Serious comp probs, please help.

My computer, for about the past month, has been rebooting itself while I'm using it. It started out fairly infrequently, but now happens on a very regular basis, about every 15 minutes or so. Sometimes it reboots, others it just freezes completely (Usually reboots).

I'm running win98 (first edition, not SE) on the following:
P3 733 (never OC'ed at all)
Abit-SE6 (intel 815e chipset)
Antec 300W power supply
256 megs pc 133 sdram
30 gig 7200 RMP IBM deskstar HD
Geforce 2 GTS (creative)
Soundblaster Live Xgamer

I replaced the ram after about a week of this, it didn't help at all. Many people suggested that it might be a cooling problem, which seemed plausible. My processor was running at about 49 C (120 F). I replaced the fan and it's now down to about 40 C, but the problem has, if anything, gotten worse. Finally, I tried removing my video card and using the integrated POS intel card. The problems have continued.

The problems seem largely random, but I have noticed a few patterns:

I have to be running some application in order for it to happen. I can leave the computer running for hours, untouched, with no problems at all.

Every time I try to defrag, the computer immediately freezes. I can defrag in windows safe mode, but not otherwise.

I hadn't installed anything new in the week or two before this started happening, but the first day I noticed it I did get several blue screens of death citing registry problems.

Basically, at this point, it's either a software problem or the hard drive (seems highly doubtful), processor, or mobo. I'm going to try reinstalling windows, and if that doesn't work, I'll have to break down and reformat, losing about 20 gigs of Divx's.

If anyone has any guidance as to what might be causing this before I waste a few hundred dollars I don't really have testing replacement parts, I'd be eternally grateful. Could a hard drive problem cause something like this? How bout the processor? Mobo?

Thanks in advance.
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More about serious comp probs help
  1. Overheating usually causes random reboots, but it might also be the how your hard drive was loaded.

    Reload your OS, install .inf drivers first and always reboot when prompted

    Once you get your drivers installed, clean up and do a defrag.

    Another cause could be your power supply failing. it would cause your machine to reboot randomly.

    Windows NT might be worth a try if you still have a problem.
  2. Right, you have to be very, very careful with those Pentium systems. And if you can't get it to work, try another OS. W2k, 98SE, NT, BeOS, OS/2 Warp, Mac OS, etc.

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  3. Hmmm...I've actually seen this problem quite a lot with Abit motherboards--mostly BX133. Your comp works fine for ages, then one day, it hits a 2-3 week phase where it just blue-screens and crashes randomly. Then, eventually, it starts to occasionally not post (though the power LED comes on), then finally gives up the ghost and never posts again.

    My personal preference would be to get an EPoX or ASUS motherboard.


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