# PC reboots: Hardware problem possibilities

B

#### BW

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I have an IBM NetVista 2257 (2001 model) Pentium III 1GHz based machine.
It started behaving rather strangely in the last three weeks as it
rebooted all of a sudden(a few times in a week) without a warning. It
runs WinXP Pro, fully patched.

A few days ago, when it rebooted a few times before it even finished
starting Windows I got annoyed and tried to find the cause. Here is my take:

1. Power supply: Works, because I was able to run memtest for 97hrs
straight! (wasn't home to stop it)

2. Hard disk: It does not seem to be the cause. While booting from a
Knoppix Live CD it still reboots before it finishes the boot process.

3. Memory: memtest gives me error. But then it gives me the exact same
error with both or either one of the two memory modules installed. I
checked with memory(2modules) from a working machine, and it gave me
exact same error. Still reboots with the memory module from the working
machine. So _it seems_ the RAM is not at fault here.

4. BIOS battery is good too.

The inside of the computer is surprisingly clean and very less likely
that dust has anything to do with it (blocking fans or DIMM connectors).

The only other reason that comes to my mind is that several of the
electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard are either bulging or
electrolyte has leaked out a bit.

Is there anything else I should be looking for? Any other reason that
the computer is rebooting? Did I miss anything while debugging the
possible cause for the problem?

Thanks in advance for the help,
/kds

A

#### Arfa Daily

Jan 1, 1970
0
BW said:
Hello all,

I have an IBM NetVista 2257 (2001 model) Pentium III 1GHz based machine.
It started behaving rather strangely in the last three weeks as it
rebooted all of a sudden(a few times in a week) without a warning. It
runs WinXP Pro, fully patched.

A few days ago, when it rebooted a few times before it even finished
starting Windows I got annoyed and tried to find the cause. Here is my
take:

1. Power supply: Works, because I was able to run memtest for 97hrs
straight! (wasn't home to stop it)

2. Hard disk: It does not seem to be the cause. While booting from a
Knoppix Live CD it still reboots before it finishes the boot process.

3. Memory: memtest gives me error. But then it gives me the exact same
error with both or either one of the two memory modules installed. I
checked with memory(2modules) from a working machine, and it gave me
exact same error. Still reboots with the memory module from the working
machine. So _it seems_ the RAM is not at fault here.

4. BIOS battery is good too.

The inside of the computer is surprisingly clean and very less likely
that dust has anything to do with it (blocking fans or DIMM connectors).

The only other reason that comes to my mind is that several of the
electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard are either bulging or
electrolyte has leaked out a bit.

Is there anything else I should be looking for? Any other reason that
the computer is rebooting? Did I miss anything while debugging the
possible cause for the problem?

Thanks in advance for the help,
/kds

Bulging caps, particularly round the CPU, is a known problem for this sort
of behaviour. If any are actually leaking electrolyte, then you need to get
them hooked out, and the board cleaned up pdq, before any tracks and thru'
plated holes get attacked. You need a very good iron to remove them. There

Arfa

W

#### Wayne

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I have an IBM NetVista 2257 (2001 model) Pentium III 1GHz based machine.
It started behaving rather strangely in the last three weeks as it
rebooted all of a sudden(a few times in a week) without a warning. It
runs WinXP Pro, fully patched.

A few days ago, when it rebooted a few times before it even finished
starting Windows I got annoyed and tried to find the cause. Here is my take:

1. Power supply: Works, because I was able to run memtest for 97hrs
straight! (wasn't home to stop it)

2. Hard disk: It does not seem to be the cause. While booting from a
Knoppix Live CD it still reboots before it finishes the boot process.

3. Memory: memtest gives me error. But then it gives me the exact same
error with both or either one of the two memory modules installed. I
checked with memory(2modules) from a working machine, and it gave me
exact same error. Still reboots with the memory module from the working
machine. So _it seems_ the RAM is not at fault here.

4. BIOS battery is good too.

The inside of the computer is surprisingly clean and very less likely
that dust has anything to do with it (blocking fans or DIMM connectors).

The only other reason that comes to my mind is that several of the
electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard are either bulging or
electrolyte has leaked out a bit.

Is there anything else I should be looking for? Any other reason that
the computer is rebooting? Did I miss anything while debugging the
possible cause for the problem?

Thanks in advance for the help,
/kds

99% sure its bad electros. The NetVistas of that era were plagued with
the problem. My test PC is, you guessed it, an IBM NetVista 1GHz
about $20 + shipping from Digi-Key. Page here on how to remove caps, etc. http://badcaps.com/ Wayne M #### Mike Berger Jan 1, 1970 0 Rebooting is how Windows eliminated the infamous "blue screen of death". Instead, the system reboots. Look for OS problems before looking for hardware problems. The best way to fix it is to eliminate Microsoft Windows XP and replace it with a Macintosh or Linux system. Another alternative is Windows 2000, which doesn't have as many problems as XP. B #### BW Jan 1, 1970 0 Mike said: Rebooting is how Windows eliminated the infamous "blue screen of death". Instead, the system reboots. Look for OS problems before looking for hardware problems. The best way to fix it is to eliminate Microsoft Windows XP and replace it with a Macintosh or Linux system. Another alternative is Windows 2000, which doesn't have as many problems as XP. I think you missed my original post a little bit. I had written that I tried to boot the machine with a Knoppix Live CD and still got the same rebooting while the hardware was being scanned during the boot process by Linux. This eliminates the possibility of a problem with WinXP(or for that matter the hard disk) which is causing the problem. B #### BW Jan 1, 1970 0 Wayne said: 99% sure its bad electros. The NetVistas of that era were plagued with the problem. My test PC is, you guessed it, an IBM NetVista 1GHz Celeron that I got for free because of..... bad caps. Caps cost me about$20 + shipping from Digi-Key. Page here on how to remove caps,
Wayne

That website looks like good help. Now comes the difficult part: is
there is a way to get a full circuit diagram of the motherboard on the
machine? Or do I just go and start to note down the specs of each
capacitor on the board?

thanks Wayne,
/kds

A

#### Arfa Daily

Jan 1, 1970
0
Mike Berger said:
Rebooting is how Windows eliminated the infamous "blue screen of

Look for OS problems before looking for hardware problems. The
best way to fix it is to eliminate Microsoft Windows XP and
replace it with a Macintosh or Linux system. Another alternative
is Windows 2000, which doesn't have as many problems as XP.

But the OP already said that he'd got bulging and leaking caps ... In order
to run Mac or Linux, he'd also have to grow a beard, and buy some sandals !!

Arfa

W

#### Wayne

Jan 1, 1970
0
That website looks like good help. Now comes the difficult part: is
there is a way to get a full circuit diagram of the motherboard on the
machine? Or do I just go and start to note down the specs of each
capacitor on the board?

thanks Wayne,
/kds

Just have a look at the cap values on the board, there are only a
handful of different values you will need.

Wayne

B

#### BW

Jan 1, 1970
0
Wayne said:
Just have a look at the cap values on the board, there are only a
handful of different values you will need.

Wayne

Thanks, Wayne. Will do that and then see if the website you mentioned
can provide those.

/kds

W

Jan 1, 1970
0

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