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-   -   Computer randomly restarting -- culprit? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/tech-talk/343755-computer-randomly-restarting-culprit.html)

jonjj7 01-27-04 09:32 PM

Computer randomly restarting -- culprit?
 
OK, here is my problem: my computer will occasionally decide to spontaneously reboot itself. Sometimes it will do it within 5 minutes of being on, and sometimes it will go for hours without this problem.

I recently added a Turtlebeach Santa Cruz sound card and an Ethernet card (for DSL) to my computer. Would a conflict with one of these cards possibly cause a problem like that? Or do you think it would be something else? Oh yeah, my motherboard is an ECS K7S5A.

Just wondering if anyone had experienced a problem like this before or could point me in the direction of what could be causing this.

Thanks

BigPete 01-27-04 09:44 PM

Do you get a "the system has recovered from a critical error" popup when it comes back online?

My first shot - open up the case and make sure all of your fans are functioning properly.

FuzzyBallz 01-27-04 10:01 PM

A weak PSU with unstable rails will cause this. Cheap system memory will also cause this. Download MBM5 to check rail ratings.

icondude 01-28-04 10:48 AM


Originally posted by BigPete
My first shot - open up the case and make sure all of your fans are functioning properly.
I has something like this happen once. I added some memory and had the random restart problem. Then once I tried running the computer with the case off, it ran fine, for hours. I then added some fans and put the cover back on and it's worked fine ever since.

danicus007 01-28-04 01:29 PM

Overheating or power supply going bad.

mikehunt 01-28-04 03:19 PM

could also simply be a loose connector from the power supply
one time the connector that goes to the mobo somehow got loose and it would cause my computer to sudeenly completely power off then restart

jonjj7 01-28-04 07:03 PM

Thanks for all the posts!! I'm gonna try all of these suggestions and hopefully it will solve the problem!

Blake 01-28-04 07:29 PM


Oh yeah, my motherboard is an ECS K7S5A.
Speaking from personal experience, your motherboard is most likely the problem. The K7S5A is a piece of shit. They had a great deal at Frys where you could get a K7S5A with a nice AMD processor pretty cheap. My friends and I all took this opportunity to upgrade our systems. But unfortunately, 90% of all the motherboards we tried had problems. I finally got one that worked and it powers my server - but I'd never trust it on my main computer. My other two friends finally wrote off the loss of the motherboard, kept the chip and bought a nice MSI mobo.

If your motherboard is new enough to be returned, do it. If not, I'd just go buy a new one...of course, checking the fans and power supply might help temporarily, but I will never use an ECS motherboard again.

fumanstan 01-28-04 08:58 PM

No problems on my K7S5A. Most problems with the motherboard stem from cheap power supplys and generic ram. If you're running Windows XP or 2000, it will automatically restart your computer when it has certain errors. Disable that in your System Properties in the Control Panel. My guess is that its the power supply, and your old one can't handle the extra cards you installed. Fuzzy is right about the rails for your power supply. A high wattage is often inconsequential. Pick up a name brand power supply from Antec or something.

IndyDVDGuru 01-29-04 09:12 AM

Have you tried applying some thermal compound, such as Arctic Silver 5, to your chipset heatsink? This is the orange heatsink with ECS on it. My heatsink was originally attached with double-sided sticky tape. I removed the tape from the heatsink and the chip underneath, applied the Arctic Silver 5 to the heatsink and re-attached it by putting four small drops of super glue to the corners. Prior to this modification, the heatsink never was warm to the touch. Now, it's nice and toasty! The heatsink is working as it should. Give this a try. My system is now rock-solid.

Let me know how it goes!

alex4bball 01-29-04 12:42 PM

I just had the same problem. And after many tests, I found the problem to be the power supply. The power supply was unstable, which caused the computer to randomly reboot. To remedy this problem, I bite the bullet and purchased an Antec true watt power supply. Good luck!

jonjj7 01-30-04 06:24 PM

I'm gonna try the solutions y'all gave me this weekend before I go out an buy an Antec power supply. Hopefully something recommended here will work..

jonjj7 01-30-04 07:03 PM

Now when I disable the automatic reboot and it crashes, XP gives me a screen with the error IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and says that it is probably due to a hardware problem. I think it might just be that the motherboard is a piece of junk like some of you said.

fumanstan 01-30-04 08:16 PM

I've gotten those errors before... mostly for using faulty ram. I'd definitely go out and buy a power supply and see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn't, you can always return the power supply and pick up a new motherboard :)

jonjj7 01-30-04 09:38 PM

Yeah, I think I may go and pick up a 400W+ Antec power supply tomorrow. Right now I have a 350W Enermax power supply. Anyone familiar with that brand?

