Computer Shuts Down, Then Restarts Over& Over

April 13, 2011 at 16:30:53
Specs: Windows 7
Recently my computer won't start up or post. I turn it on, and before it can get to the boot screen or even beep, it powers down, waits a few seconds, then tries to re-start itself automatically.

Eight months ago I installed a new HDD. Then about six months ago I had to replace the PSU and the MotherBoard, and it ran great up until recently. One night last week I powered it up and it actually started, so I installed the SpeedFan app and noticed that when I booted it up, the CPU instantly ran hot. So I set the Speedfan setting to constantly run my fan between 65 - 100%. It ran great for 8 hours, until I powered it down to see if it would restart... it hasn't booted up since. The SpeedFan app did show all the voltages remained in range, and the temps all stayed in range also, during the 8 hour stint.

Tried resetting the CMOS (changed pin, held power for 30secs replaced battery). I'd also taken off the heatsink and applied ArticSilver 5 after seeing the CPU run hot during that last boot up (if 45C is considered hot, SpeedFan put the numbers in red and alerted me.) I did some research for this most recent problem, and believed it could be the RAM... so I bought 2 new sticks and put them in today, and the infinite restart is still there. There aren't many parts that haven't been replaced now, and I'm at a loss. Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

HP Pavilion a566n. 3GB P4 w/ HT, 2GB DDR SDRAM, integrated Intel Extreme 2 graphics, Windows XP Home... not sure if any other info would help. Sorry for the novel, thanks again!!


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April 13, 2011 at 21:07:32
I had a similar problem with my old PC and with another PC. Everything would light up, click/run and shut off. I never figured out what was wrong or what the solution was, but a new HDD was added as a boot device in one, which seemed to fix it, and in the other I replaced the powersupply and reformatted the HDD. Both had XP. My biggest guess - the Hard Drive may have read errors.

>Either try re-formatting and re-installing WinXP or install Windows on a different hard drive and see if it works.

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April 13, 2011 at 23:23:16
Thank you for your help, Iroc-Z. Much appreciation!

Quick question (for anyone really), and apologies for my ignorance, but how would I go about reformatting the HDD? It doesn't stay on for more than 2 seconds before it restarts. I made a Memtest boot disk, in hopes of checking the memory, but even it wouldn't load due to the constant restarting. My laptop has an e-Sata port (my HDD is SATA w/ a converter thing on it), could I just get a plug for that and reformat it on my laptop? Thanks for any and all help.

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April 14, 2011 at 18:28:51
There are 2 obvious ways of reformatting:
1. Use the Windows disc to make a new installation
2. Connect your HDD to a different PC and right click the drive in My Computer and format

But I don't think you could have more than one HDD in a laptop, unless it is a special gaming version. In a PC you would have to set them as RAID0 and RAID1 in BIOS if I can remember.

Formatting Will remove all on the Hard Disks

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April 22, 2011 at 22:37:10
Thanks again, Iroc-Z... it was indeed the hdd. Wish I had read this article before buying a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, but glad you helped me get it figured out!

"A new self-bricking feature apparently resides in faulty firmware microcode which will rear its ugly head sometime at boot detection. Essentially the drive will be working as normal for a while, then - out of the blue - it'll brick itself to death. The next time you reboot your computer the drive will simply lock itself up as a failsafe and won't be detected by the BIOS. In other words, there's power, spin-up, but no detection to enable booting."

Read more:
The Inquirer - Computer hardware news and downloads. Visit the download store today.

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