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Help! My PC keeps rebooting every 10 to 20 minutes!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 25, 2008 3:09 AM PDT
Question:

Hi. I have a problem with my PC (AMD Athlon 1700+, 256MB of RAM, 80GB hard disk, CD writer) and I hope you guys can clue me in as to what can be the issue of my system rebooting every 10 to 20 minutes after it has been on. I've changed my RAM and also reformatted my hard drive in attempt to see if that will remedy my issue, but no success and I'm at a lost. Is this a hardware issue? Please kindly help me and if possible list out all the possible culprits that can cause such issues and possible solutions to remedy it. Thank you kindly.

--Submitted by Santhsh K.


Answer voted most helpful by the CNET Community newsletter readers:

Troubleshooting - System reboots automatically


Troubleshooting
Here are three basic sources of automatic reboot problems:

? Recovery settings
? Software incompatibilities, including driver issues
? BIOS problems
? Overheating
? Weak Memory Module
? Bad Power Supply
? Bad Motherboard


Software incompatibilities can be omitted in your case as you have already reinstalled windows. But they are still worth mentioning.

1. Recovery Settings

One of the things that is quite different about Windows XP compared to Windows 9x (9x is shorthand for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me in all their various versions), is that one can control how it responds to certain critical errors?those that cause the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). In Windows XP, the default setting is for the computer to reboot automatically when a fatal error occurs. Simplified, if a fatal error occurs the system will reboots automatically.

If you haven't changed any of the system failure settings, you should be able to see the error by looking in the Event Log. But a better long-term solution is to turn off the automatic reboot so you can actually see the error when it happens?chances are it will tell you enough about itself to let you troubleshoot further. To change the recovery settings to disable automatic rebooting:

1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. Click the Advanced tab.
3. Under Startup and Recovery, click Settings to open the Startup and Recovery dialog box.
4. Clear the Automatically restart check box, and click OK the necessary number of times.
5. Restart your computer for the settings to take effect.

Now when a fatal error occurs, you'll at least see it and it won't cause an automatic reboot. You still have to sort out what's causing the problem.

2. Software Incompatibility

The most common cause of a fatal error or Automatically restart is a software or driver problem, and troubleshooting these can be tricky. The mechanism for troubleshooting, however, is pretty much the same for any problem on a PC. The first thing to look at is what's changed?what new software program or drivers have you added, usually just before the problem started. This sounds easy and it often is, but if it's something you've lived with for a while, you'll often have no idea what the proximate cause is. When you do, it's a lot easier. When you don't, you need to do a bit of research to find out if there is a specific cause for the particular error message you're getting (when you have one) or a known issue with certain programs or drivers that causes the behavior you're seeing. Also i would recommend updating your drivers and windows.

3. BIOS Problems

Finally, the last and often trickiest to troubleshoot source of reboot problems: your computer's BIOS. If there is a problem in your BIOS, or sometimes even in the firmware for one of the other pieces of hardware installed in your machine, it could cause an instability and lead to one of those automatic restarts that we talked about in the first section. Especially if the problem is in the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) portion. The good news is that these problems are much less common than they used to be in the bad old days. But it never hurts to check with your computer manufacturer to see if there's an updated BIOS available.

4. Overheating


Accumulating dust in a computers case can cause a great deal of problems with computer systems components. Dust acts as insulation and will keep the case and all of its components hot. Dust accumulating in fans and heat sinks is the major cause of overheating. Also, check your fans if they are working. I recommend a computer case be cleaned at least every 4 - 6 months.

Cleaning Tips:
? Before you clean a computer or any component, be sure to turn the power off and unplug it from the outlet.

? Use caution when cleaning inside the computers case not to disturb any plugs or jumpers. If you do, this will make for difficult troubleshooting when you turn the computer back on.|

? Avoid spraying any type of liquid directly on to a computer component. Spray the liquid on to a cloth, then apply it to the computer component.

? Never use a house vacuum cleaner to clean the dust out of your computer case. House vacuums generate a lot of static electricity that can damage your systems components. There are portable battery operated vacuums available that are designed for use in a computer environment. It is fine to use your house vacuum to suck up the dirt and dust around your computer or even to suck the dust out of your keyboard.

