured it needed to get the boot. I bought a new DVD burner (the new one is SATA interface, old was IDE). With the new one, every time I tried to read the files on a disc or an auto-play disc would start, the computer restarted. I thought maybe the issue was the power supply and that caused the issues with both DVD drives. I ran the supply that came with my Xion case for years and never upgraded, so I thought I might as well for the future anyway. I know the supplies with cases aren't always the best.
Fast foward to now and I do not have the new DVD drive connected (power or SATA). The computer began restarting during Windows startup every time on startup. Like I said, I have narrowed it down to the Plug and Play service as the culprit.
Does this mean I have a hardware device causing the issue, or is there an issue with the service itself like a virus or something? I run a firewall and virus protection, so I wouldn't think that would be a problem. I have one expansion card installed for my wireless network. I removed it with the P&P service back on and the computer still restarted. Could one of the USB devices be causing the restart when the P&P service loads?
Ok, I tried removing all USB devices, my wireless NIC, disconnecting the front USB ports from the MB. The only thing left connected was the monitor and hard drive. The computer still restarted with the P&P service active.
I also just tried starting up using the last known good configuration. The computer is running and did not restart by doing this, but when looking at services in msconfig, the Plug and Play service is not even listed... so of course my wireless NIC is not even powered on and none of my USB devices are working.
Could this be a mother board related issue? Shortly after I had my wireless NIC, I had some issues where it would lose power and not start up next time I booted the computer. I'd have to reinstall the NIC and it would work again. I'm not sure all these events are related, but I'm starting to think they are.
It may be time to bite the bullet and start a new build unless this might be a simple fix. It's just strange that replacing a couple components seems to have made matters worse when it should have made things better.... That's never how it works though is it?