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Old 10-21-2006, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Computer randomly restarts

I have a 7 year old computer that I am trying to set up for my kids to use. All they do is play simple games on the internet. It had previously been randomly restarting. I reformatted it, installed windows XP, and a wireless card. The computer still restarts randomly. I unchecked the box to have windows restart after an error - still restarts, I ran memory tests on the RAM - everything checked out okay.

Everytime it restarted it would run a disk check. It kept coming up with errors in the hard disk. The hard disk would also be very noisy sometimes. I assumed this was the problem. I bought a new hard drive. Since this is an old computer I do not want to pour a lot of money into it. I just don't want to buy a new computer for my kids when this old one will do just fine.

I installed the new hard drive. I am currently trying to install windows XP. I can't even finish the installation because the computer keeps restarting.

Here are the computer's specifications:

AMD K-6 450mhz processor
256 MB SDRAM PC100
10 GIG Fireball 1CT IDE Drive (newly installed, bought used)
Windows XP

The computer does not seem to be overheating (temps in the BIOS looked normal). It also restarts so frequently that I don't think it would have a chance to overheat. I'm not sure what else to try. I believe that I have ruled out software problems, viruses, and spyware. I could replace the PSU, but I don't want to pour a lot of money into a lost cause.

Here is some additional information. Sometimes the computer goes for long periods of time without restarting. I could be doing anything when it restarts. It has a cd-rom and a floppy drive. Is the power supply the next thing to try? Are there certain indications when this fails?

If anyone can offer me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it!
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try looking for a BIOS update for that motherboard, it seems to me like the bios maybe be corrupted, the machine is pretty old and something silly may have happened like a power outage and it corrupted a few bits in memory or something ridiculous.
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the amd k6 has jumpers on the motherboard to select the speeds of the ram, cpu, etc.

i'v had restart problems on one of these machines that i use as a file server and i set the jumpers to slowest speed, booted up, accepted the changes when it prompted me and then once the o.s loads you restart and switch them back to default speeds. i haven't have any problems since
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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since its 7 years old it can be a Power supply issue since u hav done the basics from attempting to fix it .

if i where u i'd air blow it with compressed air so the Pc can breath easier and last longer
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your ideas. Here is an update of my situation. I could not get the windows xp install to finish on the new hard drive. It would always crash at the same point in the install, which led me to believe the disc was damaged. I installed windows 98 (the machine came with that operating system). Beyond all the problems of it not having any of the drivers I needed, it seemed to work great. No restarting. I started getting annoyed with the way win 98 worked and decided to try and install windows xp again. I used a different cd and it installed fine. But now it restarts again in the same manner as before. I will probably just go back to windows 98 but I don't really understand. Why would it constantly restart in windows xp but not windows 98?
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe it's just having some kind of conflict with XP, being so old an all.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i had a similar randon reboot problem with a new pc and it turned out that there wasn't a great 'thermal' connection between the cpu and the heatsink, should only cost a few bucks to rule it out. ( my temps looked ok in bios but a different story once the os had loaded).
also have you tried booting in safe mode and enabling one device at a time, could be a driver conflict possibly?
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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a 450mhz is WAYYYYY to weak to start with. WinXp has processes that run in a higher speed than Win98. It also produces heat twice as more than Win98 because Winxp is more advance technology and requires more data to be sent through out the CPU.
u can try overclocking it and see wat it can do.
also try installing the older version of Winxp with SP1

P.S- my old p3 733mhz struggled and crashed couple time on WinXp, so i had to overclock it to 800mhz to get it stable. And it worked!
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i disagree.

i have that exact same model and it is fine for xp even after i took out all of the ram and left it only 64 mb with XP pro sp2, not exactly fast but it runs it well enough for what he wants it for (his kids).

i also believe this computer is not very OCable, there is bugger all settings in the bios and as far as i know the jumpers on the motherboard only go normal speed and below, nothing higher. (there's jumpers for the ram and cpu speed on motherboard)

maybe also try xp light ?
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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wow, i got a 333mhz beast. well, most common prob on old systems, is ram. is there any ram you can get ahold of to test, or a different system you can test the ram on?

ps, xp light? wats the advantages of it?
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