What's the problem with the computer?


Apr 12, 2009
i've had this computer for 7 years already, recently i reformatted it and tried to install a fresh copy of Windows XP Professional on it (that's what it had before too), it would suddenly freezes around 30% range, and if i was lucky to have a successful install, it will restarts at random times...so now i installed Windows 2000 Professional w/ SP4 on it, same thing happens...

this system is fulled stock, no overclocking at all, is the problem related to the MB or PSU or HDD?

here's the components that i have:

CPU: AMD AthlonXP 2600+ Barton
RAM: Generic 1.5GB Mixed (1GB x 1 & 512MB x 1)
GPU: Celestica Gold Edition RADEON 9200 128MB AGP 8X
HSF: Stock but with a Fan from a Socket939
HDD: Western Digital Caviar 160GB
PSU: Generic 200-300ish Watt


Jan 27, 2008
"is the problem related to the MB or PSU or HDD?"
Could be any of these, or the memory. If you have access to another computer, you can download and run Ultimate Boot CD which contains diagnostic programs to check the memory and the HD. WD also has a diagnostic tool that you can dowmload.


For a 7-year-old system that starts having random shut-down-restart or bad boot episodes, I think of two likely causes:

1. It's the dreaded problem of bad capacitors in the PSU or on the mobo in the power regulation area. There was a series of such failures around 2003 - 2007 tracked down to this cause. One way to spot it is to look closely at the little cylindrical capacitors. They are metal cans about 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter, about 1 to 2 inches long, and often covered with a plastic sleeve. The ones with a problem often have their tops bulged up and rounded, whereas the tops are supposed to be completely flat. These units are inside the PSU and on the mobo. To examine inside the PSU you have to take it out and remove the cover. But be careful because these units store electrical charge and can have a substantial voltage on them, so don't touch! On your mobo, there is usually a section of the board back between the CPU socket and the rear connector panel where there may be up to 10 or 12 of these close to each other - this is the voltage regulation section of the board.

2. Simpler, and easier to fix: dirty bad connections in a connector-socket point. This you may be able to fix easily. This works because merely unplugging and then re-plugging something can do a kind of rubbing and scrubbing action of the metal contacts and clean them off. Start by disconnecting everything from the computer, then remove the cover. You go through the entire unit CAREFULLY being sure not to force anything. If you have to pull too hard, you're doing it wrong! At each place where a cable, card, or RAM module is plugged in, you remove it and then replace it, usually two or three times. DO NOT DO THIS FOR THE CPU! There is rarely a problem there, and a CPU removal is complicated and may cause more trouble than you have already. For cables like those to the hard drive, remember to do this at both ends. When done, re-examine everything because you could have pushed something loose without noticing. When done, reconnect everything and try to reboot. If there is a problem, be prepared to re-open and look for a loosened connection that did not get replaced properly.