Dell Dimension 4550 Keeps Rebooting "PART 2"



I have actually had it working right 3-4 times, but everytime I install
something that needs to restart to finish, I have this problem. Like the
first time I had it working, I didn't have any problem with my internet
connection, because the first thing I did was start downloading & installing
the windows updates. When it was fiinished installing, and wanted to
restart, I started having problems with it rebooting again.

Also, sorry it had been awhile, I've been a little busy the past few days or



Michael T

We need to determine if your "restart problem" is related to your cable
modem, your USB port or a driver.

So please let us know which of the following are correct:

1) Service Pack 2 is installed?
2) Your ISP is RoadRunner and you are connected via a cable modem?
3) Your Internet connection is through a USB port and *not* an Ethernet
4) There are no devices marked bad - or as unknown devices - in Device
5) There are no 'events' marked bad (wit a red X ) in Event Viewer? Go to
Start > Run and type
6) When downloading from the Internet you only have a problem with Windows
Update (or any other download link that will NOT allow you to save the file
to your hard drive before doing an install)? If you save the download file
to your hard drive, disconnect from the Internet, then run the install all
is OK? In other words, the only time you have problems 'restarting after a
download/install' is if I remain connected while this is executing?
7) When the software you are installing (e.g. Windows Update, or updates for
you anti-virus program) and are prompted that Windows must restart have you
tried disconnecting from the Internet and disabling any firewall or
anti-virus program before clicking RESTART? This will help us determine if
the problem is related to your USB-Internet connection for your RoadRunner
8) You have fixed the problem you had last month wherein you could not
consistently connect to the Internet?
9) You have contacted both Dell and RoadRunner to no avail?
10) Your Dell computer has a history dating back at least two weeks of
ending up in a reboot loop when you perform a full install or a Repair

Please let us know the answers to these and if a problem exists please
provide as much detail as you can - such as error messages in full detail.

Thank you.

Michael T

One other thing - and you may have already done this since we discussed this
way back in June when you first reported this reboot/restart problem.

Make sure Auto Restart is turned off so you 'hopefully' will get a Stop
Message (or error code) instead of a reboot.

Right-click My Computer, click the Advanced tab, click Settings under
Startup and Recovery , and then view the Automatically restart check box
under System Failure . If the Automatically restart check box is selected,
Windows automatically restarts (or reboots) if the computer stops
unexpectedly. So you must UNcheck this check box.

I seem to recall that even when you turned this off you did NOT get a Stop
Message. This had bothered me as this is very uncommon in my experience and
me indicate a problem with hardware - such as your cable mode - USB


1) No, that was one of the updates I was trying to install earlier.
2) Yes, my ISP is Road Runner, and I use an external cable modem (Scientific
Atlanta). I have only been able to connect to the internet that one time,
and it was through the USB Port.
3) Yes, the one time I was able to get connected, was through the USB Port.
I have never been able to get a connection through my ethernet port yet.
4) Nothing marked bad, but yes, there are some marked as unknown:
-? Other Devices
?! Ethernet Controller

?! MutiMeadia Audio Controller

?! PCI Input Device

?! SM Bus Controller

This is basically what it looks like from the device manager.
5) Haven't checked that yet, but will tonight.
6) The Windows updates were the first, and only thing I ever downloaded.
7) My internet connection is always on, so I would have to unplug my cable
modem from my PC, which I haven't tried yet. I have never gotten far enought
to install my anti-virus software yet.
8) Yes, I did get conected to the internet, but it started rebooting right
after getting it to work.
9) Dell keeps giving me all kind of run-a-round. I bought the PC off of (and no they weren't any help either). Road Runner rest my
connection, and that got my internet to work, but then it started rebooting
I have also tried a few other support forms before this one, but I've
gotten better, and faster help from you, by far.
10) Yes.

I am planning on trying to start completely over tonight, and will, let you
know how it goes. Thank you for all your help thus far.

Michael T

Well, distilling this all down I think we can focus on the following:

1) You need to boot without connecting and install (and run) your anti-vrus
software as soon as possible. Otherwise we run the risk of introducing
another concurrent problem which as I am sure you know will complicate your
ability to resolve this chronic problem.

2) It seems to me that we can glean from what your excellent description
that your problem can best be described as "Unable to establish and/or
maintaining an Internet connection without your computer rebooting. If true,
then it just complicates the resolution by focusing on
downloading/installing software (e.g. Windows Updates).

