Computer shuts down at windows loading screen and on use of USB ports

Computer at work started shutting down at windows loading screen a couple of days ago. It boots up to a loading screen an half vey just shuts down. After a about ten tries it boots fine (or if I wait 10-15 minutes in Bios or something), but the next day ordeal continues. Then yesterday it started, also, to shut down whenever we plug anything in any USB port. Printer(well only when we turn the printer on), USB flash, smartcard reader... There is no dump files, no events nothing to indicate nature of problem.  Safe mode works, but also shuts down on use of USB.

So far I tried replacing the PSU with another and changing memory modules (got a new one, changed slots...) but problem persists. Checked HDD, all fine. Cleared CMOS.. CPU fan works and temperatures are about 20... Also booting from USB flash works but I am trying to avoid reinstall.  Firstly I am not sure it would help, and secondly it's a computer we use for accounting with a lot of data and software that predates my employment there and reinstalling and restoring data from backups would take  weeks. 

Since computer is old (don't know how old, but it's DDR2 and AM2 so 7 or more years I presume) is it possible that motherboard is done(no bloated condensers as far as I can see) ? Viruses (Avast  says no)? Some driver problem (although nothing new was installed as far as I'm aware)? Corrupted system files?  Gremlins?!

OS: Windows XP Professional Sp. 3

MB: Biostar NF61S Micro AM2 SE

RAM: 512 mb DDR2@533

CPU: AMD Sempron 3200+

HDD: WD 80gb

 

Question Info


Last updated May 12, 2018 Views 627 Applies to:

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Check your BIOS settings.

Also when in the BIOS see what the BIOS reports as the CPU Temperature.

Check the Event Logs.

Try a "Clean Boot"

How to perform a clean boot in Windows:
Troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista, Windows 7 or 8
(Note: Select your version of Windows for the correct set of instructions)
A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135


Perform a clean startup to determine whether background programs are interfering with your game or other programs
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331796


One by one add back one application at a time into the boot list to find the offending software app.

==============  Set of test utilities for DIY computer builders ==================

 

Note: If you are Overclocking or use any automatic overclocking or power saving BIOS features, start out by disabling them: Intel EIST, Turbo Mode, Cool and Quite and drop back to the stock speed as a starting point.

 

Disconnect any other (additional) internal hard drives and external USB devices.

Check for any loose hard drive power or SATA cables, Graphics card or other power cables.

 

First run Memtest86+:

This runs from a boot disk or CD and should eliminate or confirm if one or more of your memory

sticks are bad or the SPD values in the BIOS are correct.

Let it run for as long as you can: 2,4,6,8 or more hours (at least 3 full passes), if no errors by then your ram is OK.

http://www.memtest.org/

Memtest86+ Guide/How To's (use the .ISO to create a bootable CD)

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=409152

 

 

Hard drive Testing:

1) If you don't know your drives make / model number AND your computer is no longer able to load Windows:

a) Renmove the drive from your desktop and check the label for the make and model number.

b) Remove the bottom cover of your laptop, remove the drive and check the label for the make and model number.

2) If Windows is still usable, install "Speccy",it provides System/computer Information in detail about your:

OS, CPU, RAM, Motherboard, Graphics, Hard Drive, Optical Drive, Audio, Peripherals, Network.

Note: RAM option will show number of slots, DRAM Timing,

The speed (Frequency) your memory is running at. The rated frequency for your memory.

http://www.piriform.com/speccy

 

Test your disk drive - Create a Bootable CD:

(or connect the drive to anther PC and install the appropriate test software)

Note: Hard drive reliability has gone way down in the last 24 months and improved a bit lately depending on the manufacture.

Anywhere from 5 to 25%, (depending on the manufacture and model) of new hard drives are defective.

 

Drive manufacture's utilities list:

If you have a new Seagate hard drive the very next thing would be to download Seagate's Seatools

(the bootable CD) and check for bad sectors.

