If the power supply is more than a year old, it's no longer it's full rating. Such can lose some 25 to 33% of full load capacity in just 1 year. Never skimp on a power supply.
-> You can test for this issue by lightening the load.
Also check the motherboard for bulging or leaking capacitors which do manifest the cold PC issue.
I recently installed a second HDD into my computer, and I started getting some bizarre crashing. My computer doesn't crash randomly, but only under the following conditions:
* When the PC is cold (first 5 minutes). If the computer has been on for a while and I reboot, the pc starts up fine...so the problem only occurs when the pc is literally "cold".
* When copying large amounts of data from one HDD to another.
* When burning DVD's (sometimes).
A friend suggested buying more fans, although I couldn't see why, for the sake of $10 I did anyway, as well as another 512Mb of memory. I installed this and now the computer seems to crash even more often. Someone else suggested trying Linux to see if it's a Windows problem...so I installed SUSE, but still the crashes continue.
I played around with the BIOS settings, and discovered that disabling HyperThreading seems to slightly improve the frequency of crashes...that got me thinking...maybe it might be the power supply, unable to provide a stable voltage to the rest of the system. When the pc is cold, or I'm doing something that causing more power usage the whole thing crashes...but I've got a 400w Power Supply, and my head says that shold be enough...any ideas?!?!?
My system is:
Pentium 4 2.8C (w/Standard Cooler)
1Gb PC3200 Memory (4x 256Mb)
2x Maxtor 80Gb SATA Drives
LG DVD Recorder
Nvidia GeForce4 Ti4200
On-board Sound and LAN.
400w Generic Power Supply.
2x 80mm Fans.
Please help...thanks in Advance.