Thanks.

fumanstan 01-30-04 09:52 PM

Hmmm, Enermax should be fine... they have good and solid power supplys. Weird...

FiveO 01-31-04 03:28 AM

Its the RAM.


I had this exact problem with my old Dell 8200. They came and put new items in:

power supply
hard drive
processor
video card
sound card
mother board


Still randomly restarted....usually 2-3 times a day.

They finally replaced the computer.


Only thing they didn't replace was the RAM. That would be my guess.

Trigger 01-31-04 05:21 AM

Are we placing bets? My pick is overheating

jonjj7 01-31-04 01:06 PM

Well, the RAM is from Crucial, and I think that is a pretty good brand. I also downloaded MBM and the CPU temp seems to be 113 F and the case temp is usually a few degrees higher than whatever the room's temperature is. Does that tell me anything?

Thanks

Blake 01-31-04 01:40 PM


Originally posted by Trigger
Are we placing bets? My pick is overheating
I'll continue to blame the POS motherboard.

FuzzyBallz 01-31-04 01:52 PM

Well he can't know for sure unless he gets another mobo and do a complete overhaul w/ clean install OS, updates, newest drivers.

In regards to that cheap ECS mobo, a lot of people who bought had no problem with it.

Enermax is a highly over rated PSU. If you want quality, there's always Antec True Power.

DVD Josh 01-31-04 01:55 PM


Originally posted by jonjj7
Well, the RAM is from Crucial, and I think that is a pretty good brand. I also downloaded MBM and the CPU temp seems to be 113 F and the case temp is usually a few degrees higher than whatever the room's temperature is. Does that tell me anything?

Thanks

Crucial RAM is Micron. Whether or not Micron is good RAM I'll leave to you.

In any event, I am 99.5% certain it's your RAM, as all your symptoms to a T happened to me and I replaced the RAM and no problems since.

jonjj7 01-31-04 04:39 PM

This may sound crazy, but I moved the PCI cards around and haven't had a problem yet.....crossing fingers...

jonjj7 01-31-04 05:24 PM

Nevermind, it happened again. What brands do you look for in memory? I may get an Antec power supply and some new RAM.

FiveO 01-31-04 05:50 PM


Originally posted by jonjj7
Nevermind, it happened again. What brands do you look for in memory? I may get an Antec power supply and some new RAM.

Whatever you do, don't replace both at the same time. Do the RAM first and keep the power supply in its package. That way if it is the RAM then you can send the power supply back first.

And I've got a few bucks in paypal that its the ram :D


Keep us updated. I'd be interested in seeing what fixes it. Like I said...my bet is on the RAM as explained earlier.

alex4bball 01-31-04 07:59 PM

It could also be the timing of the RAM, i.e. CL. Are you running Dual Channel DDR RAM?

I just had these exact problems after I finished building my computer and it came down to the memory and the power supply causing the problems. So, I adjusted the timing in my BIOS for the memory and replaced the power supply.

It could also depend on the components you are running in your computer.

hahn 02-01-04 02:27 AM

Is the system restarting without ANY warning whatsoever? No warning messages, nothing. Computer just blips and restarts? If so, I'll bet money that it's a faulty power supply. I had this EXACT same problem happen once with an old AMD K5 system. Drove me nuts as I replaced each component one by one over a period of a month. Finally, the very last thing I tried was the power supply, and suddenly it worked flawlessly. Bad RAM would likely give you some error message before it rebooted.

Besides, it sounds like you've been running it fine for awhile until you added these components in. In my experience, RAM rarely craps out later on. If it's fine to begin with, it's fine for the time that you own your computer. If you have a problem with it, it'll show up in the beginning (unless you do stuff like overclocking or changing the BIOS settings). The power demands of your system may have been pushed passed the limits of your power supply by just these couple of additions.

Also, I think it's unlikely to be overheating because in that case, what I've usually experienced was a freeze-up, not a reboot. My money's on the power supply.

Lateralus 02-01-04 07:03 AM

Let me put my vote it, I say it's power supply.

ernestrp 02-01-04 04:14 PM


Originally posted by Lateralus
Let me put my vote it, I say it's power supply.
Me to, power supply. My computer worked fine for about 3 years. Then every once in awhile usually in the morning, I would get my email leave to shave, etc. and come back and it was off. Then it started happening like every other day. I replaced the power supply and its worked fine since. Its 5 years old this month!!! Longest I have ever gone on a system and I see no reason now for a new one as it does everything I want it to do and dont play games much anymore except for a few of the several hundred I went through years ago....and an occasional really cheap one I find at Microcenter that still meets my systems specs.

