Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

computer randomly restarts


  • Please log in to reply

#1
wildcat114

wildcat114

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
hey,

i have recently been experiencing some strange computer problems. Every time i start my machine....after about 10 minutes, it just decides to restart, and then a message comes up saying 'your system has recovered from a serious error' or something like that. im not quite sure why it is doing this...but i cant seem to keep the computer on for an extended period of time without going through a restart process. any suggestions or solutions?
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
SoccerDad

SoccerDad

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
When the machine restarts, does it go thru a normal shutdown, or just turns off and back on? If it is the latter, most likely a hardware issue. First thing I would try is cracking the case and making sure all the fans are clean and turning (including power supply). Additionally, some of the heatsinks on the market today have the fins very close together. They easily fill with dust and prevent the transfer of heat away from the CPU. If you're comfortable with it, remove the entire fan assembly from the CPU, un-screw the fan from the heatsink and clean both. Make sure all slots and mainboard itself are cleaned and free of dust, dirt, pet hair, etc.

If that doesn't solve it, time to look deeper. RAM is the next culprit, but that's another story.

P.S. While you have the case open, look for bulging on the top of any of the large capacitors (varying height cylinders you'll see all over the mainboard). If you notice any, carefully put your finger on it. If it's too hot to leave your fingy on, we've found the problem. There was a huge batch of crap capacitors shipped a few years back, and many of them made it to market before recall. Over time, these bad boys will get worse until the point where the mainboard will not powerup. One of the symptoms is random reboots..bad RAM will also produce the same symptoms.
  • 0

#3
wildcat114

wildcat114

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
whenever a restart occurs....it goes through the normal process. i have opened the case and checked the fans for dust and whatnot and they seem fine and rotating. in fact, i have recently just replaced the fan. the only thing that i am unsure about is behind one of the fans, there is this silvery tacky stuff which i believe is some sort of coolant, and that seems to be wearing down, i dont know if that could be the problem or not. i also checked the cylinders, they seem to be fine with me. now i am experiencing more frequent and faster restarts. it used to be 10 minutes before it would restart and now it seems to be doing it after about 2 minutes after a bootup. hope that helps. thanks for all your assistance
  • 0

#4
SoccerDad

SoccerDad

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
Howdy wildcat114! No probs, glad to help.

Here is a stop gap solution for the time being:
1. Right click My Computer and select 'Properties' then click the 'Advanced' tab
2. Click the 'Settings' button in the Startup and Recovery area.
3. Under 'System Failure' Uncheck the box that says 'Automatically Restart'
4. Click OK then click Apply.

This will hopefully stop the reboots so we can troubleshoot, but we need to find the cause so no damage is done if in fact it turns out to be hardware. We can also rule out RAM for the time being as bad RAM generally will not give you an orderly shutdown but rather an abrupt reboot.

A couple of further queries:

1) Do you use Windows Media player? If so, is it fully updated from Windows Update?
2) Do you use Logitech keyboard and/or mouse? If so, are you using the Logitech drivers?
3) Can you recall any additions to your machine, software or hardware, around the same time as the reboots started?
4) Does your BIOS support temperature monitoring? If so, what temp is your CPU sitting at?

As for the "silvery tacky stuff", I'm not quite sure what you mean. There will most likely be a glue like substance that sticks the heat sink to the CPU itself, but I'm not sure if that is what you are referring to.

Once you can get back to me on the above queries, we'll start looking deeper...

ttysoon, SD
  • 0

#5
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Hi wildcat114...and Hello again SoccerDad!

Mind if I add my two cents worth?

wildcat114, The restarts you describe are classic symptoms of a heat related shutdown. The "silvery tacky stuff" that you described is meant to help transfer heat away from the processor and in to the cooler. This MUST be in good condition to assure proper cpu cooling. If I were you, I would NOT power up the computer at all until you replace the bad tacky stuff with new thermal paste. I use Arctic Silver or Arctic Aluminum paste with about equal results (This paste is available at most computer retailers). Be sure to follow the instructions for applying the paste closely...even contact between the processor and the heat sink is essential.

Hope this helps.....

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 24 July 2005 - 11:20 AM.

  • 0

#6
SoccerDad

SoccerDad

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
Hey wannabe1!

"Mind if I add my two cents worth?" Not at all! Please do....

