Please register or login. There are 0 registered and 1628 anonymous users currently online. Current bandwidth usage: 326.30 kbit/s December 12 - 07:25am EST 
Hardware Analysis
      
Forums Product Prices
  Contents 
 
 

  Latest Topics 
 

More >>
 

    
 
 

  You Are Here: 
 
/ Forums / FAQ /
 

  Random Reboots? Stop....read this first! 
 
 Author 
 Date Written 
 Tools 
Chris McNally Apr 06, 2006, 05:30pm EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List Replies: 18 - Views: 58430
PC randomly rebooting? Read this first...

As any regular visitor to Hardware Analysis or any of the other tech help forums can attest, one of the most common problems experienced by PC users is that of random reboots, often experienced when carrying out processor (CPU) or graphics processing (GPU) intensive tasks. These issues can be one of the most frustrating to track down and troubleshoot, but in actual fact most (although not all) of these problems can be attributed to one of only five causes:

1) Viruses and Spyware
2) Drivers
3) Overheating
4) Memory (RAM) problems
5) Power Supply (PSU) issues

The purpose of this is to provide a quick troubleshooting guide for anyone experiencing random reboots, hopefully to help the user track down the cause quickly and easily. Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule and it may be the cause of your issue is not covered here, but please work through these troubleshooting steps before posting details of your particular problem.

Viruses and spyware

I've put this issue first, although viruses and spyware are among the least likely cause of system reboots. Writers of these types of programs generally want to leave the computer running so that it can carry out the intended task, so the reboots generally only result if the virus is badly written or you have multiple infections which are fighting for resources. Nonetheless, this is the easiest problem to troubleshoot, so I've put it first. Run a virus and spyware scan. If you have neither (why not?) use AVG, Avast! etc (insert name of your favourite virus scanner here), along with Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy.

Drivers

Another one which is relatively unlikely to be the cause of the reboots, but can be ruled out quite easily. Run dxdiag, and have it check that your drivers are WHQL certified. Now, we all have devices which come with non MS certified drivers, but as a trouble shooting exercise, disable anything with a non WHQL driver and see how you go.

Overheating

CPU and GPU overheating can and will cause your PC to freeze up and crash. So first things first:

1. Check your temps, both CPU and GPU. Correct operating temperatures will vary, but a quick Google should tell you the temps your own setup should be running at.

2. Ensure all your fans are running, especially the heatsink fan and the GPU fan/s.

3. Take the side panel off of the case, and set up a desk fan to blow air into the case. If the problem goes away, you need to upgrade your cooling.

Ram problems

These can be a bit trickier, but generally:

1. If you have two or more RAM modules (DIMMs), remove all but one to see if this solves the rebooting. If not, swap them out, one stick at a time.

2. If your BIOS allows, increase the voltage to the ram by 0.1v.

PSU issues

Power supplies causing system instability is something which happens far more often that you might imagine. PSUs are subject to very high electrical loading, and today's power hungry components will inevitably wear down a cheap power supply. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to troubleshoot PSU issues without simply swapping it out with a good quality replacement. However, one way to do so is to unplug any unnecessary devices (optical drives, etc.) and see if the system stabilises.

Followed all the steps above and system is still rebooting? Congratulations-you've got a really unusual problem. Best get posting......

This thread has been locked by forum moderators and no further posts are allowed.

Want to enjoy fewer advertisements and more features? Click here to become a Hardware Analysis registered user.
BrinNutz Apr 06, 2006, 05:44pm EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List

Edited: Apr 07, 2006, 09:13am EDT

 
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
w00t...Good Job Chris...Finally a sticky!

James Marlin Apr 06, 2006, 05:54pm EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
Great post Chris, but there's one thing I think should be added to it.

