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Okay,very weird problem here ?


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#1
3ntity

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Bare with me as this may be a bit long.

This is a problem that has surfaced over the last 3-4 days on my daughter's puta.
It's a P500/128meg system..win98se.
What's been checked as okay.
All the cards, the HD's and peripherals, ram.
There are no known virus' or spyware programs.
It's fully defragged.

What the problem is that it reboots and reboots as soon as it get's onto the login screen.
So this is what I have done so far-

In safe mode it doesn't reboot so...
I then ran MS System configuration utility and turned off all the programs in the startup section.
Also, there are no nasty programs in the startup section.

At each successful reboot into normal mode, I then turn on one program at a time and reboot into normal mode.
The system starts in normal mode until...

These two programs are started, Zone alarm and MSN Messenger.
Simple enough, just uninstall them and reinstall you might think, but no.

Here comes the weird part.
When I went into windows explorer and opened up the Zonealarm folder, the system rebooted.
After it had rebooted I tried again, this time I could open the Zonealarm folder.
When I tried to run uninstall, it rebooted again...like weird.
Also if I tried to uninstall Zonealarm in the windows uninstall thingy in control panel, it also rebooted the system..ARGH !

Also, a diagnostic program pointed to "disktool.dll" as being corrupt and guess what, couldn't find it in explorer anywhere ( hidden files on was selected )

Also pcximp32.flt was classified as corrupt. I found this in c:\\\accessories.
I click on it and wham, system reboots.
I reboot and the next time I can click on it.

I know that a simple format and reinstall will fix everything, but hey I would like to know what is going on before I do that.
Anyone got an idea...please oh please LOL

Edited by 3ntity, 22 May 2004 - 03:51 PM.

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#2
admin

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Try installing a fresh copy of disktool.dll to the C:\Windows\System folder:
http://www.dll-files...=disktool.zip==

Scandisk, and defrag.
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#3
3ntity

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Okay...so I've reformatted the HD and while doing a fresh install of Win98,
the system reboots when windows is configuring the control panel.
It does this everytime and then it reboots.
So I guess it's narrowed down to a M/B problem.
Something has just spat a diode or two these last couiple of days.
All the peripherals have checked out okay.
So it's either the M/B itself, or the CPU or the powersupply.
I got my money on the M/B or CPU because it sat there for nearly 2 hours happily formatting the HD and installing windows right up till windows showed up on screen and tried to configure the control panel.

There's no physical damage to the M/B, cracks etc.

My theory is the cpu spits the dummy when windows accesses a particular section of the cpu. Is this possible ?
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#4
admin

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I recommend you test your RAM before going to much farther. Memtest86 is a free RAM testing program that loads from a bootable floppy:
http://www.memtest86.com

If it is the motherboard it's probably caused by voltage problems resulting from bad capacitors. If you look closely and notice any bulging or leaking then you've probably identified the problem.
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#5
3ntity

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Nice memory test program..thanks.
Memory is okay.
As for the capacitors bulging, how much bulge is considered a problem ?
Four large ones around the cpu do seem to be bulging a little, but that could be from construction as they are very uniform in their bulging.

Now as time goes on, the HD doesn't kick in till at least three starts later.
So whatever the problem is, it's getting worse.
Thanks for help admin.
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#6
admin

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Here's a good article explaining the problem:
http://www.spectrum....feb03/ncap.html

Some good pictures here:
http://bbs.pcstats.c...&threadid=18061

P.S. It may be worth a couple bucks to try replacing the battery on the motherboard. A low-voltage battery can cause some strange errors by corrupting the BIOS.
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#7
3ntity

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Checked the battery long ago, it's fine.
Thanks for the links.
Seems that capacitor problems are widespread on M/Bs
I would have to say that it is definately the problem with my MB.
Mine aren't leaking but they are bulging and they are all around the CPU.

Will have to get out my trusty old soldering iron.
Never worked on a MB before, this will be fun.

Thanks again admin for helping me track the problem down.
Be a few days before I get the repairs done. Will post and let you know.
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#8
3ntity

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Replaced 8 capacitors for a grand total of $5 Au.
M/B is purring nicely again.
Thanks admin.

Now I wonder if overclocking the cpu in the bios setings had caused the capacitors to overload ?
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#9
admin

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Nicely done! <_<

While overclocking can shorten the life of components, I'd blame the bad batch of capacitors referenced in the article. This has become all too common, even with users that never overclock.
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