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Here are the specs beforehand:

  • ECS K7SEM motherboard
  • AMD Duron 900MHz
  • 2x 256MB PC133 SDRAM
  • The Best Power MT-500P 500W PSU
  • Integrated graphics
  • No hard drive
  • DVD-ROM - will update with brand & model

Now, I was starting up this machine after it was left outside for 3 months in winter weather. (I got this from a friend.) I was able to get it started and tried to load Ubuntu from the DVD-ROM. It was fairly successful and got up to the point when the Ubuntu logo is glowing. However, when Ubuntu was about to go to the main screen, the computer crashed and automatically rebooted.

Is there any reason why this is happening?

Also, I should mention that when I try to hit Delete on the BIOS screen to go to Setup, it only shows a screen with four lines saying something Novell something... I will edit with exact lines.

Should I be resetting the BIOS or something?

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers

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At the least, I'd try running Memtest86+ on the poor system. If it reports any errors, then you most likely have bad RAM. If it crashes, you could have a bad mobo or bad RAM or bad CPU or there could be a magical unicorn crashing your system. It's really hard to know.

If the system does crash or continues to report memory errors with known good RAM, then you'll have ot figure out whats failing. If you have some other compatible hardware, try exchanging things like RAM and CPU. Also, a BIOS reset and/or firmware upgrade may help. But who knows really.

We all must come to a point though that some slightly-broken systems are not worth the effort to find the single component that is broken.. it all depends on how much time you have on your hands.

If Memtest86+ does pass (make sure to let it run for a good hour or two) then the hardware does not have problems, for the most part. Try disabling features in BIOS. For instance, disable the onboard LAN and Audio, disable USB if you don't need it. Get your system down to the bare bones to attempt to figure out what driver it is trying to load that causes it to crash. Also, what type of integrated graphics? If it is Nvidia, I'd try getting an external PCI/AGP/whatever your board's slots are video card that is known to have open source drivers for Ubuntu. Also, if you do this make sure to disable the onboard video in the BIOS.

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I was able to run Memtest86+ for nearly 7 hours without any crashes. Not too sure why it would have happened with Ubuntu booting from disc, though. –  Wesley Apr 12 '10 at 3:05
    
@Wesley what was your solution to this problem so we all can know? –  Earlz Apr 28 '10 at 21:27
    
I don't think there was an actual solution to this. This was asked a while back and since then, the specs were changed. I managed to get a Fujitsu 20 GB HDD and I downgraded to a 250W PSU. DVD-ROM may or may not have been switched. I can try booting up Ubuntu again later. –  Wesley Apr 28 '10 at 22:52
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I think that you're finding out why this computer was left outside for 3 months. If you really want to keep it, do Memtest86 or whatever I guess, mostly because it's easy, then go on to motherboard troubleshooting. Good luck finding parts.

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Yes I know. I'm just learning more about computers this way. I've got three computers/builds with 6+ years old hardware and I actually manage to find parts fairly easily... at least where I live. –  Wesley Apr 3 '10 at 19:18
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