System reboots every hour or so

My 10.3 Gateway Quad-core system is rebooting itself every hour or so.

I installed the 64-bit memtest86, and it appears in the Grub menu. But when I try to boot off this, I get an error stating that the image will not fit into memory. I supposedly have 3 GB of RAM.

Any suggestions?


I had a similar issue. My DIMMs worked great in memtest but my system rebooted every X hours.

I ended up moving my DIMMs to a different system and couldn’t get past BIOS - different BIOS declared a bad DIMM. During my floundering around testing one DIMM at a time I discovered that the bad DIMM got very hot right away, so I’m suspecting a short in the DIMM somewhere.

Not sure how helpful this is, as I couldn’t figure it out with the BIOS A system - if you have a second system with different BIOS maybe you can get lucky too.

Sorry to not be more help.

Yes, it does sound like RAM. You can put memtest on a floppy (you want the most recent version since you have a quad; the older versions won’t properly recognize the hw). Or I’m sure on a CD and make that bootable, although I haven’t had to do it that way. You may as well pull all the sticks but one, start testing one at a time - if you do a memtest and the RAM fails, you won’t know which stick, so you’d have to the one-at-a-time anyway to isolate the stick.

I’m assuming you haven’t overclocked. Still, check your cpu and mobo temps. With a quad you probably have active cooling on the Northbridge; check that, too. Look and listen for any other signs of heat. Another possibility is abnormal voltage regulation, in which case you check the MOSFETs (they’re the capacitors next to the cpu; look for any bulging or liquid-looking material) and the Power Supply (requires a meter; the’yre cheap).

Do you have Windows installed; does it happen with Windows? In W$ you can install Orthos and stress cpu, ram, or ram+cpu. Or Prime is similar, runs on both W$ and Linux, does the equivalent of an Orthos “blend” test. You will know very quickly if you have a cpu, RAM, or Northbridge (where the memory controller resides) problem.