Windows Unceremoniously Rebooting Constantly

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Makosuke, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #1
    I'm here trying to install Windows via BootCamp on a couple of new Macs for where I work. Updated everything on the Macs, installed the latest firmware, Slipstreamed an SP2 install disc, and got ready to go.

    First one (17" iMac) worked perfectly. Had some trouble getting Windows to recognize my AirPort network, but eventually just turned off security for a bit and it worked fine. Installed all the Windows patches (50 some of them--does MS have a rollup I can put on CD hidden somewhere for anything but the Media Center edition?), and called it good.

    Now I'm trying to do the same for a Mini (higher-end version, 2GB of RAM that I installed myself--MAN those are tight inside).

    BootCamp works fine, the Windows install works fine, the Mac driver install works fine, and then I go to Windows Update. The first-round Installer update works fine, and I start checking for the rest of the updates... and the Mini suddenly reboots.

    No BSOD, no error message, just "Bong!" and it starts up Windows again, as if the power had flickered off for a second. Disk check runs and fixes something, then I try again... Blink, reboot.

    So I try uninstalling the updates I installed, and re-running them. Blink, on-again-off-again.

    I try "Repairing" Windows (basically a reinstall), and this time it blinks out when I'm trying to connect to the wireless network. Now I'm reformatting the Windows partition and starting over completely from scratch, but that's another 2 hour install, and I don't even know if it will help.

    So...

    1) Has anybody else seen this "No BSOD crash"? A BSOD, at least I'd understand, but I've never seen Windows just blink off like that.

    2) Any suggestions? Being that it SEEMS to be triggered by network access (though not immediately), I'm suspicious of the wireless drivers, but it was fine in an iMac in an identical situation.

    I sure as hell hope this isn't a hardware issue because I don't want to have to tear the thing apart again to put the stock RAM back before sending it in for service (plus it's brand new), but I can't imagine that it is--the MacOS works fine, including when doing similar stuff (downloading files, etc.).

    Argh!
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Argh indeed.

    A couple of things..

    Did you install the Mac drivers immediately after installing Windows and before trying to update?

    Minimize the USB (and other peripherals) plugged in at boot time. I found that the Windows install on my MBP would freak with any mouse plugged in. <shrug>

    Alternately.. as per most Windows IT types.. wipe and reinstall Windows. I'd go so far as nuking the BC partiton and starting again. Mega annoying, I know.
     
  3. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #3
    Ugh. As it turns out, it looks like it's a hardware problem.

    Thanks for the suggestions, Yellow, and just for reference: Yes I installed the drivers immediately after Windows finished installing and before any updates (I CAN'T update without them, in fact, since I need the wireless card to connect to the Internet), then restarted, then added the new hardware, then restarted again, then tried the updates.

    And I tried reinstalling Windows including a complete (not Quick) reformat of the partition. Didn't even get through the driver install process before it blinked out this time.

    So, I'd rebooted in the MacOS and was going to nuke the entire partition and start from scratch, when the Mac did the same thing--poof, and restart.

    I don't see how it could run solidly through a 2-hour Windows install without issue, and for at least a half hour on the MacOS before flaking, yet manifest the same issue in maybe 5 minutes in Windows. What are the three situations doing different that is making this so inconsistent?


    Hardware test, of course, sees nothing wrong. Of course. :mad:

    Sadly, now I'm faced with tearing the Mini apart and reinstalling the factory RAM before getting it serviced. Worse, when I opened it up the first time I found out what the slight rattling noise I'd been hearing was--one of the plastic tabs inside was broken off. Which, of course, if the Apple service people are being jerks, will make it look like I manhandled it getting it open (which I didn't--I know what I'm doing and am VERY careful).

    Maybe I'll just put the tab back inside and feign total ignorance...
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    There is a Dell unit in one of our labs that does this fairly often (i.e. a couple of times a week, I think). It has the nicest monitor in that lab too (1905FP). *le sigh* I just avoid using it. :rolleyes:

    So you believe this is symptomatic of bad memory? I could've sworn that the last time we bugged IT about this computer, they ran memory tests, but... it's certainly also possible here.
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Hmm.. odd..

    You might want to check the RAM (it could be freaking when it hits a bad sector(sector?)) with memtest?
     
  6. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    It is probably caused by Windows, or more likely MSN Messenger, trying to access your iSight for which of course there is no driver. This causes the system to constantly reboot as it tries to find it.

    When you gain access to Windows again make sure you disable the "image device" to avoid this happening. In Windows via "Control Panel" go to "Device Manager" then "imaging devices", then look for and right click on "usb video device" and select "disable".

    EDIT: But then you did mention a Mac Mini and in that case I have no idea... sorry.
     
  7. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #7
    The non-bluescreen reboot is actually a "feature" of XP.

    If you go into Start->Control Panel->System and click on the Advanced tab, the button for Startup and Recovery settings has a check box for Automatically restart under the System Failure area.

    Un-checking the box will bring back the old familiar BSOD.
     
  8. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    Thanks for the tip. Odd, since the other XP systems using the same install bluescreen "properly", but I'll try that just for the heck of it. Like I said, it's doing an identical thing in the MacOS too, now, so it's not Windows specifically, and I have a feeling even if I turn the BSOD back on I won't be seeing it.

    As such, I started another thread in the hardware forum, but any suggestions in either is welcome.
     

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