I'm Stumped

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  #1  
Old 01-22-01, 08:57 AM
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Question

I am unsure of how to diagnose my problem.
I have an intel P2-266 running W98.
For some reason the computer will shut down and restart for no reason. It will do this while in use or while in standby mode.
The processor fan would let out an occasional chirp so I replaced it with a dual fan unit......Didn't help.
Power supply and case fans are working.
I'm stumped
 
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  #2  
Old 01-23-01, 03:21 PM
EMCC
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Lightbulb

It sounds like a break in in the flow of electricity to the computer which is causing Windows to restart. It could be power surges from the electric company. If your system is protected by a surge protector that is not being tripped it could be a faulty power supply. Replace the power supply. It's not an expensive job but it is time consuming. You might also want to check your cables and connections. It could be a break in the cable itself. Try another cable and see if the problem still occurs. If the computer does stop and restart try replacing the power supply. These things take some investigation and patience. Good Luck.
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-01, 05:46 PM
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There are several things that can do this. including (but not limited to) these...

memory problems, memory socket problems...
I had a motherboard that had 4 simm sockets, if the memory was in the first pair , the computer would be intermittent and reset for no apparent reason, and close examination showed a cracked catch that held the simm in place, when I moved it to the seconds row (second pair) it worked fine.
Being a pentium 2 , you likely are using dimms.

Reset button intermittent, sending a reset when you didn't intend to.

power supply intermittent.

If it is a ATX power supply , the operating system can send a shutdown command.

Does this happen when you are working on the computer or can it happen when the system is on, but not in use.

Do you see the power indicator light blink or go out momentaryly when it happens ? It may be hard to see it quick enough as you cannot predict when it will happen. How often does it happen. If you were to boot up on a system boot floppy and let it sit for awhile on the dos prompt, will it shutdown and reboot.

When you say it shutdowns , do you get a reboot as if you simply to restart windows yourself. Does it run a memory check when it restarts.

Does it only happens when using a perticular sequence of applications and if so what is it ?

[Edited by dkerr on 01-23-01 at 08:55]
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-01, 06:06 PM
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Question Still Stumped

EMCC: Thanks for your response.
My computer is connected to a fairly sensitive UPS so I don't think it is a line voltage problem.
I also have removed and replaced the cards and connectors as well as moving the wires while operating.....without sucess.
Although not always possible, I would like to prove out the problem before any parts are changed.
I'm just lacking the knowledge to do this.
Thanks again.
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-01, 07:06 PM
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Smile

dkerr: You have given me alot to chew on.
The shutdown has occured about five times in the last two weeks. Coincidentally, twice while on the automotive forum, once in a word processor and twice during the night when in screensaver mode.Windows runs through a scandisk as if you push reset.
The last thing I have done was disconnect the cable to my network card (peer to peer network with my son's computer) and will see if that does anything.
Thanks for your help!


 
  #6  
Old 01-23-01, 07:36 PM
mikejmerritt
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Just a couple of thoughts. I didn't hear mention of any new software. How long have you been enduring this anomoly? Do you use advanced power management? Have you considered a registry restore to a time before the trouble started? Have you run in safe mode for a while (I know limited fun but..) to see if it goes brain dead there too. Have you killed all but the must keeps in startup for a while to see if this helps. I searched MSKB for an hour reading every entry (probably 300) that pertained to shutdown and not one matched your troubles. It may yet be found. I put these thoughts forth because if it turns out not to be a power problem perhaps we will be ahead of the curve....Mike

[Edited by mikejmerritt on 01-27-01 at 07:18]
 
  #7  
Old 01-27-01, 11:23 AM
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Sorry for taking too long to repost. Disable any advance power management for 2 weeks. Although I never had one go bad, if you unplug the reset wire from the motherboard for 2 weeks, would eliminate the reset switch (just remember exactly where it went). Running in safe mode might help, but it would have to be ran that way for 2 weeks, and only the very absolute basic and needed drivers would be loaded, and some of your software may not work, and the display may not be that pleasing to the eye, not very pratical , and anything less then 2 weeks would not prove a thing considering the problems frequency.

One thought, using diagnostic burn in test, it would have to run from a boot floppy, bypassing the current operating
system. basiclly anytime the computer is not absolutely needed, run the burn in constantly for week or two. It would run memory and cpu tests constantly every moment continously , it would note any hardware problems, and rather or not it happens again. If it does, it is not a windows related problem, and possibly a hardware issue. It it doesn't happen , and no problems have been picked up by the test, it could be a windows related problem, in that case should a solution not be found, format the drive and re-install the system. I have the diagnostic software , however I am not sure I want to give out copyrighted software thru a public forum, so I will do some searching to see what I can find that will serve your purpose that is free or shareware, trailware,etc. that will work, should you decide to pursue this option.

please note any software that has been installed recently after the onset of the problem. Have you done a complete virus scan on your system.

let me know how you would like to proceed.

[Edited by dkerr on 01-27-01 at 02:35]
 
  #8  
Old 01-27-01, 04:25 PM
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Arrow

dkerr:
You have given me a lot of information to work with.
I am presently trying to overcome a handicap.... and that is having three kids still at home, one of which is a computer programmer/analyst(http://nopointintended.com/).
In the many years I have used a computer they have always wanted to fix my probems for me.
This time its my turn!

As far as my shut-down problem goes I think I will start with the basics and reformat my hard drive this weekend and reinstall my os and programs.
While I wait to see if my re-start problem re-occurs, I will study all your responses to help flatten my learning curve.

