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Is this a hardware or software issue?


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#1
vroni357

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Hi,
Could someone please help me? My computer just keeps rebooting over and over again. I thought it was Norton doing it, so I uninstalled Norton. Not only was the computer still rebooting but then I keep getting an error message about a driver and that Windows needed to shut down, and sometimes locking up too. I scheduled check disk, clean drive it said.

So then I thought it must be Windows, it's a mess I'll format. I'm using 1 hard drive that I have 3 partitions on, 1 of those partitions, E, has all my data files so I wasn't worried about losing anything because I was only going to format C and I've done it in the past without a problem, it just takes time to reinstall everything. So I format and start reinstalling Windows, I got rebooted a few times during the reinstall of Windows and once I got in to Windows it kept rebooting me.

So I thought maybe it's the CD drive, I'll try the DVD drive instead. So I switch to the DVD drive to reinstall Windows again. It was better but I still got rebooted in the end, the last few minutes of the install but it didn't restart the install, then it went in to Windows so I don't know if it actually finished. Anyway not only is it still rebooting me but it's rebooting me so much that I can't even stay in Windows long enough to install anything else like mainboard drivers. I tried chkdsk /r, it's still doing it. The more I tried to fix it the worse it got and apparently I think too much.

My system is a custom tower with an Intel Celeron 3.20 GHz CPU, 2 GB DDR DIMM 400. OS is MS Windows XP Pro. I was thinking that maybe it's the mainboard since 2 years ago I had problems with the memory which straightened itself out the same day, I have a 2nd hard drive, a SATA drive, which hasn't worked correctly since 3 months after I got it 3 years ago but that could be the SATA port, the PS2 port stopped working 2 years ago so my trackball is plugged in the USB port, 1 of 2 floppy drives no longer works, the CD drive is iffy. All these parts have the mainboard in common, is the mainboard slowly dying? Is this a hardware or software issue? And what, if anything, can I do about it? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.
:)
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#2
edge2022

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When does your computer reboot?
After the logon screen?

What is the current status of your computer (what partitions have what)?
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#3
vroni357

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When does your computer reboot? After the logon screen? There is no single certain point for it to reboot, most of the time I make it all the way in to Windows and see the desktop. Sometimes it reboots right after I get in there. Sometimes it reboots after it finds my printer and wants to know if I have the disk. Sometimes it reboots after I cancel that and try to install mainboard drives. Sometimes I don't make it all the way in.

What is the current status of your computer (what partitions have what)? I learned years ago to partition so I would keep my stuff. My C: partition only has Windows on it. My D: partition has the programs that I was using before this happened. And E: has all my saved data files.
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#4
edge2022

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That is uncommon.
After your computer reboots, does Windows give you a message like "This system has recovered from a serious issue?"
Disable auto reboots as described in these articles: http://www.lazybit.c...ing_tips?blog=2
http://www.cakewalk....er/minidump.asp
Now when your computer reboots, do you see a BSOD?
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#5
vroni357

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After your computer reboots, does Windows give you a message like "This system has recovered from a serious issue?" I kept getting that error message about a driver and that Windows needed to shut down a lot after I uninstalled Norton. I only get it once in a while at this point.

Now when your computer reboots, do you see a BSOD? It told me it couldn't show alerts at 1st. Then when I was trying to go where it said to turn the alerts on before I got there a BSOD popped up without rebooting. It says "DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL". "Technical information: *** Stop: 0x000000D1 (0xFFFF33E8,0x00000005,0x00000000, 0xFFFF33E8)" I have no idea what any of this means. But I got the BSOD a few times when I was trying to reinstall Windows, I don't know if the error message is the same. There's nothing on that partition but Windows. Is Windows having a problem with it's own drivers? And I haven't put any new hardware in there in years. OMG, what is happening to this thing?
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#6
edge2022

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Thank you for the info.
Go to the directory C:\Windows\Minidump
Make sure that hidden files are visible.
Zip up the recent files you find there (within a week) and attach the .zip archive to your next post.
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#7
TOM-J-LAEL

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Hey, it's also possible that is the culprit but did not get removed all of the way. Depending on the version of Norton you're running. I'd try the following:

http://service1.syma...005033108162039

You can go there to download the Norton Removal Tool, download it to your desktop . Boot into safe mode after you've done downloading the Norton Removal tool to you desktop and run the removal tool from Safe mode.

To boot into safe mode, try the following two methods. Only try the second if the first does not work.

If Windows XP is the only operating system installed on your computer, booting into Safe Mode with these instructions.

* If the computer is running, shut down Windows, and then turn off the power
* Wait 30 seconds, and then turn the computer on.
* Start tapping the F8 key. The Windows Advanced Options Menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a "keyboard error" message. To resolve this, restart the computer and try again.
* Ensure that the Safe mode option is selected.
* Press Enter. The computer then begins to start in Safe mode.
* When you are finished with all troubleshooting, close all programs and restart the computer as you normally would.