? Make sure that you never get any component inside your computer wet. It is not advisable to use any cleaning liquid inside the case. You can use some canned compressed air to remove any dust from the case and case fans. Be sure to take your computer to a different location when blowing the dust out.

? Be sure to visit your computer manufactures web site to find out what cleaning solvents are recommended for cleaning your computer. I recommend just using warm water for almost any computer cleaning task. But if you need a stronger cleaning solution, be sure that it is highly diluted.


5. Weak Memory Module


I know you have changed the RAM but it is important that any new RAM module(s) be fully compatible with both the motherboard and/or any other RAM module(s) already in the system (New RAM Could also be bad). Secondly, there are sometimes jumper switches on older motherboards that need to be reset for new RAM configurations. Consult your motherboard's manual or the manufacturer's web site for specific instructions and compatibility requirements. Additionally, Get a good memory test program and check your new and old RAM.
Here are a couple to choose from
http://hcidesign.com/memtest/
http://www.memtest86.com/

If you do not have your computer's manual and the manufacturer doesn't provide a support web site, you can use Crucial Memory's web site to determine the correct RAM and capacity for your specific make and model computer and/or motherboard.
If you turn on your computer and you hear a series of beeps, this behaviour usually indicates a hardware problem. The beeps that you hear are clues to what the problem could be.


6. Bad Power Supply


Your power supply could be going bad. It can be checked by using the following procedure:

ATX power supplies have a simple diagnostic circuit that you can use to determine if your power supply is good or bad. Here's how.


Tools needed: Voltmeter.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 5 minutes


1. Shut down your computer and open it up. Leave the power supply connected to the AC power cord.
2. Leave the power supply's master power switch on, if it has one.
3. Disconnect the ATX power connector from the motherboard. This is a wide, flat connector with two rows of pins and a locking tab.
4. Locate the pin connected to the gray wire. This is the PWR_OK pin.
5. Locate any pin connected to a black wire. These are the ground/earth pins.
6. Place the red (positive) probe of your voltmeter on the PWR_OK pin, and the black (negative) probe on any ground pin.
7. If the gray pin reads 2 volts or more, then the power supply passed its internal diagnostic. Your power supply is probably good.
8. If the gray pin reads much less than 1 volt, then the power supply is dead. Replace the power supply.


7. Bad Motherboard

Malfunctioning capacitors on a Motherboard can create a wide range of issues. It is even possible for capacitors to fail due to a bad Power Source. A leaking capacitor is a very easy visual check. Open your case and take a look at the Motherboard. If you see a leaking capacitor (Google it), then replacement of the Motherboard is necessary. Be sure to check if your system is still under warranty before spending your money.
Test your Motherboard. Many Motherboard manufactures have their own testing software, so try them first. Or, here are a couple listed below:
http://www.download.com/3120-20_4.html?tg=dl-20&qt=Motherboard%20Monitor&tag=srch
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,7309,00.asp

Submitted by CNET member Ankit B.

Here are some additional advice:
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-10149_102-0.html?forumID=7&threadID=292644&messageID=2763987#2763987

If you have any additional advice or solution for Santhsh to trouble shoot his PC, please click on the reply link and post your answer. Please be detailed as possible in your answer. Thank you!
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My PC keeps rebooting every 10-20 minutes!
by desloan / April 25, 2008 9:28 AM PDT

Sounds like a heat related problem with either the mother board or the power supply. I would try placing a small fan so that it can increase the airflow through the compupter and see if that helps. If it does them buy a cool spray (radio shack or any electronics store) and isolate where the problem is. Good luck, Dave

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ps/lb/256
by puma / May 2, 2008 1:58 PM PDT

agreed... first check power supply then logic board, and upgrade memory as 256mb chip running hot

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Use "Crash Guard" to stop crashes caused by Software.
by antonaa / May 2, 2008 8:19 PM PDT

I have used a small program called "Crash Guard" for some ten years now and reinstall it with every new Windows platform I have used. It used to be packaged with and as part of a Program Utility Suite and was then stopped from being included. I simply stripped it out of the suite and have used it independantly ever since.

