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Random restarting?

by Splattered_Whim / July 15, 2005 5:02 PM PDT

What does it mean when a computer starts to restart itself at random times?

My computer has started doing this recently...Sometimes it will do it when I try to open a program, but there are other, less predictable when I'm in the middle of writing an email...or when nobody is touching it at all.

I'm using Windows XP, with a pentium III processor...(I'm not really sure what kind of system info to put...i'd have to look up a bunch of it, cause i'm technologically handicapped...)

What could be causing this? is it software, or hardware? I'm not even sure where to begin for looking for the problem...

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Could be many things
by Yew / July 15, 2005 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Random restarting?

For starters, what do you do about spyware and viruses? Anything, nothing, something, what?

If you rule those out, then heat is often a culprit. Check your computer to make sure the fans aren't clogged with dust and that they're still spinning when the system is on. You can also try running the system with part of the case off to see if that helps things at all.

The final possibility seems unlikely given what you describe, but the power supply could be the problem. USUALLY if it's a power supply thing, it'll only happen when you do something that needs a lot of power, like starting a game. Of course it's possible your power supply is a bit dodgy and so sometimes a slightly bigger than normal dip or surge in the mains power will make it unsettled. If that's the case, it's pretty easy to replace a power supply, since the plugs all really only fit in one place. Either way, investing in a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) with AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation) can pay off significantly.

Your computer wants a nice steady sine wave of power. That doesn't happen when you're plugging into wall outlets. There are various dips and surges happening all the time. Over time, this takes a toll on a computer's power supply. A UPS with AVR will sit between the mains and your computer and do whatever's necessary to deliver that steady sine wave to your computer, which can significantly increase the lifespan of a computer.

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spyware, virus software stuff
by Splattered_Whim / July 16, 2005 10:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Could be many things

I use AVG virus software and Microsoft anti-spyware.

are those bad? should I have something else?

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You've told it too -- perhaps.
by Cursorcowboy / July 15, 2005 11:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Random restarting?

If the Automatically restart option is selected under System failure in the Startup and Recovery dialog box in System Properties, then a system performs that action. If you want to know otherwise why a shutdown takes place, first turn off this option and let Windows inform you of what is wrong -- with that information, perhaps someone will know the answer, [Q314466].

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by Splattered_Whim / July 17, 2005 3:20 PM PDT

I've taken that setting off, and now i'll wait and see what error message I get...(I'll let you know what it says when i get one...)

I also cleaned the fan, and i'm leaving the side open. and as to one of the other suggestions...It is on a surge protecting power strip thing, so the electricity shouldn't be a problem.

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You've cracked it !
by ernstsimp / July 19, 2005 12:36 PM PDT

Many thanks. It was set to restart in the properties folder. I am most grateful to you. I had previously tried everything, but had never thought to look under the system failure folder. Thanks again

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