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Troubleshooting Elusive Involuntary Reboot


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#46
Len Trimlett

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At the time of the last test the system had been stable for about a day. Previously the system had been stable for anywhere from 1 hour to 3 days. Reboot within the boot process and sometimes when going on the internet.

But remember it was not more than a day or so ago that I was downloading drivers.

I am interested to know if you have any recommendations on the configuration settings for HeavyLoad and P95.

I am also trying to capture in my mind and on paper for future reference a list of the tools used and the process to troubleshoot this problem. It has been very educating.

I replaced one battery that apparently controls the time. It was located in the same opening as the RAM. Is there a second CMOS/BIOS battery?

Len Trimlett
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#47
gerryf

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No, that battery is the cmos batter....if it was no good, or if you put it in upside down, your clock would not stay set

I rarely alter config for burn in tests--in fact, I actually use a different program, but it is not free and one I paid for so i did not list it. Just recently found Heavyload, though I have used prime95 for a while

You really do not want to be running a system stress test, other than when you first get the PC to test it, since they are not kidding when they mean STRESS--any time you stress your system like that, you are asking for trouble
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#48
gerryf

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the battery I am referring to is behind the mini-pci card (modem)...pretty easy to get to
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#49
Len Trimlett

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Here may be another clue....After that last post on stability I started playing with the laptop again.

The system went totally unstable. I could not even get to the internet. I decided that I had nothing to lose and decided to do an uninstall.

I uninstalled all the components of SQL Server Express and Voalla! the system returned to stability following reboot. It was the most direct action/result I have seen with this system.

I decided to try another run with heavy load and brought it up.

I pushed the left 3 buttons to set the options and set the update to every 2 seconds.

Heavy load has been running for 20 minutes at this setting.

Everest reports the following:

Motherboard -- 140F
CPU -- 135F
HDD -- 91F

Heavy Load is reporting 100% CPU and 85% Free RAM

Speed Fan is reporting:

1. Fan 1 - 10574
2. Fan 2 - 18750

Temps

60,57, 0, 34, 56, 61, 16

After 20 minutes I stopped Heavy Load and saw an almost instantaneous drop in temps.

Within 2 minutes the temps dropped to:

Motherboard -- 124
CPI -- 104
HDD --- 93

The system stability has been very erradic since I started this exercise. I will wait and see. This weekend I will do some more testing with Heavy Load.and P95.

By the way, I typed “freeware” into Google and found multiple freeware sites.
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#50
gerryf

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yes, and ? Not sure what you mean by freeware sites.

I know there are freeware sites, but there are not too many freeware stress testers, least not that I have used

not in any way familiar with spl express....why do you need it?
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#51
Len Trimlett

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SQL Server 2005 was just released in November 2005. It is a very popular database program in use for large databases.

I had installed the expess version (free) to learn it.

You are probably correct about freware stress testers. The quick look I took was at sites listing themselves as freeware sites.

I hadn't actually looked inside them.

Len Trimlett
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#52
gerryf

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I am familiar with sql server 2005. I was not aware there was a freeware version express
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#53
Len Trimlett

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Saturday:

Running commentary being prepared offline. Will post with link to my website when complete.

1. Was able to make some runs of Heavy Load...Results Previously Posted.

2. Involuntary reboot continues to be a problem. Even more so now that I deinstalled SQL Server Express.

3. Found a possible deadlock in DCOM through event viewer. Will need to ask a few questions to find answer.

4. I started a run of P95 and was only able to get 1 minute into the run when the system quit and rebooted.

5.Ambient temps were Motherboard - 118F ; CPU - 99F ; HDD - 88F

6. Running P95 temps got to Motherboard -- 136F ; 135F ; HDD - 95

7. At that point system went into reboot.

The next post will include a link to a word file on my website with an analysis of the results so far and conclusions.

Len Trimlett
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#54
gerryf

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just to make me feel better, how about removing one memory stick temporarily...then repeat testing.

If error recurs, replace remaining stick with the one you pulled
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#55
Len Trimlett

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This system reboot problem can be described as totally inconsistently inconsistent. Saturday, it got to where I could not boot up the machine without it rebooting 3 times. I tried to run p95 but it rebooted after 2 minutes. I shut down the machine and begin writing my analysis.

