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Strange computer problem

...restarting when HD accessed?



2:45 am on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In all my years, I've never seen anything this strange before.

This PC powers on just fine, and I did the initial Windows setup with no problems, but after the "Loading Windows 2000" screen, the computer restarts on its own.

I thought it might be a hard drive problem, so I tried another hard drive, and the same thing happened.

Just for good measure, I switched the RAM, and it's still restarting on its own.

Any ideas as to what it might be?


7:54 pm on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Did you try the HDD in another machine with different cables and stuff and get the same failure (different hardware, same install), or did you replace the HDD with a different HDD and boot (same hardware, different install)?

If its the former, your installation is corrupted or the HDD is dying. If its the latter, you probably have bad hardware in your machine.

Its probably probing for some device in your system, and since that device is now bad, it reboots. Remove pieces of your computer one-by-one and replace them with spares (including cables) until it goes away.

Then buy a new whatever-it-is.


1:26 am on Oct 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've seen this before, bad memory is my first guess. It's not the processor obviously or you wouldn't see anything. And it's not fried memory, or you wouldn't see anything. But it could be cheap/bad/mismatched memory. When you initially load an os it all goes into memory, and if you have junk memory that can be the problem. For some reason people don't understand that good memory is almost as important as a good processor, but they keep going to bob's discount memory supply and picking up a few sticks.

It's not the cdrom since you are booting into the cd rom. It could be a misconfigured jumper setting on a harddrive, check company site for specs. Could be the hardrive, don't guess, download a harddrive testing utility from company website, they all make them for testing, goes on a floppy, boot into floppy, run full, complete test.

Could be a bios problem too.


2:32 am on Oct 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The HD works just fine on other computers. With that in mind, it's not the hard drive.

The box is an older IBM NetVista. I tried the RAM that was actually IN the computer when I got my hands on it, and I also tried a Mushkin stick (which is far from "Bob's Discount" RAM). The same thing happens.

I also removed the CD drive, but again, the problem persists.

Could be the BIOS, but I looked everywhere on this case, but can't find a model number anywhere. :(

EDIT : I also fdisk'ed the master boot record, and still the same problem.


10:32 am on Oct 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Will it boot from a floppy? If yes, something maybe with the HD's IRQ's or something, if not, something universal to booting?


4:42 pm on Oct 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Cant you hit del during boot
and at least access the bios to check it?


4:56 pm on Oct 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Make sure the bios bus and memory speeds are set correctly. Replace graphics card with one you know is working, try it again. Take out all memory but one stick if you have more than one in, try it again.

Your processor could possibly be overheating, automatic system shutdown, depends on age of motherboard, newer ones have this feature, older ones don't. Boot off a floppy or any other bootable disk and leave computer on long enough for processor to overheat. If it does you founnd the problem.

Do the obvious, check the install cd for scratches etc. Make sure there is no gunk in the cdrom drive itself that might be blocking the laser [unlikely, but you never know].

Take the whole machine to a different outlet and plug it in there, you never know, sometimes an outlet is bad.


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