FiveO 02-01-04 04:53 PM

We should start a poll on this one and have jonjj7 do what I suggested and replace one first to see what the actual problem is.

I had this happen to my old computer and even after the power supply, fan, mb, hd, etc...was replaced....it was still happening.


Its the ram :D

Brain Stew 02-01-04 05:06 PM

I had this same problem, and the culprit was RAM. My ordeal was documented here:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=337585

jonjj7 02-01-04 09:42 PM

I think I may start with the power supply. And I think all this rebooting may have corrupted XP because when I right-click to view properties for files and folders nothing comes up. Also various programs have been hanging during install. Its really weird.....

gcribbs 02-02-04 11:19 PM


Originally posted by jonjj7
I think I may start with the power supply. And I think all this rebooting may have corrupted XP because when I right-click to view properties for files and folders nothing comes up. Also various programs have been hanging during install. Its really weird.....
sounds more Ram like to me :)

icondude 02-03-04 09:23 AM


Originally posted by jonjj7
I also downloaded MBM and the CPU temp seems to be 113 F and the case temp is usually a few degrees higher than whatever the room's temperature is. Does that tell me anything?
Does not sound like it's a temperature related problem to me, but I still prefer the running it with the cover off test.

If you go over to Fatwallet there are lenghtly discussions on how bad ECS motherboards are, go check them out (might be in a Fry's related thread).

LolaRennt 02-04-04 08:36 AM

Re: Computer randomly restarting -- culprit?
 

Originally posted by jonjj7

I recently added a Turtlebeach Santa Cruz sound card and an Ethernet card (for DSL) to my computer. Would a conflict with one of these cards possibly cause a problem like that? Or do you think it would be something else? Oh yeah, my motherboard is an ECS K7S5A.

Everybody has been trying to blame the hardware. I suspect a virus. You say you just installed an ethernet card for DSL, so you basically have broadband right now. This might be enough - if you are not carefull - to get some nasty viruses.

In particular, check your computer for the Welchia virus. This one is known to restart your computer from time to time, which is exactly your problem.

Let us know how things go.

jonjj7 02-08-04 12:58 PM

It must have been a conflict with the Ethernet card. I took out that card and enabled the onboard Ehternet port. I also moved the sound card to the last PCI slot. Ever since doing this, I have had no troubles. So I guess it was just some weird conflict between the NIC and this ECS motherboard. After the amount of troubles I have had with this board (this isn't the first time it has acted up) I don't think I will ever get another ECS board.

nickdawgy 05-10-04 02:43 PM

I am having the same restarting problem now on my new HP system. The only thing I added was a Geforce FX 5200 AGP video card.

Anyway my PC is an Athlon XP 3000+ 512 RAM

I don't think it's overheating because it just happened 2 mintes after I booted it up for the first time today (after it went unused for 8 hours while I was sleeping)

Any ideas?

jonjj7 05-10-04 03:48 PM

One thing that was kind of annoying for me was the fact that it would restart without a message. I wasn't aware that XP was set to do that by default until someone here mentioned it. You can turn this off under System Properties > Startup & Recovery. At least then you will see a Stop error, which might give you a better idea of what is going on.

mookiemeister 05-10-04 05:30 PM

My Dell also reboot randomly once in a long while. It has not done this frequently enough to be annoying. But has done it a few times already in my 1+ year of ownership. I just shrug it off since I'm not sure what could be the cause of the reboot. In one case, I wasn't even using it at all. I only realize the reboot when I heard the Window sound when Windows comes up.

hahn 05-10-04 05:42 PM

Power supply or RAM seem to be the most common culprits. But you could rule out other causes first, like viruses, with an anti-virus program. aVast! is a free anti-virus program (for 60 days anyhow) and is available on www.download.com. I would also download AdAware (from the same site) and remove the ad software. If that doesn't do it, then buy some RAM and a power supply from a local store which you can return stuff to, and replace each one, one at a time and see if that helps it.

Another thing I thought off nickdawgy as I read your post was that you got an nVidia video card. If I recall, some of their more recent cards tend to have high power requirements. You may want to make sure that your power supply has enough juice for it.

Both of you guys have retail computers. They should be well supported by their manufacturers. You may want to give them a call.


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