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Seemingly Random Restarts!

by Franchise / August 3, 2004 9:59 AM PDT

Im running an Amd Athlon 1700, with 512mb Ram, windows XP, Geforce 2 MX 100/200 32mb.

Ok heres the thing. This computer seemingly RANDOMLY restarts. There is nothing I can duplicate to cause it to restart, sometimes it will restart when I play music, or load a media file, other times it will restart when I am just idling, or leave the computer on overnight.

The computer is almost two years old now, and this problem is very recent. It has not done this before, and I've tried reformatting three times now to see if that would fix it but to no avail. Now after it crashes Im getting crash analysises from XP. There are only three kinds, but I get them multiple times, resulting in upwards of 6-12 error reports being generated, though sometimes I get none as well, after a crash.

"Error Caused by Graphics Device Driver

Thank you for submitting an error report. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with specific information about how to resolve this problem at this time. The information that you and other users submit will be used to investigate this problem.

Analysis

A device driver installed on your system caused the problem, but we cannot determine the precise cause.

Getting Help

Depending on which situation is applicable to you, do one of the following:

If you are running Windows Server 2003 you may experience crashes if you have adjusted the Hardware Acceleration setting. Microsoft recommends that the Hardware Acceleration setting be set to None for server systems. To check your Hardware Acceleration setting, go to the advanced section of the display properties dialog box.
If you know the manufacturer of the device, contact the manufacturer's product support service for assistance.
If you don't know the driver's manufacturer and need help diagnosing and resolving this problem, contact your computer manufacturer's product support service..."

and

"Analysis Information

Thank you for submitting an error report. The error was likely caused by:

A hardware failure reported by your Central Processing Unit (CPU)

This behavior occurs because your computer processor detected an unrecoverable hardware error and reported it to Windows. For more information, contact the manufacturer of your computer.

You can track this error report by clicking the Track this error report link. If you choose to track your error report, you will be notified of resolutions to this problem as they are identified...."

and finally

"Error is being researched

Thank you for submitting an error report. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with specific information about how to resolve this problem at this time. The information that you and other users submit will be used to investigate this problem.

Analysis

This error is currently being researched.

Getting Help

If this problem occurred after you installed a new hardware device or software on your system, try one of the following:..."

What I've tried thus far. Reading these error reports, the most detailed one says its a graphics driver error. So Ive updated the driver. I've plugged in my friends Geforce 2 MX100/200 64mb PCI card. Ive updated those drivers, Ive rolled drivers back to factory default. Ive run antivirus software, Adaware, Spybot, and none of them come up with anything other than normal spam stuff from websites.

I've stumbled to my knees, and am on the verge of giving up on this computer. Nothing is more frustrating than typing that fun 12 page paper for class in wordpad only to have your computer restart on you, and realizing because you don't have works, you have no autosave! (Thats happened twice now!)

If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them! Thanks in advance,
Hopeless in CA.

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 10:11 AM PDT

My most common areas I find that cause this are...

1. Power supply has degraded over time. People go into denial spasms, but I just drop 450 or higher Watt PSUs in when I get any hint a power shortage is evident. Or it's some old 300Watt PSU.

2. Motherboard capacitor failures. Your board is of the right vintage. Visual inspection is required.

3. Memory tests. http://www.memtest86.com Only zero errors will do.

4. BIOS safe defaults. Still see overclocked machines showing up at the service desk. We set them to stock numbers before test/repair. Cures 1/2 of them.

5. HEAT. Easy to sniff out. Remove case cover, point fan at unit, see if its better.

6. Software issues. In short, no PARASITES allowed.

Bob

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts!
by Franchise / August 3, 2004 11:34 AM PDT

Well, I think I have found the achilles heel of my computer. I started running the memtest86, just to see what it said after I posted and then left for class. When I got back, I was somewhere in the middle of test 6, with 2 passes, and over 1100 failures. Now my only question before I start removing individual sticks is, is that even possible? 2 passes and 1100 failures? Could something else be interefering with those results, because Id think with such miserable ram Id be seeing much more catastrophic events occuring in my computer?