Then Sunday Morning I booted up machine and began p95. The system readings below are Motherboard, CPU, and HDD from Everest and PM time.
P95 was started at 13:11
13:16
124,129, 73
-------
1:18
131, 135, 73
------
1:18
135,136, 73
------
1:19
136:138, 73
------
1:21
140, 140, 75
-----
1:23
142, 140, 75
-----
1:26
144,142,75
-----
1:29
145,142,77
____
1:33, 1:36
147, 142, 77
-----
1:38
149,142, 79
Power cord is only warm to touch
Windows Task Manager – 100% CPU, 253 mb ram
-----
13:43
149,144,79
-----
13:45, 13:47
151,144.79
Fan is running continuously
-----
13:50
153:145, 79
------
1:53
153,147, 81
------
1:54--2:10
154, 147,81
------
2:11
156,145,81
------
Stopped p95 to go out. Fan continues to run
3:07 -- The system has not rebooted.
3:15 rebooted and Everest shows temps 127,108,86 fan 9375
The EventViewer shows the last event as the command to start Everest OK

I am writing an analysis of what I think has been accomplished in the diagnostic procedure just performed. But I want to sit on it a little longer till I have a chance to look at the writing cold and think through it. At the moment I need to go out.

Len Trimlett
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#56
gerryf

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temps just keep going up, up, up....
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#57
Len Trimlett

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This reboot problem is inconsistently inconsistent. Last night I could not keep the system up long enough to run P95. Today I was able to get a good lengthy P95 stress run as witnessed by the temperatures and times. At this point we have been able to say “what the problem is not” but not “what it is”. Having invested much time in trying to bring up the system I jumped at the chance to do this diagnostic run and believe the following has been accomplished.

1. Early on Antivirus runs indicated no virus.
2. Webroot indicated no spyware.
3. Chkdsk /r and defrag pointed away from the Hard Drive.
4. Memtest with 10 passes and no errors eliminated RAM
5. Swapping of power cord and module eliminated the power supply.
6. Heavy Load and P95 did a pretty good job of stressing the CPU (100% usage and the temps posted)
7. Driver download eliminated the drivers from the equation.
8. Hijackthis gave very useful information on Hardware and Programs Running.


Many problems were transient(non-recurring):

1. CDROM error
2. HDD error
3. I could go on.

Some were reoccurring:

1. A browser error
2. A windows update issue
3. The Hive issue

But the reboot problem remains.

Others I have talked to would have written it off and bought a new computer by now.. But I wanted to solve the problem and learn about trouble shooting. I did learn.

At this point I believe we can say that the likely place for the problem is either the motherboard or CPU but not which. HeavyLoad appeared not to stress the system as much as P95. The above posted temps really put a load on it.

At this point I do not have the luxury of opening the laptop and swapping parts . I do have a 5 year contract for service in which Fry’s will send the computer back to the factory for a CPU and motherboard replacement at their cost and provide a loaner while that is in the shop.

I know that I can take the machine back to Fry’s and have them run PC Doctor on it. Supposedly that would tell which components are bad. PC Doctor is about a $500 program. Do you have any tools (free ) that can take this further on the motherboard?

Where do we go from here --- more HeavyLoad runs or P95? Another tool to check out the motherboard ?

Len Trimlett
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#58
Len Trimlett

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I am making another HeavyLoad run....The left three buttons at the top. Temps came up to 140, 133 and 88 and stabilized after about 20 minutes. After about 20 minutes Windows memory message came up that Virtual Memory was low and was increasing the paging file size. But the temps reached a point of stability so I stopped the test. Once again P95 pushed the temps more.

Len Trimlett
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#59
The Skeptic

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Is there any time correlation between the repalcement of the ram and the reboot problem? Can you recall any specific incidence (e.g hardware replacement, software installation/removal) after which the reboot started?

At this stage i would do the following: First of all, identify your HD (use Everest if you need to), enter the manufacturers interenet site, download and run the diagnostic program supplied by the manufacturer. Run a complete test. Report results.

Reading through this thread I get the impression that your computer is LOADED with programs, some removed, reinstalled etc. I would uninstall everything which is not essential. Then I would download and run Ccleaner to clean the system from what seems to be lots of software shreds. Run Cleaner and Issues from CCleaner menu. Repeat the run until all is clean. After that run defragmanation. Next, download the trial version of Advanced System Optimizer. Run the following: System and disk cleaner, Registry cleaner and fixer, Registry defragger and optimizer.

