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Computer Reboots Randomly or Doesn't Start...


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#1
troche

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I have a Compaq Presario 5000 (5108 I believe, about 6 years old) and I recently added a new hard drive a few months ago. All was well until this past weekend. The system mysteriously starting rebooting itself. When it reboots, it sometimes does not start and the only thing that comes on is the disk light (solid green) and the power light. Even the CD and DVD drives don't show power. If I push the on/off button a few times I can get it to restart fine but then soon it will reboot itself again and the process starts over. I decided to reinstall a fresh copy of Windows XP. During the install process it also randomly reboots itself. I also tried to perform IDE drive tests from the BIOS (which start and run fine) until the system randomly restarts itself - again most of the time only starting to a state where the monitor light is yellow, not green, and the disk light is on (but not indicating activity) along with the power light. I tried some "recommended solutions" and reseated the RAM, removed the battery and removed and reseated components.

Has anyone ever seen this happen or know of what it could be? Thanks...
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#2
rshaffer61

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Sounds like a faulty Power Supply.
Have you tried a different one?
Since you had the issue even on a fresh install it indicates either a faulty PSU or Motherboard.
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#3
troche

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I am going to try to get my hands on one today to test it. I don't think it is the motherboard as I was able to get Windows to boot fine occasionally (and very rarely now at that!). Is it possible for a PSU to become flaky where certain power cables don't function but others do? Thanks...
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#4
rshaffer61

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It is possible that the PSU is just not supplying enough wattage all the time to power everything correctly.
Download Speedfan (The download link is to the right), and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows.
The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.
To make sure we are getting all the correct information it would help us if you were to attach a screenshot like the one below of your Speedfan results.

To do a screenshot please have click on your Print Screen on your keyboard.
  • It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key
  • Now go to Start and then to All Programs
  • Scroll to Accessories and then click on Paint
  • In the Empty White Area click and hold the CTRL key and then click the V
  • Go to the File option at the top and click on Save as
  • Save as file type JPEG and save it to your Desktop
  • Attach it to your next reply

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#5
troche

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I pulled the power supply (same wattage, etc.) from another machine I have that works and has never had a problem. Even with this power supply, the machine randomly reboots, usually in the middle of the reinstall of Windows XP. Is there any component in particular on the motherboard that may need to be checked before I move on to buy another box? Thanks...
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#6
rshaffer61

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Have you checked the fan on the CPU to make sure it is seated correctly?
How about the motherboard connection for the power switch. Is it loose or maybe a burned wire from it to the front of the case?
I would be more to think it is a overheating CPU or motherboard failing now that you have tried a different PSU.
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#7
troche

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I checked (and reseated) the power to the CPU fan and the connections for the power switch. The CPU fan works fine and the system powers on. I again attempted to reinstall Windows XP on a formatted drive and got to the point where the install was "loading drivers" and it hung. After several attempts at restarting the install it was finally able to progress but hung later in the process. I switched out the wireless mouse/keyboard combination I had for a wired pair and the install "completed" (?!?!?) but without recognizing the mouse. I started the system and it was able to boot to Windows XP. I rebooted to try to see if the mouse would be recognized after the install/reboot and the disk drive light and power switch both came on and stayed lit, with the monitor light switching from green to yellow and no output to the monitor at all. I turned the machine on/off several times but no change. I turned the machine off and will try to reboot later today after work.

Any ideas? It seems power is fine but something else is prohibiting a consistent restart on the system. Thanks...
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#8
rshaffer61

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Just a question. Does your motherboard have a couple of led's on it somewhere that turn either red or green?
If so you would have to open the case up to see them. If it does and the led's are not turning green it means the motherboard is having a problem.
I believe since replacing PSU the problem with power has been resolved. This is more the motherboard now not powering up correctly.
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#9
troche

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I'll take a look tonight. From what I remember though, it doesn't. I'll also try to grab model/specs if I can and post them.
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#10
rshaffer61

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Thank you and i will await your reply. :)
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#11
troche

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Took the case apart tonight again and pulled and reseated ALL cables again. Only connected one HDD and saw same symptoms. For giggles, I removed 3 of the 4 SIMMs and was going to replace them one at a time to see if anything happened. The system started fine with 1(!). Turned on and off a few times and it seemed fine. Installed 1 more SIMM and eventually got to all 4 SIMMs installed and system booted fine each time. Put all components in place (some were hanging out of the box or moved aside) and tried again. System rebooted but then only the green power LED and green IDE LED stayed lit with no activity on the HDD to make the IDE LED blink on and off or go off completely. Back to original symptoms unfortunately.

Motherboard is UWAVE2 (KU21739355)...
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#12
rshaffer61

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Ok try unhooking hd and leaving everything else hooked up. Does it boot up then or i should say does it post?

Edited by rshaffer61, 20 January 2010 - 09:01 PM.

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#13
troche

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I performed the following sequence last night/this morning:

1) disconnect power and IDE cable from HDD (system boots/posts and says "no operating system found")
2) reconnect HDD (system boots and "seems normal")
3) try restarting OS (system boots and "seems normal")
4) disconnect power and IDE cable from HDD (system boots/posts and says "no operating system found")
5) perform steps #2 and #3 again (system boots and "seems normal")
6) scratch head and mutter unrecognizable words
7) start to install other software (i.e. Linksys network adapter, video card, Windows updates, etc.)
8) reboot (system hangs with IDE LED and power LED green, monitor light yellow)
9) disconnect power and IDE cable from HDD (system hangs with IDE LED and power LED green, monitor light yellow)
10) perform step #6 over and over and over...

Seemed like all was fine - for a while at least...
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#14
rshaffer61

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Need to test the hardware then. Please do the following and let me know the results of each test. I think your problem is more a motherboard issue but I want to make sure first.

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool.

Thanks to Broni for the instructions



If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#15
troche

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So I grabbed the MemTest and drive diagnostics apps and, since the hard drive is new, decided to test the memory first. The memory is three DIMMs (128 MB each) so I put one module into the motherboard and ran the tests (about 3 or 4 passes). Checked OK. Put the second one in and ran the tests. Checked OK. Third one, though, soon exhibited the situation where the power and IDE LEDs came on and the monitor light went yellow after a period of time. OK, I thought, the third is "bad". Put #1 and #2 in the slots and started up to Windows XP and started downloading Windows updates for the new install that was on the HD. After about an hour or so I came back to the computer and the power and IDE LED were on with the monitor light yellow, and no activity (seems the system went back to its behavior). So I started back on the memory tests. Started with DIMM #1 and it tested fine after ten (10) passes. I figured I'd run as many passes as possible. DIMM #2 only made it through two (2) passes before the power and IDE LED went back to inactivity. I should note that all tests were run with no HD connection or power hookups. HD was only connected when I booted to XP after the first runs. Wasn't able to run DIMM #3 as the box, after a number of hours, would still not allow a boot. This is where it stands right now. I am hoping after a day of sitting idle and powered off (this usually works for some reason!!) that I can maybe run some more detailed memory tests, although I am not convinced this is the problem yet...
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