[clug-talk] Random computer crashing

Mark Carlson carlsonmark at gmail.com
Tue May 9 09:47:04 PDT 2006

On 5/9/06, Kin Wong <kwong at csa-pdk.com> wrote:
> Mitchell Brown wrote:
> > Okay, the full 5-stage CHKDSK just finished. Found 0 problems. Argh.
> > I could try reformatting the drive and doing a NTFS Full this time -
> > but I'd probably just be wasting my time.
> > If it is faulty memory or a PSU, why would reformatting the partition
> > with Linux make a difference to the Windows installer O_o
> >
> > I'm at a loss here. This is very frustrating for me and my mom wants
> > this video ripped asap.
> >
> > What would you guys do in my situation?

I would disconnect the anything from the PSU that you don't need.  If
the case has 8 fans in it, disconnect all but the PSU fan, CPU fan,
and all other critical fans.  Disconnect any HDs you don't need right
now.  Then try again.  I've seen these symptoms before, and it is
usually because someone's PSU is overloaded or about to die.  One OS
may cause a massive power draw on a particular rail, causing the rail
voltage to drop, while the other OS may not cause it to happen.  At
any rate, if this fixes your problem, do one of the following:
- Get a new PSU
- Change the load so that you aren't using one lead from the PSU for
everything (i.e. if you have RAID drives in there, balance them on
seperate leads from the PSU)

> I have cannibalized a number of computers in my life time because of
> problems like that and walk away from the carcass.  If you need to rely
> on a computer is it not performing reliably, there is not too much that
> you can do.  The age of the components bears no correlation to its
> reliability -- when solving these kinds of problems, sometimes dead is
> good, because it is much easier to fix -- flaky is bad because you have
> to create the same circumstance for it to fail.
> Could it be caused by a heating issue -- try opening up the case and
> running a fan against the mb, if you have a cold soldier joint or a bad
> trace, temperature fluctuations could cause a system failure.

Heh, that reminds me of something I saw on IRC a while ago:

k4jcw: I don't understand how people expect their processors to work
when you can't see them. Putting a cover on a PC just ain't natural.
k4jcw: 'course, I was used to having to leave the doors hanging open
on the PDP-11, with an A/C vent pointed at it, or it would crash.
toresbe: k4jcw: actually, my VAX overheats when I open it.


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