system keeps randomly retarting (no blue screen)

Hey guys

I really need your help and expert-ness! To start ill tell you my system specs:

AMD Athlon XP 64 3500+
MSI K8n Neo2 Platinum Motherboard
Nvidia Geforce 2 MX 400 32mb
3 Hard Drives
800Watt Antec iGreen PSU
Windows XP Professional 32bit

OK, so yesterday because im an "idiot" I thought if i updated my motherboard BIoS, it may speed up my system load time. I updated my BIOS using the MSI Software and it said update completed sucessfully. I rebooted my system and then i had a new hardware found (PCI Bridge) but it couldnt find and drivers for it. My system started to freeze as soon as i loaded up my desktop. Only booting into Safe-mode left me enough time to save my data on a second hard drive before it would freeze up again. With the system freezing, i couldnt unfreeze or access any programs until i press the reset button on my system.

I didnt think much of this, i just thougt it may have been an old driver problem so i decided to reformat my system completely and start a fresh. My system rebooted twice randomly during the Windows XP installation. causing a screen to come up saying "Restarting installation". Eventually it finally finished installing XP and i figured. OK, so it might be the motherboard bios firmware update. So i downgraded back to the original version. Same problem. I changed to an even lower version.. same problem
Everytime i load these settings, on the bios screen i set "load optimal settings" to ensure it would load the correct stable settings in bios

I figured it might have been my graphics card (Ati radeon 9600 Pro) as it causes me issues (with games only) which is why im currently on the MX400. But the same problem occurs. The Event viewer doesnt give me any information as to why it reboots, it doesnt even show it is rebooting. Im really stuck as its so unstable when i update from Windows update, it reboots in the middle. Im sure eventually if it keeps rebooting, something willl get corrupted again

Does anyone have any idea what it could be? Or something i could try to find out what is the problem
Im so lost!

I managed to make it create blue screens (by the system properties, advanced, startup and recovery and unticking the automaticlly restart) and it has of course since crashed again. I noted down the error code generated on the blue screen:

Stop: 0x0000008e (0xc0000005, 0x804A2B72, 0xF2C00c5c, 0x00000000)

After a quick google search, the first 2 blocks of code come up with RAM faults. However ive had this Ram for years and it hasnt come up with this error before to my knowledge. Could it just start happening now? If i type in the whole error however, google doesnt come up with anything

Could it be anything else other than Bad Ram? Im going to perform a memtest on the ram now to see what it comes back with. Could it be Bios settings that have been changed? Im unsure which parts of the bios i need to look at to change them back. They are however set on Auto

EDIT: I ran Memtest 2/3times and it came back with zero errors :( Now im really puzzled!

Thank you so much for your time and help!

Thank you for the information American Zombie

The reason why i hadnt tried to reset to Defaults is because there isnt an option for that on the BIOS settings.
However, this morning took out the CMOS Battery and changed the jumper lead to reset the default settings and it appears to have worked!! However it it still early days. I will keep you updated on any feedback or if i recieve anymore errors.

Thanks again! :)
ok.. just my luck as soon as i thought it was working.. it comes up with another random blue screen of death. However it states

STOP 0x0000008e...
win32k.sys error

could any of those error messages be due to when my system froze/crashed during the XP installation? :(
I feel like im back at square 1
wow i havent seen spam on osnn in years! :p

Ok so what ive decided to try now is try a different Windows XP installation Disc and try and install it again. I notice that Explorer.exe crashes alot as well as programs close sometimes on their own

But after that im all out of ideas :(
What level of XP is on your CD (the base, SP1, SP2, etc.)? If you installed anything before SP3 you MAY need an updated (i.e. slip-streamed) CD that already has SP3 on it (i.e. your system will be at SP3 as soon as it finishes the installation process).

I doubt that you'll be able to install any of the service packs with your system being unstable. Usually, stability issues go away when in Safe mode.
Hey guys thank you for the information!!!

Ok so firstly i ran MEMTest in hope that it would trigger off any results. Strangely it came back with no errors what so ever.

So then i decided how can i restore back to default settings on the BIOS settings. So i took out the CMOS battery, and moved the jumper then placed it back in. Ok so it did restore back to default (there isnt an option for this on the BIOS menu). however the problems still continued!

So then i thought maybe if i take the RAM out and place it back in. For some reason (perhaps im just an even more idiot) I had my RAM's sat in slot 3 and 4 which arent even on the same channels as each other!! So i took them out and placed them in slot 1 and 3 (both green channel 1's) and turned it back on. It worked!!! I havent recieved a blue screen since swapping the ram spaces. I have however tried a new Windows XP Disc and reformatted. That may have helped too!

But my question is, why didnt the errors come up in the first place before the bios update? (even though now its undergraded) Ive had the RAM in these slots for 4years now without any problems in the past. Which is why im very confused. Would this of been so much of an issue it would cause blue screens? My beleif would be it would just make it run slower. Am i wrong?

The XP Disc i used was SP3 version also so it did have the latest ones. I used another XP sp3 disc the second time round, it came up with an "unable to copy" error for one file which was a .chm file but i ignored it and my pc seems to be running fine.

Thank you so much for your help guys!!

bush dogg

OSNN Senior Addict
Political User
But my question is, why didnt the errors come up in the first place before the bios update? (even though now its undergraded) Ive had the RAM in these slots for 4years now without any problems in the past. Which is why im very confused. Would this of been so much of an issue it would cause blue screens? My beleif would be it would just make it run slower. Am i wrong?
I would say the problem was with the new PCI Bridge that the updated bios installed for some type of hardware that wasn’t in the system but could have been used with this new version of bios “this PCI Bridge could have been for anything” but because there was no hardware associated with it then there could be no drivers installed for it.

I would say the reason your system still acted up after the downgraded bios was because Windows still remembered the new PCI Bridge was there “probably a registry key directing to it” even after you reverted to the older bios traces of it would have still been there if it wasn’t found and disabled.

I think what you would’ve needed to do in this case was after you downgraded the bios then reinstall Windows fresh to remove all traces of that new PCI Bridge. “Reinstalling windows after the bios downgrade would have been quicker and easier than trying to track all traces of this new Bridge down manually is why I say reinstall”

This is just my best guess,
CPU over heating maybe? Has it been four years for it too? Does your computer have a smokey environment? It's getting old. Time to think about a new one.

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