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Okay... I'm fixing a computer for my father's co-worker. The XP box started rebooting for no reason at all when he was running some programs a couple weeks ago. He approached me at work a few times to try to get some tips on what to do. Apparently, from the sounds of it, his box would reboot at random times, no matter what program is running. I suggested to him to try testing each of his RAM one by one. The problem still persisted. He bought a new hard drive and reinstalled WinXP on it, still the same problem. He tried reinstalling, and WinXP started giving errors during the installation. He tried going back to Win98 and got error messages during the installation of it as well. Since I was not present during each installation, I did not know which messages they were. However, I suggested to him that he try upgrading his mobo, proc, and RAM, since it might be his mobo. He ordered some stuff in, and got me to do the installation.

Specs are:
Asus A7N8X-X (NForce2 chipset)
Athlon XP 2000+
512 MB Kingston

Retained Hardware:
ATI Radeon 7200 64 MB
Plextor DVD+-RW Drive
LG CD-RW Drive
SoundBlaster Live Value
DLink DFE-530TX 10/100 NIC
AOpen 56K Modem

Put everything together, did a clean install of WinXP. After repartitioning the drive with one partition and formatting ini NTFS, the setup came up with an error in some DLL file which I have forgotten the name of. Tried reinstalling again, and it went off without a hitch this time, except when it tried starting XP after the install, I immediately got a STOP error - PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA. After yet another reinstall, WinXP started up normally. Installed the NForce2 drivers. Tried installing the ATI drivers. The computer rebooted itself. So, changed the setting to disable automatic reboots. Installed ATI drivers again. Did a Windows Update. After that, tried browsing the web and got a different STOP error - DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. During random times, received several program errors in different DLLs. Received the same PAGE_FAULT STOP error a few times. During this time, I have removed many of his devices - the sound card, the NIC, the modem, and even the floppy and the CD-RW. The STOP errors still persist. Sometimes, the computer just reboots. Also, when the computer starts up, it takes about a couple minutes to load the Connect To menu when trying to connect to DSL (I have encountered this problem before and have only fixed it 50% of the time).

The last thing I have not replaced is the video card, and he bought an ATI Radeon 9200 128 MB a day ago. I am going to be installing it tomorrow, and doing another clean install. Somehow, I have the sinking feeling that this is not going to work, and it may be either the hard drive or the mobo, but how could it be giving the same kind of errors that he had before? I don't know if the errors are exactly the same, but the way they are happening are familiar to him, and he recognizes some of the errors. Any input would be appreciated.

- MugenHAN

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Last Post by MugenHAN
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Okay... I'm fixing a computer for my father's co-worker. The XP box started rebooting for no reason at all when he was running some programs a couple weeks ago. He approached me at work a few times to try to get some tips on what to do. Apparently, from the sounds of it, his box would reboot at random times, no matter what program is running. I suggested to him to try testing each of his RAM one by one. The problem still persisted. He bought a new hard drive and reinstalled WinXP on it, still the same problem. He tried reinstalling, and WinXP started giving errors during the installation. He tried going back to Win98 and got error messages during the installation of it as well. Since I was not present during each installation, I did not know which messages they were. However, I suggested to him that he try upgrading his mobo, proc, and RAM, since it might be his mobo. He ordered some stuff in, and got me to do the installation.

Specs are:
Asus A7N8X-X (NForce2 chipset)
Athlon XP 2000+
512 MB Kingston

Retained Hardware:
ATI Radeon 7200 64 MB
Plextor DVD+-RW Drive
LG CD-RW Drive
SoundBlaster Live Value
DLink DFE-530TX 10/100 NIC
AOpen 56K Modem

Put everything together, did a clean install of WinXP. After repartitioning the drive with one partition and formatting ini NTFS, the setup came up with an error in some DLL file which I have forgotten the name of. Tried reinstalling again, and it went off without a hitch this time, except when it tried starting XP after the install, I immediately got a STOP error - PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA. After yet another reinstall, WinXP started up normally. Installed the NForce2 drivers. Tried installing the ATI drivers. The computer rebooted itself. So, changed the setting to disable automatic reboots. Installed ATI drivers again. Did a Windows Update. After that, tried browsing the web and got a different STOP error - DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. During random times, received several program errors in different DLLs. Received the same PAGE_FAULT STOP error a few times. During this time, I have removed many of his devices - the sound card, the NIC, the modem, and even the floppy and the CD-RW. The STOP errors still persist. Sometimes, the computer just reboots. Also, when the computer starts up, it takes about a couple minutes to load the Connect To menu when trying to connect to DSL (I have encountered this problem before and have only fixed it 50% of the time).

The last thing I have not replaced is the video card, and he bought an ATI Radeon 9200 128 MB a day ago. I am going to be installing it tomorrow, and doing another clean install. Somehow, I have the sinking feeling that this is not going to work, and it may be either the hard drive or the mobo, but how could it be giving the same kind of errors that he had before? I don't know if the errors are exactly the same, but the way they are happening are familiar to him, and he recognizes some of the errors. Any input would be appreciated.

