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Re: Do you agree with this diagnosis?

Bill Eitner
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Dave Hardenbrook wrote:
> I have had a very daunting troubleshooting process, and I would like to
> know if the "High Gurus" here agree with my analysis:
> I was given the task of troubleshooting a Dell Dimension 2350 running
> Windows XP SP2 that was donated to my church. The obvious problem was
> random spontanious reboots. I first tried disabling "Restart on System
> Failure", but no STOP errors occured at the reboots, and there was
> nothing in the Event Viewer to provide any clues. And there was no
> apparent pattern to the reboots, except that they seemed to happen
> mostly on mouse clicks, or when a USB device was being accessed
> (sometimes it happened when the system was sitting idle, though).
> Then I tried swapping various components with "Known Goods": RAM, PSU,
> Hard drive, etc. Problem persisted. Ran various low-level diagnostics
> on the CPU, etc. No problems detected, but the reboots continued.
> Since the swapping of components did not solve the problem, I have
> concluded that the motherboard is bad. I believe this is corroborated
> by the fact that on examining the mobo more closely, some of the
> capacitors have dark blue splotches that look like leakages, and there
> is a definite though nondescript smell (its rather like cinnamon rolls,
> but that might be my imagination).
> So would you agree that it is almost certainly the motherboard?
> Dave

I'm writing this using a box based on a Shuttle mobo
that had bad caps. I changed the caps out 4 years ago.
The caps are cheap, but it's not your average A+ level
repair. Based on what you describe, bad caps are a
possibility. As another poster suggested, an overheating
CPU is another.
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