Ok this is about the 3rd or 4th time I've had this problem and I am about ready to give up on win xp. Here is what happens - I use win xp for a while, and it seems after about 5 reboots I get this problem. What happens is when it shows the Win XP loading screen with that green bar showing on the bottom, it flashes to a blue screen for literally about 1/10 of a second and then reboots. If I knew what this damn screen said I would probably have no problem, but I have no idea what it says or what I can do to fix this darn problem. All other times I have fixed it by reformatting / reinstalling, and it is really not worth doing that every time.
My comp is AMD athalon 1.4ghz, a7m266 mobo, maxtor 7200rpm 40gig, 512 pc2100 ddr, kryo prophet 4500 (instict tells me this might be a prob) creative PC-dvd rom and a sony 32/10/40. The kicker is that I didn't install anything after the previous normal reboot, which had no problems. It's almost like a security feature it seems because I just reboot like 5 times and this happens every time I install xp, even though I am using a totally legit copy of it. I am stumped....
When you can get into Windows, do the following immediately:
Go to System Properties (WinKey+Pause)
Go to the Advanced tab
Under Startup and Recovery, click "Settings..."
Under System Failure, uncheck "Automatically restart"
Then, the next time the BSOD comes up, write down the error and post back.
Just real quick, check in the BIOS that your memory timings aren't set too agressively. Plus, if you're overclocked, you might want to back down some to see if that's the problem. If not, then it's most likely a drivers issue.
By the way, what power supply do you have (wattage/brand/model)? That's very important, because cheap ones won't do for a stable system.
Would a power supply really matter that much? I must admit when I built my comp I didn't go for a real nice power box I didn't think it made much of a difference, it's just a generic COMPusa case / 350 watt power supply. I know power supply issues can result in spontaneous restarts but I've never had those, I am certain that I get the BSOD because I see it flash really fast and I barely have time to read it, but I can pick out the word error and registry, it's having a problem reading something in the reg. I can't even edit it though because the safe modes, normal boot, boot with last settings that worked, nothing starts the damn comp when this happens
BTW - I never overclock, I think it causes more probs than it helps, kinda like onboard sound :0
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ToneDogg on 06/13/02 03:29 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Power supply does matter. It's like a foundation of a house. If it's cheap, it won't be stable during an earthquake, and the whole thing crumbles. With a PSU, if it isn't good quality, it won't keep a steady current to the components, thus the instability.
If you never had sponantous restarts, how do you explain this? This is even worse!
Anyway, I'm going to stick to that story of getting a better power supply. Enermax, PC Power & Cooling, <b>Sparkle</b>, or QuietPC.
<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - Host fixed network problems; I'm back up<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by btvillarin on 06/13/02 11:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Take Antec off that list and replace it with Sparkle or Leadman and you'll get a smile from me. Crash isn't the only person who has a low opinion of their PSU's. Even the new ones are only cheap, copycat versions of an Enermax, without the performance. I like to grab a few shells, take the dead ones back in the woods, thrown 'em up high, and yell "Pull!"
Considering that this tends to happen during a reboot, and that a reinstallation of the OS appears to temporarily fix the problem ... it's more likely to be a conflict with an application file or a driver, or a problem with IRQ sharing. PSU issues tend to cause problems such as not being able to boot at all, lock-ups in programs, spontaneous shutdowns, difficulty waking up the monitor after an unexpected crash, device listings in the CMOS and the Device Manager being garbled or lost, etc. Not the sort of thing that is normally accompanied by a BSOD.
However, all of those things are nothing to laugh about, and having a decent PSU can allow a user to avoid all of them, so your advice should certainly not be ignored, not by any means. I've observed some folks getting pretty excited when their newly assembled system locks up in the middle of a game and can't be restarted (or completely shut down, for that matter, oddly enough!) until the power supply cools off. Having an inadequate PSU in an otherwise decent system can definitely cause a host of problems.
I've seen WinXP systems suddenly develop odd IRQ conflicts after a month or more, right out-of-the-blue, for apparently no good reason ... especially between newer video cards, NIC cards, and USB devices. This can be accompanied by a BSOD, and/or sometimes with a device just showing up as disabled after a cold boot. A BIOS flash often helps, as does using the default WinXP drivers. Another stopgap solution is to just boot the system with a minimum of devices attached or enabled, and then turn them on after Windows is loaded.
I have something like this happening on one of my systems. At first, I couldn't load the NIC card with the latest drivers ... only with WinXP drivers. It caused the GF4 card to be disabled, and flashed a BSOD. Flashing the BIOS, and using the default WinXP drivers allowed the system to boot normally, although the NIC card was misidentified by Windows. Then, after a month, (and about 50 restarts and shutdowns) this caused a conflict, too.
Now when I shutdown or restart the system, I first disable the NIC card, and then re-enable it after Windows is loaded. I can even use the new drivers, so the card is identified correctly. Once the system is up, there's no problem. But I can't boot with the NIC card enabled.
I ran into a similar problem with a USB joystick. Can't boot with it, but it runs nicely after Windows is loaded. Interestingly enough, this only happens on my system with the 850e chipset, but not with the system with the KT266A chip ... which is the one you'd expect to have this kind of behavior.
As you might expect, I don't reboot often, as a result. It's a bit of a pain, but I'd rather adjust to the peculiarities of the system than format and reinstall the OS, especially since the computer is completely stable after the boot. You wouldn't think that would be the case, but it's true.
Weird, huh? But sometimes it's just easier to feed the gremlin.
I agree about it being a conflict with an IRQ setting or driver issue rather than a power supply issue, because like you said ToeJam it does in fact boot, just Windows goofs up. However I don't remember installing anything new when this happens. Now I guess my choice is to either do all that disabling / enabling BS that you were talking about, or go back to good ol' 98se. WinXP is more stable as far as running programs and resource management to me, but I don't know if these slight differences over 98se are worth it to me.
I turned off the auto restart, and now I am just going to use the comp like I normally do until I gwt that damn error again because I am very curious as to why Windows suddenly doesn't boot. I'll post it here when I find it out.