Random rebooting on Dell optiplex gx240

By CoreyX64 ·
Hi all,

I have a Dell optiplex gx240 computer that when running it spontaneously reboots from normal working order to the bios screen, initializing a reboot. I have eliminated heat as an issue, as the machine has been blown out free of dust and dirt. Hestsink etc is all installed properly, temps measure at 40c.

It is running windows xp pro sp3 with a p4 clocked at 1.5ghz 512mb of ram and 40gb wd caviar hdd.

I did a fresh reformat on it. So software wise I think everything is correct. I'm assuming this is a hardware problem. I got the bsod once (didn't remember the error code) and now every time after that it just turns to a black screen and restarts to the bios.

any ideas? hoping to get this fixed soon. It does this during computer usage and during idle phases.

Thanks in advance. If you need any info, please let me know. I would be glad to provide it.

question: do you think my ram is bad? Well at least one of the 2 sticks?

- Corey -

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All Answers

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Ram failure

by Jacky Howe In reply to Random rebooting on Dell ...

will normally cause it to freeze or lock up.

You can test the memory by running Windows Memory Diagnostic that can be downloaded from If memory problems are found, try re-seating the RAM. If it doesn't work, replace the defective RAM. Try one stick at a time.

Also check the Capacitors around the CPU for swelling or bulging. They should have a distinct + on the top.

Can you try another PSU?

Edit: to add

Swap the Power switch to the front panel with the Reset switch to rule out a faulty switch.

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It doesn't necesarily lock up...

by CoreyX64 In reply to Ram failure

It just blacks out and reboots. No lockups. I will run the memtest anyway for process of elimination. However this is a client's machine and I won't be able to get it in my hands until Friday. Anything else I should ponder until then?

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Uncheck Automatically restart

by Jacky Howe In reply to It doesn't necesarily loc ...

1. Press the WinKey + Pause
2. Click Advanced and under Startup and Recovery select Settings.
3. Uncheck Automatically restart.
4. Click on the dropdown arrow under Write debugging information.
5. Select Small memory dump (64 KB) and the output is %SystemRoot%\Minidump.
6. Restart the PC normally as this will allow the System to Blue Screen and create the Minidump.

Minidump Files can be found here. C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Mini122707-02.dmp

How to read the small memory dump files that Windows creates for debugging

To download and install the Windows debugging tools, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Instructions on using Windbg.

Open Windbg and select file, Symbol file path and browse to the Symbol folder that you have downloaded and installed Symbols to, select OK.
Close the workpage and save the Workspace information. This should lock in the Symbol path.
Open Windbg and select file and select Open Crash Dump then navigate to the minidump, highlight it and select Open.
There are two ways to use !analyze -v the easiest is to click on !analyze -v under Bugcheck Analysis.
When you have ran the initial dump if you look to the bottom of the screen you will see kd> to the right of that type in !analyze -v and press the Enter key.
Ctrl + a will let you copy the information and paste it into notepad.

Look to the bottom of the page for information like this. This was fixed by updating the Graphics Drivers.




PROCESS_NAME: logon.scr

LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from 00000000 to bfef0fea

f6434e6c 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 sgiul50!DrvBitBlt+0x585

STACK_COMMAN .thread 0xffffffff864f6a98 ; kb

bfef0fea 75f9 jne sgiul50!DrvBitBlt+0x580 (bfef0fe5)


SYMBOL_NAME: sgiul50!DrvBitBlt+585


MODULE_NAME: sgiul50

IMAGE_NAME: sgiul50.dll


FAILURE_BUCKET_I 0xEA_IMAGE_sgiul50.dll_DATE_2001_08_18

BUCKET_I 0xEA_IMAGE_sgiul50.dll_DATE_2001_08_18

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auto restart

by CoreyX64 In reply to Uncheck Automatically res ...

Thanks I'll add that to the to do List when I see the machine next. Also I less think it's the ram more than it is the psu. like a half second before it blake screens and reboots, I hear a not loud, but very distinct and noticable click noise. Then when it black screens all LEDs on the machine go out. And come back on with the bios screen.

That's just more info on the symptoms of the problem. Hope they help.


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Have you access

by Jacky Howe In reply to auto restart

to a replacement hard drive. I don't like the sound of noticable clicks. Do as OH Smeg has suggested and test the hard drive as that is normally where the sound comes from.

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Yes I have a replaceMent

by CoreyX64 In reply to Have you access

In fact it's the same exact make and model as the one currently installed. I will run that disk Checker oh smeg posted and test the hard drive.


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You're on the ball

by Jacky Howe In reply to Yes I have a replaceMent

let us know how you get on.

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Also check

by Jacky Howe In reply to Yes I have a replaceMent

to see what the System is plugged into. If it is a powerboard try another or try another power outlet.

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direct power

by CoreyX64 In reply to Yes I have a replaceMent

its plugged right into the wall outlet. No power strip is connected.


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Ram is bad

by CoreyX64 In reply to Ram failure

I'm almost positive the ram is bad now. I booted it up today and received the following messages upon posting of the Dell bios:

memory address error (followed by a bunch of 0x000... Codes)
memory decreased from 512mb to to 128mb (note there are only 2 256mb modules installed)

the amount of system memory has changed.

ERROR: 8602 AUXILIARY DEVICE FAILURE (displays, power kills then reboots all the way into windows xp.

very very weird. But now how do I determine which stick is bad? pull one out and run diagnostic, then swap and repeat?



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