Friend of mine brought me his OEM Acer computer, because of BSOD. Afte securing data, I activated the hidden partition, and restored to factory. OS loaded and was stable. After loading some of his apps, was ready to hook up NIC and test connectivity. Did so, but within 2 minutes computer rebooted, and has continued to do so, whether I hook up directly to my router with ethernet cord, or use a NetGear wireless N USB card. I have done the following to fix it to no avail.
Checked Screen saver settings, set to NONE
Checked Power settings, set to balanced.
Checked the BIOS for any Wake on LAN, etc, all settings look good including voltage, etc
Changed cords, and ports on router connection, no success. regardless of cord, or port, computer still reboots within 2 minutes.
Setup a new administrator account, logged off, logged back in under new name/account, same reboot problem.

Here's my quandary. I have activated the hidden partition, and returned the computer to the settings that were there when it was sold. If I DO NOT hook up the NIC, the computer runs great. I had 6 applications open, and was playing chess and solitaire and it performed fine. Why would hooking the wired NIC, or the wireless USB NIC cause the computer to reboot?

Any help is appreciated


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It sounds like a possible firmware problem. Do a complete flash reset on the computer - not sure what the procedure is for this unit (it will be found on the manufacturer's web site most likely), but usually it is something like this:

  1. Shut down computer. Unplug from wall power.
  2. Remove battery (if a laptop). If not a laptop, remove the flash/bios battery (looks like a coin) from the motherboard.
  3. Hold down power key for 10-30 seconds.

If that doesn't work, they download a new flash/bios package from the manufacturer's site and reflash the system. Then, reinstall.

One final possibility is that the system has become infected with a rootkit. I have experienced some that actually infect the recovery partition as well, so doing a reset of the OS to "factory" settings that way will still result in a fubar'd system.

Can you tell us the full make & model of this computer, please?

Acer Aspire X1420G
AMD Athlon II x4 645 processor, 3.10Ghtz
4 gigs of RAM

That slot is reserved for a Graphics Card. Page 1 of the manual for this system simply says, "One PCI Express x16 slot (reserved for GPU card installation)"

I'm sorry I missed something, this is an OEM machine, I've changed nothing as far as hardware


No, it's okay, I didn't explain it well enough.

You are trying to insert a NIC into the motherboard of this computer, is that correct?

According to the manual that motherboard has only one PCI-E slot available, is that what you see?

The manual says that the slot you are trying to insert the NIC into is only for Video cards. So, this motherboard won't accept a NIC in that slot.

Please see page one of the motherboard manual, it says this about that available slot:

"One PCI Express x16 slot (reserved for GPU card installation)"

Why don't you use the integrated NIC?

I'm sorry I didn't explain myself very well, its an Acer OEM that I was fixing, I am using the integrated NIC, as I said, I've changed nothing as far as hardware, its all factory.

I see now! That is weird!

Please tell us more about your Router then. Is it capable of POE? (Power Over Ethernet) We need to know the make and model of your Router.

Make sure that you are not using the POE port to connect to your computer. Only use the standard Ethernet parts on the Router for your PC. If you are unsure which ports are which, we will be able to tell you once you can tell us the make and model of your Router.

Please tell us more about your Router then. Is it capable of POE? (Power Over Ethernet) We need to know the make and model of your Router.

Good suggestion, but as the OP repeated the test with a Wireless NIC, POE wouldn't affect it.

I'm inclined to agree with rubberman, this could possibly be a rootkit waiting for remote commands. Have you tried running the NIC on the local network only, disconnecting the internet?

I might've said it could be an electrical issue, but as it is affecting wireless as well...It could be a motherboard driver issue? ECS (eMachines) don't exactly make the best quality motherboards in my opinion =/

Router's not the issue, as verified by the wireless test. AND have hooked up other machines to the router without problems.

If its a rootkit, I'll have to blow the whole thing away and install a fresh OS, or is there a tool to identify and kill it?

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