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Old 24. May 2015, 08:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Windows XP computer keeps restarting

Hello everyone,

I have a Windows XP SP3 32 bit computer that is roughly 5 years old. Starting a few days ago, it keeps restarting on me - here is what I've found out from troubleshooting:

- I don't believe it's overheating - I have a desk fan blowing on the open case and the CPU is roughly 40C and the GPU is roughly 60C.
- Sometimes if I don't touch it, it will stay on for hours, but if I go to run a program (even something like Firefox), it restarts.
- Once it starts restarting, it will just keep doing so over and over and won't actually boot back up again unless I unplug it and wait roughly 15 minutes.
- It will even reboot itself before Windows starts, on the BIOS screen, so I don't think it's a Windows/driver/virus issue.
- I unchecked the "Automatically reboot" option in Windows but it keeps rebooting itself.
- I try to run a "chkdsk /r" but it tells me the drive is locked (NTFS), even on a reboot. I then allow it to run chkdsk on the next reboot, but alas I don't think it gets there.
- My hard drive seems to be intact as the few times it remains on, I've able to, over the network, copy important files off it to another computer.

My only other thought is a bad power supply or bad RAM. I don't want to go out and buy new parts for an old computer unless I know for a fact that the part I am replacing is the problem.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to figure this out?
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Old 25. May 2015, 10:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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if you can get hold of / burn a copy of a Linux Live_disk,
- then use the memory checker that is on the boot menu..

try and get the scandisk to check that HDD,
- from My Computer - C: drive - properties - tools - scandisk.
check the option to 'run at next boot'

then shut-down / turn Off the PC.
- wait a few minutes & turn it back on,
& see if the scandisk, then does indeed run.
( don't restart - shut it down ).
occasionally - a restart - won't trigger the scandisk ..
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Old 25. May 2015, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a Kubuntu 12.04 live DVD that I used to install Kubuntu years ago. When I boot from it and try to scan the memory, it won't stay on long enough to finish. The same goes for scandisk.

The symptoms seem very similar to overheating (sometimes stays on longer when not in use but under use tends to reboot and once it does, it needs about 15 minutes before it will start again) - but nothing is warm.

I don't have a spare PSU but if this sounds like a memory problem, I have 4 DIMMs, I suppose I could just take out one RAM chip at a time and try to boot and see if there are any problems?
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Old 25. May 2015, 11:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Might be a heating problem.

Open the case, and check if dust is clogging the CPU fan, or other parts. Clean it.

Also try to reseat RAM and other components after cleaning.
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Old 25. May 2015, 01:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Assuming that your GPU is fan cooled, then dust could be clogging up the fan. A GPU temp of 60 sounds a tad high; the temps on my system are as follows:
CPU 35 ⁰C
MB 37 ⁰C
GPU 41 ⁰C.

Ambient temp, where my PC is stored, is approx 15 ⁰C.

You mentioned that you have a fan blowing on the open case: this is obliviously good for cooling, but the downside is the amount of dust it brings to the critical components of your PC.

HTH
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Old 25. May 2015, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would remove clean and refit the heat sink on both the CPU and the GPU.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/faq/id...-sink-cpu.html

I always point out that the best thermal contact is metal to metal and that the compound is only there to fill in the tiny imperfections in the surfaces where the metal doesn't touch. That does NOT imply leave it out.
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Old 25. May 2015, 04:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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True. That thermal compound really makes difference. However, removing and re-applying that, and fitting the heat sink can be a tricky job. Better get it done at a tech shop, if you aren't confident.

I have done it myself, and sometimes the heat sink doesn't install properly, and the computer fails to boot up. Can be a bit frustrating at times, if it does not get solved quickly.
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