You need to use the test program for your brand of hard drive. Best place to find it is on the manufacturer's support pages.
If you don't know what brand of hard drive you have, download Everest Home Edition
and install it. Then start the program and click Storage, Physical Drives
and look for drive #1. It may have the manufacturer's name, if so you can go to their website support section and look for downloads. There will be a disk diagnostic utility listed there, along with instructions on how to create a boot disk to run the program from. (You cannot run the test from Windows).
If Everest does not give the manufacturer's name post what it gives you - probably a string of letters and numbers - and someone here will be able to figure out who made your drive.
There are lots of other things besides disk failure that can cause system crashes, but I suggest you test your drive, if it is failing you need to back up your data immediately.
When your system restarts, it will flash a blue screen with an error message -- the famous Blue Screen of Death. Unfortunately there's no time to see what Windows is telling you. So you need to change a setting so that the Blue screen remains and you can write down the info.
, right click My Computer
, and select Properties
[ System Properties may also be opened using the WinKey+Pause key combination ]
Select the Advanced
tab and then click Settings
in the Startup and Recovery
In System Failure
section, clear the checkbox
next to Automatically Restart
Next time your machine crashes write down everything on the blue screen, and post the information to a reply here.