Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
Hardware-wise I have to go with the over heating option as a first try after all the software stuff checks out. My comp was doing this to me recently and once I gave her a good cleaning, things worked better. The fans checked out ok, but if you have a ton of dust in the machine, they simply may not be able to keep up. Clean out your machines once in a while. Its the often the difference between the cost of a can of compressed air and the cost of a new processor. If that fan dies and your processorover heats....bad news....
Aside from checking the computer's power supply, you may also want to check the power supply's power supply, your home wiring.
We're conditioned to believe that we'll get a consistent voltage from our home wiring, but it's not as consistent as we think and can spike and dip. That's why major datacenters (the ones that host big racks of servers) and hardcore audiophiles and videophiles use power line conditioning to iron out those peaks, valleys, and frequency distortions into a smooth, clean, flow of power. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_line_conditioner
Consumer models run from $40 - $500 depending on how much you want to plug into them and how hardcore you want to get about the voltage and frequency regulation.
Well, I must say that it seems quite strange to me that nobody has mentioned yet the most obvious thing to do in this particular case, i.e. nobody mentioned that the computer's restarts might just be common BSODs (well, Leo did mention a BSOD, but ...), which in turn can be caused by anything really (i.e. the BSODs themselves), and that the first thing you should do is the following:
-- go to "Control Panel", open the "System" applet, and navigate to the "Advanced" tab. Then under the "Startup and Recovery" section click "Settings" button, and finally in the window that opens-up check you current setting (it's a check-box) for "Automatically restart" under the "System failure" section.
/IMPORTANT: If the respective check-box is CHECKED, then you need to UN-CHECK it. This way you will be sure on the next occurance that the reason for these restarts is actually a BSOD and not something else, for instance a too high temperature etc. However, there is also a slight chance that you'll at least get some clue on what's causing it (of course, if it's indeed the BSOD) by the "stop error-code" displayed on the BSOD's blue-screen (under "Technical Information"), and if you are lucky enough, you may even get a file-name of the driver that's causing it.
Ivan Tadej, Slovenija, EU
I have had the same problem. It started after some other problems developed. Their could be a missing or corrupt file.
Try truning Windows Update off and see if the problem goes away.
Anti Virus was downloading an update, then started an install. Windows Update was also downloading an update, then started an install while the other install was still running.
I started getting Anti Virus error messages, contacted the vendor, and they had ne re-download and install the update.
Then the Windows Update icon would appear in the SYSTRAY, and disapear after a minute. No updates were installed. I went to the Windows Update site, and there were updates waiting. I downloaded and installed them, then Windows Update would start an install and install the updates again.
Microsoft support had me re-install SP2 without cleanup, then my computer would restart without warning every time there was an update.
For the past 9 months Microsoft has had me do over 100 emails of commands, re-installs, and recoveries. Windows Update is in manual mode and I have to check for updates. Even when I do a manual install, the computer restarts.
I have checked everything on this site, and did not find anything that has'nt already been tried.
The Microsoft support people keep saying I can't help you, contact support. I get a new person each time, and they wnat to start all over with all of the things that have already been tried.
THEY WILL NOT GO OUTSIDE SUPPORT FOR HELP!
They appear to be more worried that if they have to ask for help, it would not look good on their record.
ok i read the article and the comments. this is all good stuff. my computer does not get BSODs i already turned off the "automatically restart on system failure" configuration. overheating is not an issue with my computer, i also replaced the thermal paste on my heatsink and processor. my memory isnt bad either, nor are my hard drives overheating. all my software is up to date and the only thing that i havent tried is disabling windows updates. i didnt really notice that whenever i turn on my computer i do get that yellow shield icon on my system tray then it just restarts... but heres my problem, even tho i dont get into windows, my computer restarts. i used a diifferent hard drive without a operating system just to test that out. i left it for a few minutes and it restarted. even in the BIOS settings page it restarts. so im thinking hardware issues. since its not the memory, hard drive, or the processor (maybe it is i just dont know it). what else could it be?
on a side note: when i used the integrated video card on the motherboard instead of my video card, my computer crashes. also whenever my computer reboots into windows, my wireless adapter has to be removed and then reinserted into the USB port for it to be detected by windows.... maybe this might help come to a conclusion. im all out of answers maybe anyone here can help me out... THanKS
There is no ONE solution. What works for one may not for others.
