I have a problem with my home-built system, which is about 7 years old now.
Gigabyte P43 board (few years old)
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 (few years old)
2 2GB sticks of A-data ram (few years old)
Ati 3850 512MB (few years old)
160GB Samsung 7200rpm HD (original 7 years old one)
Cheiftec 550W PSU (few years old)
The problems started a few years ago on my xp installation and have progressed on gradually.
First I was getting BSODs while gaming, I didnt investigate it what the problem was and with some fresh installs of Windows xp I could usually eliminate the problem.
Now about a year ago I was starting to get more and more often BSODs and restarts.
So now about a month ago i upgraded to Win7 and it was working smoothly for about 2 days until I installed AOE3 and it BSOD'd, later with WMP and internet explorer also.. everything seemed to be like with my previous xp installation (in the end of the xp installation it was acting like that also, so i wanted to format and chose to upgrade the os also)
The restarts were getting more and more aggressive (not letting me even log in, restarting through boot-up). So i decided to lay off trying for the day. Next day I could log in, but within a few minutes i was starting to get restarts again, until i couldn't get past my BIOS welcome screen and I couldnt go to Boot options or anything like that.
So i tried booting with a Linux live cd to back up my stuff from the HD, that gave me some kernel error, which has never happened before, so booting it up failed. Windows 7 repair disc doesnt boot up anymore, nothing.
So it concluded with my boots getting as far as it says on the screen that its trying to revert to some older BIOS version?? aka I didnt even get the BIOS welcome screen, its just trying to fix the BIOS itself now..
Once through-out all the mess when I could get the windows repair disc to boot it did a some five-minute repair once and it gave me another minute in the computer and everything went back to horrible again.
So I took the HD to my friends computer. It's a Vista system. the computer didnt recognize the HD, checked it online and it appears to be a normal issue so I went through the My Computer properties and so on to check if the disc is offline, but it just wasnt listed in the disc management window, the HD was running though (could hear and feel the spinning).
The HD doesnt make any dead HD sounds, it sounds normal.
Then when the vista system didnt recognize the HD i tried booting from it from the different computer. it got to the win7 loading screen and restarted, then i tried safe mode with networking and it restarted again after showing the kernel log of the loaded .dll's or sth like that, well you should all know what I mean. My goal was to get the minidumps off the HD to post them here, but i cannot access the drive. Im going to get a dock and try with that too, but if everything til now implies that the drive itself is dead, well then there is not much to do with a dock too.
now is there anything to investigate or conclude from all that or are the minidumps also neccessary? I am trying to get a hold on a dock to see if i can get the minidumps from the HD. I am also planning on taking a friend's HD with win8 on it and see how far I can get with it on my computer in safe mode to make sure the HD is dieing.
If there is anything I can provide you folks with, I am more than happy to help You.
Thanks in advance for anyone, who tries to help
At 7 years old, and based on a lot of the symptoms you describe, you sound like a prime candidate for the bad caps issue. Take a quick look at the following link and I think you will notice a number of your symptoms on the list.
the symptom that after the computer freezes, restart wont help but a complete shut-down is required. that happened to me too, when my comp froze theres was a 75% chance that the computer loaded and left me with a black screen with the mouse showing and i could move it. then shutting down the computer from the power button and booting up again did the trick. I am currently not near the computer myself, but when i get near it, i will def check out if there is some visible physical damage and then I'll report back here. thanks for a quick answer. i will also try to get a hold on some other PSU, but i doubt it's that.