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PC reset itself without warning, now will not boot past memory test

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Morgoth, Jan 25, 2011.

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  1. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
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    Hi folks,

    Yet another problem with my pc. I had issues with it before as detailled in this thread-

    http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f16/clicking-freezing-crashing-psu-hd-what-530232.html

    Previously it had the problem of clicking and turning itself off at random. However, I fixed this, so I thought, by buying another PSU, and all was well since that point until today.

    In the middle of installing Microsoft SQL server, the computer restarted itself unexpectedly. Upon reboot, it restarted itself again as soon as I moved the mouse. It did this twice, and then I switched it off. Upon being switched on again it gets to the bit that says 'memory test' and shows the size of the memory, then hangs.

    Any suggestions what could be wrong?

    The PC has Windows XP pro and a grand total of 4 hard drives, two of which have windows installations, but neither of which are even getting to the stage currently of being detected. It has 3gb ram and a Bioforce T560 motherboard.
     
  2. Tanis

    Tanis

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,969
    First Name:
    Shane
    What are you exact system specs? Either full make and model if its a 'big box' machine or the exact make and model of the following if its a self/custom build ... Motherboard, CPU, RAM, Hard Drives, Optical Drives, Graphics Card, PSU (including wattage, how many +12v rails, amps per +12v rail).

    My initial thought would be to look at the RAM if it is consistently locking up at the memory test, but its possible you have other problems based on this and your other post.
     
  3. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    Ah sorry- Biostar (not bioforce oops) T560 motherboard, AMD 4400+ CPU, 4 HDs all Western Digital SATA 2 drives- 250, 320, and 2 500gb ones. I think that the RAM is corsair value or something like that, 3gb of it. Graphics card is a Geforce 6600. Also an LG dvd writer and a dvd drive.

    The PSU used to be the 360w 'enterec; that came with my Asus case. Since not too long ago it's been a PSU that should definitely be able to handle the load, can't remember the precise model- may be a Corsair TX 650w, not sure of the rail specs but as I said, I made sure to go for one that ought to be overkill.
     
  4. Tanis

    Tanis

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,969
    First Name:
    Shane
    That Corsair PSU should be plenty, the question now is 'was any damage done when it was running under the old PSU?' which is a cheap, low quality unit and probably a little low wattage for that setup aswell!

    I would suggest downloading Western Digitals drive testing software (Data Lifeguard) to test each of the hard drives.

    DOS (bootable CD version): http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=30&lang=en
    WIndows Version: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=3&lang=en


    Also get memtest86 and run a good, long RAM test (allow several hours to complete, let it finish at least 2 complete passes of the tests) and see if there are any errors. You need to download the ISO image for Windows and create a bootable CD.
     
  5. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hi, thanks for the advice. Today the PC is back to booting and then resetting itself every time it gets to the windows screen. I opened it up and took out one of the ram sticks with a view to testing if it would boot with one or the other of them out.

    This made no difference however.

    I started to notice though that I can in fact change the boot disk in the bios and boot to my old hard drive successfully (I have 2 boot drives). It has been stable on the old system enough for me to try running some tests on the hard drives.

    I am wondering if possibly something is up with the registry of my normal boot drive. Since I was trying to install various pieces of software (windows SQL server being one of them) when it first crashed, and I have this memory of being asked something about a registry change.

    Could a problem with the registry of a hard drive cause the previous symptoms I was having of the drives not even showing up in bios though and not getting past the memory test?

    Is there any kind of registry fixing software I can run from another boot drive? I downloaded 'free windows registry repair' but it only lets me scan the registry of the current C drive and I obviously need it to run it on the other one.
     
  6. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I think I have sorted the problem! Here's hoping! It doesn't quite explain the getting stuck at memory test bit, but it turns out that it is a common problem for XP SP2 users to have when they install Microsoft SQL express 2005 due to a bug in the software. Apparently a piece of Microsoft software messed up my PC! Would of course not be the first time.

    If anyone else has continuous resetting with installing Microsoft SQL express 2005, you need to boot in safe mode and turn all the SQL related services off. that allows you to boot normally, and there is also a fix I now can't find on the Microsoft site but which allegedly fixes it. I don't know if I'll succeed in getting SQL server things working but I'm just happy to have my PC back!
     
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