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Computer keeps restarting - PC Desktops

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  • ubunaru Mar 27, 2009

    my computer restarts itself
    however its a very weird situation
    it usually happens after 20+ hours of being turned on. i never shut down my pc unless i have to.
    the components are somewhat old - around 5yrs old i think
    pentium4 3000, geforce3 (used for about 6-7 yrs), asus motherboard w. intel chipset, and 512 + 128 ddr1 (ram is really old, more like 8 yrs - im thinking that that might be the problem)
    theres also a leadtek tv card that caused me some problems before but new drivers fixed it, and soundblaster live! 5.1 (also used for about 6-7 years)
    the psu (600W) is new and is of a good quality
    the cpu cooler is running fine i think. i clean it every once in a while (but thats certainly not the problem as you will see)
    i have 2 ata and 1 sata HD, they all run fine

    the funny thing is - it never restarts itself unless im doing something on it (so for example i can go for a 7 days trip, leave the pc on and when i come back i see the applications are still running, stuff is still downloading and it hasnt restarted itself, but when i check out my mail or do something else - it restarts)
    after it restarts it will take another 20+ hrs before it restarts itself again (its never less than 20+ hrs and rarely more than 30) - so its not cpu overheating
    i never do anything that uses a lot of cpu or gpu power (i never play games, i very rarely use photoshop). i only use it for downloading and surfing (and listening to music and reading)
    i noticed that it mostly restarts itself while i use firefox (or possibly always but im not sure, because firefox is always opened)
    i have a nod32 and it doesnt detect any malware
    i'm not experiencing anything strange other than spontaneous restarting and everything is stable and otherwise fine
    also, i noticed that it always first crashes and loops the last bit of sound that was playing and when thats over (it lasts for a second or two) it definitely crashes.

    thats it. i would appreciate your help very much.

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2 Answers

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This can be a case of a flat cmos battery, locate on the motherboard and replace.

Posted on Aug 17, 2008

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Computers restarting can be a difficult problem oftentimes. If you're not an experienced techie, I'd say you would prefer to hit up the store you got it from. I'm having to do that atm myself - though more for the warranty on my hardware.

If you're a bit of a silicone thumb, then crack it open, check the following in the following order:

  • Turn on the power while it's open (don't touch inside!), make sure the fans all turn. If they do, it's a good thing - means you haven't fried your CPU.
  • Power button isn't stuck on - sometimes, some machines will have a spring-mounted, plastic power button. If the spring catches in, it will tell the computer constantly a mixed message of "turn on, turn off, turn on, turn off".
  • Check that the PSU (Power Supply thing in the back, usually) is turning on properly, and that there's no warning lights showing in the visible areas - some makes of PSU will have error lights.
  • If you can get to the system config screen (BIOS, SETUP, etc), then check that everything matches on the screen with what you know.
  • If you can get to your OS - say, Windows XP, before it reboots, then chances are you might have a virus - double-check your virus scanners.
  • After that... not sure how else I can help you, short of you listing all your hardware details (like what you'd get on the warranty sheet, or a purchase order), so that more detailed information can be given. Like, if you have RAM that's notorious for causing problems, or a PSU that's from a bad manufacturer, etc. Remember, not all hardware is made equal.
There ya go. Good luck!

Posted on Mar 26, 2009

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