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Old 10-16-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Default COmputer restarting on its own

I have a computer on my bench that seems to randomly restart on its own. Id doesn't matter if I'm booted in normal mode, safe mode or from a live CD.

This leads me to believe that it could be a hardware issue. RAM?

Several brains are better than one.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

I don't know if this will be of any help, but I've only seen that issue once before.

The machine would just randomly perform a warm boot on it's own, even when standing idle on the Windows desktop.

It turned out to be the TIM on the CPU heat spreader, that had dried out, and caused poor contact with the HSF cooling plate. As a result the CPU would throttle back, and cause a warm boot.

Cleaning the old O.E.M. TIM thoroughly, and replacing it with OCZ Freeze did the trick. That was about 4 months ago, and this machine has not re-booted even once in all this time.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

Go into your power settings or check your bios settings for power as it may be set to boot on when your power is disrupted.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

My bet: It's the power supply. It's dying. And the bios is set to "resume" when it loses power.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

Some info on the system.

It's a Dell DM051 with a 2.66GHz Pentium D and 2 512MB sticks of DDR2.

There is a setting labeled AC Recovery which is set to off. This means that the system will stay off after interruption of AC power. The default setting is off and has not been changed. Suspend mode is set to S3.

The system has some nasty infection which changed the associations of exe files in the registry. I think this is unrelated as the system restarts even when booted from a live CD. As a result, I can't install any monitoring tools.

Hammy, good call on the thermal compound. It makes sense as this is an older system.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

Snappy, let us know the final resolution.

This one is very interesting.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

Computers these days eh? the power supply is not giving enough power to newly added hardware or the power supply is broken.
maybe there's been change in software relating to how the computer components behave like AMD cool & quiet driver accidentally got uninstalled. this driver tells the processor to use less power when idling.

try turning on the computer and not open any task for a while, if the computer don't restart then the PSU is the problem.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

I changed the heatsink and paste. No difference.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

Flakey, intermittent Reset Button contact, or connection?
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: COmputer restarting on its own

There's no reset button on the case.

I ran a hardware test and got through half of the memory test before it rebooted on its own. Everything is telling me that this is a hardware issue.

The processor passed the test as well as one memory stick.
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