Win XP Pro randomly restarts

By bquigley
May 30, 2007
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  1. I am running Windows XP Pro, SP2, P4 3.06.
    Just recently my computer restarts with no notice whatsoever, no blue screen, and no error messages to send. It always restarts normally, and never indicates why it just shut down and restarted.
    How do I log this, so I can determine what the problem is? I have made no hardware changes, and can't think of any software changes either.
    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    Barbara
  2. MMDominator88

    MMDominator88 Newcomer, in training Posts: 152

    Does it ever stay on for a while or does it just always restart ?
  3. leadpill924

    leadpill924 Banned Posts: 124

    does it do that while playing full screen games? it always happened to me when I used to play Americas Army
  4. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    WinXP Restarting

    It doesn't matter what I'm doing. Every 20 minutes or so, it shuts down and restarts, even when I'm doing nothing and the screen saver is on. I can be on the internet, or not. I could be checking emails, or playing a game. Anything or nothing. There is never a blue screen, and never an error to report to Microsoft. No warning, and no explanation. It restarts normally, and then stays on for another few minutes... usually 15 to 20 minutes or so.
    Any ideas?
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,457   +135

    This is probably caused by a bad power supply. Swap it out...
  6. MMDominator88

    MMDominator88 Newcomer, in training Posts: 152

    if you get the chance before it restarts, you can change the setting whether windows gives you the BSOD, right click on your "my computer icon" on the desktop, go to "properties" and then click on the "advanced" tab, navigate to the area titled "startup and recovery" and click "settings" and finally UN-tick the checkmark beside the option of "automatically restart" then click "OK" at the bottom of that window..........tell me if that helps at all (and give the error code from the BSOD)
  7. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I will do that; thanks.

    p.s. what is BSOD?
  8. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    There are so many out there, and the prices range from $30 to a few hundred. What is a decent power supply that won't cost me an arm and a leg? The one in it now is the one that came with the system (Systemax, from TigerDirect.ca) and is a 300 I think. Probably not high end.

    What brand and power should I be looking at? Thanks!
  9. peterdiva

    peterdiva TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,202

    See if you have any minidump files. Look in C:\Windows\Minidump. BSOD=Blue Screen (of Death).
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,457   +135

    A BSOD is "BULE SCREEN of DEATH"... seen only in Windows operating systems. Apples/Macs have the Black screen of death with a little frowning computer icon right in the center of the black screen.

    As far as power supplies go, spend about $45 and you'll be ok... 350 watts is good
  11. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    That was the first thing I did. Nothing. Usually I only get a dump file if I get an error, and then can send it to Microsoft, but I checked it anyway even though there was no such error. And the memory.dmp has not been updated either.

    Oh, and I don't ever get the blue screen. As I said, there is never any notice (such as BSOD), never an error message, nothing ever crashes or freezes which would indicate a problem. It just restarts! And when it restarts, even then I don't get the message "Windows has just restarted because it encountered a problem...." I get nothing, and it starts normally as if nothing has ever happened.
  12. peterdiva

    peterdiva TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,202

    No minidump usually means a severe hardware problem. Other reasons.
  13. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Oh now that's great news :(
    How do I diagnose what hardware? Is there a program that could test everything, including the power supply to determine the problem?

    I'm guessing my video card, only because last week I started having problems with Java, and did get a memory.dmp error regarding one of the files for my ATI Radeon X1600 Pro card. I thought I had solved that problem by updating the drivers (big mistake) and then uninstalling everything and going back to original drivers. Everything seemed fine for a few days, but I wasn't on it much over the weekend.

    It's a fairly new card... maybe 6 months since I put it in. I thought I had deleted all the ATI files before reinstalling, but probably missed some.

    Could that be the problem? Why would that not generate an error file, or dump file though?
     
  14. Tomi-Wan

    Tomi-Wan Newcomer, in training Posts: 29

    Same thing happened to me, restarting all by itself without any warning. Found out I had the Blaster worm that was causing it, had a hell of a time getting it out. Microsoft has a patch and instruction for getting rid of it. Worth your while to check.
  15. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Thought of that... had tried running my Norton Virus scan, but the computer would never stay on long enough for it to complete. So then I ran it in safe mode, but I'm still not sure if that is a thorough enough scan. It came up clean, but is a safe mode scan reliable?
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,457   +135

    I still suggest trying another power supply. Why? Because I have seen this restart symptom often
  17. Tomi-Wan

    Tomi-Wan Newcomer, in training Posts: 29

    Safe mode scans are the most reliable. Try getting FixBlast and CleanUp and run in safe mode.
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,457   +135

    Safe Mode scans are only more reliable for sick computers. They don't always show relevent results
  19. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I will try that and report back. I've tried everything else I can think of, so why not.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Barbara
  20. bquigley

    bquigley Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Problem solved

    I want to thank you all for your help and suggestions. After replacing the power supply and having it continue to restart constantly, I reluctantly took it in to be looked at. Because it would never stay on long enough I couldn't even copy or record my files, so I was really nervous about that.

    Initially their first thought was that the motherboard needed to be replaced. Turns out it was the CPU fan that was failing. I guess the CPU was over-heating, so it would shut down.

    I still find it odd that it would not just say so! But the good news is after putting in a new CPU fan, it has been on for the past 24 hours and not once has it shut down.

    Thanks again!

    Barbara
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