hello all, first post, be kind plz :eek:

anywho, ive got this machine i built myself, running Windows XP SP2 all availible updates installed.
Everytime I go to run a full screen game, (ie final fantasy XI or RollerCoaster Tycoon III) the machine will shut off and restart... but this also happens when the computer is just sitting idle and not doing anything... I havent installed any soft/hardware recently and the computer has been working just peachy up until recently.. Tried system restore but it will not restore any of my checkpoints.. ran an updated virus scan, nothing found, also ran ad aware and removed all bad items.. when the computer boots back up from a restart, it pops a box saying windows has recovered from a serious error, and shows the webpage that says "problem caused by device driver" but doesnt list a specific cause.. keep in mind, i havent made any hard/software changes in at least a month, but all video, sound etc. drivers are the latest versions

also tried windows setup from the CD and it will go as far as "Setup is starting windows" on the blue screen, then it will halt..

i am so tired of dealing with this problem... i needs the expert help! :o :o

thank you in advance!!

What are your system specs?

What wattage have you got on your Power Supply Unit?

phew, here we go..

P4 3Ghz HTT with 1GB RAM...
Running on an MSI mainboard, the model number escapes me at the moment.
400W PSU
Sound: Onboard Sound
Video: AGP NVidia GeForce FX5200
2 Internal IDE HDD
1 DVD burner
tons of USB equipment :o

all housed in a large tower case with 4 case fans intake air from the front and exhaust air out the back, the PSU also has a fan and obviously the proc as well..

One quick note.. the PSU is exhausting warm air, not hot air, but not cool either..

thanks for responding!!

What temp. is the CPU reaching? You should be able to see the temp from the BIOS.

eh... i'll have to go look, im not sure if that will be an accurate temp reading or not because the computer isnt under any type of a load pre-boot time..

I'll go look and edit the details into this message

In the meantime, the system hasnt crashed recently while playing games, i havent done anything other than a chkdsk and defrag, however it did crash once all by itself while i was web browsing, and that returned a "caused by device driver" error upon reboot...

odd stuff....

the CPU temp according to the BIOS is 140F, :!: that seems a little hot... i've got plenty of fans, all of which are running full bore.. why would it be this hot?

Possible power supply problems with your setup. The PSU should be ok for your system, but if you have USB devices they will also request some power, depending on the device from your PC.

Try running your PC without any usb devices, see if that helps. If it does you could buy a USB hub with its own power supply that would solve your problem.

I can't remember the celcius to farenheit conversion, (or how to spell either) but the temps sound ok, and the exhaust temp should be warm as you said. If it was power trouble that might slow the fans down.

I only thought of a power issue, because that would possibly cause a sudden restart rather than system slowness to an eventual reset. Try removing your USB equipment see if that helps.

Let me know,

thanks for the info, however that didnt work either... tried unplugging everything i could except for usb keyboard and mouse, and ran Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, it played well for about 5 minutes and then boom, flash of a stop error and then restart... One interesting note... even though i have unchecked the box for "automatic restarts on system error" it still reboots by itself, not giving me time to see the blue screen... in addition to that, i had turned off and then turned on system restore, deleting all my checkpoint, and i could then restore my system, however after any type of a crash, all my checkpoint are unuseable again.... still cant get past the blue "Setup is starting Windows" screen on the CD installation either..

so essentially, i cant reinstall windows either... i guess im pretty much screwed..

hello again, sorry about the double posts...
I ripped open my case and pulled everything apart riht down to taking the HS/fan off my video card, to clean everything... needless to say there was more dust than i care to have in there... and looking at the 2 RAM sticks, one is 512MB-DDR PC333 (typed exactly a shown on stick) and the other says DDR400(2.5) 512M*16 (typed as shown) are these two different types of ram? if so, then thats probably causing some trouble. if it is the same, my mainboard has 4 slots divided into channel A and channel B.. should i place one stick in each channel, or both sticks in a channel? im also going to try new thermal grease on the GPU and CPU to see if i can cool things down a bit.. :cheesy:

i apologize for the triple post... but the edit button didnt show up on my last post... New information for those who are trying thier best to help me out..

I can now get into windows setup via the CD. I discovered while putting my machine back together that if i leave my internal USB card reader unplugged from the mainboard USB header, then the system will go forward into windows setup, if left plugged in, the system halts at the screen i mentioned before...

i also left it plugged in and went into windows setup to where it halted, waited for some time, then unplugged the usb header while it was on (yes i know this is very bad..) but then instantly the system went forward into the setup program.. has anyone encountered this before?

thanks all..

I see you reached a sum what desperation point on that. Not too sure about the channels, but the RAM sounds like PC3200 (ddr400) and PC2700 (PC333), which would be incompatable.

Probably best with the internal USB reader to check it with it out once the PC is set up, and then try it back in. (For both tests use only one ram stick, the DDR400 one sounds best).

Could someone correct me if I'm wrong on this one.

well, i got a fresh install of XP installed now, and the only thing that seems out of place, is my backup folder i kept on the second hdd is corrupt.. i cant access any of the most recent files i backed up, which really ticks me off...

I'm going to hold off on service pack 2, and throw in some games to see if i can get it to reboot without me asking, and maybe if it doesnt, ill activate windows and everything will be golden... One the RAM note, im kinda glad i found out that they are incompatible, because now i have an excuse to spend more money on RAM :cheesy: right now i left out one stick and im running on the PC333, but after my next shutdown ill change them and see if i get any errors..

i guess as long as everything stays as is right now, then i'll consider everything fixed.. and i suppose we can chalk it up to being mismatched RAM, a funky USB media reader, and some corrupt windows files?

Thanks for everything guys, youve been a big help..!!


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