GT5412 Constant Rebooting

Gateway desktop / Gt5412
December 23, 2009 at 17:29:22
Specs: Windows Vista Home Premium, Intel Core Duo 1.99 GB RAM
PROBLEM: I have been trying to trouble shoot this system for months now. The problem is, the system literally reboots in the middle of anything. It literally does a cold reboot, and the reboots are totally random and spontaneous at times. IT HAS EVEN REBOOTED ON ME WHILE I WAS IN THE BIOS! According to my relative this problem just started one day and never stopped. If it is worth noting, my relative bought this system of one of those damn TV shopping channels. Which leads me to think that this system is suffering from some kind of faulty hardware.

1) I tested the RAM with a bootable version of memtest86, which was capable at times of completing the test but rebooted on me once or twice.

2) I went and bought a extra power supply just to check and see if it would help, same problem.

3) I even bothered replacing the crappy factory thermal paste with some Artic Silver 5 thinking that maybe the CPU was overheating or unstable. The new paste made a difference, but same problem!

4) Other things that I have tried but couldn't complete due to hardware issues. I tried loading up a bootable version of linux to check and see if the system could stabilize over a certain period of time, but kept getting monitor freq. out of range erros with back track 5. I also I tried connecting a older IDE HD to the system to try and load a copy of Win XP Home, to see if the system would stabilize but the system wasn't having it.

I am not willing to give up just yet. What other troubleshooting can I do to try and pinpoint this problem?

*) I have done a multitude of other things, such as trying to run Prime95 and other diagnostic software. Can anyone refer any other bootable diagnostic software that can automatically troubleshoot and stress test various hardware parts at once or in sequence?

Thanks for your time!

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December 23, 2009 at 17:44:19
It sounds to me like a power random power failure issue. Have you tried plugging it into a different receptacle? Also, just because you replaced the psu doesn't mean that solved the problem. If you want to try a new psu, look for one with a single 12 volt rail with 30 or more amps on the 12 volt rail. Corsair makes some. You can find them on Good Luck and Happy Holidays

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December 23, 2009 at 17:55:40
because there are so many different kinds of hardware on the market there is no single one-size-fits-all diagnostic software.

There are stress-testing progs but why bother when the system is unstable even under no load.

One presumes the system is no longer under warranty so dis-assembly won't bother you all that much.

Q? Have you looked in BIOS at system health to check CPU temperature? I accept you have re-done the thermal compound but did you thoroughly clean off the original compound and apply the requisite small amount of new compound? Is there any sign of fault with the CPU fan? If it fails the system shuts down automatically to protect the CPU.

Disconnect all drives and take out any/all PCI devices. Unplug all USB devices and leave only Motherboard with CPU/fan, 1 stick of ram, keyboard and graphics/monitor.

Boot up into bios and see if the thing remains stable.
You can probably identify the motherboard model number and research that for any known issues. Download a manual for it and check the bios settings.

If it is still unstable then take the motherboard out of the case and benchtest it on a non-conductive surface.

Some el-cheapo cases come with raised screw mounts rather than proper motherboard standoffs. Those can lead to shorting problems. Check the capacitors on the motherboard. Any show signs of bulging tops or leakage?

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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December 23, 2009 at 18:32:22
Wow. Thanks for the fast reply!

I have tried using a brand new 400W PSU. According to the BIOS, (last time I got the chance to look at them, due to the system constantly rebooting) Every rail had sufficient power. The only rail that seemed lacking was the 12v rail, which at the time had 11.33 v according to the BIOS. Every other rail was above its labeled rating, such as 5V at 5.33V etc.

I am going to find and post the PSU that I had bought from bestbuy to check the specs and see if that PSU had a 30 AMP 12V rail.

SIDENOTE: I might I add that when I am able to actually use the BIOS and check out the Hardware Monitoring tab, the 12V rail seems to jump from 11.33 - 11.75 randomly.. Could possibly be the problem?

Yes. I thoroughly cleaned the CPU (which is a Intel Core Duo) and heatsink with alcohol to remove the past thermal paste. I then followed the instructions exactly on artic silvers website for intel core duo processors.

There is no sign of the CPU fan failing at all.

REMOVED ALL PERIPHERAL COMPONENTS. Only thing left in the system is 1 stick of RAM. No PCI devices, SATA HDs, or CD/DVD Drives. Nothing extra....

The current processor temp for the CPU is 40-41 C.
(Just rebooted on me again while logged into the BIOS!)
And now she just keeps looping...

SIDE NOTE: I did notice that the mobo is held down with multiple metallic like screws like you said! The mobo seems to be sitting on top of an additional piece of aluminum of some sort that is being used by the screws. I really hope this is the damn problem. Ive never had to deal with ESD.

STUPID QUESTION: How does one ground a mobo? Or discharge a mobo?

Can you recommend any mobo benchmarking software?

I guess once I am done disassembling this POS and benchmarking gets me no where, I will go ahead and check the capacitors like you said for leakage.

Once again thanks for the tips guys!

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