To use the System Configuration Utility method

* Close all open programs.
* Click Start, Run and type MSCONFIG in the box and click OK
* The System Configuration Utility appears, On the BOOT.INI tab, Check the "/SAFEBOOT" option, and then click OK and Restart your computer when prompted.
* The computer restarts in Safe mode.
* Perform the troubleshooting steps for which you are using Safe Mode.
When you are finished with troubleshooting in Safe mode, open MSCONFIG again, on the BOOT.INI tab, uncheck "/SAFEBOOT" and click OK to restart your computer
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#8
edge2022

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You could also try the instructions above, but since you are receiving a Driver IRQL BSOD, Norton leftovers are not likely to be causing the problem. But follow the steps just to make sure. Thank you TOM-J-LAEL. :)
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#9
vroni357

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This site would not let me upload the folder or even 1 of the files because it's larger than 500k, even zipped up. They are all named Mini052309-01.dmp to Mini052309-50.dmp then Mini052409-01.dmp to Mini052409-05.dmp then Mini052509-01.dmp to Mini052509-04.dmp then Mini052609-01.dmp is the last one if that helps any.

But still I'm surprised that I was able to do all that without something happening, wow. Especially since I was even getting rebooted in Safe Mode, Safe Mode, Normal Mode it wasn't making a difference.

I used Norton's Removal Tool when I uninstalled Norton. But even if I hadn't, I've formated my C: drive 4 or 5 times by this point, could something from Norton really still be left after all that?

Edited by vroni357, 26 May 2009 - 04:36 AM.

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#10
Jonesey

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Hey edge - could this be an overheating problem?

Maybe the internal fans & heatsinks are blocked with crud.
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#11
rshaffer61

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Download WhoCrashed from the link in my signature below
This program checks for any drivers which may have been causing your computer to crash....

Click on the file you just downloaded and run it.
Put a tick in Accept then click on Next
Put a tick in the Don't create a start menu folder then click Next
Put a tick in Create a Desktop Icon then click on Install and make sure there is a tick in Launch Whocrashed before clicking Finish
Click Analyze
It will want to download the Debugger and install it Say Yes

WhoCrashed will create report but you have to scroll down to see it
Copy and paste it into your next reply

Edited by rshaffer61, 26 May 2009 - 10:07 AM.

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#12
The Skeptic

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You formatted the computer, like you did successfully in the past, but the problem remains the same. Considering this I would put more emphasis on the hardware. First, disconnect all hardware elements that are not essential and see if the situation improves. Leave only the main hard disk, keyboard, mouse and monitor connected. If the problem remains the same:

1: As sugested by Jonesey, please check that the computer is not overheating.
2: check that voltages are correct.
3: Run memory scan with memetest86 at least for an hower.

To check items 1 and 2 download Everest from my list below. Install and run it. Click Computer > Sensor. The table that opens will show the power supply voltages and CPU, hard disk and motherboard tenperatures. Please report.

To check item 3 download memtest86 from my list below. Follow the instructions and make a bootable CD. Boot with the CD and run for an hour or so. Errors will show as red lines. There shouldn't be any error.

Edited by The Skeptic, 26 May 2009 - 01:03 PM.

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#13
edge2022

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Thank you to everyone who provided additional assistance.
Please check your temps and voltages, as instructed by The Skeptic, using Everest. Post the numbers you see.

Run Memtest. Click on "Memtest Instructions" in my sig, for step by step instructions. If you see any errors, then report them here.

Also download WhoChrashed. Post its log.
Otherwise you could upload your minidumps here: http://www.mediafire.com/
And give us the download link.
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#14
vroni357

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Yes, Thank you all. It's not letting me download anything. It's also not letting me upload anymore either, I got to http://www.mediafire.com/ and browsed for the file, clicked the upload button, then got the BSOD. I haven't been able to get back in to Safe Mode long enough to do anything since then if I'm able to get in at all, I keep getting the BSOD, I'm so frustrated.

My BIOS (Phoenix - Award) has a PC Health Status screen and it's saying:
Vcore=1.37 to 1.39V / VDIMM 2.5V=2.64V / +3.3V=3.14V / +5V=5.21V / +12V=12.05 or 12.14V / 3VSB=3.24V / VBat=3.21V / 5VSB=5.08V / CPU Temperature=138 degrees F (59C) to 143 degrees F (62C) but is usually at 140 degrees F (60C) or 141 degrees F (61C) / System Temperature=111 degrees F (44C) or 113 degrees F (45C) / CPUFAN=2504 RPM to 2590 RPM. Are any of these too high or are not supposed to be changing? Or are the BIOS never accurate, like a car clock?

I will try to download WhoCrashed, Everest & Memtest after I disconnect the hardware. I will report back when I've done that. Thank you all so much.
:)

Edited by vroni357, 27 May 2009 - 05:34 AM.

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#15
The Skeptic

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I will try to download WhoCrashed, Everest & Memtest after I disconnect the hardware. I will report back when I've done that. Thank you all so much.
:)


CPU temp is rather high but tolerable. The question is to what level it goes when loaded heavily. Voltages are OK. Everest is aimed to show the same parameters but the computer can be tested while loaded.

Please continue with disconnecting all non essential hardware and run memtest.
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