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RAM testing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 11:48 AM PDT

Try ONE stick at a time and MEMTEST.

Yes, there can be other issues with the motherboard, power and more, but that's a common failure mode (1,000s.)

Bob

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Re: RAM testing.
by Franchise / August 3, 2004 1:27 PM PDT
In reply to: RAM testing.

Ok, ran the memtest, one of the sticks is littered with errors and Im guessing the source of my misery. The other stick had 2 Pass, 2 Errors on test for for a total of 1mb of bad space, or so I think that is what it was telling me! Im going to just try running with the one mostly working stick and see if it works! Thanks for all your help Bob, you rock =)

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Re: RAM testing.
by Franchise / August 3, 2004 2:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: RAM testing.

Nevermind! Down to one stick of ram that seemingly works, and computer still is restarting randomly, any other suggestions?

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RAM Failed, so it will fail.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 9:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: RAM testing.

Even with one stick with a smaller number of errors is still a FAILING grade.

Until you get ZERO ERRORS regardless of the number of hours you run it, then your problems will continue.

You've found the problem, now fix it.

Bob

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts!
by bretbailey / August 5, 2004 11:27 PM PDT

I had a similiar problem with a computer that was only a year old. My problem was solved after getting a RAM Diagnostic program. It is a shareware application. You create a bootable CD-ROM and let it run. It will show you if your RAM is bogus.

www.goldmemory.cz

This may or may not be your problem, but it is worth the test. I had a bad memory stick. Then all of a sudden no more BSODs. Hope it helps.

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts!
by arobbins100 / September 5, 2004 11:32 AM PDT

I've got a similar problem. Loaded XP onto my (3yr old) pc and now it crashes bueatifully. (It only crashed inconsistantly on 95) I also get mutiple errors & reports logged. The only error report that shed some light on the issue mentioned the GeForce graphics card. I wen't to Nvidia's site & got a driver that I'll tyr tonight. Will let you know if this makes the gods of XP smile on me!

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts! GRAPHICS DRIVER
by Black_Lotus / November 16, 2004 1:38 AM PST

I have the same problem with the restarting thing.There is nothing i can do either same symptoms as the guy from CA.How ever i have a very good pc.Its a P4 512ram XP proffesional with GeForce 4 MX SE.I keep restarting everytime.The Xp crash analysis says the same thing again and again.I was told maybe going to trouble shooter and reducing it to none but that didn;t help at all. it restarted randomly even more.
I need help aswell if anyone has a proper driver or any thing i can do which will work plz tell me..I feel so bad... about this situation.Thanks in advance to.

Plz reply soon.

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For Black_Lotus , since you have the same problem
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 16, 2004 1:52 AM PST

The problem in this post was found to be failing RAM. Since you have the same problem you will need to get your RAM replaced or do what is needed to not fail the RAM test.

If you didn't have the same problem, then you may need to not write you have the same problem but create your own post.

Bob

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts!
by JR_nova / December 11, 2004 12:51 AM PST

I'm gonna have to say that you probably updated windows, and your video card drivers needs to be updated as well because of this change

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For JR.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 11, 2004 1:17 AM PST

Do you think that memory test failure could be the cause?

Bob

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Re: Seemingly Random Restarts!
by dr_genius / December 12, 2004 1:50 AM PST

As suggested by many others I too feel its due to the Loose RAM module rather than the corrupt RAM module.
If u have 2 RAM modules installed Just try removing one at a time and see if the problem recurrs, In this way u can find the faulty RAM slot.

If u have have only one RAM module then Try cleaning with some electronic connector cleaning solution and replace the RAM firmly and try.

To be sure that the fault is with the RAM module rather than the RAM slot, try it on a another computer or replace the RAM with a different RAM module form anothe rcomputer or a NEW one.

Happy troubleshooting

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