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Computer Restarts on Its Own

#1 User is offline   confusedinOtown 

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 07:56 PM

Hello all. I am very new to the computer diagnosing thing, even though my computer is somewhat ancient.


I have an HP Pavillion 753n, Pentium 4, running Windows XP home edition, and I have not changed any internal components. At the advise of a friend, and after running out of all other ideas, I recently used the system recovery to wipe out my computer. After it was done, everything seemed fine for a few days, although I didn't use it much. Then the computer restarted on its own.


Now, the HP blue screen comes up, followed by the Windows logo screen, and then you hear a small beep from the tower and the system restarts all on its own. I have tried starting in Safe Mode, and can get to the screen to select safe mode, but after I click enter, it restarts all over again. None ofthe other options onthat page seem to work either.


I can hear the fan running, and the tower is in a well ventilated area so I don't think its overheating.


Please help.
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#2 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 01:28 AM

Hi Confused and welcome to PCWorld. :-)




First, I have renamed the Discussion so that every can immediately tell what your problem is. Just stating, "Help Please" really does not help us decipher your problem in any way.

Now, let's make sure we are on the same page. I have some questions for you:

- Did you just do a System Restore to revert your computer back to a previous date or did you actually either (A) insert the Windows XP CD and reinstall Windows or (B) use the Recovery utility that may be built into your computer? Recovery partitions are relatively new. According to this link, your computer came with a Recovery Software Suite as well as a HP Factory CD Creator so please clarify exactly what you did.

- What exactly prompted you to do the above process?

- Did the above process rectify the initial problem?

- Does the computer ever completely restart or does it always go through the same process you laid out earlier:
"the HP blue screen comes up, followed by the Windows logo screen, and then you hear a small beep from the tower and the system restarts all on its own."

- Did either you or your friend open the case and touch anything within the computer?

- Do you ever see any error messages or warnings?

- Since you indicated that everything seemed fine for a few days, did you install any applications on your computer between the process and when you first noticed this issue?





Please answer these questions in full and we can proceed from there.
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#3 User is offline   confusedinOtown 

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:47 AM

Hi, and thank you for responding so quickly. To answer your questions:
Did you just do a System Restore to revert your computer back to a previous date or did you actually either (A) insert the Windows XP CD and reinstall Windows or (B) use the Recovery utility that may be built into your computer? Recovery partitions are relatively new. According to this link*, your computer came with a Recovery Software Suite as well as a HP Factory CD Creator so please clarify exactly what you did.
I used the Recovery Utility. I didn't get an HP Factory CD Creator when I bought the computer, not that I remember (it was a loooong time ago). Should I try to get one now?
* What exactly prompted you to do the above process?
I wasn't able to use the computer at all, although it would start-up and connect to the internet. As soon as I tried to open anything, I would get mad pop-ups, Norton would go crazy alerting me to all kinds of threats and viruses (the most notable being a key-logger of some sort - I remember that the key-logger was the last warning before everything went crazy).
* Did the above process rectify the initial problem?
It seemed to. I could get back into Word, play music, view photos and connect to the internet - although I did not surf. I hadn't really sat down to actually use my computer other than to try these few things to see if the problem was fixed. I thought it was.
* Does the computer ever completely restart or does it always go through the same process you laid out earlier:
"the HP blue screen comes up, followed by the Windows logo screen, and then you hear a small beep from the tower and the system restarts all on its own."

The HP screen is preceeded by a black screen. Is that not completely re-starting? It always goes through the same process.
* Did either you or your friend open the case and touch anything within the computer?
No.
* Do you ever see any error messages or warnings?
No.
* Since you indicated that everything seemed fine for a few days, did you install any applications on your computer between the process and when you first noticed this issue?
No. In fact, I realized the restarting loop when I finally sat down to actually use the computer and dowlond the Roger's Online Norton Protection Centre.

I hope I have answered your questions fully. I hear and have read a lot about hard drives crashing. Do you think this could be the problem?