I, too, HAD a random reboot problem. I went through all the usual things from upgrading audio drivers, changing video cards, updating BIOS, new BIOS battery, RAM memory checks, changed IDE cables, and on and on. Power supply is 430 watt and plenty big for my pc. I am using APC UPS so it was not incoming power (verified). Temperature was not an issue so I was left with the possibility it was a defective MB or CPU.
I spent countless hours trying to isolate the reboot to certain things but never could -- but I did notice that it was more likely to occur when I first started the pc in the morning. I set the BIOS to do a full memory scan -- which can take 30 seconds or so -- in order to see how the pc responded. It seemed to stabilize things such that I would not experience a spontaneous reboot for days (I ran it 48 hours). The next time I started the system it seemed to go okay until I clicked on a desktop shortcut -- ZAP! Reboot! I became suspicious of the hard drives (2) so ran the manufacturer's diagnostic program and both HDs are perfectly okay.
My questions were "What could it be about perfectly okay hard drives that when a program is access by desktop shortcut, it would reboot?" and "What are the controllable features of a HD?"
This led me to the master-slave jumper connections. For some reason, I had the HD0 set to Cable Select and the HD1 set correctly to Slave. Both drives needed to be set for Cable Select or one Master and the other as Slave. I changed the jumper on HD0 to Master. Problem solved.
So, include master-slave jumper check on your HDs in your troubleshooting!
I'm no tech by any means. I can only assume that the HD controller was confused on initial startup as to which drive was the Master but once established it stayed with that setting for that session.
I hope this helps.
My computer randomly shuts down and when I have it on I can tell the fan is running fine. I have Windows XP but it still randomly restarts. Also when I have it on, it sounds like my computer is playing ping pong. It has these weird beeping sounds like a video game of ping pong.
I went to Radio Shack and bought some dust remover spray which helped a little bit but if I leave my computer running all day it will either restart, or freeze. I've been having a lot of freezes lately as well. When I try to run scans and just leave the computer it will restart, or freeze. So as I'm running a scan I have to continue to keep the computer from going to idle.
If someone knows how to help please send me an email.
The problems started when I have installed some gadjets od Google side bar.
I will remove them, to see if I can repair the problem.
You site was very helpfull to me.
Denial of Service "Ping of Death" attack detected.
I get this on my sygate firewall , what is it and why would someone want to restart my pc,My firewall stops the atack but it also slows my internet conection , I can do without the atacks , 5 in the last hour, help pls.
In a Ping of Death attack, the hacker uses a packet with a size that is larger than the normal standard. When your system encounters a packet of this size, it often crashes, hangs, or reboots.
my computer was covered in **** basically lol i threw away the master reset CD along with the windows XP CD key that was attached to the cd wallet. extremely stupid i know lol but yeah so after 20gb of my memory was "lost in space" (i could not find it ANYWHERE) so i attempted to master reset myself. also VERY stupid. seems the application i downloaded from Packard Bell was only to initialize the master reset, not actually do it. so, my computer was buggered. i took it to an IT techinician i knew very well and he had to re-install windows XP, but, because he was an IT tech, he had used the version of windows already, so mine became susseptible (dont know how to spell it) to WGA at the next windows update i got. i got another friend to find an application to remove the annoyingness of it, but because my windows version had already been used, i no longer recieve the updates =( this was 5months ago, and i have installed the minimum on my computer, Comodo Firewall and Anti-Virus, Ad-Aware SE Personal, and my games. (i only installed the anti virus and firewall when i started to get the random reboots) but i do get a "serious system error" message whenever i turn on my comp.
they are the 2 files included in my error report, although i never send them. it wont improve my situation so no point lol. i cant find where them folders/files are located either, hope someone can shed light on this.
(oh i dont know that IT tech anymore, moved away =( lol )
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