Seatools Info: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/

Seatools for Windows download: http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/enterprise-hard-drives/saturn/seatools-win-master/

Seatools for DOS download:

http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/consumer-electronics/ld25-series/seatools-dos-master/

 

For Western Digital drives download the WdDiag .iso file:

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=613&lang=en

 

Samsung's Estool: http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/support/utilities/ES_Tool.html

Samsung's Disk manager software: http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/utilities/shdiag.htm

 

Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test software: http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT

Diagnostic tool available for use by customers who feel they have a Fujitsu Branded Toshiba hard drive:

http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=ServicesandSupport/WarrantySupport/SoftwareUtilities

 

Fujitsu's Notice of drive Utilities support: http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/storage/hdd/

 

Toshiba bootable CD: (DOS Diagnostic Tool Ver. 7.0 For IDE/ATA/SATA Hard Drives)

http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=ServicesSupport/FujitsuDrivesUSandCanada/SoftwareUtilities#diagnostic

 

Also try Partition Wizard's free Home Edition 'Disk Surface Test' option:

http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html

Surface test tutorial: http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/partition-test-surface.html

 

=============== SSD Test Software - Revised: 10/24/14 ==================

 

Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18455

 

Corsair SSD Toolbox:

http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2013/may/the-corsair-ssd-toolbox

 

Kingston Toolbox:

http://www.kingston.com/us/support/technical/sandforce_ssd_toolbox.aspx

 

OCZ Toolbox: http://ocz.com/consumer/download/firmware

 

PNY Support: http://www.pny.com/support/contact-us

 

Samsung: http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/about/whitepaper07.html

Samsung Magican Review:

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/5638/samsung-magician-4-2-first-look-new-ssd-toolkit-adds-rapid-mode/index.html

 

SanDisk SSD Toolkit: http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9328/

 

Seagate: http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/laptop-hard-drives/laptop-600-ssd/

 

SSD Life: http://ssd-life.com/

===================== After Windows is installed ======================

 

Device Drivers: Did you install the motherboard manufacture's latest device drivers?

Check their support site for the latest drivers as the CD that came with the computer

or motherboard may be older and less stable drivers.

 

Check the Graphics card manufacture's download site:

Download and install the most recent Windows 7 or 8 drivers for your card.

ATI: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

NVIDIA: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

 

Also check out Nvidia's "Box of Smoke" test or other Demos: http://www.nvidia.com/object/cool_stuff.html#/demos

or ATI equivilent.

 

Prime 95:

http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/

It's a stand alone .exe file contained in a .zip archive.

Just choose to run the "stress test" option for 8 hours or more.

If your PC can pass this test both your memory and CPU

are fine (close the case cover to maintain proper ventilation)

 

Core Temp:

Monitor the temperature of each core of your processor.

Note: For non overclockers using the stock Intel/AMD heatsink and cooling fan you can expect

a temperature range of 35 to 40C at idle and from 60C to 65C max when running Prime95.

http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

 

CPU-ID (CPUZ): http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

Shows the clock speed of the CPU under various load conditions

(when using Intel's EIST speed step technology).

Note #1:

CPU-ID has two tabs - 'Memory' tab which show the actual memory speed

and the 'SPD' tab shows the rated speeds for each memory slot that is populated.

Note #2:

Compare the two values, the actual memory speed should not exceed the rated speed of your memory.

 

CPUID HWMonitor: A hardware monitoring program that reads PC systems main health sensors.

voltages, temperatures, fans speed.

http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

 

Speccy:

Advanced System Information tool for your PC.

Need to find out what's inside your computer?

No problem! Speccy will give you all the information you need.

Note: May or may not show the motherboard manufacture.

Overview: https://www.piriform.com/speccy

Free version: https://www.piriform.com/speccy/download

 

FurMark GPU (Graphic card) Stress Test:

http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/

 

PassMarks burn in test: http://www.passmark.com/

The Burnin test and their benchmark test both give a good workout of all the major parts of Windows.

 

HD Tune:

Provides drive info and has an option (error scan tab ) to test your drive.

http://www.hdtune.com/

 

CrystalDiskInfo:

http://crystalmark.info/software/index-e.html

User's Manual: http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/manual-en/

Monitors health status and temperature. Supports Solid State Drives (Tware value).

 

SpeedFan:

Monitors internal temperatures and has an online drive health analysis feature (SMART tab) for hard drives.

It will display your drives model number and compares your drive with other drives of the same make and model.

Note: Unfortunately now includes a lot of bloatware, be very careful when you install to opt out of bloatware.

