Hello Everyone I am new to this site (as obviously stated above).

I have a few questions. Maybe someone can help. A few months ago I built a new computer, being tried of my old Dell. Well everything is fine and well for a while, but recently my computer has been restarting at random times. It restarts after a few minutes, after a few hours, when playing games, when doing nothing at all. But usually when playing games. All of my drivers are updated. I unistalled and reinstalled all my devices. My Windows is up to date.

I am thinking it might be my power supply I have a 420w Power Supply. I am not sure about how much that can support but here are some things I have hooked up to it. I have three Hardrives, 120g 120g, 200g. A DVD burner. 2 80 mm Fans. Radeon 9800 XT. 2 UV Cold Cath Bulbs (hooked up to one inverter). Vantec Spectrum Fan Card. I am not sure if that is too much I do not know too much about that area.

If anyone has any Ideas, please contribute them!

Also one more thing. When I check under Device Manager and I expand Display Adapters, I see Two Radeon 9800 XT, Except one is listed as a secondary. That might be it. Everytime I reinstall my card or drivers it is still there. It just detects the second card and installs the drivers Automatically. I can disable it, but I would like to solve this problem. I have physically removed the card and put a different one in. A GeForce, and that one worked fine, It only showed up once. However, Even when using that card it still restarts regardless. EVeything just messed at once. If you have had the patience to read through all of this then I allready thank you. If you can help me fix any of this I will name my first born child after you! Thanks in advance for your time!

Again if you need any more information please let me know, screen shots or system specs etc.


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[...] recently my computer has been restarting at random times. It restarts after a few minutes, after a few hours, when playing games, when doing nothing at all. But usually when playing games

First thought is processor overheating. I had exactly the same problem when I upgraded my current home desktop PC with a new processor. Despite the existing fan being supposedly capable of dealing with the new processor it wasn't. Get a demo version of a system monitor and check out your temperatures. I ended up with round IDE cables and the biggest fan you ever did see but my processor runs at around 40C max now...

My thoughts are perhaps borne out by the number of heat generating components you have installed. Also check the direction of your fans. You need to establish an airflow throughput - in at the front and out at the back or vice versa. Careful cable routeing within the case to minimise airflow disruption.

I would think that a 420W PSU should run all that lot but I note when I just checked the ATI website was that your graphics card requires 300W which gives some pause for thought.... :!:
Insufficient power could also cause these symptoms.

When I check under Device Manager and I expand Display Adapters, I see Two Radeon 9800 XT

Could this be as simple as the card identifying two complementary graphics devices, such as VGA and DVI? I don't know the card myself so this is just a theory. If it works okay who cares how the system represents it?

One other cause for random reboots is of course viruses...check your a/v is up to date, make sure you have some kind of firewall - the Windows built in firewall in XP is pretty good. Try Ad-aware from lavasoft.de to check for spyware.

In general the best way to troubleshoot this sort of thing is to strip anything unnecessary from the PC, see if it works and then gradually add in again, one device at a time. Sadly if this is a power consumption issue then this won't prove anything...

If the system is clean, but still crashing the the worst case scenario is that one of the crashes has caused some internal corruption in an important file somewhere but try to rule out everything else before you try to fix something that isn't necessarily broken.


Aside from the possibilities mentioned above, a bad stick of RAM could be the cause as well. Download and run memtest86; it will do a pretty thorough test of your RAM and will indicate whether or not the RAM is good.

Thanks for the responses thus far. I tired all of them and here is my report:

Well I have a few heat monitoring devices. They all report about 40C for my CPU. I also got rid of my stock fan and got a cooler master. So over heating is not the problem.

The air flow is par. With front fan intake, Rear fan exhaust, and a side fan intake.

I checked with ATI. The Radeon showing up twice under display adapters is how it is meant to be. That was by design, so when I disable one, I am hurting performance. However The Radeon is not my problem. I have a weaker Nvidia, that I tried swapping out but I was still restarting at random times.

I just finished formating my hardrive and reinstalling windows. Adding in one piece at a time. Well it restarts even after a fresh install. before the majority of device drivers are even loaded. Alas I fear it may be a harware problem.

So on to my memory. I tested that and it came up clean. Although after all of that stuff I did I thought I had that nailed. I thought my memory was the culprit. I now have 1536mb of ram. I have two sticks of 512mb and two of 256mb (yes I checked, my motherboard can support up to 3gb of ram). I have tried every combination of RAM. I tried just having 1gb. I tried 512mb. It passes the mem test, and no matter what combo I use my PC restarts.

I am out of ideas. This is a harcdore problem. If it is hardware, then fine, I have a warrenty for everything. Problem is what is broken? I ruled out my videocard and my memory, however This really seems like a memory issue. Anyone else have any ideas?

One more thing. Pictured below this is a screenshot of ALL of my system specs. If you need anything else, please let me know. Unfortunatly, the pic was too big to upload here (421KB). So I zipped it up. Thanks in advance for your time!


no ideas eh? I agree. This is a pretty crappy problem!

BIOS reset?

