Help with windows restarting problem

By magnus28 ยท 19 replies
Nov 1, 2008
  1. hi.
    having a problem with windows restarting randomly (usually while inactive). I will post my specs then what fixes i've tried.

    OS: Windows XP PRO SP3
    Mobo: Biostar TA790GX A2+
    Ram: 4 GB of OCZ Platnum Revision 2 PC6400 800Mhz 4-4-4-15
    Cpu: Athlon X2 6400 3.2 Ghz
    Psu: Ultra X2 Extreme edition 750 Watt
    Gpu: E-vga 9800 GT akimbo 1GB

    i've ran AVG 8.0, spybot S&D, Adaware 7.0, all in safe mode. No infections were detected.
    i've ran regcure, but funny thing is everytimeI run it, it picks up more errors, fixes them, and I run scan again and it picks up more errors...

    i've tried sys restore.
    my psu,ram,etc are all good they are brand new.
    my drivers are fine.

    I keep getting windows has recovered from a serious error, but the restart never happends when i'm gaming or using the computer - only when I leave it alone for maybe 30 mins.

    I don't think I have a virus, even though AVG is free and not the best scanner, it usually does a good job. i'm thinking maybe something is screwed up in a system file or registry.

    pls help,

  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Sounds like a device driver issue. Go into Device Manager and disable optional devices like video, audio and printer (anything else you don't need)

    Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager

    Also, go into Display and see if you have Standby or Hibernate enabled. If you do, set the timeout for 1 or 2 minutes. This will speed up the troubleshooting.

    Start -> Control Panel -> Display -> Screen Saver -> Power

    I think Standby or Hibernate is kicking in and one of you device drivers is messed up.
  3. magnus28

    magnus28 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    according to device manager, all my drivers are intact, and devices are ok.

    my system is set to never hibernate,power down hard drive, etc.
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Although Device Manager says the drivers are OK doesn't necessarily mean they are. Device Manager is not a very good utility (I find it quite frustrating as I fix PCs for a living)

    I'm surprised that Standby or Hibernate are not involved here. I was sure it had something to do with them. If they're disabled, then likely they are not.

    Still, disable optional devices and let the PC idle and see if the BSOD happens. We need to characterize and isolate to get an idea of what's behind this crashing.

    -- Andy
  5. magnus28

    magnus28 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    this attachment might shed some light on the subject

    Attached Files:

  6. magnus28

    magnus28 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    andy, I disabled optional drivers, I don't get a BSOD, just a restart and 2-3 " windows has recovered from a serious error " messages. I left it idle, and it only took 15 mins for it to restart. Funny thing is it doesn't restart as long as i'm doing something with it. note, i'm only running 25 processes atm, and most of them are something important i.e. svchost, explorerexe, alg.exe, services.exe, etc.
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Yeah, this is a strange problem. Again, my first reaction is that it's something to do with Standby or Hibernatation. Just to be sure, can you re-check the Power settings? Next, let's check what background programs your are running and perhaps disable optional ones and see if the restarting stops.

    -- Andy
  8. tw0rld

    tw0rld TS Maniac Posts: 572   +6

  9. magnus28

    magnus28 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    here's a look on what processes I have running now.

    my PSU is less than a month old and is working good.
    double checked my power settings, everything is fine.
    my power/reset button is fine.

    I forgot to disable spoolsv.exe but it's just the printer and that's definately not causing the issue.
  10. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I don't think this is a hardware issue. It's possible but highly unlikely. You said if you actively use the computer, it does restart. It only happens when it's idle. Sounds like a program timeout. I'd check the background programs at this point. Go into MSCONFIG and disabled all startup programs and restart. Then see if it restarts.

    -- Andy
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    I think your drivers are okay. You have a big shot of RAM on that system- 4GB is excessive for Windows XP. Are you overclocking because that can cause the error. Reduce the amount of installed RAM.

    If that does not work, then underclock it in BIOS.
  12. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    4GB of RAM is not excessive for XP. That's why they have a 64 bit version for XP. It's so that you can have 4GB or more of memory. Even if you run the 32-bit version with 4GB+, the excess is simply not used (XP can't address above 4GB)

    This is most likely a software issue. Not a hardware or system config issue. The symptoms point to software.

    -- Andy
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    It has been discussed many times (on many threads) that more than 2Gig of Ram on any Xp version is too excessive

    almcneil you will need to create you own thread asking why 2Gig is too excessive
    I have removed your reply asking me this (plus many others on other threads that do not help the original thread starter)
  14. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Actually it is in the presence of "windows has recovered from a serious error,"

    By the way, I don't encourage Registry Cleaners, but if I was to recommend one, it wouldn't be RegCure. This one has gotten a lot of complaints.
  15. magnus28

    magnus28 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well it still happends when system is idle.. i've diabled all unecessary processes.. I think one of my system files is bad
  16. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Have you done this?
  17. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Disable the screensaver! I recall something like this with a customer a long time ago. Just disable it and see if the crashing stops. Meanwhile I'll try to recall what that root cause was.

    -- Andy
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Please provide the Minidumps (seen in the picture attachment) located in C:\Windows\Minidump folder for analysis
  19. magnus28

    magnus28 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    there are about 30 minidump files so i'll attach the last 2 hope it helps.

    p.s. I disabled my screensaver, and so far been restart free for 24 hours now.
    can't pinpoint if the restart-free is because of the screensaver, or the fact that I eliminated down to 22 processes.
  20. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Inside the 2 Minidumps:
    Bobbye's suggestion about removing the extra ram, and defaulting any Bios (overclock) settings, would probably be a good idea.

    Otherwise please run Memtest on your Ram
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