It saves crashes that Windows (in any carnation) would otherwise cause and does cause. On average it saves about 20 crashes a week. It enables you to close the program and restart it or to correct the error if possible. It calculates the likeyhood of the correction succeding and if you have need to perform a backup often gives you the chance to do that and then close the program and then restart it from scratch.

If the Crash is very serious (i.e. just short of a blue screen ) you can close all your software and then reboot in a controlled manner.

This can save hours of lost work.

My experience is that most of the crashes (70%) are due to Microsoft. 20% are due to poor programing with one of the other programs running. 10% are due to memory problems where programs are trying to access areas of memory that are already allocated or out of bounds.

One of the additional boons of this program, is that it gets you out of the rediculously appaling failures of Microsoft's "debugging". Debugging is almost a complete failure and time consuming load of rubbish.

If you use the "debug" and nothing happens (99% of occasions) within a few minutes or even a few seconds "CrashGuard" enables you to close the program completely and get out of the mess that Microsoft has got you into.

Another useful facility is that you can use it to shut down a program instantly, only very occasionaly, about 1% does this not work.

If you are into Programing it is better still, because with each crash you can get access to the problem through the information that Crash Guard will give you so that you can copy and save it before it is too late, and then set about analysing the code or hardware access details that caused the problem in the first place, after you have rebooted or just closed the program down.

N.B.: It is not a Hardware diagnostics, it does what it says on the tin, "Crash Guard".

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Is "Crash Guard" available?
by drdata2 / May 10, 2008 5:51 AM PDT

Tell me more about "Crash Guard" and where to obtain it. Can reply to drdata2@sprynet.com
Thanks

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Replace your IDE cable it is BAD
by ffixxer / May 3, 2008 2:11 AM PDT

If you are using a UPS, then power to the computer is good. Your information make it look as if a previously stable system now has issues. Though the other posts cover a lot of good information it may be over kill. Replace the IDE cable to your hard drive will probably fix your issue. Besides IDE cables are cheap. I have experienced the issue you are mentioning and it was the IDE cable.

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testing motherboard connections
by dzeif / March 11, 2009 1:18 AM PDT

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and have tried to follow your suggestion of testing the voltage of the motherboard connection but the probes I have with my multi tester are too wide to fit into the plastic retainers for each pin. They will fit the other connections to the hard drive etc, but not the motherboard. i have searched high and low for narrower probes with no success. Do you have any suggestions?
thank you

dian

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rebooting every 10-20 minutes
by wcwillis / April 25, 2008 9:33 AM PDT

If there was a time factor from which this problem began, I would try a system restore. Go to start, programs, accessories, system tools, restore.......Restore to a date when you were not having these problems...worth a try.

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it a complient of your processor or heat sink
by trison777 / April 26, 2008 6:54 AM PDT

you to justify your heate sink of processor work as well

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.
by puma / May 2, 2008 2:01 PM PDT

why not just boot to an external hard drive with a clean image? if issue still exists, it's a hw issue

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Auto-Rebooting PC
by purposed / April 25, 2008 9:36 AM PDT

Briefly, there can be many causes, but given what you have done already my next area of suspicion would be the CPU overheating. Some BIOS's will tell you what the CPU temperature is, If it gets beyond 50 degrees C, be suspicious. If you cannot monitor the temperature, check the CPU fan and look for dust around the CPU. Also check other air filters and fans. As a last resort, with the system completely removed from any possible power source, blow it out (from several inches away) with compressed air. This may fix the problem, or it may cause static discharges and/or blow some conductive dust into an area where it will destroy your motherboard, so don't do this unless all else fails, and not until you have backed up your data.

Good Luck!

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Might not be overheating
by ann222 / April 26, 2008 6:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Auto-Rebooting PC

The Athlon processor from around that time (Slot A) would crack when overheating. So if it's rebooting because of overheating, it would be a setting in the motherboard doing it (and then you're lucky, otherwise you'd have a useless processor by now).

