Unsure of the cause of my problems

I have a p3 866 with an 815 motherboard, 80gb 8mb buffer WD HDD, Sound blaster audigy 2 ZS, Geforce 3 Ti500(with the zalman heatsink, passive cooling), a 350W power supply, and a net card, and modem.

Around three or four months ago, I started experiencing a problem where my computer would restart. I researched the problem, and found out that it was most likely my power supply failing. Which at the time was a 300W that i bought a few years ago. I didn't have a job at the time, so I was unable to replace it. A friend bought a new power supply for his computer, and offered to let me borrow his (as his was not failing, it has a higher rating, and what being used on a p4 2.8 with HT, and all that). I installed it, and I was still getting the restart problem. I had also recently started getting a higher frequency of corrupt data on my hard drive, so I thought that maybe the 30gb Maxtor was also failing from a few months of restarting. I replaced that with my 80gb now. I then noticed a pattern. Whenever I was playing .mp3s, or using an EAX supported game, my computer would restart (this isn't like instant restarting though. It takes around a half hour when playing .mp3s, and five minutes with EAX). The restarting will only happen that one initial time, once i'm back up, i can play EAX games for hours without a restart. I was also getting audible artifacts. So, I replaced my SB Audigy, with a Audigy 2ZS (which is quite nice). And, still, the restarting perisists. I've run out of ideas, regarding expansion replacement, I don't want to replace my motherboard or anything right now, I'm doing just fine performance-wise. Just to let you know, I'm currently playing Mafia, which is EAX Advanced HD supported, so if there is some bug with that game, and the occasional BF1942 game, let me know.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. hey i got a 700Mhz computer similar to the age of yours.

    the thing is they are OLD they have been around and they have a lot of dust in them. he had the exact same issues as your having now, he went and bought a laptop and gave me his computer (i already had a 2.4Ghz comp so i didn't really care LOL)

    anyway the first thing i did was took off the heatsink and gave it a good cleanout as well as the CPU fan. this did the trick

    SIMPLE HUH??????

    oh and i noticed his case had no fans, his CPU was the only one in there, and it was so clogged that i swear there wasn't a single passage air could move through to get to the CPU, it was a shocker.


    <A HREF="http://www.mud-puddle.co.nz" target="_new">http://www.mud-puddle.co.nz</A> its where its ll going on
  2. I clean the dust all the time, but I haven't taken off the heatsink since I got it. The fan runs nice and stuff, but maybe one of my pins has a lot of dust, and when it becomes unrecognized by the motherboard, it restarts it. I'll try that, thanks.
  3. What's your O/S? Check your event logs, that should give you info about when it crashed and restarted, and you may be able to see a pattern and determine the component(s).

    <font color=blue>"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that" - Bill Shankly</font color=blue>
  4. I have windowsXP Pro. I'm not sure how to check event logs. Could you clue me in?
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