Running: WinXP SP3
I have been getting random reboots for a while now (several months) and have been unsuccessful in trying to fix it. It has been getting progressively worse until this week. Here's what I've done in that time and the results:
1. Uninstalled my AV at the time (McAfee) and replaced it with a different one (AVG). (McAfee was sucking and managed to let in a virus my first day of owning my brand-new machine. I got that sorted out.) This seemed to help a little bit for a short while, but I think that was a fluke.
2. Run multiple virus and spyware scans (AVG and Spybot S&D). I am clean. I have continued scanning on a regular basis. I do update frequently as well.
3. Checked my BIOS to make sure I was not overclocked.
4. Tracked down one particular error message I'd received and read that it was a ZoneAlarm error. I subsequently removed it from my system and I have gone from increasingly frequent reboots (reaching a peak of almost once every 45 minutes or so) to rebooting an average of once per 24 hours. This is an IMMENSE improvement, but obviously still not ideal, particularly as I work from this machine.
5. Adjusted my virtual memory (initial) from its previous setting to the recommended setting. I powered off, powered on, and it seemed to boot fine -- but I had an error as though I'd rebooted randomly, as well as an error message. It did not reboot during startup.
Actions recommended but not yet taken:
1. RAM test. I have downloaded the .iso but have not tracked down my CD-Rs. All of my belongings are packed from a recent move.
2. Booting from CD to see if it's a hardware or software problem. Again, my belongings are packed and I have not tracked my CD-Rs so I cannot burn Ubuntu to disk yet.
3. Adjusted the memory dump from a minidump to a full dump (this seemed questionable?)
This is a reasonably new machine, built for me just a few months ago. There are some gently used components, including the motherboard, but everything was working fine at the time it was built and should not be anywhere near dead. No overheating here, and it's a new power supply, so those shouldn't be the cause. The guy who built my machine said he experienced no reboots. I am not sure if the reboots could be the result of a sudden hardware failure, as it seems unlikely, or possibly the virus picked up before these problems began. My system is clean and I received professional assistance in removal so it *shouldn't* have had anything to do with it, but I'm including the information just in case because ... let's face it ... I am stumped at this point. Just way out of my league.
It does not seem related to any programs I am running. It does seem to reboot more if I am playing games (Flash and Shockwave are mostly what I'm playing because ... my belongings are still packed so I haven't installed my games on this computer.) It will sometimes reboot DURING a reboot.
If you have any questions for me, ask away. I am desperate to get this thing in full working order.