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Question?
by bigbugna / April 25, 2008 9:38 AM PDT

How big is your power supply?

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re: My PC keeps rebooting every 10-20 minutes!
by djmcg90 / April 25, 2008 9:42 AM PDT

Hi,

If you have reformatted your HD and hence, reloaded just Windows and still have the same problem you have just ruled software out. As to what hardware is acting up it will be unfortunately difficult to tell. The easy part to check is your HD. If it is aging and struggling you can check the SMART status of the HD (Google SMART there is plenty of free software to do this). After that it could be overheating as someone else suggested (are the fans running, open the case and check when it is running - there 2 or 3 - the processor, the power supply and sometimes the case itself). Good Luck. I empathize !

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It's the fan, man!
by PeninaD / April 25, 2008 9:48 AM PDT

In any Athlon, cooling of the CPU is crucial.
Get the case open, carefully get the dust bunnies out of there, and if you can, upgrade your cooling solution ASAP. That means new thermal paste, larger and more efficient heat sink and fan, or you might consider a liquid cooling kit.

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?? U mean P4
by Busboy2 / April 25, 2008 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: It's the fan, man!

Athlon Runs soo cool...

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NOT SHUTTING RIGHT DOWN?
by MAX764 / May 6, 2008 7:00 PM PDT
In reply to: ?? U mean P4

I HAVE AND AM AN ANTHLON LOVER FROM WAY BACK...MAX MY COMPUTER WILL FREEZE ON ME AT ANY GIVEN TIME..IT COULD BE JUST AFTER I HAVE TURNED HER ON.. I CANNOT CONVERT A DVD BECAUSE WITHIN 3 TO 5 MINUTES OF IT SHE FREEZES UP SOLID...I FEEL I AM DOING HARM TO HER BY KICK STARTING HER...I JUST THOUGHT SINCE YOU ARE A BIG FAN OF ANTHLONS,MAYBE YOU COULD HELP ME OUT...OR ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE?
IT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED...

THANK YOU
TENACITY

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Computer rebooting constantly
by MajorHart / April 25, 2008 9:48 AM PDT

I had that problem a few years ago and after checking everything software and hardware related - I found out my cpu was overheating - the cpu fan was going off intermittently.

I replaced that and the problem was gone.

Good luck.

MajorHart majorhart@sbcglobal.net

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Re: Reboot after 10 - 20 Mins
by Zouch / April 25, 2008 9:52 AM PDT

Hi Santhsh,

Your problem could be many things, hardware, software or both. You've replaced the RAM (one of the usual suspects, reformatted your hard drive and presumably rebuilt your system, or did you reload from a backup?

You don't say what operating system you are using but I'll assume Windows XP. Are you getting an error message when it reboots? Some of them can be too quick to see if you still have Automatic recovery enabled. Worth turning it off while you are investigating the problem.

Start - Control Panel - System - Advanced - Start up and Recovery - Settings

Then Uncheck Automatic Restart

If it is a software error, instead of rebooting, it will give you a Blue Screen of Death (or maybe black) with the error message displayed.

You have checked the Event Log in Administrative Tools, I guess. These sort of errors often don't get logged because the machine is dead but sometimes, you can get a log entry after restart.

Since you replaced your RAM and have successfully reloaded (and therefore checked) your hard disk, the most likely hardware cause is overheating. Check that there is no build up of dust inside (POWER OFF, CABLE OUT OF WALL SOCKET!). Use compressed air and vacuum to clean it out - be careful not to touch anything if the vac. hose is metal tipped! Check all the fans are spinning freely.

One oddball you might want to check is the CMOS battery, if it isn't rechargable. A system I had would power up just fine, run for 5 minutes or so then reboot. Turned out the CMOS battery was failing and when it dropped below 2.9 v, the system rebooted.

Good luck!