The timing of the reboots suggests exactly what you are referring to...RAM can give the same, however, it generally (my experience anyway) is more random in nature. CPU overheating usually has a nice pattern to it.

wildcat114, when you replaced the fan, did it come with the entire heat sink assembly?

cya, SD

Edited by SoccerDad, 24 July 2005 - 11:48 AM.

  • 0

#7
SoccerDad

SoccerDad

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
A tidbit from another board:

So I did some additional looking around at my BIOS, and the System Fan - and Guess What!?
When the Fan shuts down it turns completely off.

There is a CMOS setting for a minimum fan speed - ad it was 0 (no fan). I reset it to Step 2 to help heat from building up on the processor chip, and things seem to be working better now.

So my guess is that without some air flow, heat would build up to a point where the Fan would have to kick in at full speed. It could be that the system would sometimes reboot if the processor got too warm before this event.

So if all else fails, check your BIOS settings for minimum fan speed (Step). If it's 0 try setting it to (say) 2. This may help.



Be well, SD
  • 0

#8
wildcat114

wildcat114

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
thanks again guys for your help.

first of all...these restarts have just happened recently...i would say about 1 week ago. i havent really installed any new hardware or anything like that. and yea i do use windows media player and i believe that it has been updated. ill try and apply new thermal paste tomorrow and we will see what happens. the sticky tacky stuff is located directly behind the heatsink of the fan which is attatched to the main motherboard. that is the part that is not completely covered...in the sense that it has a few exposed parts, the tack is not spread evenly. once again thanks for your help.
  • 0

#9
wildcat114

wildcat114

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
hey guys....

i have applied new paste, and unfortunately, the problem is still not solved. in fact...now there is a blue screen that pops up after a restart that says "windows has detected an error on your machine and has been shut down to prevent further damage..." is this even fixable? where should i go from now? im not sure how to check bios temperatures and whatnot as you mentioned before. thanks for the help.
  • 0

#10
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Hey wildcat114...

Now we know that at least your processor is protected...providing, of course, that it hasn't been damaged by earlier episodes.

Now try to do the procedure listed at the link below.

http://support.micro...d=1173&sid=1157

Let me know if this works.

wannabe1
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
wildcat114

wildcat114

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
hey,

i ran the system restore, and it worked. however, the restarts still seem to occur, but now not as often. for some reason i am convinced that it it virus/spyware related. any suggestions now? everything you have done has helped a ton. thanks again
  • 0

#12
SoccerDad

SoccerDad

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts
Hey Guys!

May I suggest one more check?

wildcat114, are you familiar with accessing your BIOS on your machine? (DEL at startup) If so, hava look there. On the main page (but not always, so you may have to look around depending on your BIOS layout) look for a little chart there that will tell you the temp of your CPU. For maximum accuracy, do it just after it auto reboots. We will be able to tell for sure from there if the chip is too hot. If not, then kewl, we've eliminated that and can keep looking.

ttysoon, SD

P.S. What is type of CPU do you have?

Edited by SoccerDad, 27 July 2005 - 09:40 PM.

  • 0

#13
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
wildcat114...

Glad to hear we are making some progress... :tazz:

If you think you may have malware/spyware issues, I would definitely post to the Malware Forum and let the experts there clean up whatever mess might be in there.

http://www.geekstogo...o_Here-f37.html

Start with the "Click Here" at the top of the page. Aquiring and running several of the programs listed there will go a long way towards getting things straightened out. Then post a HiJackThis log to the forum and let the expertise available there have a look at what's going on. Keep in mind that that forum is a very busy place, but someone will be along to help as soon as they can.

I'll try to keep track of your posts.

wannabe1
  • 0

#14
peterm

peterm

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 3,173 posts
did you check all the capacitors when you had the case open?
  • 0

#15
wildcat114

wildcat114

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 34 posts
ok...

ive checked the BIOS temps. the Auto Shutdown Temperature feature is disabled. and the CPU temp starts at about 105 degrees F and slowly escalates. It has detected the RPM of one fan, but i theoretically have 2 fans (one on the motherboard and a new one that i installed inside the power supply). is it supposed to detect that one also? the system temperature remains constant at 100 degrees F. i have an 800mhz AMD Athlon (piece of garbage....haha). ill go ahead and post the hijackthis logs on that forum and see what they think. thanks again for your help.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP