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My PC randomly restarts whenever there is load on it but not all the time. Examples are when I'm playing a game or watching a movie. Sometimes, I can get through hours of sessions and no restart at all. But sometimes it would just restart with no warning or message after the reboot. No BSOD whatsoever.

I did a full HDD format and clean reinstalled Windows. Afterwards I only installed specific trustworthy Software I've been using on my same hardware for years. So I'm leaving out software as an issue as it STILL reboots from time to time.

I've run stress tests on both my CPU and GPU. Both exceeded 66 C and remain turned on and yet when it usually reboots the temp is around only 50~55. So I guess that leaves heating issue out of the picture.

I also did a BIOS reset. Nothing was fixed.

When I compress files of huge size using 7zip (or copy large files), it DEFINITELY reboots. This is the only thing I can confirm. I've tried packing folders several gigabytes in size and it rebooted EVERY time.

So is it the CPU? Or the Memory? Or anything else. Also any specific diagnostic method I should use.

  • EDIT -

I've ran several Memory tests like you asked. But the tests show green. Should I try something else?

My PC is configured to show BSOD like in the picture below but it STILL doesn't show any error messages. And Minidump doesn't exist either.

Start-up configuration set to show BSOD, but it doesn't

My Spec -

  • MOBO - Biostar G31D-M7

  • CPU - Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 "Wolfdale" @ 2.50 GHz

  • RAM - JM667QLU-2G 2GB Single-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz (5-5-5-15)

  • GPU - GT218 (Geforce 210)

  • VRAM - 1GB DDR3 @ 135MHz

  • PSU - 450W Output

  • HDD - 465GB Seagate ST500DM002-1BD142 (SATA)

  • OS - Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3 (5.1.2600)

I also use 2 External HDDs from time to time. I only use them for backups and so I don't use them that often.

  • 465GB Seagate Portable USB Device (USB (SATA))

  • 465GB Seagate Expansion USB Device (USB (SATA))

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  • Can you go to Run and type msinfo32 and hit Enter, then System Information window will popup, see the left column, expand Software Environment and click on Windows Error Reporting, on the right column, you'll see the errors that Windows has reported, Click on File then choose Export save them as Text, and post it here (you can use post it on pastebin.com and share the link here.
    – iSR5
    Oct 13 '14 at 13:28
  • The report logged the fault of two games only. I'm not sure it holds any info about any other applications that were running (like 7z) when the PC restarted. Pastebin link - pastebin.com/AM0yBypf Oct 13 '14 at 15:39
  • Alright, see if there is any dump files located on C:\windows\Minidump and provide them as well.
    – iSR5
    Oct 13 '14 at 16:47
  • C:\windows\Minidump doesn't exist. Oct 13 '14 at 16:53
  • this explains the (auto restart with no BSOD to show). What you have to do is to enable it, so next time system crashes it'll give you a BSOD screen and create a minidump file with that problem. To do that, Right-click on the 'My Computer' icon and choose 'Properties', Then on the next window, click on 'Advanced system settings', Next, go to 'Advanced tab', and under Startup and Recovery click on 'Settings'.Now, untick 'Automatically restart' and from the drop menu choose 'Small memory dump'. Then save changes. Now just wait for the first BSOD sceen to get the Minidump.
    – iSR5
    Oct 14 '14 at 0:05
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It sounds like the memory. have you tried checking the status on memory when ur working on a zip etc?

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  • If you mean temp, then no. But no matter what compression I use, PC reboots for sure when handling large files. Oct 13 '14 at 15:40
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From your computer specs, I see that the computer has been used for a long time. Which drove me to this conclusion.

  1. Your computer has a lot of dust, and need to be cleaned.
  2. Your HDD SATA connectors needs to be replaced.
  3. Your CPU thermal needs to be changed.
  4. Your GPU has some conflicts.

