Mysterious crashes and reboots

  SV 22:06 25 May 05
Locked

Hi folks – I hope you can help. Every now and again, my PC dies and immediately reboots. There is no warning. No odd noises, no freezes, no blue screens of death. And when it reboots, it goes straight into Windows as if nothing had happened. At the time I am usually running Outlook Express and maybe Firefox or IE6.0. I've not added any new software recently. Any suggestions as to what might be happening?

My system is:

Motherboard: ASRock K7VT6
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 3200+
BIOS: AMI (dated 19 July 2004)
RAM: 2 x 256MB
Video: 3D Prophet 4000XT
Audio: Creative SB Live! 5.1
Hard disc: Western Digital WD800JB
CD-ROM: CD-RW RW1210E
DVD/CD-ROM: Ricoh MP9060 (on its last legs)
USB 2.0: 5 devices connected
O/S: Windows XP Home S/P2 fully patched.
LAN connection to D:Link DSL G406.

Apps running in the background are: AVG Free 7.0; InCD; Password Keychain; Lotus Organizer; and Active Mouse.

Help!

Steve

  VoG II 22:10 25 May 05

Right-click on My Computer, click Properties, click the Advanced tab. Under Startup & Recovery click Settings. Under System Failure untick the box in front of Automatically restart.

What eror code do you get?

  SV 22:55 26 May 05

Thanks VoG. I've done as you've said and I'll wait to see what happens. I've been looking in the Event Log to see if there is anything relevant. After recovering from the crash, an event is logged with the explanation:

"The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x1000008e (0xc0000005, 0xbf837815, 0xf27d8a6c, 0x00000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini052505-01.dmp."

Two seconds before that was an event 6009. The windows website says:

"The user restarted or shut down the computer by clicking Start or pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then clicking Shut Down. The message displays the Windows product information for the computer logging the message, including the product name, version, build number, service pack number, and operating system type."

I hadn't done either - I was just typing an e-mail.

regards

Steve

  ashdav 23:11 26 May 05

try disconnecting the reset switch from the motherboard and using the computer for a while. Sounds like it could be intermittent.

  SV 21:23 27 May 05

Thanks Ashdav, I'll give it a go.

I've gone out on the internet and found am AMD forum that suggests I might need a 400W PSU to run an Athlon XP CPU without instability. I'm not sure what mine is.

  SV 21:33 27 May 05

Hi VoG

Now I've switched off the Automatically Restart option as you suggested, I get to see the blue screen of death with a STOP code of 0x0000008E and it shows that Win32k.sys was running.

What could it be? A memory module problem perhaps?

regards

Steve

  Joe R 21:39 27 May 05
  SV 18:52 19 Jun 05

Well, I've replaced the RAM, and it made no difference. I then found that I most problems when AVG was in the middle of a routine scan. I removed AVG, replaced it with Avast and... bliss. Stability returned for days. But during the last couple of days, when the day is at its hottest (and it has been really hot, hasn't it) the instability has returned, with IE randomly encountering an error, and with unexplained crashes and restarts.

Looking at the errors in the System log, among several that said the graphics driver was sick (I reloaded it just in case), one suggested that I had a hardware error caused by overheating - and pointed to the CPU, the motherboard, the RAM or the PSU. Well, the RAM is new, as is the PSU. So I am guessing I have something more expensive wrong :-(

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