Did the BSOD provide a Stop Error Messages
or identify a driver (.sys file) as shown in this example
), unexpected shutdowns, sudden freezing, random restarting, and booting problems 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 sometimes malware. Even legitimate programs like CD Emulators (Daemon Tools
, Alchohol 120%
) can trigger crashes, various stop error messages
and system hangs so you may or may not be dealing with multiple issues. If the computer is overheating, it usually begins to shutdown/restart on a more regular basis. Troubleshooting for these kinds of issues can be arduous and time consuming. There are no shortcuts.
When Windows 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 and malware. 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 the Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows XP
, go to Start > Run and type: sysdm.cpl
Click Ok to open System Properties.
Alternatively you can just press WINKEY + Pause/Break
keys to bring up System Properties.
- 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 manually for the changes to take effect.
This can also be done in the Windows Advanced Options Menu as shown here
by pressing the F8
key repeatedly like you would do for entering safe mode
users can refer to these instructions: How To Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows Vista
-- Windows 7
users can refer to these instructions: How To Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows 7
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. Without that specific information, we would only be guessing rather than troubleshooting.