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Computer restarts before XP can finish installing itself

Hello folks.

The trouble I'm having is that during Windows XP Pro setup, the computer will restart without warning, and so, setup restarts, and I'm now stuck in a cycle. This happens at various points in the installation, always on the main blue screen. Usually it gets through Installing Devices, Installing Nework, and Installing Start Menu Items...After those there is a step called Configuring such and such, and then whatever step is past that, I have only reached once. But if I allow the computer to keep trying to finish the setup, it ends up restarting at any point before then...sometimes at Installing Devices, sometimes at Setup Is Restarting, sometimes at Installing Start Menu Items, any point in betweem there. And I'm at a loss as to why the computer is restarting and not finishing the XP install.

Now for some background. The reason why I'm installing XP on my machine again is because I decided the best way to solve my computer's issues was to format (reformat?) the hard drive and do a clean install, just to make sure my computer is completely clear of all viruses and bugs and such.

Note that I have successfully accomplished this task before.

What drove me to go through with this again, was that my favorite game, Simcity 4, stopped running, after a year of running flawlessly on my machine. After I clicked the icon to execute the program, the game would hang at a blank screen for a few minutes (as opposed to the normal few seconds) and then the computer would restart. After the computer restarted though, the game would run! Now, this got to be too annoying, having the computer restart itself once before I could play a game. I also suspect I had some sort of error on my computer, whether a virus or problem with the registry, or what, because in addition to these restarts, my firewall software stopped running properly.

At computer startup, Zone Alarm 4 would have an alert telling me that it had a system error and that I needed to restart my computer. Restarting my computer didn't fix this, nor did my antivirus programs detect anything.

So, despite having to go through the trouble of downloading and installing so many programs and files again, I decided that formatting (reformatting?) and going through that was better than running a buggy system that I couldn't figure out how to repair on my own.

But now, even though I can format (reformat?) the hard drive, the computer restarts without warning during XP setup and so I'm getting nowhere.

Also, I have gone into sysdm.cpl and made sure that "Restart computer automatically when error occurs" is not selected.

I can't really remember much of my system specs, because I lost the paper with all that info to the repairman who upgraded my power supply. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge I have:
Windows XP Pro
2 sticks of 512 MB RAM
nvidia geforce 2 video card
AMD athlon processor (2.2 Ghz?)
MSI K7 motherboard

I did a forum search before posting this, and the only info I could find related to random restarts referred to heat issues. I'm pretty sure that isn't an issue, because back in April I did have heat issues which caused my computer to shut down... The repairman upgraded my power supply and added another fan in there, solving the trouble.

Any ideas? I really appreciate the help, because I feel stick between a wall and a hard place.


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As a first step to identify

In reply to: Computer restarts before XP can finish installing itself

The problem remove all non-essential hardware that is not necessary for the install, use only one stick of ram and one CD/drive. unplug all from the computer except the power cord, mouse, keyboard and video. be sure to delete all partitions. if that still will not work you may need to try another HDD>

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Heat can still be an issue. Here's why and what to do.

In reply to: Computer restarts before XP can finish installing itself

The fans act to push air across a dust and lint collector also known as a heatsink. The fan can slow and the lint causes the parts to warm. A reboot is not uncommon.

Try this. Remove the case cover if the downsized machine (1 stick of RAM, etc) doesn't help.


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(NT) (NT) dust and lint collector also known as a heatsink.... LO

In reply to: Heat can still be an issue. Here's why and what to do.

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In reply to: Computer restarts before XP can finish installing itself

Wahoo!! That brought a smile to my face. I disconnected my modem card, my wireless network card, and my second RAM stick, and also took the cover off to see how well the fans were blowing. Whether it was the extra hardware or heat I'm not sure of, but setup went through and I'm glad to be back on my feet again.

Last week I did try to clean some of the dust out of there, but I think it could be better, and that the fans could move a little better, especially the one on top of the processor. What's the best way to do this, get a can of air and blow it over all the parts? And take off the fans and clean them out? I did notice last week that the filter thing you mentioned is awfully dusty.

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My choice.

In reply to: RE:

I've learned my lesson about fans. If they slow down then I replace them. I will dust off the heatsink, but fans, when they fail can lead to expensive repairs so I replace them with ball bearing fans.


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please help me

In reply to: Computer restarts before XP can finish installing itself

hello everyone,

I'm having a similar problem as the person who created this post and I have tried everything suggested here and nothing has worked. While doing a clean install of Win. XP Pro., right at the light blue screen (@ about 33 min. remaining, during the ''installing devices'') the computer restarted. This happened several times. Sometimes it would go a bit further and let me enter some info and then it would restart again. Now, however, it seems to have degraded. It restarts right after the BIOS and the checking for boot devices screens. Sometimes it won't even display that and it just beeps three times (three times then pauses and then repeats). I've tried to remove everything unnecessary, but it still does the same thing.
I don't know what's going on, but three days ago, my computer was working just fine and then the next day, I would try to log in and then it would restart. So, I've decided to re-install Win. XP Pro., and this is what I got. Can somebody please try to help me before I decide head to a technician?

My computer specifics are:
Windows XP Pro.
512 MB memory
1.6 GHz
ASRock K7VT2 (American Megatrends/VIA) motherboard with latest BIOS

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The details please.

In reply to: please help me

"I've decided to re-install Win. XP Pro."

If this is not a clean install and if this is a software issue, then the reinstall does not wipe out the old install and problem.

Did you try a clean install? A parallel install? Did you inspect the motherboard capacitors? And what size power supply?


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