There are two solutions for your problem,

Solution 1 :

Your GPU has some conflicts, or not fully functional. To be sure of that, you have to switch the monitor cable to the integrated graphics card, and try to copy large files, and see if the problem still there or not. If the problem still, then you have to go to Solution 2.

Solution 2 :

First, you have to buy new SATA connectors (SAME THE ONE THAT YOU HAVE) and replace them with the current one. Second, you buy a Thermal Compound (Arctic Silver 5 is the best choice).

  1. UNPLUG THE POWER AND ALL CONNECTED DEVICES
  2. Open your PC tower, and unplug RAM, GPU, OPD, HDD, FANs, and anything that is connected to the motherboard, then put them on a table.
  3. Now, clean your motherboard and case from dust using electronics compressed-gas, and clean other components one-by-one aside from the case as well. (MAKE SURE TO CLEAN THE FANs ALONG WITH THE PSU FAN AS WELL. )
  4. After you cleaned the hardware from dust, you should now remove the old thermal paste and apply the new one.
  5. Now, plug the NEW SATA connector into MASTER port at the motherboard.
  6. Plugin RAM, GPU, and all other components.
  7. Finally, plug the power connectors to their places.

Now, just power on your computer and check.

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  • I'll follow your advice and see if all these works. Thanks. Oct 14 '14 at 14:24
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Well it sounds like a RAM Issue. Try starting Memory Diagnostics by going to

Start Menu -> Click Run -> Type MdSched -> Hit Enter.

Click on Restart now and check for problems ,

If the results are unclear, you can try the

Free Software Memtest86

Edit:

  1. CPU Overheat. After some temperature our computer tries to keep the temperature down by restarting or shuting down your computer. Since you said that CPU operating at max at 60C, you should check your BIOS Settings for missconfigured values on Temperature Alerts.
  2. Virus There are some viruses that causes your System to Restart after some specific actions. You can try cleaning your Computer with CCleaner, or some other Cleaning and AntiMalware software to ensure that your problem IS NOT any virus.
  3. Power deficiency. This occurs when there isn't enough power to keep electricity flowing in your motherboard, or the power supply becomes faulty.
  4. Faulty Motherboard. Malfunctioning capacitors on a Motherboard can create a wide range of issues. It is even possible for capacitors to fail due to a bad Power Source. A leaking capacitor is a very easy visual check. Open your case and take a look at the Motherboard. If you see a leaking capacitor (Google it), then replacement of the Motherboard is necessary. Be sure to check if your system is still under warranty before spending your money.
  5. BIOS. Finally, the last and often trickiest to troubleshoot source of reboot problems: your computer's BIOS. If there is a problem in your BIOS, or sometimes even in the firmware for one of the other pieces of hardware installed in your machine, it could cause an instability and lead to one of those automatic restarts. Especially if the problem is in the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) portion. The good news is that these problems are much less common than they used to be in the bad old days. But it never hurts to check with your computer manufacturer to see if there's an updated BIOS available.
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  • Could not find any problem with those tests. But PC is still rebooting. It just did now. Oct 13 '14 at 15:41
  • Updated Answer .
    – Devian
    Oct 13 '14 at 23:11
  • 1. Interesting. I'll look into the BIOS for any such configuration. 2. I'm using Microsoft Security Essentials and it is always updated to the latest virus database. 3. I use an UPS. And it doesn't behave unusually. If PSU is faulty wouldn't it just refuse to provide power to the board? 4. This is what I'm most afraid of. Can only confirm this once all other options are exhausted. Also I did not see any "leakings". 5. I'll try and download any latest BIOS updates it may have from the manufacturer website. Oct 14 '14 at 6:58
  • A bad PSU might be providing good power most of the time but then clipping it, causing random reboots.
    – LawrenceC
    Oct 14 '14 at 14:24
  • a faulty psu can still allow electricity flow in your system, however, is unstable. It can send more Volts than is permitted and cause damages to your other hardware.
    – Devian
    Oct 17 '14 at 9:38

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