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

 

GPU-Z:

A lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.

http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

 

PC WIZARD:

A powerful utility designed especially for detection of hardware, also some more analysis.

It's able to identify a large scale of system components and supports the latest technologies

and standards.

http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php

MyEventViewer - An easy way to view your event logs:

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/my_event_viewer.html

 

 

 

J W Stuart: http://www.pagestart.com

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

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First,512mb of ram memory is below xp/microsoft/ recomendations,1024mb

is min..

2nd,you did most efforts accordingly,but you did'nt replace the MB battery,

this runs the CMOS,& BIOS (basic input output)..Try power-off to pc,remove

battery,wait 10 minutes,replace battery with new,start pc.

On pc start,you need to reset BIOS,as all settings return to default, (as it left

the mfg),save & exit BIOS

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If it is a work computer, what do the work computer technical support people have to say?

First of all this is not true:

First,512mb of ram memory is below xp/microsoft/ recomendations,1024mb is min..

KB314865 states the requirement for Windows XP:

The minimum hardware requirements for Windows XP Professional include:

  • Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
  • At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
  • At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • Keyboard and a Microsoft Mouse or some other compatible pointing device
  • Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution
  • Sound card
  • Speakers or headphones

Your system will run XP with 64MB RAM or the recommended 128MB but you may not like they way it runs.  Generally more memory is better up the the 4GB supported in a 32bit operating system.

Second of all you do not describe symptoms consistent with a CMOS battery failure, but you can sure replace it if that is your desire.  Here is a link to your motherboard details:

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=23

Third of all, we don't know what "shuts down" means.  Does that mean it goes through the shutting down process (Saving your settings... etc.) or does that mean it powers down and/or restarts itself?

You could spend a day running all those posted tests if you want - maybe you will find something when you are done.  Do you have a day or two to waste?  It sounds like you have already wasted enough time testing and trying things.

What you should do is configure your system to halt on a system crash or failure so you can see any error message that might be displayed and if/when you do, report that information.

Here is how to do that:

XP is set up to automatically reboot on some system failures, so you need to disable that feature so the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) information will stay on the screen for you to see it.  You should also configure XP to create a small memory dump file for each BSOD so you will have a crash dump file to look at later if more debugging is needed.

If your system crashes later, the information you need will still be on the screen and then you can use the information in the memory dump files to figure out what the problem is and fix it.

Disable Automatic restart on system error

XP automatically restarts on a system failure, so configure your system so it doesn't do that, then you can see the error message.

Configure your system to not automatically restart on system failure and to create a crash dump file when it does crash.

Right click My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery Settings.

In the System failure section:

Put a check mark in the "Write an event to the system log" box
Put a check mark in the "Send an administrative alert" box
Uncheck the "Automatically restart" box

In the Write debugging information section, choose:

Small memory dump (64 KB)

Set the Small dump directory to:

%SystemRoot%\Minidump  (if there is no Minidump folder, it will be created when needed)

Click OK, OK to save the settings.

Restart your computer and then wait for the next restart/crash.

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Thanks for replaying Andrew.

Just tried replacing MB battery and issue remains. I know that 512mb is to low, but I tried with 1gb (original 512 and another) and it's all the same.  Another issue surfaced: when power button is pressed computer starts to power up (fan, HDD lamp, DVD) for a second and then just everything stops as if power supply is gone. It stop doing that only after power cord is disconnected and connected again, after which "business as usual" continues. So is it save to say that MB is likely culprit? Should I let guys at service earn their money?   

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Thanks for replaying J W Stuart.

The temperature varies (this morning it was just 16, weird) but it never exceeds 25 degrees Celsius. The lower it is, the less likely the boot is going to be successful.  I tried clean boot (or something like it on XP), disabled all services except Microsoft's, restarted and shutdown on loading screen as usual. I am not overclocking and GPU is on board. As I said I tried different memory modules in different slots and no change so I really don't think Memtest makes sense (or does it?). Checked HDD like you described it, and all is fine. No SSDs are present. I contemplated the idea of repairing XP install but from some reason the burned XP CD ( Professional SP3, same as computer OS) doesn't show Repair console or Repair existing installation option in setup (this happened time and again on different computers, don't know what's the dial with that). Also sfc/scannow doesn't work in safe mode, "rpc server unavailable"...