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reboot problem
by ramin rojaee / May 2, 2008 9:25 PM PDT

I have had this this problem either,i searched very much so i could undrestand what the problem is.my Hard have had such BAD SECTORS that formatting could'nt help me.i changed my hard

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restarting
by tedtks / April 25, 2008 9:53 AM PDT

is probably caused by the cpu overheating.
check your fans. check that the cpu fan is plugged in and
working. clean the cooling blades on the cpu cooler and
make sure the connection between the blade unit and the
cpu is solid and even. you can verify this by looking at the
heat transfer goop that is between them - it should cover the
cpu evenly.

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Computer issue
by mrobinsonjr / April 25, 2008 9:57 AM PDT

i rebuild computers and work on them what i think based on the description of the problem it sounds like the power supply or motherboard is going out. i would try swapping out the power supply and see if that worked. if it did discard the old one. if it didn't then it is your motherboard that is the problem. be aware the motherboard is the most expensive part of the system.

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An odd solution
by transfigure / April 25, 2008 10:03 AM PDT

I have an Athlon 2600+ and I had the same problem. I went so far as to get a new everything. New power supply. New memory. New hard drive. New motherboard. New processor. The only things I did not change were the case and the DVD-RW drive. The problem did not get away until I got a new install disk of Microsoft Windows.

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Possible Causes
by Acaykath / April 25, 2008 10:03 AM PDT

There are a few things that could cause this.

The first and most common cause is malware, like the Sasser worm. Even if you reformatted, you could still have gotten it again from the same source that originally gave it to you. The best way to prevent this is to make sure windows is up to date and make sure you have a firewall. Every second Tuesday of a month, Microsoft releases a set of patches, including a 'Malicious Software Removal' tool that automatically scans and removes common worms, however, if you have a software firewall, even the one built into windows will stop this specific threat.

The second possibility is an insufficient power supply, however, assuming you bought a pre-built system and haven't made any major upgrades, the power supply should be sufficient.

The third possibility is inconsistent power. If your local power spikes and drops, even a little, it can disrupt the computer's function. The best solution for this would be to purchase an interruptible power supply, or UPS, which manages the flow of power, and will even keep you computer going during short power outages.

The fourth possibility is overheating. If your computer gets too hot, some of the connectors inside may disconnect due to the expansion. In this case, you will have to improve the airflow by upgrading the fans, or if it is in an enclosed area, move it out so that the heat does not get trapped. (This is the cause of the infamous 'red ring of death' on XBox 360s)

If it is an issue with power, then there may be an additional issue that arises from these forced reboots. You may start up one day and receive a 'critical system file cannot be found' or other similar error that renders your system unbootable. This is caused by the hard-drive head spraying random data onto the hard drive ad it is snapped back to its resting position, this can sometimes even scratch the hard drive's platter. If this happens, the drive will have to be reformatted, and if you want to retrieve any data off the drive, the only program that will render it bootable again is SpinRite from GRC which costs 80 dollars, so I would suggest making regular backups until the issue is resolved.

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System rebooting every 20 minutes or so ....
by Watzman / April 25, 2008 10:08 AM PDT

This kind of problem cannot be definitively resolved by E-Mail based on a 100 word description, but we can take a stab a likely causes. While an engineering lab could invest tens of thousands of dollars in diagnostics and engineering services and pinpoint the exact problem, as an end user, you really are limited to a few diagnostics and then component testing by substitution. But here is how I would proceed:

00. I'm omitting software considerations, because what you have already done (reinstalling Windows clean) suggest that this is probably not a software problem. That's not QUITE good enough to rule out software issues 100.0%, but it's all I can do as far as responding to you request for assistance. However, before going further, definitely run "Windows Update" to install all OS patches, and get and install the latest drivers for all of your cards, especially your video and sound cards (or equivalent circuitry on the motherboard).

0. Before doing anything else, remove non-essential expansion cards, if you are overclocking anything STOP IT, and reset all BIOS parameters to their "default" values.

1. Test memory. TEST IT, DON'T JUST REPLACE IT (the "new" memory could be bad also). You need a good memory test program, either Memtest or Memtest-86 (two similar but now different programs that evolved from a common base). In your situation, run it overnight, and remove the media (disk ... floppy or CD) so that if the system does reboot, it does NOT continue running the memory test program and you know that it rebooted. This is one of the top causes of hardware problems and the easiest to test (note, however, a reboot during the running of the memory test where there had been no errors reported by the test does not specifically suggest a memory problem).

