Why does my PC spontaneously restart?

Question

My computer reboots itself frequently. I've tried removing components to see if there's a problem with the devices, but the problem continues. I've tried replacing motherboards, heatsink, and power supply but the problem doesn't go away. I have an A7M266 Motherboard from ASUS, AMD Athalon Thunderbird 1.33 GHz., 512 DDR 4100 RAM, GeForce Video card 64MB, SoundBlaster Live, DVDROM, 40GB harddrive, NIC card, Modem, 4USB slots, and a 250 Zip Drive. I can't figure out why it's rebooting itself. If I leave it for a couple of days then it would work for probably 10 minutes when I first boot it up. After that, it reboot itself very veyr frequently. PLEASE HELP!!!

kt

Answer

This question was answered on December 16, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Computers which switch off or restart spontaneously usually have issues with overheating

First, be sure all air vent pathways are clear for at least several inches outside the machine If your CPU is set into one of those office console cubby-holes they make these days, it may not be getting the ventilation it needs

Next, be certain both your power suppy and CPU fans are fully operative

Check the inside of your fan and case, and especially around the CPU heat sink for dust or pet hair A can of compressed air, purchased at office supply or electronics stores for just such purposes can help blow out the dust.

You mentioned replacing the heat sink Anytime a heat sink is removed for any reason, recommendation is to replace the pad or grease which couples it thermally to the CPU Those pads change state after they see heat from the CPU, sort of like epoxy, but don't actually harden This is more important than it might seem, as visual inspection will not reveal any flaws.

I have a similar machine, and have also fitted it with an auxiliary fan, which most newer CPU cases already include cut-outs for In fact, an empty cut-out with no fan installed will result in inefficient airflow.

Make sure your drive cables are not impeding air flow This can happen easily Those new round format cables are recommended in place of the flat ribbon cables which probably came with your computer.

Don't despair Being a careful shopper, I procured both my fan and the cables mentioned for eleven dollars, total.

If that doesn't clear things up, a trip to the shop is recommended

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on December 16, 2002