First of all, I would like to say thank you in advance, to anyone willing to take a crack at my PC problems. This is my first post, but by the look of things, Im confident I will get some much needed assistance.

The Beginning

About 5 months ago I purchased a computer from a friend for $150. Not the smartest purchase I've ever made, but I really needed one, and so I went against my better judgement. Everything worked fine for the first 2 months untill I purchased and installed a VisionTek 9200 Series Graphic Card by ATI technologies Inc.

The Problem

Shortly after the video card was installed, my PC started restarting on its own for absolutely no reason. It doesn't shutdown or flash an error message. It just restarts as if I inputted the commands. Its completely random and without warning. I would love to be able to say I've tried everything to fix this problem, but the truth is my knowledge of the home PC is somewhat limited and I really dont want to make the problem worse.

Here are some specs that may help in solving my problem.


Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition
Version 2002
Service Pack 2


Intel Celeron CPU
1.2 GHz, 512 MB of Ram

Hope that helps.

I also purchased 256mb of ram and installed it in my computer after I already installed the new video card. The random restarts began after the video card and before the extra ram, so I dont think its the memory.

I have tried updating the driver for the video card once or twice, and I have disabled the automatic restart function in advanced options and the machine still crashes. I have also (in my haste to fix my problem) downloaded the newest version of internet explorer, which is still in beta I believe, and uninstalled the version that came with the PC. Im not sure if this could be causing the problem, but it just doesnt seem logical to me.

Im really not too sure of what I should do, but taking the computer to some guy thats gonna charge me an arm and a leg is just not an option. What I want to do is just wipe out the entire hard discdrive and be done with it. Im not sure if this could fix the problem (maybe it the hardware) but I figure its worth a shot. Only problem with that is I dont have the windows xp recovery disc to reinstall windows xp.

I need to know if there is any way to fix it and stop the random restarts, or should I just start with a clean hdd. If I should wipe the hdd, is there any way that I can create a windows recovery disc? I have looked far and wide for a sloution and have come up with nothing. This problem is frustarting beyond measure and Im very tempted to just throw the whole thing in the street. (It has restarted a couple of times already)

I aapologize for the length of this post. Im just making sure to add everything possible. I have been looking for help for some time now to no avail.

If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated. and Im very grateful to anyone just willing to try.

Thank You very much.

Recommended Answers

All 4 Replies

Hello,Welcome to Daniweb ,not sure why the computer restarts with out warning or a BSOD error ,maybe a heat problem ,Celerons don't usually run hot but! ,check cpu fan ,when you restart computer after a crash , go into the bios and check for pc health section [if there not in all bioses ]to see cpu temps .also consider a video card compatibility problem ,do you have another one to try
To address the winxp no disk problem ,do you have a winxp cd key lable on the the computer case from the orignal owner .if yes you then can just borrow a winxp cd same version and use that key


I fully agree with Caperjack, i think you are having a thermal shut down problem... this happens when the paste between the heatsink and cpu becomes old and dried out thus not cooling properly. If you feel you are up to it remove CPU heatsink and check the condition of the thermal paste. Clean both areas with an alchol based cleaning agent and apply new thermal paste to the CPU ..... Dont be shy with paste and refit heatsink and refit CPU FAN to motherboard connections dont forget to do this. Restart Machine and let us know.


South Africa

Since this problem started when you installed the vid card, the first step would be to remove that card and see if things work fine. If they do, check the card on a different computer. If the card works fine on the computer, I'd recommending getting a higher capacity Power Supply Unit. It could be that the card is drawing too much power and the PSU is not able to deliver. See if this helps and get back to us.

Thanx alot guys...I will just do everything you guys have suggested and see what happens. Finally..some very grateful guys. Thanx again.

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