2. Check the power supply. Measure the voltages with a multimeter. Good readings don't tell you much, but a bad reading (more than 5% off nominal) suggests a power supply problem although most systems will work with a power supply that is 10% off.

3. The real problem is that you can't measure power supply transient response with any tools available to you. That is, the CPU might need a "surge" of over 20 amps but only for 1 nanosecond (billionth of a second). If the power supply can't supply that, the CPU crashes, which can take the form of a restart, but which may show up as just a locked up system also. There is no way for you to test transient response, so even if the voltages seem ok, consider buying or borrowing a known good replacement power supply, as this is one of the top 2 causes of the kind of problem you are having. DO NOT BUY A "CHEAP" POWER SUPPLY. Buy a brand name, high quality supply. You are going to have to spend at least 10 to 20 cents per watt. But a GOOD 350 watt supply will easily outperform a cheap 500 watt supply no matter what the rated requirements of your system. And to determine what you need, use a few different online power supply calculators (do a google search), average their results, then add 25%.

4. Double check the mounting of the CPU and heatsink. CPU overheating can cause restarts, which can be caused by improper heatsink mounting as well as dirt (dust) buildup around the heatsink & fan. Blow out the heatsink and fan with compressed air, but the real key is that the heatsink is properly mounted to the CPU with a properly applied "thermal solution" (may be either a heatsink compound or a "phase change pad"). Note, too much thermal compound is a problem also, the right amount is about 1 or 2 grains of rice, and that is about all. If you take the heatsink off, clean both the top of the CPU and the bottom of the heatsink completely with solvent to get them both smooth (DO NOT use an abrasive), the reapply new thermal compound. Thermal pads are one-time and should not be reused.

5. Now it's tough, because we are past all of the easy, cheap problems. CPUs rarely fail. Can't say never, but it's rare. The next most likely culprint is the motherboard, and obviously that is expensive and difficult to test, and you can really only do it by buying a new motherboard, which is tantamount to getting a new computer. Further, this will in some cases will require you to "reactivate" your software, which reactivation might be denied because in the software vendor's view, it IS a new system ..... an issue that goes way beyond the scope of this response. Unfortunately, if you have eliminated software, memory, the power supply, the CPU and it doesn't look like the video card or disk drive ..... well, there just isn't much left.

Hope this helps. This kind of problem can be very difficult to resolve and can take a LOT of time and effort, in part because even if you do fix it, or after every attempt to fix it, you may not really know if it's fixed for a significant period of use.

By the way, now I am going to get controversial here and come right out and say something that a lot of people think, not many will say, and some will disagree with vehemently: You have an AMD system, and people who value stability and reliability (and, at the moment, even performance) are better served by an Intel system. The issue isn't so much the CPUs, but chipsets and motherboards. Intel simply makes better chipsets (and, at the moment, I personally believe, CPUs also). Further, AMD systems generally are "cheaper" and more of the motherboards are made by "2nd tier" motherboard makers. Intel systems (and I mean systems with an Intel CPU ***AND*** an Intel chipset) ARE more expensive, but in my opinion (and that's all this is) they are simply more stable and more reliable. That said, I make this statement as a degreed engineer with over 40 years of computer experience (1967), a college instructor in Information Technology, A+ and Network+ certified and a holder of US patents on motherboard circuitry. Others are going to disagree, that's fine, this is all a bit controversial, I recognize that, but that is my view based on my experiences using, building, servicing and teaching computers for decades.

Regards,
Barry Watzman

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Mr. Watzman, I disagree.
by Bill F. / April 25, 2008 10:30 AM PDT

I have an AMD K6-2 400 system that still works, if I was crazy enough to use it. And my XP2000 systems are fine (several children have them) and my Socket 939 3800+ single core all work just fine with those 'second tier' motherboards and chip sets. And I thrashed hard drives on more then a few of them. So I think your comments on AMD's procs and their MB suppliers is out of line. I can't tell you how many Intel computers I've had to fix for people I know. I did finally throw away my old Intel 486 system, but only after I proved you could run Windows 98 on it. I'd say that both manufacturers make good product. I agree that Intel seems to be a bit ahead on the power curve right now. But AMD's instruction sets have been superior for a long time. This is a hardware discussion and I only know of one serious hardware problem and that was on a top tier manufacturer and was a problem with leaking capacitors. Chipsets on the newest hardware sometimes need a few revisions to get it right both manufacturers. WE are all their beta testers.

