Power Supply or Virus?

June 17, 2011 at 14:33:27
Specs: Windows XP
Hey All,
Is it possible that a power supply supplies just enough juice for the BIOS, but not the OS?

Let me attempt a narrative for this scenario.
My wife's computer recently started rebooting itself at random intervals.
I ran a "standard virus scan" with Avast 4.8 and to my surprise no reboot.
I then tried running a scan via SuperAntiSpyWare which nearly completed before a reboot was triggered. I disabled windows system auto restart and tried again.
Again the SAS scan nearly completed before rebooting.

Thinking it might be a memory problem (it's an old machine) I ran memtest for 17 full passes (2-3 hours), and no reboot. Probably not a memory problem right?

I ran a second "thorough" virus scan with Avast and this time... 2 hours later at 98% completion a Win32-Agent Trojan was found which I opted to have moved to the virus vault as recommended, and the scan proceeded on the remaining 2%.
5 minutes later the machine powered down, and would not boot.
Wouldn't even post after repeated manual attempts, having pulled the memory and unplugged the keyboard trying to get a bios error... nothing.

Now, I'm thinking maybe it's the power supply, but I don't have time to look into it for a couple of days.
A couple of days later, and -- just for grins -- I hit the power button.
Nothing... (fans run but that's it). I leave it on anyway.
10 - 20 minutes later... I hear my wife's computer struggling to life across the room and look up to see the keyboard error I was hoping for on screen. Though I had replaced the memory, the keyboard remained unplugged. Plugging keyboard back in, the system begin to boot (XP Home Edition via upgrade from 98 some 8 or 9 years ago) but then indicated that the hard drive needed to be checked for "consistency" which I allowed.

At somewhere between 40 and 60% completion of the disk scan, the system shut down and began to reboot, again recommending that the hard disk be checked for consistency.
Skipping the scan, this system appears to boot normally, however reboots itself rather quickly thereafter. I'm still kind of thinking power supply.

So I restart the system, step into the bios and just leave it there for several hours without incident. So now I'm back to thinking virus or.... ?

Is it possible that a power supply supplies just enough juice for the BIOS, but not the OS?

I have an older functioning DELL sitting here with room for a second EIDE drive.
Might I simply pull the drive from my wife's machine and plug it in to the DELL, scanning the DRIVE from my wife's machine before copying her valued files and data to a flash drive before building her a new machine? (I also have some newer DELLS sitting here just waiting for new hard drives).

Any Feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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#1
June 17, 2011 at 15:53:07
"Is it possible that a power supply supplies just enough juice for the BIOS, but not the OS?"

Short answer = NO

Other than that, you listed absolutely no system specs, no power supply specs, no system or CPU temps, etc.


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#2
June 17, 2011 at 16:32:36
Short answer pretty well summed it up. Likely NOT the power supply.
THANKS!

Other than that, you listed absolutely no system specs, no power supply specs, no system or CPU temps, etc.

Which would have helped exactly... how?

Short answer rules out power supply so power supply specs would be superfluous.
AFIK CPU temp is not available on this old system (not in the BIOS anyway), but
suffice it to say, the CPU is NOT running hot, not even warm when it reboots.

It's a beat up old IBM PIII 133 (I can't even tell you the model.) with 512MB ram.
What other specs shall we discuss?


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#3
June 17, 2011 at 17:49:09
You should build her a new one right away. You're punishing her with that relic.

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#4
June 17, 2011 at 19:21:25
I've already got it built.
Dell Optiplex 745 2.8GHz Pentium D with a Gig of ram.
If she uses it at home once a week that's a lot, but after 8 years or so....
There's a lot of data on that old boat anchor that she would like to salvage.
How to safely get it off the old hard drive is the rub.
Any thoughts on the notion of shoving the hard drive into my old dell as mentioned?

Thanks


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#5
June 18, 2011 at 08:52:47
"Which would have helped exactly... how?"

It's a courtesy to the forum helpers & prevents followup questions asking for your system specs, power supply specs, CPU/system temps, etc.

If you had gone to a car repair shop & asked for advice, wouldn't you have told them the year/make/model of the vehicle you're having problems with? Or would you have just stated, "my car won't start, how do I fix it?"


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#6
June 18, 2011 at 09:17:52
Is it possible that a power supply supplies just enough juice for the BIOS, but not the OS?

No. The power supply powers the hardware. Both the BIOS and the OS are software. Appreciate the difference and you are half way towards understanding how to trouble shoot problems.

Stuart


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