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Computer keeps giving stop errors of all kinds

By jbbauer44 ·
I am trying to fix this desktop computer for a friend. Originally it kept randomly restarting every 5-10 minutes. I tested all the expansion cards, RAM, hard drive, and power supply. All are working perfect in other machines. Tried reformatting and reinstalling Windows, however it would give a stop error at one point or another during the installation process. Always a different stop error. So I put another CPU I had into it and it installed windows fine no problem, and ran perfectly for hours. Then when I'm finishing up installing drivers it restarts again. Long story short the only thing I haven't tested is the motherboard. Does this sound right? Ive never dealt with a machine that has had a motherboard fail. This is a custom built machine. P4 processor, media center PC. Also tried swapping in new hard drives, new sticks of RAM, multiple times. Any input appreciated. Checked all bios settings as well. And live OS cds dont want to work either.

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Never a motherboard fail

by santeewelding In reply to Computer keeps giving sto ...

Until now, it appears.

What did Sherlock say, about when all other possibilities have been eliminated?

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So, check for a drive failure first.

by seanferd In reply to Never a motherboard fail

<i>Touch not the motherboard.</i>

But, really, the actual errors would be of immense use to you . Look them up. That is why they are there.

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Try "specific" instead of "actual"

by santeewelding In reply to So, check for a drive fai ...

So's you don't land in the same trouble Chad does with his, "real".

Who knows. Maybe our petitioner is as sensitive to being as to the motherboard.

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Stop errors

by jbbauer44 In reply to So, check for a drive fai ...

Oh I did look up the stop errors every time. The thing thats weird is they were always different, and a lot said they had to do with drivers. However, they were coming up during the installation of XP SP3, and some of the stop errors were patched in SP2.

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Event Log Details?

by jaytrain40 In reply to Stop errors

Are you able to read even log details after this occurs? Sometimes those logs provide more information to you than the stop error would.

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Indeed.

by seanferd In reply to Event Log Details?

As well as the installation log.

The point about looking up the errors, though, was that <i>we</i> don't know what they are, so it is unlikely we could suggest anything specific. But since you report they are all driver errors, it certainly could be the mobo.

Before you reinstalled, though, did you wipe the drive - not just reformat, but wipe with something like DBAN or Killdisk. Could just be corrupt data on the drive, or even a drive with a corrupt region that just happens to be where the drivers are being installed. Could also be one bad piece of expansion hardware, depending on the driver errors. But seeing as how live cds won't work, it would certainly seem to be a hardware issue.

Mobos go bad all the time.

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I replace several mobos every month

by NickNielsen In reply to Indeed.

This is, in fact, the primary problem I have with the register PCs in my stores. With only one exception (power supply), every hardware-related register failure in the past year has been for fat or bleeding caps on the mobo.

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fat caps

by jbbauer44 In reply to I replace several mobos e ...

Have you replaced bad motherboards without fat or bleeding caps? This board appears to be fine.

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They don't have to be obviously fat

by NickNielsen In reply to I replace several mobos e ...

They can fail either at the top or the bottom. If they fail at the bottom, they may not have swelled at the top, but they usually swell before they fail.

I use two different ways to check for swelling caps:
1. Run your finger over the tops of the electrolytic capacitors. (These are the ones that look like cans.) The tops of the capacitors should be slightly concave. You should be able to distinctly feel the edge of the ring around the top, with no part of the tops protruding.
2. Shine a light at the tops of the cans; you should see a focused reflection.

In both cases, if the capacitor has been overheated and is 'fat', it has most likely changed value or failed outright. Here are some pictures of bad electrolytic capacitors. http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5

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hard drive

by jbbauer44 In reply to Indeed.

I did not wipe the drive, however I tried installing on another hard drive which I formatted and it still wouldnt work.

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