Re: PC can't reboot!

From: Malke (notreally_at_invalid.invalid)
Date: 11/15/05

Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 06:13:14 -0800

RC wrote:

> My PC is Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2.
> Recently my PC acts very strange as following:
> 1. When I reboot/restart, the PC keep rebooting,
> never able come up the Windows login. Sometime
> get the choose to boot, I have to boot as Safe Mode.
> Sometime I MUST turn off the power, the restart.
> By the way, I ALWAYS do shutdown, never just direct
> turn off power.
> 2. Sometime the PC auto reboot when I working in the middle
> of something! Then something happen as describe in 1.
> Well, I assume have virus in my PC. Then I use McAfee anti-virus
> software to scan the PC, found no virus.
> Then I back up the OS, bought a new hard disk, replaced the old
> disk. Reinstalled the Windows OS. It seems better, but the problem(s)
> do not go away. I described in 1. still happen!
> Well, the last thing I am going to try is buy new memory RAM, replace
> them.
> Anyone out there has similar experiences like that? Do you
> have solution(s) for me? Because recently Microsoft had several
> Windows updates.
> Thank Q very much in advance!

Instead of just doing scattershot troubleshooting where you run out and
buy new stuff, do more methodical troubleshooting. I would suspect the
RAM, or the power supply, or overheating. Here are general
troubleshooting steps. Obviously, not everything will apply to you. All
troubleshooting should be done systematically, only making one change
at a time and then testing after each change before going on to the
next item.

1) Open the computer and run it open, cleaning out all dust bunnies and
observing all fans (overheating will cause system freezing). Obviously
you can't do this with a laptop, but you can hear if the fan is running
and feel if the laptop is getting too hot.

2) Test the RAM - I like Memtest86+ from Obviously, you
have to get the program from a working machine. You will either
download the precompiled Windows binary to make a bootable floppy or
the .iso to make a bootable cd. If you want to use the latter, you'll
need to have third-party burning software on the machine where you
download the file - XP's built-in burning capability won't do the job.
In either case, boot with the media you made. The test will run
immediately. Let the test run for an hour or two - unless errors are
seen immediately. If you get any errors, replace the RAM.

3) Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the mftr. Download
the file and make a bootable floppy or cd with it. Boot with the media
and do a thorough test. If the drive has physical errors, replace it.

4) The power supply may be going bad or be inadequate for the devices
you have in the system. The adequacy issue doesn't really apply to a
laptop, although of course the power supply can be faulty.

5) Test the motherboard with something like TuffTest from Sometimes this is useful, and sometimes it isn't.

Testing hardware failures often involves swapping out suspected parts
with known-good parts. If you can't do the testing yourself and/or are
uncomfortable opening your computer, take the machine to a professional
computer repair shop (not your local equivalent of BigStoreUSA).


Elephant Boy Computers
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User

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