Windows XP RAID 5 drives Intel Dual Core processor 2 GB Ram

I am running a processor temperature monitor. It does not appear to be overheating. I do not have virus. The PC freezes and reboots. I do not think it is software related, because it will reboot if it is doing nothing.

Could it be the power supply? Might i need to replace it? How do I diagnose this?

Is this the kind of question that is appropriate here? I am not sure.

migrated from serverfault.com May 12 '10 at 2:30

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

  • Appropriate if you call it a server instead ;-) – Mathew Jun 19 '09 at 15:41
  • I don't see why this can't be sysadmin related. – user2074 Jun 19 '09 at 15:48
  • PC = Personal Computer. No difference IMO. I'm just being obnoxious to the people that constantly downvote and cry superuser ;-) – Mathew Jun 19 '09 at 16:10

The cause of many reboots is driver related. Right click My Computer, select properties. go to the advanced tab. Under Start up and Recovery click on settings. turn OFF the option to automatically restart. if its an OS issue you should get dumped to a BSOD and can then get the error and error codes to research.

For hardware failure try a different powersupply and take a look at the motherboard, if any of the capacitors have white/yellowish stuff on them or are round on top then you have a blown motherboard. Sometimes a blown motherboard will run for a while then lose power, depends on which caps are fried.


I've seen where a flaky power source will randomly freeze a machine. Rebuilt the darn thing 4 times and swapped with different hardware before we finally put a meter on the power source. This was back before our rack days...

So yes, bad power supply will do it. If you rule that out plug it in somewhere else.

  • I've had the same thing on a handful of Dell Optiplexes – user2074 Jun 19 '09 at 15:49
  • I've had that with dell optiplexes when they had a 3com wireless card installed. The occasional random freeze and it was only the wireless ones. – Shial Jun 19 '09 at 17:01

Check out your event logs. They will tell you if something errored out before it rebooted. If you see nothing, then you can start looking into hardware failure. There are some good boot CD utilities to check for hardware/memory issues.


Most diagnosis is done by swapping components. The video card is responsible for a surprising number of evils. Also the video driver (try running the generic one for a while).


broken RAM can also cause spurious reboots. Check it using memtest or using Windows Memory Diagnostics (available on any Windows Vista install DVD).


The RAM is most likely the cause on your problem. It's cheap, so maybe you can just swap in another piece of RAM just to see if it helps.


Temp sensors may not always be accurate. If you suspect that heat is the problem it's easy to diagnose.

  1. Open the case.
  2. Clean out dust.
  3. Point a table fan a the inside of the box.
  4. If the problem goes away you have a heat issue.

Place the fan far enough away (several feet) that any bad EM/RF it emits will not affect the PC but it still keeps the inside of the PC cool.

Most heat issues are due to dust or other airflow blockage or a failed fan.


I would also check into your hard disks. Run SpinRite (I should get a referal account with Steve) and see if that fixes your problems. http://www.grc.com/cs/prepurch.htm The program is $89, but if it doesn't work for you Steve will give your money back.

  • I doubt it. However, if it's hard drive, 1) you can easily tell from the event log; 2) the hard drive light will be staying on almost all time and some of the programs will be like hung before the system eventually gives up and reboots. – kentchen Jun 19 '09 at 17:19

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