Reboots, restarts and freezes

  maestrode 21:56 16 Nov 2009

Apologies in advance for the length of this, I hope somebody has the patience to read it all.

I built my first PC a few months ago and it worked fine for a few weeks. However, one night it rebooted itself, just powered off and then powered on again. I though nothing of it at first but then it just started to happen more and more often.

It will reboot at least once a night if i'm using it. Doesn't matter if i'm browsing the net, watching a movie or playing a game, it'll just do it randomly.

Less often, rather than rebooting, my system will freeze, nothing will respond until I do a hard reset. This also happens randomly. Even less often, it will reset (not power down, but do a regular restart). Although I think this is just windows update or something while i'm not looking.

I've been looking around the forums trying to find a solution but there are so many different things that could cause this, I though it would be better to have a pro look at it.

So I took it to a repair shop, explained to the guy the problem I was having and he jumped straight to a bad PSU as being the reason. I thought this might be the problem after reading up on it. Anyways, he took it in and said he would run some hardware diagnostics and try different PSU's etc. Nothing came up and he assured me the build quality was good and there are no problems with my hardware.

So i'm kind of stuck now. it's nothing to do with the hardware (apparently) and he wouldn't touch my software because i don't have the damn license sticker off the Vista box. I also have XP installed on my 2nd hard drive, the problem exists on both Vista and XP

Thanks in advance for any help on this. If any more info is needed, just let me know. Not enough room to put everything on the one post i'm afraid.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:10 16 Nov 2009

FReeezing PC

1. Overheat due to faulty / blocked fans

2. PSU voltages

3. Household power surges fridge etc switching on/off

4. faulty memory stick try memtest click here

5. virus or spyware scan for both especially if shutting down with in a few minutes of switch on or internet use

6. driver conflicts especially grahics cards get the latest drivers for your equipment

  woodchip 22:17 16 Nov 2009

Weak PSU get one with more power and better quality

  maestrode 22:54 16 Nov 2009

Thanks for your quick replies.

I'll write a detailed response from work tomorrow as it has rebooted THREE times on me while typing it.

As you can probably imagine, i'm tearing my hair out!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:16 16 Nov 2009

As your repairer has tried other PSU I would suspect a bad memory stick if you have 2 or more try removing one at a time and see if problem goes away.

  maestrode 13:43 17 Nov 2009

Ok, i'm on a stable computer now :)

Thanks for your help with this Fruit Bat, I will certainly try some of you suggestions above. However, I know the problem doesn't lie with cooling, I have checked the temperatures of all components and they are nice and cool. There's nowhere near enough dust to cause blockage.

It's definately not an issue with viruses, spyware, malware etc as the problem was present on a clean install without ever connecting to the internet. Plus i'm well secured in that area.

I will try the memtest as I only tried the memory diagnostic tool on Vista which I don't trust at all. Will also try one stick at a time as well, I currently have 3x1GB running.

The guy at the shop mentioned that it is possible I installed the OS on a "bad sector" of my hard drive, but for it to happen with Vista and XP on two different hard drives is very unlikely.

I will keep plugging away at this anyway and will keep updated.

Thanks for the input so far.

  jimv7 13:46 17 Nov 2009

Try for xp, right click my computer/properties/advanced/start up and recovery/settings and untick the box for 'automatically restart' that should then give you the error messages withour restarting.

Its similar in vista but as they have moved it all around you will have to look for the option.

  maestrode 14:26 18 Nov 2009

Hi jimv7, I have had it on this setting for a while now. Unfortunately it does not prevent it from restarting or rebooting automatically and I have never had an error message.

Going to check the memory over the next few days to see if they are causing any issues. Will report back soon.

  woodchip 15:04 18 Nov 2009

You could check the Event Viewer, it may point you in the right direction on what to look for

  maestrode 14:27 23 Nov 2009

Unfortunately, Event Viewer never gives any useful information. XP doesn't acknowledge anything goes wrong. When I was using Vista as my main, it would only acknowledge that the system suddenly restarted, never gave the reason :(

For this memtest, can I not use it via USB key image on Windows? Don't have a floppy drive and i'm out of blank CD's.

  woodchip 15:57 23 Nov 2009

Yes you can load it to a USB and run it but you need to set you BIOS to boot from USB first boot device

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