Thanks alot.
I'll keep you posted.
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-01, 05:34 PM
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I usually redo my system 2 or 3 times a year, it does indeed solves most problems. Some people dislike the prospect but outside of using up some personal time, it is not that difficult. It should certainly fix any windows related problem. Make sure that you have all you drivers, video card, sound card, modem, etc., or at least the name of each card, it makes life easilier later in the event that windows does not come up with the proper driver on its own. 2nd should you not have one alreaady , make a startup disk, this is bootable. Put the startup floppy in the drive, reboot, (assuming your bios is set to boot a then c) and say yes to cd rom support and make sure that you have excess to the cd rom after booting from the start up disk. From the dos prompt , type FORMAT C:/U (push enter) type Y to confirm, and your on your way. This provides an unconditional format.
 
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Old 01-27-01, 06:13 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks
 
  #11  
Old 02-07-01, 10:01 PM
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Thumbs down UPDATE

I have reformatted my computer and reinstalled my software.

WELCOME TO WINDOWS!!!
Frozen screen, netscape 6 going back by itself, frozen screen,modem connection getting kicked off my ISP's server, frozen screen, etc.
I wonder if I can trade all this in for my old problem.

GregH
 
  #12  
Old 02-07-01, 10:32 PM
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Re: UPDATE

[This is one thing about redoing your system, you can't go back. You say that you reformatted your computer. By that do you mean you formatted your hard drive,
c:\format c:/u
that is the dos command to do an unconditional format of the hard drive. You mentioned netscape 6 going back by itself, what do you mean by that, windows does NOT have netscape as part of their install package, you would of had to install it separately. If it came back by itself then you DID NOT format your drive, and you MUST do an complete format of the hard drive before reinstalling your windows operating system. Reinstalling windows over the existing system sometimes works and sometimes causes more problems than the problems that you already had.

Now if you did format your harddrive, in order for you to make reference to netscape then you installed netscape after the windows install. Did windows work perfectly before installing netscape or other software ???

Repost with this info...

 
  #13  
Old 02-08-01, 06:47 PM
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My apologies for the lack of info.
I should know better to have opened my mouth when ticked off.

I performed an fdisk to remove a partition and then an unconditional format.
I installed windows and my hardware drivers. I then installed some of my software (Corel-4, Word, Word Perfect, Netscape-6,
Winamp and ICQ).
I opened each program and took a quick look around, but didn't spend any time living with each program.
Was that my mistake?
There has been some improvement since my last post.
I did a scandisk, corrected some disk errors and then defraggeg the drive. I had installed Netscape 4.7?, later uninstalled it and replaced it with version 6.
Maybe this messed things up.
Am I correct to say that I should install a program and then work with it awhile to be able to spot problems?

GregH
 
  #14  
Old 02-08-01, 07:31 PM
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After each piece of software that you install , you should always reboot the computer before installing the next program. And you should dsable any antivirus software before during any program install.

Make sure that you install one program at a time, and if all appears to work well, then move on. That way if a software install related prohlem occurs , it can be isolated better, but reboot is inportant after any install or uninstall.

 
  #15  
Old 02-15-01, 01:25 AM
Marshall Buttrey
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I most always agree with dkerr, but with this one I don't. Rebuilding a PC from scratch is a waste of time. Keep a log of what you install and when. When your system starts crashing, see what has changed and remore it. Most times (except for WIN 95) there is no need to format and re-build.

Marshall Buttrey
 
  #16  
Old 02-15-01, 08:07 AM
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Thank you Marshall it is nice to know that someone agrees with me most of the time, or even at least some of the time. That is what makes DIY so great , we have a lot of knowledgeable people and we each have a valid opinion on a variety of topics.

Usually with redoing a system, I understand a lot of people fear it or are afraid to do it. What I am saying is, is you tried everything else, redoing the system will solve most all problems (except hardware) . You know you can sometimes spend a lot more time trying to figure out the problem with your operating system then it would take to format a drive and reinstall the system. There is certain things you should do first when a decision is made is format, is to back back up unrepalceable personal data files, address book, and make sure you at least know the names of the video card, modem, etc. But you know my systems gets very well used, I have 2 computers, and will be building more.
I also rarely do an upgrade when installing a newer operating system, I like doing a clean install , that way nothing is left behind from the previous system.

take care

Don Kerr
 
  #17  
Old 02-18-01, 06:56 PM
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Smile I agree with you both.

Thank you all for your responses.
I agree with Marshall that the proper way to solve a problem is by locating the root fault,and then correcting it.
However, when someone has limited knowledge in computer theory, as in my case, reformatting or reinstalling is the simplest way.
A case in point is the installation of Nescape 6 from a disk I had. It repeatedly crashed upon opening. After spending about an hour and a half trying to fix it, I uninstalled, downloaded a new one from Netscape, and now it works fine.

GregH


 
  #18  
Old 03-04-01, 06:34 PM
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Unhappy I'm Stumped

I spoke a little too soon when I said that Netscape 6 was working fine. I find that N6 takes forever to load and crashes much too often. I've decided to give up and find that the latest version of IE works just fine.
My problem is that Netscape won't uninstall. The message I get when trying to do an uninstall is: "error occured while trying to uninstall. Program may have already been uninstalled. Would you like to delete from uninstall list?"
Does anyone have any ideas?

GregH
 
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