The symptoms you describe could be symptomatic of a variety of things to include hardware/software issues, overheating caused by a failed processor fan, bad memory (RAM), failing or underpowered power supply, CPU overheating, motherboard, video card, faulty or unsigned device drivers, CMOS battery going bad, BIOS and firmware problems, dirty hardware components, programs hanging or unresponsive in the background, and even malware. If the computer is overheating, it usually begins to shutdown/restart on a more regular basis.
When Windows XP detects a problem from which it cannot recover, it displays Stop Error Messages
which contain specific information that can help diagnose and resolve the problem detected by the Windows kernel. An error message can be related to a broad number of problems such as driver conflicts, hardware issues, read/write errors, and software malfunctions. In Windows XP, the default setting is for the computer to reboot automatically
when a fatal error or crash occurs. You may not
see the error code because the computer reboots too fast.
An easier alternative is to turn off the automatic reboot
feature so you can actually see the error code/STOP Message when it happens - this is also known as the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD).
To change the recovery settings and Disable Automatic Rebooting
, go to Start > Run and type: sysdm.cpl
Click Ok or just press WINKEY + Pause/Break
keys to bring up System Properties.
Vista users can refer to these instructions: How To Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows Vista.
- Go to the Advanced tab and under "Startup and Recovery", click on the "Settings" button and go to "System failure".
- Make sure "Write an event to the system log" is checked and that "Automatically restart" is unchecked.
- Click "OK" and reboot for the changes to take effect.
Doing this won't cure your problem but instead of crashing and restarting you will get a blue diagnostic screen with an error code
and other information to include file(s) that may be involved which will allow you to better trace your problem. Write down the full error code and the names of any files/drivers listed, then provide that information in your next reply so we can assist you with investigating the cause.
Some rootkits can trigger BSODs, shutdowns and various stop error/shutdown messages so it would also be wise to perform a scan for this type of malware. If you are experiencing a lot of crashes and not finding anything in Event Viewer or from troubleshooting the error messages, then perform an anti-rootkit scan to at least investigate that as a possible cause
Before performing an ARK scan it is recommended to do the following to ensure more accurate results and avoid common issues that may cause false detections.
Note: Not all hidden components detected by ARKs are malicious. It is normal for a Firewall, some Anti-virus and Anti-malware software (ProcessGuard, Prevx1, AVG AS), sandboxes, virtual machines and Host based Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPS) to hook into the OS kernal/SSDT in order to protect your system. SSDT (System Service Descriptor Table) is a table that stores addresses of functions that are used by Windows. Both Legitimate programs and rootkits can hook into and alter this table. You should not be alarmed if you see any hidden entries created by legitimate programs after performing a scan.
- Disconnect from the Internet or physically unplug you Internet cable connection.
- Clean out your temporary files.
- Close all open programs, scheduling/updating tasks and background processes that might activate during the scan including the screensaver.
- Temporarily disable your anti-virus and real-time anti-spyware protection.
- After starting the scan, do not use the computer until the scan has completed.
- When finished, re-enable your anti-virus/anti-malware (or reboot) and then you can reconnect to the Internet.
Then download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and save it to your desktop.
Print out and follow these Instructions for scanning with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and perform a Quick Scan
in normal mode.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware. MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
- If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
- When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
- The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
- Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply and exit MBAM.