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You are certainly entitled to disagree ....
by Watzman / April 25, 2008 1:37 PM PDT

I was only stating my person opinion. But it's an opinion formed over decades and based on a LOT (truly a lot) of knowledge, formal eductation AND experience. Including years as an engineer and marketing manager in firms that make PCs, being a degreed Electrical Engineer and having industry certifications and a lot of experience.

Please note that I never said that no AMD systems are reliable, by any means, but in my opinion, no one makes CHIPSETS as good as Intel (the real issue here being chipsets, not CPUs). Additionally, because AMD systems TEND to be "lower cost systems" (ON AVERAGE), more of the motherboards that are used in them (not all of them, but more of them) are made by lower quality motherboard vendors. Sure Asus, Gigabyte and other "top tier" motherboard makers make AMD motherboards (with various chipsets), but a higher percentage of AMD systems are made by 2nd & 3rd tier manufacturers and are "low cost" systems.

And, while I largely am focusing on the quality of the chipsets for AMD systems (which are usually not made by either AMD or Intel, in general), and the quality of the motherboards (also not made by the CPU makers), the I also believe strongly that AMD has simply not had CPUs as good as Intel's since Intel came out with the "Core 2 Duo" line in August 2006.

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A lot of this is bull, and you should know it.
by Bill F. / May 2, 2008 10:26 PM PDT

Intel had one of the worst chipsets ever back in the P3 days I seem to recall. I've had computers with VIA chipsets, Nforce chipsets, and now Radeon chip sets. I have never run into driver problems or all of the other nonsense spouted by people as those 'inferior' AMD chipsets. AMD makes their own now. I haven't personally worked on a computer or built one with the new AMD sets. But I don't expect a problem.

I'm not saying everything is perfect in this world, far from it. What I am saying is your condemnation of the AMD chipset side is completely off track.

The MB's I've used are FIC, ECS, Soyo, Shuttle. I'm sure some or all of these would be considered beneath your lofty standards. Not one of them has failed. Some of them will still run today if we wanted to run them. So either I've been lucky, or you've been wrong.

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Intel is what's bull
by yetijones / May 7, 2008 1:44 AM PDT

I completely disagree with Mr. Watzman; Intel, although has produced some extrodinary products, generally does not produce quality chipsets or boards. My computer is an AMD Athlon 64-bit 3500+ with 3 GB of RAM and an nVidia XFX 8600 GT 256MB graphics card, and I have not had one problem with it, besides the pesky ISUMP running randomly and using a large partition of memory (thus, I am in the middle of a program and it will suddenly lag, but the simple solution to this is just to end the process tree that ISUMP comes with, including agent.exe and a number of other smaller programs).

On the other hand, I have also had an Intel system, and the problems that arose with it were too great to fully evocate. However, the most annoying problem with the Intel was the as soon as I had bought it, the system lost a DLL link, and number of programs were unusuable from that point forward. Also, I noticed numerable error dialog boxes appear (mostly from Microsoft) but occasionally they were system errors.

AMD and Intel are both sound computer manufacturers and produce quality products, but some (AMD) produce better chipsets, boards, and other hardware than others (Intel...cough cough). Now let's turn the attention back to the orginal question, which was to solve the problem of the spontaneous rebooting of a computer.

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I agree with Bill
by waytron / May 11, 2008 8:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Intel is what's bull

Having worked on thousands of computers over the years, I would have to agree with Bill. Intel based products tend to be more reliable than AMD. Yes, you can always find a lemon or a shinning start in just about anyones product line, but as a whole and in my personal opinion, Intel based system boards have always had the edge in reliability and compatability.

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