Random reboot - temperature?
Greetings all -
For years I have been having random reboot problems with my system. I have "fixed" the problem on a few different occaisons only to have it rear its ugly head again. Basic system specs:
Pentium 4 - 2.8G
1.5 gigs Ram (two sticks - 1 gig, and a half)
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
430 watt power supply
running XP service pack 2
First attempt at fixing was my old standby -- reformat and reinstall. At this point I thought it was a software issue. Problem coincidentally went away for a bit. Started again but was never frequent enough to make me fix it.
Then I thought, hey - maybe I'm overheating this sucker. Monitored temps for a while, cleaned out the fans/heatsinks. CPU temp never seemed to be a problem so I sort of ruled that out. Also, the reboots rarely happen when I am doing CPU intensive stuff like gaming - might be coincidental, but it seems to happen most when I am using uTorrent (a Bittorrent client).
Somewhere around this time I decided to change the CMOS battery just to be sure it wasn't a $10 problem.
Finally I checked my warranty period and realized I still had a few months of free service but without parts - so I sent her in to the pros. Word came back that there was nothing wrong.
Then there came a period of time when the reboots were happening alot. I forget exactly how it happened but my harddrive was corrupted and I lost everything. At the time I was running only a single 80 Gig. I thought, ok - it was a harddrive flaw that ended up causing XP to hiccup. I bought a 120G drive, installed it, and put the OS on the new drive. Reinstalled the 80G and ran diagnostics on it - no problems. Now I have alot of storage - bonus!
Since the harddrive didn't appear to be the problem I thought perhaps I had a stick of faulty RAM that was pooching things up. Ran memtest for a day or so on both my sticks of (at the time) 512 switching them between slots to isolate the problem. Finally, I thought I had the gremlins beat when I isolated one stick that was failing in the same spot each time. Bought a new stick of RAM (1 gig) and installed it. Worked like a charm for a bit.
Now here we are again with the same problem. Same situation - usually when running uTorrent or doing some mild multitasking with a few programs open - nothing CPU intensive. It's been hot out recently so I returned to the old overheating hypothesis... downloaded Speedfan and checked the temps - everything was in the 40's. Checked the temps in the BIOS to be certain Speedfan wasn't being stupid: same results.
The only thing I can hope it is now is the power supply. I don't know how to test the power supply, and would rather not buy one unless I'm sure its the problem. Are there any other components that might be causing these random reboots?
Thanks for any responses in advance - let me know if I should post any other system info.