Question

Random reboots

My computer's been spontaneously rebooting on an almost daily basis recently. Where's the log file that will hopefully show me why it's happening? Do I need any special tools to interpret the log?

(If it's my RAM, I'm expecting to replace it anyway today.)

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Answer
Look in the Error Logs

Reboots can be caused by something overheating like CPU (when was last time it dusted out and new thermal paste applied between CPU and HSF?), by failing RAM, or failing HDD. You can use memtest86 to test the RAM. You can boot into BIOS and let idle for about 10 minutes while watching the temperature reported on the CPU. There is software you can download and install to watch CPU temps, but need to adjust it's reported value on first boot to about room temperature plus 10 F or 5C. So if room temperature is 75 and it reports the CPU at 100F, then figure the software reading is about 10-15 degrees too warm on it's report. Some software, like I use in linux, allows the "offset" to be adjusted for that.

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Thank you

I'm aware of the possible causes. As I wrote in my first post, if it's the RAM, that won't be an issue after I upgrade it later today.

But I'm hoping the Windows log can help me determine the cause. I'd still like to know the answers to my original questions.

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Thank you again

I checked the event log and different errors have been occurring. When I swap the RAM, I'll also clean inside the case.

If all goes well, I'll (hopefully remember to) post again in a week to report that the problem appears to have been resolved. If another reboot occurs, however, I'll be back sooner.

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Swapped the RAM

Unfortunately, that didn't do the trick, nor did cleaning out the case.

Temperatures appear to be okay.

Hard drives are in excellent health.

I'm at a loss.

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How old is the computer and motherboard?

If over 7-8 years, it could be a victim of "bad caps" aka 'Capacitor Plague'.

Check those, particularly around the CPU area.

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About 3 years

Sorry for not responding earlier, but I never received notification that there was a new post.

In the meantime, since my last message, there have been no spontaneous reboots, so maybe that one reboot after I switched the RAM was a fluke (an automatic reboot after Windows Update or some such thing).

Waiting to see if it's resolved or if another reboot occurs.

Thanks again, James.

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Problem resolved

There hasn't been a reboot in weeks. Again, James, thank you for all your suggestions.

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Answer
Swap hardware

Switch power outlets and setup a UPS on full battery.

Change out power plug for known good working one.

Swap motherboard, PSU, and graphics card.

And then lastly, try a different OS (Linux) on a different SSD, and let the computer sit overnight with auto-reboot settings turned off.

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Thank you, but

it's 11 months since I reported that the problem was solved.

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