Last: Start > run > msconfig > enter > startup. Uncheck everything which is not essential.
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#60
Len Trimlett

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Here is a brief History of what has happened:

1. Back probably around late November or early December I got to a state where the system stopped at the Blue Screen for Corrupt Files. After about 3 core dumps Microsoft pointed to Norton Ghost and said there was an unknown file problem. Research on the Symantec Website indicated top issues included an incompatibility between Norton Ghost and Windows XP SP2. A patch was available.
2. Also the system was looking for an install completion from the CDROM but I could not get it to recognize the CD Rom. I made a personal decision to restore the system and leave Norton Ghost (Systemworks) off.
3. After installing and trying to use the restored system I started getting a message that Windows was truncating the first record of the Hard Disk (for what reasons I don’t remember) and the software application became unusable.
4. I then went to install Windows XP Professional with XP2 from CD. That I did with the help of 1-800-Microsoft. I was at that time getting restarts.
5. I took it to the shop under the service contract and asked for it to be sent in for repair (restart problem) (Jan. 1, 2006). I received a loaner per the contract. After one month the tech called me and said he couldn’t justify sending it in for repair as it was working fine on the bench. I said run diagnostics (PCDoctor) at which time the tech bad memory. Windows XP Profession SP2 installed along with one memory chip new/one old.. After a couple iterations both RAM Chips New Kingston RAM.
6. I began reinstall. Programs:
a. SBC DSL (Upgrade from Dial Up—Needed wireless card and used my TMobile Hotspot Wireless Card. It works). Upgrade my Fry’s Desktop First (2-Wire connection USB). Desktop is stable. Now load Laptop (TMobile GC79 install then SBC DSL). Internet Up
b. PC-Cillin (Antivirus/Firewall) or Zone Alarm(Current)
c. Webroot Spyware
d. Roxio Easy CD Creator
e. System Mechanic 5
f. Fix-It Utilities
g. Microsoft Office 2003
h. Never got to Adobe Creative Suite
i. Microsoft Office 2003 (hung and Install at writing registry. PC-Cillin uninstall said you need to roll back Microsoft Office 2003 suspended installation. Done.) That was about early to mid February). I thought maybe I had a bad registry. I went through several uninstalls on all the above. After getting Microsoft Office 2003 off I installed Microsoft Office 2000. It installs correctly and I can use it. Conclusion Office 2003 disks need to be replaced.
j. At this point thinking that I can cleanup things went through various uninstall/reinstall sequences finally watching Event Viewer. Then I found “Geeks To Go” while looking for diagnostics. Good find.
k. At the current time you would be correct in saying that there have been several installs / reinstalls. The restart problem existed from the previous Windows Professional XP SP2 installation (last December) and continues today.
l. The restart was observed in the previous XP Professional Install before the RAM install and I would not want to rule out that it was there before though I did not specifically observe it.
7. Comments:
a. Is There Any Time Correlation To The Restarts? The Best Answer I Can Give Is That It Was First Observed As An Involuntary Reboot During The Previous Windows XP Professional Installation (Probably Pre Jan 1, 2006) And Continues Today. I thought at one time that the incomplete Office 2003 installation messed up the registry and went through various corrective steps with no success.
b. Is There Any Current Time Correlation As To When The System Restart Occurs Using The Current XP Installation? Ever since I got the system back with the current XP SP2 installation the timing of the restarts has never shown any pattern that I can find (I have been looking). The system might stay up for 48 hours or it might Blue Screen while idle over-night or it has in the past done a restart up to 10 times during the reboot process before getting a stable desktop to begin work or it could do a restart after an hour on the Internet.There is no pattern.
c. Are There likely Installation Remnants On The System? I would say yes. I think there is at least one from Microsoft Office 2003 and probably others. At this point there is nothing in the way of personal data on the laptop. That was moved long ago to my external HDD (another machine).
d. Moving Forward? With nothing that needs protecting on the Laptop I can go back to a point where only the wireless TMobile card and Everest is in the system with CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) and remove installation clutter. Then download Manufacturers Diagnostics.
e. Am I interested in taking it down that next step? YES!!!
f. I see CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) on the website software downloads
g. I will rerun Everest and identify the Hardware Components, run Crap Cleaner then look for the manufacturers websites. I will stay in contact.

Len Trimlett
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