- MugenHAN

Run memtest86 on it to see if the memory is bad: http://www.memtest86.com/

Random crashes like this sounds to be cpu related...whether bad cpu or cpu is overheating. Are you using thermal grease between the heatsink and the cpu? Try not to use the thermal pads, they're not good at transferring heat.

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Run memtest86 on it to see if the memory is bad: http://www.memtest86.com/

Random crashes like this sounds to be cpu related...whether bad cpu or cpu is overheating. Are you using thermal grease between the heatsink and the cpu? Try not to use the thermal pads, they're not good at transferring heat.

Memtest86 sounds like a good idea. As for the CPU, I have no way of knowing since I only have one chip to test with. I put a dab of thermal compound on the CPU and I spread a thin coat on the bottom of the heatsink itself. The heatsink is a Vantec Aeroflow, spins at 5600RPM.

I do recall something else strange - when I went into BIOS to see if the CPU was indeed overheating through some other flaw, I noticed that it was keeping cool at a very low 24 degrees Celsius. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the most recent CPU's usually running at 35 to 45 degrees with all the proper cooling?

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24 seems a little hard to believe, especially for Athlon. I've lost count of how many blue screens I've come across from melting a heat sink and then killing the RAM because of Athlon. First thing I'd do is get much better cooling for the heat sink, but it sounds like what is there now is not the default.
The DFE NIC, I believe that is for cable and the AOpen is for a phone line? Just a stab at it but if you can rearrange the IRQ settings.
System info has a 'Problem Device' area, that will tell you if it is the case.
Also, right click My Computer and choose Manage, then Event Viewer. A more detailed explanation is there.
Another guess, and this ones a long shot, but did the settings for WaitToKillAppTimeout and HungAppTimeout get changed in the registry? No problem changing them, but the former must be a higher number.

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Depending on climate conditions 24 Celsius is quite believable, especially with a decent heatsink/fan. I've an overclocked 2500+ here that seldom gets above low 30s idle on even hot days ;)

Is that 512Mb of RAM 1 module or two? Which memory slot(s) are used?

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Thanks for all your help with this problem, everybody. After all this time, I finally found out what the problem was.

It was the power supply unit. :eek:

I swapped it out, and the problems disappeared. Looks as though the PSU was failing and wasn't delivering enough voltage to the system. Go figure, eh?

I removed all the non-essential components from the system - so I was running nothing but the barebones, RAM, hard drive, and video card. The problems were still present. The only thing that wasn't changed was the case - so I connected everything on the table instead of inside the case - and that's what tipped me off to the PSU, because it was the last remaining essential component.

This complicated problem turned out to be as simple as a Sherlock Holmes deduction. Hahaha. Once again, thanks a lot for your help, everybody!

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I am having a similar problem...

i have an acer laptop... im not gonna go through all the specs b/c i dont remember them nor do i have the time right now.

1.originally my hard drive was partitioned and everything worked fine... (i had norton antivirus at the time)

2.then b/c of a program (bootskinXP) my hal.dll was corrupt or missing or something and i could not boot.

3. i installed windows 2000 on the same partition as my old xp home.

4. i eventually got my internet connection up again and installed a *SIGH* downloaded copy of xp pro. (at this point with no virus protection). and i installed it on the other partition and switched around all my files....

5. i pay for and download the 2 year norton virus dealy. around this time i began getting more startup errors. i uninstalled a ton of stuff in safe mode but it was still giving me errors.

6. now i cannot boot AT ALL, not to 2000 using the disk, not to xp pro, home, not in safe mode.... now i just get different stop errors every time.

ps. my restore disk doesnt even work.

i get driver iqrl less or not equal, compbatt something... i have gotten at least ten different stop errors....


any ideas???

thanks

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I am having a similar problem...

i have an acer laptop... im not gonna go through all the specs b/c i dont remember them nor do i have the time right now.

1.originally my hard drive was partitioned and everything worked fine... (i had norton antivirus at the time)

2.then b/c of a program (bootskinXP) my hal.dll was corrupt or missing or something and i could not boot.

3. i installed windows 2000 on the same partition as my old xp home.

4. i eventually got my internet connection up again and installed a *SIGH* downloaded copy of xp pro. (at this point with no virus protection). and i installed it on the other partition and switched around all my files....

5. i pay for and download the 2 year norton virus dealy. around this time i began getting more startup errors. i uninstalled a ton of stuff in safe mode but it was still giving me errors.

6. now i cannot boot AT ALL, not to 2000 using the disk, not to xp pro, home, not in safe mode.... now i just get different stop errors every time.

ps. my restore disk doesnt even work.

i get driver iqrl less or not equal, compbatt something... i have gotten at least ten different stop errors....


any ideas???

thanks

It sounds like the hard drive... if you had a program like BootSkinXP, corrupting hal.dll doesn't sound like a normal issue. Norton should have caught a virus in hal.dll if it was corrupted in a usual manner (ie. by a virus). If there was actually file corruption, I would guess that the block where hal.dll was residing failed. Now that Win2K is failing, I'm guessing that the hard drive is starting to fail. Try swapping out the HDD and see if that fixes it. Good luck!

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