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Hardware or software?


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#1
Frennek

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dear all at geeks to go,

first off, this is a really catchy forum name. i'm reminded of a little jingle i heard off the apprentice.. ("time, for, geeks to go, it's time for geeks to go!")

i've been having a lot of trouble with my computer. it was assembled from parts at the local computer mall, but i've more or less changed everything in it (save the processor) since then. Pentium IV 2.4Ghz, 1gig of RAM, on a P4 Titan series motherboard. running on Windows XP.

it keeps restarting on its own, sometimes even before it reaches the startup screen. there is no blue screen of death, but i get a black one sometimes (i.e., not even the booting stuff comes up). there's also the sickening long beeeep that goes off whenever my computer decides to flatline on me.

initially i thought it was coz of a loose RAM piece, so i took it out and put it back in. worked for a while, but the troubles came back again.

i really have no idea if it's a software or hardware problem, or both, coz sometimes it doesn't even boot, and i usually get a "Windows has just recovered from a serious error" message when i do get it running long enough.

does anyone have any idea what's happening? i'll be glad to provide as much details as i can.

thanks in advance! :)
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#2
hfcg

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Hello, and welcome to Geeks To Go.
What you describe may be bad memory.
Do you think that you can run Memtest?
If not can you swap memory?
If you have more than one piece of RAM try one, than the other.
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#3
SUPERIOR

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ok... you can try to use some tools to diagnose your hardware stuffs ..... then you can try to use safe mode
maybe some symptoms of malware ..... to me, you should do hardware diagnose to make sure everything right first
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#4
Frennek

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hfcg, how long does it take to run the memtest? not sure if the computer can last long enough for me to do anything.

SUPERIOR, what do you mean? :)
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#5
SUPERIOR

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what is the thing I said mystery?? try to use tools that works out of OS(I mean at boo) like LiveCD to diagnose your hardware like memtest as hfcg said....
or try to use your computer in safe mode for awhile to see if it would restart or not.......
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#6
hfcg

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It does take a while to run Memtest.
The other way is to take your memory out and put in known good memory.
At this point I must ask you how much technical knowledge you have.
If this is a hardware problem (like RAM) running in safe mode will not help).

Edited by hfcg, 05 February 2008 - 04:35 AM.

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#7
hfcg

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OK, you built this computer so you have some technical ability.
The problem that you are describing can be caused by more than one issue.
It could be a heat issue, a memory problem, a driver conflict, Etc...
I would like to focus on two things for now; RAM issues, and heat issues.
If we can eliminate these two from the problem area than we will look at a software conflict.
Please remove the heatsink\fan assembly and clean off the thermal grease from both the processor and heatsink.
Reapply thermal grease (a small amount in the middle of the processor) and reseat the heatsink\fan.
I think that this is an issue with your RAM, but we should cover this area first.
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#8
Frennek

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hfcg, i didn't build it, but yeah i know enough to understand what you said. is there anything else i need before i pop down to the local store to get the thermal grease? i don't have a spare RAM, so i'll do what i can do..
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#9
hfcg

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Lets try the heatsink first.
The long beep you describe may be due to a heat issue.
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#10
Frennek

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hmm, you may be right, sometimes when i give it a rest it'll start working again. i'll give it a go and give you updates. thanks! :)
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