Random Hangs and Restarts with XP SP2
Windows Support Forums - Restarts in middle of boot-up (WXP-Pro).
Proving once again how great the Internet is. Since I've installed SP2, I've been having all kinds of instability on two of my machines. I get hand the same symptoms where you'll get a hang or you'll be booting and get blown back to the BIOS. Folks on this thread a struggling too.
This is one area where power on self test doesn't help. Running Memtest86, the memory immediately begins failing. This is one hard area to figure out without a dedicated memory tester. Furthermore, with Memtest, if you disable the processor cache, you can see the memory stick is good, but the cache is not. One fried Pentium 4 2.43 Northwood. Sad to say so the machine is totalled since the architecture is obsolete. Can save the cd, etc., but the rest is not useful since it is a Shuttle mini machine, I don't know what to do with the case.
When you have a strange problem, it doesn't hurt to go back to first principles. Does the memory and CPU work properly. It is really rare for memory to fail. I have a dozen machines and its only happened once in 10 years as compared to 3 disk drives in five years or monthly software driver problems.
So this is another warning that one thing can cause failure in quite another. Happy Turkey day!