Just a thought, although about 90% of the time when I have a reboot issue like this, it is RAM I have also experienced this with main power feeds. Check these things because I have had this problem at least once with each of them. Is the wall socket that you plug your powerstrip or PC into loose? It should firmly grip the plug. Replace the powerstrip if you are using one. I had a good one fail like this, it was just too sensitive inside its circuitry and would randomly shut off and come back on. Good luck.

I had the exact same problem recently. I had run all of the diags I could think of, I had even run Sandra's burn-in wizard for about 48 hours straight, just to see what I could turn up.

Memory was fine, CPU was okay-- my temps were actually at about 37C (i've got a Swiftech MCX-462V with a Vantec Tornado 92mm fan on it), so overheating wasn't an issue. Turns out, I reached behind my system to unplug something, and I felt some seriously hot air coming out of the back of the PSU. I checked, and the fan was making about 10 RPM, when it should be doing about 2500 RPM!!!

I swapped out my $15 Pricewatch special with a decent Fortron 400w that I picked up, and now it's running great-- no reboots!

Thanks again for all these responses. I had updated my bios, a while back. Taking your advice I reset it. However the random restarting still occurs.

My Fan Power Supply though...how do I check the fan speed on that puppy? It seems to be okay. I just bought a new power strip a Belkin UPS one. However the restarting yet again occurs. However after one particular restart I got that windows has recovered froma serious error window. So I sent the error report away and I got some interesting info back. I will post the screens of them. Please take a look. This is really starting to piss me off, as it renders my computer useless. However thanks for all your tips and help. I am learning a lot in the process, and by systematically testing each component like this I am bound to find the gimpy piece that is doing this.

Thanks to everyone thus far that has helped! If anyone else has any other ideas, you have a very attentive audiance right here!

Here is an interesting one. This one reports a CPU problem. Again according to all my temperature devices everything is running cool. Processor is currently 40c. System Zone 1 - 36c.System Zone 2 - 38c. Have no idea where those zones are located at however I do not believe my processor ever got hotter than 50 maybe 55. and zone 1 is never very hot. Zone two gets round 50 normally. I wish the intel active monitor told me where these zones are. My front port device also reports a 40c for my CPU. I also got another error about my memory. Sorry I did not get a screen about that. However, if you read earlier, I ran memory tests for about 24 hours and nothing showed.

And here is the last one. All three of these errors came at once after the restart. Now I just had my card checked by ATI and it came back clean. nothing wrong fully functional. So it is a little weird that I should get this problem.

I would appear the restarting has stopped since I did a reinstall. Funny this is after I reienstalled it restarted once or twice (right after) and it restarted once during the install itself! Yikes. But it hasn't done it in weeks! I guess this would be case solved, but it just doesnt feel solved does it?

Well just a half an hour ago, my computer turned off. There was a popping sound and a sulferish smell. I freaked out. I smelled and found out it was coming from my power supply. Obviously when I tried to power the computer on nothing happened. So I swapped that one out, the 420 watt one. And put in a 350 watt one. Here is to that one doing better! I hope this was the reason I had the random restarts!

Interesting saga mate. What brand was the power supply concerned? Was it one included with the case?

Case and power supply unit quality is a factor often overlooked by people who assemble their own systems, and your experience sounds like a handy example to others, mate.

Interesting saga mate. What brand was the power supply concerned? Was it one included with the case?

Case and power supply unit quality is a factor often overlooked by people who assemble their own systems, and your experience sounds like a handy example to others, mate.

Indeed! Buyer beware! What started as a software problem looked like it turned into a hardware problem! I bought the case because it was $40 with a 420 watt power supply, as for the brand of the case it does not specify! The power supply is an Okia brand...i never heard of it. However, I notcied when replacing it with the 350 watt powersupply, that the 350 weighs MORE than the 420. I am not sure if this means better though.

Yes, people should beware of cheap case/power supply combinations! In almost every instance, the power delivered will vary in its voltage levels, in most instances the voltage levels will be below the level required, and in far too many instances the cooling fans included with the power unit will fail after a relatively short period of time.

In the long run, it's more economic even, perhaps, to pay the extra and get a decent quality case and power supply unit from quality manufacturers such as Antec or ThermalTake

Yea, i have this same problem. But i had a virus. Reformatted to get it clean, and i'm getting the random restarts now. Im going to get a new powerstrip and see if that works. I'll be pissed if i tore my PC appart, and test my temps and everything 50,000 times just to find out its my powerstrip,lol. Thxs for all the info guys.

hi, I also have the same problem, a random computer restart. The funny thing is that I can work on the computer through remote desktop, without any restart. If I leave the computer on, with a downloading program running, but logged in through remote desktop, never on the computer, because if I try to log in it restarts, the computer stays allways on. Any suggestions?? thanks

go to start /run type in -- eventvwr.msc --and check for system errors

Make sure the speed of your memory is compatable with your motherboard.

I had the same problem a while ago my computer kept restarting it was because of two things

the first was my computer was dusty like a dustorm had blow over it and my power supply was a peice of junk that should stop restarts

my mates got a viper case and his cpu runs dangerously at 75C not good at all but if his aint restarting at that point i dont think overheating should be a problem at

I am a noob when it comes to computers,all i want to do is play mohaa without this restart/crash. Problem i have run out of patience,any one got a hammer. Please help

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