computer rebooting

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
computer rebooting
8
Fri, 05-29-2009 - 2:27am

I have had a problem for a few months with my puter rebooting.  Well actually it had happened off and on, but not real frequently when suddenly it got worse and then my puter crashed(and when it tried to reboot some file was missing.  It went to repair shop who checked the hard drive, the RAM and the motherboard and also checked for viruses etc that could be causing the problems. They also had to do a complete reinstall of stuff from the recovery disc I had thankfully gotten around to making!! Actually I also had them add 1 Gb of RAM too since I only had 512 Mb.  They did also save some files I  said I wanted saved.


Anyway I discovered shortly after I got it home it was still rebooting. I called the shop and their prediction at that time is its one of 3 things.   They said maybe the original RAM is failing, the HD is failing OR the motherboard is failing.  I have not gotten brave enough to try yanking the original 512 Mb of RAM yet, but I just dont quite believe that is it. I also live in a very old house and wondered about the electricity. I did for some reason decide maybe it had to do with turning the computer on and off was hard on it, since the times I was most likely to have it reboot was shortly after I turned it on. So I have left it on most of the time while shutting everything else off. I did get a different surge protector, and this one has several indicator lights on it.  It was indicating line faults on the outlet I had it plugged into. I then switched it to one of the few other grounded outlets in the house and since then it does reboot occassionally but not very often.  Nothing else is used on the other outlet but will get some electrician to deal with that.


I can tell when it reboots because one of those HP programs has some file missing so if the puter has rebooted that little box shows up saying it cant start that program(something like HP organize and I never used it so dont care).  BUT it does mean I can tell for sure if the puter HAS rebooted.


So it looks like I have to try pulling the RAM(cheapest fix cuz I would still have 1 Gb of it); try a different HD and see if that solves it, or if its the mother board the repair place said to buy a new computer.  BUT I have Windows XP and dont really want to go to Vista, so am not crazy about buying a new puter until the next Windows version comes out.  I also hate spending around $75 for a new HD and then find out the HD is fine and I still have to get a different computer.


My question is if the problem is from something the line faults on the other outlet did to the puter, is it more likely to be the motherboard? Or is it still a toss up between the HD and the motherboard. The repair place said they had no idea which, of course when I talked to them I had NOT found out about the line faults on that outlet.  I hoped when i switched to another grounded outlet the puter would stop rebooting.  It still does but not very often and only once messed up a program I was working on.  I will also admit I have not bothered to load much of the software back on the puter until I find out it is up and running OK!


I held off on dealing with this cuz I was also dealing with major vehicle issues.  That is hopefully solved and I guess its time to deal with this.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 05-29-2009 - 9:26am

Have you ever seen the computer reboot? Does it show you the blue screen of death? Does it give any messages? Obviously it is rebooting spontaneously when it is just sitting there, but was wondering if you has ever seen any messages. Another possibility is the power supply is giving out. I have had to replace those before and it solved a spontaneous reboot problem. That would be your cheapest fix, if it was the power supply.

You say the computer place checked the hard drive? There are diagnostic programs to tell you about about bad sectors, etc.

My feeling is it not as likely to be the motherboard itself. The RAM is a possibility and again there are diagnostic programs that can test all your RAM. You can go to here:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html
and this bootable CD image has memory testing and hard drive testing tools. This would tell you if you had a memory or hard drive problem at least. You just make a CD of the image and then make sure your computer is set to boot first from the CD before the hard drive. We can help you with that if you don't know how to do it.

Avatar for cl_emty_nstr
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 05-29-2009 - 2:19pm

All of those things could be what is causing your problem. But I would assume (and you know what that does to a person...lol) that while at their shop they tried all new cables and run it with new ram and a new power supply....I don't know but that is what the local guy does when someone brings in a computer. He takes known to be working cables and runs the broken on. I always wondered why sometimes it would take so long to fix things and that is the reason if they truely are trying to find out what is going on.


Did they check to see that it wasn't overheating? Those fans are very cheap sometimes like under $5 and they fail.....a hot computer will shut down cool off as


 


Have a nice day !.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Sat, 05-30-2009 - 8:44am

They said they checked the RAM, HD and mother board. They did not have any issue with it rebooting at all. Of course they only had it about 5 days(working on it the last one I think). I did not take in the power supply cord.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Sat, 05-30-2009 - 8:57am

My very first puter was decades ago now(I know this dates me)....WHEN sister and I both ended up with commodore 64's!!

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Mon, 06-01-2009 - 9:16am
Hmmm well given that it just suddenly powers off with no messages of any kind , does look more like a power problem. Like the power suddenly switched off and therefore no way for any messages to appear. The power supply unit is looking more suspicious now. It could be the cord but thats alot less likely unless it is frayed or very bent. New power supplies are relatively cheap.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Thu, 06-04-2009 - 4:51am

its time to look for a new PC. A PC that reboots without notice is typically a 5 volt reference at the motherboard failure, probably either bios chip failure or serial bus short. Save the data you want to transfer to a new box.


Ed

Avatar for cl_emty_nstr
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 06-06-2009 - 2:56pm

I don't try to do electric things because I had a tester one time when the window A/C quit. The tester said I had plenty of juice. I called the tv man (it was still under warranty) he put in a new fuse. (Old house) He said that 220 has enough juice in it even with the bad fuse.....it was a good thing I only had to pay for the fuse.....he didn't charge me for my stupidity.....lol...


Really unless you have one of those protectors that have battery backup if there is even a fraction of a second interuption maybe that could cause the re-boots. It is worth checking out.....cause that is not good on anything that is plugged in....


 


Have a nice day !.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Tue, 06-09-2009 - 7:51pm

Well according to the Geek Squad guy at Best buy he thinks its the power supply 2/3 likely it is that and 1/3 likely the CPU.