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System Instability



Hey all. This is my first real computer problem.. :) I have been running the same setup for about 7 months perfectly stable with no problems... Life was good. Then my computer decided to start rebooting itself. I am running a Biostar M7VIB (KT266), AthlonXP 1600, 512MB PC2100 DDR, Inno3d GeForce 2 Ti, onboard audio, Maxtor 40 GB (not sure of model), Maxtor 6.4 GB (again model?), Lite-on CDR drive 241040b, Windows XP Pro, etc...

The problems started and I did the first things in troubleshooting. I updated ALL hardware drivers to the latest versions and even updated my BIOS. That didn't help, the computer still rebooted. So I tracked the problem. It seemed to do it mostley when I was accessing the network I am on. So I purchased a new NIC, formated the HD, installed the NIC and then reinstalled Windows XP. That didn't help either. It rebooted while it was loading my profile! So the network theory went out the window.

Now I am thinking that it is processor, mother board, RAM..... Any ideas, related stories, tips on how to pinpoint this? I have pretty good knowledge of computers, but this is baffeling me.


I was hoping I wouldn't have to test out the RAM.... pain in the a*%. Aww well. I will let you all know the results of the testing, but any more ideas? I like to have all of my options open.

Also, forgot this in the desciption. I don't think it would be system temps. Reasoning behind that is I can run a game (RTCW, MOHAA, Neverwinter, Warcraft 3, etc) for literally 6+ hours steady and it won't reboot. Other times I can be runing the same game and the computer will restart before the game engine is even loaded.... System temps are stable (load and non)
Oh how eww. Same thing happened to me on one of my computers, it used to reboot. I'm pretty sure that can happen for a few reasons...could be that

Your cpu is not getting enough cooling. Some motherboards shut down, or restart the system if the cpu gets overly hot. Feel it and see how it feels...however, this may not be the case if the system boots up, and simply then shuts down...I would check the how your cpu and ram are seated in their sockets, maybe something got loose, things happen. Um...my cpu simply used to restart, i let it, then one wonderful day it burned out...that was a p2...amd shouldnt do that but, if it keeps happening, im really not sure what you should do. um... reinstalling the OS wouldn't be a good idea, I doubt this is caused by that...anyone have any ideas why the pc might reboot like that...and what you could do to fix it?


OSNN Gamer
Try - Right Click 'My Computer'/Properties/Advanced/Start Up and Recovery. Remove the tick from System Failure/Automatic Restart. This should enable you to see exactly which prog is causing the prob by giving you a Error Message.


This is a very common Power Supply problem. I recommend no less than a 300Watt. If your P/S is weak it will exhibit these kinds of characteristics under load especially. I have seen this at least a couple of dozen times. The person who said to check Ram also is giving you good advice. These are the 2 most common causes of your type of problem.

Best of luck to you!

My System:
SuperCase Full Tower
4 each 80 Gig Maxtor 7200 RPM ATA133 Drives (320 Gig Raid Array)
1 each 80 Gig Maxtor 7200 RPM Boot Drive
1 Each ACOM External (For File Transfer & Backup) 60 Gig (USB 2 & Firewire Connect)
3 each 512Meg Hynix PC2700 DDR 333 Ram (1.5 Gig)
ABIT AT7 Max Motherboard
SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum
A+ GPB 500 Watt Power Supply
ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV 64 Meg
JVC SVHS HR-S5400U For Video Editing
AMD XP2000+ Processor W/PentAlpha APSK0169B Heatsink & Fan
2 each-SNT Hot-Swap Mobile Racks
Plextor 40/12/40A CDRW
Sony 16X DVD
KDS Avitron 19" True Flat Monitor
Olympus D-40 Zoom 4 Megapixel Digital Camera
HP-1200 LaserJet Printer
Epson Stylus PHOTO 785EPX Color InkJet Printer 2880 DPI
PrimaScan 2400U USB Scanner
Logitech Cordless Optical Mouse
Lite-On Surfboard Wireless Keyboard
WindowsXP Professional


Thanks for all the replies! I have tried a few ideas, not P/S or tempurature, I have tested those theories and they turned out fine. I disabled the auto-system restart and found that I am receiving a BSOD with an error of DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and a quick search on Google resulted in many pages... Most spoke of IRQ sharing in Windows and suggested that I move the NIC to an IRQ of its own. I will be trying that tonight and let you guys know! :)

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Perris Calderon wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS

Been running around Quora lately, luv it there https://tinyurl.com/ycpxl
Electronic Punk wrote on Perris Calderon's profile.
All good still mate?
Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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