Restarting Computer

My friend came to me with a computer problem that her computer constantly restarts before it gets to Windows. Now she says that she didn't do anything to it. My teacher said to swap out the power supply so I did that and the problem continued. Any suggestions.

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Could be...

by cmiller5400 In reply to Restarting Computer

Could be many things. It could be a missing/corrupted driver, corrupted registry, hardware incompatibility. Do an F8 on startup and choose safe mode. Does it boot then? If so, it is probably a driver issue. If not, it at least narrows it down to hardware or the whole OS is corrupted. Post back and let me know.

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Still Restarts...

Still no go, the computer still restarts even before the Windows XP Pro logo and that happened in safe mode.

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by cmiller5400 In reply to Still Restarts...

Sounds like the installation is corrupted. Is there any data worth worrying about? If so I would boot up to a linux cd such as knoppix and get the data off. Or use a utility such as Acronis True Image to image the drive. (this is the method I use. I just extract the data from the image) Then do an in place install to see if that helps.

Good Luck!

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by The IIIrd-21567745620702879143694559814103 In reply to Hmm...

Thanks for your help. My friend said that she had nothing vital on it anyway so I'll just reinstall XP.

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Rebuild==Last Resort!

by zuben347 In reply to Thanks...

Have you checked to make sure the CPU fan (unless passively cooled) is working properly? It takes only seconds for a CPU to overheat if not properly cooled and provoke a reboot cycle.

Have you unplugged every internal and external device? Take out every PCI card and unplug the power and data cables from every optical drive, floppy, zip, and hard drive--except the primary boot disk that has the OS that keeps rebooting.

Leave just one module of RAM and test each slot with it. Try the others the same way unless you've uncovered the culprit by now.

Is the Northbridge fan (again, unless it has a heatsink alone) working? Does the case have sufficient air flow from the front and out the back? Dust bunnies teaming up with obstructive IDE ribbons, and oily dust residue slowing down fan blades could be to blame.

Can you hit 'tab' for verbose mode while BIOS runs the POST? Either way, what beep code are you getting?

Can you run TuffTest or some other hardware diagnostic to non-destructively test for bad sectors on your HDD, and verify its MBR?

BartPE has lots of add-ons you can use to troubleshoot, and also can read NTFS partitions. Even if she says there's nothing important on there--next week she might remember her .wab, .dbx's, .pst, or perhaps even a sacred music collection!

How about F8 and "Boot to Last Known Good" restore point?

Take the drive out if all else fails. Slave it if it's an IDE. Run a battery of tests on it AFTER you've pulled any data you might think she may need after all.

Check to make sure the System account has Full Control in the root ACL. Apply to all files and folders. Try it again in her box by itself after RAM and CPU vindication (POST beep should be enough).

Rebuilds take hours, and all of the above should take about an hour or two to determine if it's a hardware issue before you nuke the site from orbit!

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