SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Computer randomly restarts itself... needs a BIOS reset?

    I've have a friend who claims their computer randomly turned itself on a few times during the night. They also claimed that they went away on a long weekend and came back to the computer being turned on (they turned it off when they left). When I checked out the computer, it would turn on but not boot up. Once the power came on that's where things stopped - the initial memory scan nor device loading processes never take place. I have ruled out a defective power supply by installing a fresh one in the system and getting the same problems.

    What do you think is wrong with this system? I am wondering if there was a power surge that damaged the motherboard, or perhaps the BIOS needs to be reset. If the BIOS needs to be reset, where can I find the reset switch/pins? This is an emachines computer and I have not been able to locate the BIOS reset.

    Thanks for any help that can be offered.
    So I says to him, I says, Hey! Llama! How about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also of note: I checked out the motherboard for signs of scalding or corrosion and found none.
    So I says to him, I says, Hey! Llama! How about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict dionsiseire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dublin
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    pc's dont turn themselves on unless it was on standby, the motherboard cannot initiate the machine , neither can the BIOS , unless their is already power being supplied.

    the restart problems sound like the bios possibly
    no booting up, well that could be HD or bios, which if windows is corrupt could be the restart problem again.

    it sounds like the PC needs to be replaced, i personally would look for the jumper settings
    here's an example image of a motherboard with a blue circle locating the jumpers
    http://www.mysuperpc.com/pc_assembly...jumpers_cr.jpg

    id be worried overall for the PC, but a fresh windows install would eliminate certain posibilities

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy rushiku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    A van down by the river
    Posts
    2,056
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dionsiseire
    id be worried overall for the PC, but a fresh windows install would eliminate certain posibilities
    That'd be a neat trick considering it doesn't POST...

    Tom, your power surge diagnosis seems likely. Either the mainboard or the cpu has failed. Given it's an eMachine, it's probably not worth it to fix it unless it's less than a year old.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast troglodite's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    28
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    almost sounds like the computer is going into standby and then being awakened - like by something via a network connection

    though if it just reboots suddenly while working on it, it usually is a memory thing, i test machines with memtest (might be called memtest86) though if it boots up by itself i dont know if thats the answer. there is an option in the bios to have the machine boot at a certain time usually and options to have the computer wake from a standby mode from some sort of imput - like a network connection

  6. #6
    Wadge! F4nat1c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    South Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,134
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's the CPU overhearting. Processors go into shutdown after they reach a critical temperature. Probably need a new heatsink or fan, or jus ta good 'ol clean. i used to have the same problem.
    OMFG SitePoint ROXORZ TEH BIG ONE111!
    Wish you were invisible?

  7. #7
    Can you describe the ruckus? silver trophy MissLee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Punta Gorda, FL
    Posts
    419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had an eMachine that did the same thing for about two weeks before it eventually died. I replaced the power supply, fan & cleaned... that bought me a few more weeks but then the same thing started happening again. I'd say tell your buddy to start shopping.

  8. #8
    Life is strife TriGeminal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Trigeminal Ganglion
    Posts
    633
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by F4nat1c
    It's the CPU overhearting. Processors go into shutdown after they reach a critical temperature. Probably need a new heatsink or fan, or jus ta good 'ol clean. i used to have the same problem.
    I agree
    I watch my pc health status and see the cpu temperature cause my pc will close at 70C .. it might also restart and never load windows!

    The problem of overheating might Not be related to heatsink or fan, it might be cause of the gel between the cpu & heatsink is dry!
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil ..
    .. is for good men to do nothing"
    Edmund Burke.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all of the input everyone. Since most of you are making statements that back up my original diagnosis, I'm am beginning to feel pretty confident that I was right. From the beginning I figured that buying a new computer was a foreseeable outcome to this situation.

    Just to clarify, I do not mean to say that the computer randomly reboots itself. The owner claims that the machine was cold - shut down completely - and turned itself on once in the middle of the night while he was present, and again while he was away on vacation. He shut down the computer and left, and came back to what appeard to be a computer in standby except for the fact that it would not come out of "standby".

    I personally have not been witness to this behavior. The only thing I have observed first hand is that when the power is turned on, the fans start spinning but the computer does not POST. I don't mean to say that it fails POST, because it does not emit any beep codes - I mean that the computer does not even begin to POST.

    So, do you think a BIOS reset might fix this? Does anyone know where an eMachines BIOS reset pin is (or have a more close up picture of one?). I will try replacing the fans, but I don't think overheating is the problem for two reasons:

    1. The fans appear to be operating fine.
    2. This happens immedietly after the power turns on, not after an extended period of operation.
    So I says to him, I says, Hey! Llama! How about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy rushiku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    A van down by the river
    Posts
    2,056
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If you're not even getting beep codes, it means the cpu is fried. 'Something' must process the instructions to make the speaker beep, that something is the cpu.

    The BIOS is not 'self-aware', it's simply an EEPROM full of instructions on how to test and use the components on the board, and what to do (beep) when something isn't working.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •