Why does my PC reboot?

Question

My computer lately unexpectedly reboots while I'm using programs. I have a 1.6 ghz AMD processor with 512 mb of RAM, however I think it is a lack of memory that causes my system to reboot. It has happened during certain games and also performing some window tasks, but mostly during games. I have downloaded MaxMem and have tried to control my memory that way, but sooner or later the program quits and the computer restarts. I've been trying to play slightly older games like Diablo (which ran fine on my old Pentium 133)and Lands of Lore, but this problem is getting very frustrating. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer

This question was answered on December 10, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Nope, it's probably not memory.

AMD microprocessors are notorious for being overclocked (or over-spec'd) right from the factory When they get hot, they reboot, and that's the name of that tune I run a 1.8 GHz myself Right from the store, it had a reboot problem.

Suggestion is be sure you are running a good, healthy, perhaps oversized CPU fan

Since you are a gamer, you'll need to go even further Most cases these days have a space for an extra case fan Install one.

Be certain the heat sink pad on the processor is in healthy condition Recommendation is to replace the heat sink pad (or grease)if you remove the heat sink for any reason This is a lot more critical than it may sound

Keep all dust away from the fans and heat sink with a can of compressed air available at office supply and electronics stores for such purposes Be certain ribbon cables inside your machine are not impeding air flow.

Additionally, be sure you have good air flow all around the outside of the machine Don't fit it neatly into a corner, and above all, don't use one of those cubby-holes they build into PC desk stations these days You will be able to ward off more aliens more efficiently if you follow this advice.

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on December 10, 2002