If your using XP disable it's "Automatically restart on system error" setting.
I don't know what the software engineers were thinking when they made this setting default to enable in XP.
Your OS gives you error messages for a reason, to help in trouble shooting the problem. With it enabled, the user seldom gets to see any error message. Makes so much sense to me. lol

For those needing to disable the setting, you need to go to the Control Panel, click on System, when it's panel pops up, click on the advanced tab. Look for a area titled "Startup and Recovery" where you'll see a settings button. In the settings area, around the middle of the panel will be the title "System failure", with some options to be selected. Though you can use the system log to pin point an error message, if a user disables the "Automatically restart" setting, they'll actually be able to see the error message, when it happens, and have something to post other then "my system keeps re-booting, and I don't know why"

Just a thought.

Athlon XP M 2500+ (12x200FSB=2.4 ghz, PR 3500+), Soltek SL-75RN2-L, 1gig 3200DDR Ram, ATI X800GTO, NEC MultiSync FE991sb, Creative Audigy OEM, Logitech 5.1 speakers, 40gig HD booting XP, 200gig@50%games, Lite-On DVD burner, LG 52x32x52x
_MD_ Apr 06, 2006, 09:27pm EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
yep, right on Chris... cuz its frusturating to see a new post like that at least once a week...

Thanks.

___________________MD_____________________
http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc.php?id=333177
_______ Full system specs in user profile ________
Ecosse Apr 07, 2006, 07:17am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
Yes, well done - the recurring randon reboot post is as frustrating as the Sony Viao ones - memo to prospective buyers, don't!

Ecosse

Specs here > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/ecosse08
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Greg M Apr 10, 2006, 06:51am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
Nice, but I think we need to add some links to the spyware part.


3. Take the side panel off of the case, and set up a desk fan to blow air into the case. If the problem goes away, you need to upgrade your cooling.

Hehe... my favorite trick!

----
FX-55, 2x 1GB GSkill, X1800XT (512MB), 2x250GB RAID-0, DFI SLI-D
http://www.gandmpc.com <-My 'project'
http://www.knownpsycho.com <-Web games!
micro Apr 11, 2006, 02:33am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
"Ram problems

These can be a bit trickier, but generally:

1. If you have two or more RAM modules (DIMMs), remove all but one to see if this solves the rebooting. If not, swap them out, one stick at a time.

2. If your BIOS allows, increase the voltage to the ram by 0.1v."

Also some times losening your ram timings will help.
Example... if your timings are 2-3-2-6, change them in your bios to something like 3-4-3-7.

GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3, 2600k @ 4.0
16 gig Corsair Vengeance
Evga gtx 260 216, samsung 2253lw"
Baracuda 7,200.12 CoolerMaster 212 +
Win 7 64, fsp fx700-gln, Razer DA,G15
Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid
Silence in the face of evil is it's self Ev
Fighting41 Tomcat Apr 16, 2006, 04:26am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first
It's about time this was posted! Good job, Chris! I think this should serve as a first stop for people with this problem...which, upon looking at past posting trends, I think will mean a lot of people in the future as it's a very common problem. Thanks and keep up the good work!

Also, to add: Drivers--sometimes presently installed and working drivers can suddenly go corrupted after a Windows Update installation, causing the system to reboot. It will enter Windows, but reboot after roughly 10 minutes, but display to the user what drivers viewed by the system as missing/corrupted.

"You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time. "
--Gordie Howe, one of the best hockey players ever
dan z May 10, 2006, 02:26am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List

Edited: May 10, 2006, 02:26am EDT

 
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
Hi there, can you tell me what WHQL is? and how do i run dxdiag? and what is BIOS? thanks

FordGT90Concept May 12, 2006, 12:52am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
>> Hi there, can you tell me what WHQL is?
Windows Hardware Quality Lab - A signature which is given to device drivers that Microsoft technicians have tested and certify that are safe and good. Drivers don't *need* to be signed to use them but, unless you trust the company that produced them and have an exit strategy if they fail, don't install.
More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHQL
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/whql/default.mspx

>> and how do i run dxdiag?
Start -> Run: dxdiag

>> and what is BIOS? thanks
Basic Input Output System - Is what it says--provides means for software and hardware to communicate seamlessly.
More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS


In addition to those reasons provided, computer information tends to decline in integrity over time. This can lead to system instability over time. Scan disk, de-fragment, and most importantly, format and reinstall the OS often (every six months to a year preferably).

