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Old 2012-02-07, 11:48   Link #1
Hayamaneko
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random restarts and other things

Lately I've noticed that my computer tends to restart at random instances. Sometimes I'm just browsing the internet, other times it's when I am playing games, still others when I'm not even using it and I just leave it on. Many of the parts that I have installed a pretty new and I've kept an eye on the temp and it seems pretty normal so I doubt it is an overheating issue.

Also, I have noticed that on occasion the computer will not restart normally. After POSTing it sends me to a screen that it needs to perform the restart recovery or I can merely start the computer normally. Either option that I choose the computer ends up freezing before loading anything. I tend to be able to get the computer to start normally without freezing by unplugging the power supply for a few minutes but I would obviously prefer not to have to do this. Lastly, the last time this happened I was met with an "unexpected I/O error message" before restarting. I suspected that maybe my main HDD was failing so ran Western Digitals diagnostic tool but everything turned up normal.

What can I do?
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Old 2012-02-07, 14:15   Link #2
-KarumA-
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Could be overheating, could be faulty power supply, could be RAM.
You seems to be having computer problems a lot don't you?
Run a memtest, see what the eventviewer has to say about this, could be the power supply.
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Old 2012-02-07, 14:45   Link #3
Ledgem
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It could be a number of things, but it seems to me that one of the most common points of failure is RAM. You built the system yourself, right? I'd go back into the system and verify that all connections are tight (all wires), and that the RAM modules are seated firmly in their slots.

As a more time-intensive method to checking the RAM, I'd suggest using Memtest86+. If you haven't used it before, here's how it works. You download the image and burn it to a CD. Boot off of it, and the tests should start running. I would suggest allowing it to run through all tests at least three times; if errors come up on all three passes, then there's a problem. A random error or two that shows up is not indicative of faulty RAM. The tests can take a long time - with 4 GB I allow it to run over night, and with 6 GB it takes closer to a full day.

If there is a problem and it isn't clear which slot the problematic module corresponds to, remove all modules and test each one individually.
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Old 2012-02-07, 14:48   Link #4
Flower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It could be a number of things, but it seems to me that one of the most common points of failure is RAM....
This. I had a laptop that began to randomly restart and the problem was the RAM.
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Old 2012-02-07, 21:28   Link #5
Hayamaneko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -KarumA- View Post
Could be overheating, could be faulty power supply, could be RAM.
You seems to be having computer problems a lot don't you?
Run a memtest, see what the eventviewer has to say about this, could be the power supply.
the only thing I see in event viewer is something about Kernel Power Event 41. The description says that this could be due to hardware failure but doesn't specify anything else
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Old 2012-02-08, 11:33   Link #6
sa547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It could be a number of things, but it seems to me that one of the most common points of failure is RAM. You built the system yourself, right? I'd go back into the system and verify that all connections are tight (all wires), and that the RAM modules are seated firmly in their slots.

As a more time-intensive method to checking the RAM, I'd suggest using Memtest86+. If you haven't used it before, here's how it works. You download the image and burn it to a CD. Boot off of it, and the tests should start running. I would suggest allowing it to run through all tests at least three times; if errors come up on all three passes, then there's a problem. A random error or two that shows up is not indicative of faulty RAM. The tests can take a long time - with 4 GB I allow it to run over night, and with 6 GB it takes closer to a full day.

If there is a problem and it isn't clear which slot the problematic module corresponds to, remove all modules and test each one individually.
Memtest86, always recommended. Used it at work to check as to why a PC has some strange restarts, and it found errors in the RAM, as well as bad motherboards (with bloated caps in extreme cases).

For the entire 1GB of memory (PC2700) on my rig, it takes about 20-30 minutes for a standard test, maybe even more faster in more recent machines with higher memory bandwidth.
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Old 2012-02-08, 13:44   Link #7
Hayamaneko
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Memtest turned up with no errors. I've tested it before and its always come up with the same results
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Old 2012-02-09, 06:30   Link #8
-KarumA-
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Brand, wattage and age of the power supply?
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Old 2012-02-09, 13:53   Link #9
Kitame
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do you encounter the hangs and whatever only in the OS? excluding the part where booting up leads to the OS recovery. well what i'm guessing is that its a bad driver causing haywires, i've experienced this with ATI drivers, being a retarded version and such, well doing a clean install of a "hotfixed" version fixed the problem.

ram could also be the problem as well or the ram slot could be the problem, most symptoms is once in a blue moon it wouldn't boot or post without any beeps, re-seating the ram and forcing cold boots fixes the problem. most of my ECS boards tends to do this.

a failing power supply could also be a problem but this is the least to occur, unless you're using a really retarded PSU like those generic 600watts PSU, common symptoms is hard restarts all of a sudden and blue screens all of a sudden, theres also that unstable voltage from the PSU which causes symptoms of hanging from time to time, generic PSUs are notorious on this one, specially on OCed units and/or downvolted units.
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Old 2012-02-11, 17:06   Link #10
Jaden
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Have you done this?
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/window...-windows-7.htm

BSOD could be caused by anthing, but the problems with restarting kinda narrow it down. If you could check the error code of the BSOD that'd be another clue. It's most likely an inability to access memory, because if it was something vital like the processor you'd just be seeing black upon the restart, and if it was just a device like GPU failing you'd still be getting to windows.

If you can't get it to crash during memtest, I bet it's the HDD randomly powering down or "disappearing" from the system, which is more commonly an SSD issue. Try switching it to a different SATA port.

Oh, and do this as well, just in case: Go to device manager and uninstall the drivers of whatever you have under "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers", then restart so windows will install the default drivers.
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Old 2012-02-14, 17:22   Link #11
Hayamaneko
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An update:

I think I solved the problem myself as I haven't had any random restarts (the fans haven't been making any loud noises like they used to either). What I think solved it was that I opened up the computer and applied a fresh coat of thermal paste to the CPU (I had only applied a batch back in May of last year but whatever). The only problem that I seem to still be having is Tribes: Ascend crashes from time to time but that might just be because the game itself is still in beta and probably isn't optimized well. Anyway, thanks for all your advice
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