3) RoadRunner has been inconsistent in their ability to help you with your
Internet connection issues. This could be (and I am guessing here) because
you're using a USB connection and they are much more accustomed to solving
Ethernet connection problems.

4) You are never seeing a Stop Message when you PC shuts down and reboots.
As I have said this is so uncommon when you have the following selections
for Startup & Recovery:
(my selections)

Default operating system:
"Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
Or with SP2 installed.
"Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Time to display list of operating systems:
checkbox is checked and 30 secs

Time to display recovery options when needed:
checkbox is checked and 30 secs

Write an event to the system log:
checkbox is checked

Send an administrative alert:
checkbox is checked

Automatically restart

Write debugging information (two combo boxes)
Small memory dump (64KB)

Michael T

2) Yes, my ISP is Road Runner, and I use an external cable modem
Atlanta). I have only been able to connect to the internet that one time,
and it was through the USB Port.

I know you have problems using the Ethernet connection, but perhaps another
call to RoadRunner can solve it for you.

As you will see from the thread below USB is frowned upon - at least by some
including a person that does a lot of installs. Even though it is Windows 98
and IE5.5 this problem sure looks similar to yours.

I've used IE5.5 under Win'98 SE for some time now with good luck (with
dial-up). Then, I had a cable modem installed!! (WebStar via USB port).

From that moment on, IE frequently and intermittently crashes during
downloads (exe's & zips from Tucows, updates from Microsoft... You name it).

It can be at just about any point in the download (5K-in, 500K-in,
5Meg-in... You just never know). Sometimes, I'm even surprised by a
successful download!? (about one-in-four attempts).

The crashes vary, but all are spectacular.... It's usually a blue screen
with an "Exception 0E in VxD VIP(01) called from VxD NDIS(01). After I
choose to "terminate the application," my internet connection is gone.

About half the time, however, I never even see the blue screen... I'm just
watching the download, and my machine suddenly reboots.

I have so-far tried everything I can think of... Formatted the drive and
reinstalled Windows, reinstalled the WebStar USB driver... You name it. In
my last experiment, I installed nothing on the formatted drive other than
Windows, IE 5.5, and the lousy cable modem driver.

BTW All other surfing is fine.. It just seems to be the downloads!?
1) OS: '98 SE, Virgin install (No other apps/utilities on the machine)
2) IE: 5.5 (SP-2)
3) WebStar USB Driver: 1.3 (the latest, according to Scientific Atlanta)

Please... If you have any suggestions, I'd be very grateful.

Thank you!



Try ditching the USB. they're squirrelly at best. the modem should have a
catV attachment. install a NIC. or see if a newer driver is out there for
the USB.

I used to be a main installer of cable modems and I would suggest that it is
probably the USB driver causing your problems. You should uninstall the
USB, install a nic and use a cat 5 cable. this should fix your problem.





I first tried a format NTFS, and install (Quick). It freezes at the Windows
start-up screen.
I then tried a format NTFS, and install. It formatted fine, copied files
fine, but when it went into Windows setup In windows, it rebooted, went to
windows setup restarting, then when it got into windows setup again it
rebooted again.

I only had monitor, mouse, and keyboard hooked up. Cannot get into windows
to check the event log.
In system setup:
Network Interface Controller On
Mouse Port On
USB Emulator On
USB Controller On
Serial Port Auto
Parallel Port <Enter> <Enter> = Mode PS/2

I/O Address 378h
IDE Drive Interface Auto
Diskette Interface Auto
Primary Video Controller AGP
Video DAC Snoop Off


I know I mentioned this before, but could the keyboard not being a dell, or
different from the dell keyboard, be part of the problem? I have been using
a wireless keyboard, and when I ran that self diagnostic I couldn't get it to
pass, because when it started testing the the extra keys (volume controll,
multimedia, internet, etc,), because they were different.


I still have solved this problem, and haven't heard anything from you on
here? Is there still someone there?




I have one last problem, as it seems this computer is mostly working fine
now, except one thing. It boots up kind of slow. Between the dell boot
screen, and the windows xp boot screen there is a long period of just a black
screen, and just before it goes to the windows xp boot screen a broken thick
white lite appears at the bottom and it turs solid from left to right, then
it goes to the windows boot screen. It last close to a minute.

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