________________________
If I remember what I forgot, I have not forgotten it.
Shadow_Ops_Airman1 May 20, 2006, 12:34pm EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
another thing to add, is Automatic restarts, how to disable them, Go Into System Properties, (Found by right clicking on My Computer ICON on Desktop/Start menu and going into properties, or going into Control Panel and clicking System Properties. Click the Advanced Tab, under Start Up and Recovery title, click on Settings then uncheck the Automatically Restart box and click apply and ok rest of way, that should allow you to Diagnose your system with a Blue Screen that produces a Error Code as of what was posted above.

AMD Athlon XP-M 2500+ (133x14= 1867MHz) (209x11= 2299MHz)
DFI LP NF2 Ultra-B (Hellfire 3EG Rev2)
Antec SX800, Neo HE 500, 4 Antec 8CM Fans
Thermalright SI-97 1 Antec Tricool 12CM Fan
CL SB XFi Xtreme Music
2x Barracuda HDs (250/400)
2x Samsung Write
Jun 14, 2006, 04:54am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
Another thing that could be happening is you are blacking out, and then spastically pressing the reboot button.
Has happened to me countless times.

Kristian Petrov Jun 28, 2006, 11:57am EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
I have the problem with restarting. I tried everything except replacing the PSU. I haven't made any hardware updates from 1-2 years(RAM of 256 MB which isn't the problem) and I haven't got flash memory. Can it be damaged and causing restarting?

Jul 18, 2006, 12:54pm EDT Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List

Edited: Dec 19, 2006, 01:04pm EST

 
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
:O

Jan 12, 2007, 09:31pm EST Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List

Edited: Jan 12, 2007, 09:41pm EST

 
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
Whoops ...

Aaron Page Jan 23, 2007, 09:37pm EST Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> hellllppppppp
i built a new computer a while about 2-3 months ago and have nothing but problems with it ..... it always reset's its self and if u nudged the table it would also reset...... so i was advised to replace the mobo...... which i have done but the computer is still doing it any ideas?

boo yah! Feb 15, 2007, 08:15pm EST Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
a short circuit maybe?:/

Brendan Falvey Mar 09, 2007, 09:41pm EST Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
generally the mobo either works or it doesnt. However about 5 years ago when the P4 found its way into our desktops with the seperate 4 pin connector I had an interesting effect.

I built a dual Tyan board using Dual AMD Athlon 1600+ processors for a top end workstation using SCSI and 1 Gb early DDR RAM for a client. Initially this proved a bit tempramental but we got it so it only froze once per day. That he could tolerate since it was about 60 times quicker processing large files compared to his previous computer. even then one took over 20 minutes somewhat better than about 23 hr on an old p3 box

several months later Tyan modified the board that provided a seperate supply either the special 4 pin or a seperate HDD supply to drive the fans and problem disappeared when we replaced the mobo. I believe that the load margin and the ripple on the PSU supplies using only the ATX connector caused by the fans was sufficient to give the CPU a little tickle and away it went into lala land. Its been rock solid ever since but showing its age.

CrAsHnBuRnXp Jan 15, 2008, 02:25am EST Report Abuse
Private Message - Add to Buddy List  
>> Re: Random Reboots? Stop....read this first!
If you need further help, please either PM the original poster of this thread or make a new thread containing your problem and or question(s) in a separate thread and link to this thread. Thank you.


This thread has been locked by forum moderators and no further posts are allowed.


 

    
 
 

  Topic Tools 
 
RSS UpdatesRSS Updates
 

  Related Articles 
 
 

  Newsletter 
 
A weekly newsletter featuring an editorial and a roundup of the latest articles, news and other interesting topics.

Please enter your email address below and click Subscribe.