|"I have a desktop that keeps randomly rebooting and in the process when it restarts it forgets all my bios settings I had."|
"It will run fine for a long time and you can reboot it several times and it remembers all the bios and everything."
The only time I experienced both of those things similarly was with a new Asus M2N-E SLI mboard with a new Athlon 64 x2 6000+ cpu that I was trying to use a new PCI-E ATI AIW card with, the only difference being it only black screened and rebooted in certain circumstances when I tried to do certain things. When I booted XP into Safe mode or Enable VGA mode, or when I un-installed the NVidia main chipset drivers, or when I un-installed the specfic video drivers for the ATI card, the mboard never rebooted like that.
I assumed it was caused by an incompatibility between something in the NVidia main chipset drivers and the ATI video drivers. I tried not installing some of the features of the NVidia main chipset drivers, but that didn't help.
Since the mboard was for a computer owned by a disabled person who could not reset the bios settings herself, I gave up and got another mboard for her with an AMD main chipset and had no problems with the same cpu, ram, power supply, and PCI-E ATI AIW card.
Windows is set by default to automatically reboot when it encounters an un- recoverable error, but that does NOT normally reset the bios settings to defaults. I have never seen that happen with any mboard except the Asus M2N-E SLI .
To have XP possibly display an error message you can investigate instead of the computer rebooting:
1. Click Start, and then right-click My Computer.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
4. Under System failure, click on the small box beside Automatically restart to remove the checkmark.
5. Click OK, and then click OK.
If you then get an error message, look at all of it's details, and write down any info that is not generic.
E.g. STOP: 0Xx00000xx (we usually don't need the stuff in brackets beside it.)
There may be a problem file named at the end of the text.
There may be a link to More info or similar - if so, click on it to see if it names a problem file.
There may be text saying a MINIDUMP file was made. If so, the contents of that file can be examined. Copy down the name of it.
Your problem of random rebooting could be a hardware problem caused by...
- a defective power supply, even when the voltages for +3.3v, +5.0v, and +12.0 v are within 10% of their nominal value in the current readings in the bios. .
You could try another known good power supply from another computer.
- an overloaded power supply. What is it's max total wattage (output) capacity ?
If you have one or more video cards in (a) slot(s) , what video chipset(s) does it (they) have on it (them) ?
- you using a cpu that draws more wattage than your mboard is capable of handling, as in, the mboard traces or the voltage regulators for the cpu can't handle the required current the cpu uses.
What mboard model do you have ? Which cpu are you using ? - it's part number, preferably.