Thank you again!
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#4 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:08 AM

Hi Confused. Yes, you answered everything wonderfully. Thank you. Okay, I had a suspicion about this. Since you state that the computer give you a single beep, this indicates that the POST (Power On Self Test) passed. Basically, this means that there were no initial issues between the motherboard and the hardware installed within your computer.

However, since the restart process was unable to complete successfully, I would gather that either (A) the hard drive is corrupt or failing or (B) the Operating System did not fully install. Now, it is obviously easier to rule out the Operating System than the hard drive. To do this, the easiest thing to do would be to request the Recovery CD(s) directly from HP. Follow the directions within this Document and you should be able to get the Recovery CD(s) for your computer.

Now, once you get the CD(s), run through the installation process. This will revert your computer back to its original factory setting. If, once this process is complete, you still cannot successfully get to your Desktop, I would presume that the hard drive is damaged and would need to be replaced.
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#5 User is offline   SpiritWind 

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:18 AM

:D Hi :


It appears to me the initial problem was a malware "infestation" that Norton was unable to handle ;

the "keyloggers, etc" you mentioned are best handled by a good antiSPYWARE/antiTROJAN program,

such as the FREE Version of "SUPERAntiSpyware" from www.superantispyware.com/ . If you

ever get the computer back to the factory Settings, this is one of the 1st things you should go online

to get ; one of the other things is to get a FREE antiVIRUS program, such as Avast Home Edition

( [http://www.avast.com/] ) or AVG Antivirus FREE Edition ; however, BEFORE INSTALLING either of

these 2 programs, you should Uninstall Norton from "Add or Remove Programs" section of your

computer AND run its "Removal Tool", located at

[http://www.majorgeeks.com/NortonRemovalToolSymNRTd4749.html] .

Best to AVOID any Norton-related security, including Rogers "Online Norton Protection Centre" .

Would encourage you to READ the "Document" I created in these Forums located at

[http://forums.pcworl...OC-1141|d-1141] .

P.S. One of the advantages of Avast is that it has a "Web Shield" component that "alerts" when

some malware attempt to get on a computer .
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#6 User is offline   confusedinOtown 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:01 AM

I've contacted HP and found that they no longer offer a recovery CD. So I guess I'm down to my hard drive, which I am ok replacing right now because of the age and more importantly speed. I'm not into gaming or anything, but I do work with a lot of photos (editing/storing) and I love music, so from what I've read I need a hard drive with a lot of memory (and I think I will upgrade the RAM at the same time).

Cost is a factor.

Any suggestions? Or better yet, if you could tell me exactly what I need to look for, it would be greatly appreciated. For my system, do I need to be looking at ATA or SATA or does it matter.

Thank you so much for your help.
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#7 User is offline   mphenterprises 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:15 PM

Hi Confused. Well, that is odd that HP would not offer any more Recovery CDs. However, I followed the steps laid out within the Document posted previously and, sure enough, there was no reference to Recovery CDs. Now, this may be fluke so I am going to try a few more models as a test.

In the meantime, here is some starting points for you:

- Hard Drive:

Your computer does not support SATA hard drives. You could always get an adapter; however, you will not get the full speed of a SATA drive if you use an adapter. That being the case, it is best if you get an IDE (ATA) hard drive. Since you are into music and photos, you should get a moderately large hard drive. Here is a collection of hard drives that are compatible with your computer.




- Memory:

According to HP, the memory specifications of your computer are very basic at best. Just to get a second opinion, I referred to crucial.com. The combination of the two provided a good base of what memory chips you should get. The maximum capacity of your computer is 1GB of memory. Here is a collection of memory chips that are compatible with your computer.




- Power Supply (Optional):

Now, while increasing the memory and hard drive are not that significant of a change, it may be in your best interest to upgrade the Power Supply as well. I am not sure what wattage Power Supply you have now but just to be on the safe side, here is a collection of Power Supplies that are compatible with your computer. As noted, this is an optional upgrade but I would recommend it.




All three lists are sorted by price. Do a bit of research and find the one of each that best fit your budget. If you have any questions at all, please ask.










ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

I just did a check on another HP computer and the Recovery CD is available so, unfortunately, HP did indeed discontinue your Recovery CD.
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