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When systems overheat they tend to shutdown (and I mean power off) abruptly with no warning due to a thermal event.  This is to prevent your system from suffering permanent damage.  Sometimes you can just power back up again and sometimes you might have to wait a bit for things to cool off, then it will just power off again.  With thermal events, there is no warning, no BSOD, nothing written to the Event Log - the system just shuts down. 

Anybody who suggests running sfc  /scannow in Safe Mode doesn't know how SFC works and has never actually tried to run sfc  /scannow in Safe Mode or they would know it will not work (like you said).  You can't start the RPC Server in Safe Mode either.  Even the Microsoft engaged Support Engineer "experts" don't seem to realize that for they suggest is all the time.

If you do not have a genuine bootable XP installation CD that is the same SP as your installed SP (most people don't) you will not be doing a Repair Install and since you don't even know hat the problem is yet, that is probably another waste of time trying things that might work sometimes maybe.

If you do have a genuine bootable SP3 installation CD you can get into the Repair Console by following the instruction here:

http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307654

But you will not get far in the Recovery Console (unless you have installed it as a boot option) since your system has SATA drives and the XP installation CD does not have support for SATA drives.

Even the simplest Recovery Console commands will not work and you will see things like 'enumeration' errors for even simple commands like 'dir' or error messages like "Access denied".

Your choice is to either temporarily change your BIOS settings to use a HDD interface that is not SATA and hope that it works or the best idea is to create a Hiren's Boot CD and use that since it does not care about SATA drives (this is a good thing to have anyway).

If it is your desire to create a Hiren't Boot CD (or Hiren's Boot USB) I can provide those instructions.

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If your system is restarting while XP is loading, you need to press F8 to get into the Advanced Boot Options menu and from there choose:

Disable automatic restart on system failure

Then if XP fails to boot normally, you will see an error screen with information and clues regarding the problem and then you can decide what to do next.

If you do not see the Disable automatic restart on system failure option, you need to reset your system and start tapping the F8 key on the keyboard until you do see the Disable automatic restart on system failure option. 

If you miss the F8 window of opportunity, you need to try again and start tapping the F8 key with more urgency (sooner and more frequently) until you do see Disable automatic restart on system failure, then select it.

You need to keep trying the F8 menu until you do see Disable automatic restart on system failure option, and select it.

 

If your system is experiencing a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), we need to know what the screen says.

Here is a BSOD example showing information you need to provide:

Send the information pointed to with the red arrows (3-4 lines total).  

Send the entire *** STOP message line since there are clues in the 4 parameters.

If it looks like there is some kind of file name listed under the STOP message, send that line too.

Skip the boring text unless it looks important to you.  We know what a BSOD looks like, we need to know what your BSOD looks like.

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There are a lot of points so I'll replay them all at once:

"If it is a work computer, what do the work computer technical support people have to say?"

There are no "technical support people" at my school. I am the computer science teacher so it falls on me to do maintenance although it is not my job.

"Third of all, we don't know what "shuts down" means."

Shuts down like there is no power. Just snaps. No BOSD, no dump files, no "Shutting down..."  bam and it's dead. Once it gets to  desktop it can work for hours(worked all last night), as long as we don't use any usb device.

"What you should do is configure your system to halt on a system crash or failure so you can see any error message that might be displayed and if/when you do, report that information." and "Configure your system to not automatically restart on system failure and to create a crash dump file when it does crash."

I thought that it does by default. In bluescreenview there is some damp reports but they are from 2+ years ago. So I presumed it's already configured to make them. Also Event log is clean.

As for the overheating thing: BIOS reports very low temepratures, and I actually disabled Emergency shut down (it was on 90 deg) and the same thing happened.  It has integrated GPU, and it is used only for Office and such.

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Low CPU temperature's are fine, except your seems to be too low. Are you able to load Windows in Safe Mode?

J W Stuart: http://www.pagestart.com

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

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Yes, with and without networking . But USB shout down problem  persist in safe mode too. Anyhow I gave in and just sent it to the service shop. I will keep you updated. My money is on MB. Thanks everyone for taking the time and trying to help.

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