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I am using mandrake 9.1; I first started using it when it was released (think it was around april or may of this year, not sure though) and had no problems with it. Unfortunately, it didn't recognize my modem despite my efforts so I didn't use it at all from July through September.
I have no use for my modem now, though, and am using mandrake regularly, but it seems to have developed a very annoying habit of rebooting totally at random. The only difference in the system's hardware that occurred over the summer was that I installed a new sound card (off brand), which mandrake seemed to recognize just fine and install drivers for. The ram is the same, and I've tried a new power supply. Notably, I am dual booting with xp and xp has no problems at all, leading me to doubt that the problem is in the hardware (unless perhaps it's a driver issue).
I did a clean install of mandrake earlier today, and it ran fine for a few hours, I thought I had the problem fixed as before I would rarely get more than 20 minutes out of it. However, it did the same thing again (random reboot) and now won't even let me log in. Oddly, when I attempt to sign in, the screen moves left and right rapidly for a few seconds, I have no idea what that could be caused by. Notably if I click on reboot the usual list of OSes is empty, so I have to halt and do a cold boot.
The only exception to the perceived randomness is that it occurs while I'm actively doing things with the PC. Setting a program to run (like folding at home) and walking away from the system, it will go for hours with no problem. There seems to be no common denominator in which programs I'm using when it reboots, though it always seems to be triggered by a keypress or mouse event (click or moving the scroll wheel, etc.)
I recall having seen a somewhat similar problem with a colleagues machine. In that case it appears to have been the addition of a USB mouse that provoked the problem.
Since the only change you made was the soundcard I would suggest starting with that. Try not loading the sound modules and working with the machine for however long it takes to tell if the problem continues or not. If the random reboots continue I would then physically remove the card and redo the test.
This would hopefully narrow the scope of the problem, which is a necessary first step to finding a solution.
My mouse and keyboard are both PS2 (interesting to note that USB could be a problem since I just ordered a new trackball which can be either USB or PS/2). I will try removing the sound card now (I will probably just use the motherboard's build in sound for now) and seeing if that works.
I wouldn't worry too much about the USB, it was a problem only on one machine, probably a hardware problem.
I don't know about the reboot problem. If you have problems with the graphical login you can switch to another virtual terminal (<CTRL>-<ALT>-<F2> to get to terminal 2, <CTRL>-<ALT>-<F7> (usually) to get back to the graphical window). If you can log in on a terminal then the problem has something to do with the X Window configuration.
By the way if you can login on a VT, you can use this command (as root) to reboot cleanly :
# shutdown -r now
You might also try killing the X server (it will probably be restarted automatically) with the key combination: <CTRL>-<ALT>-<BACKSPACE>.