Why does my computer randomly reboot without warning?

Random reboots are annoying because you can easily lose what you're working on at the time. Random reboots are difficult to diagnose, because there are many possible causes.


My computer likes to turn itself off and restart itself of its own free will. I do have virus and spyware protection. It doesn’t present any error message, it just shuts itself off and reboots no matter what I am doing on it.

There’s a somewhat updated version of this article: Why does my computer crash at random times?

I hate it when that happens. It’s one of the most annoying things a computer user can face. You’re working along and all of a sudden *poof* – everything’s gone. Be it a random reboot, or the infamous “blue screen of death”, it’s very,
very frustrating.

The problem is that this can be caused by so many things, it’s difficult to nail it down quickly.

Let’s run through some of the possibilities, and what I’d do.


You’ve touched on one thing I always look at first: viruses and spyware. Do make sure that your scanners are running, and are being regularly updated with the latest databases of spyware and virus definitions. For anti-spyware tools, that should happen daily – anti-spyware tools typically do so less often.


If you’re running Windows 9x (meaning Windows 95, 98 or Me), there’s about a 50/50 chance that the problem is a software problem. Because of how their design evolved, those versions of Windows were all somewhat more vulnerable to crashing bugs in the software. A poorly written device driver, or even an application bug, could in the worst case scenario cause a system reboot or blue screen.

If you’re running Windows XP (or Windows NT, 2000 or 2003), the system is designed more robustly – meaning that it’s more difficult for these types of problems to result in a random reboot or crash. Not impossible, just much less likely.

If you’ve made a recent change to your system, perhaps installed a new software package, or a new piece of hardware, and these problems started happening thereafter, that’s a likely clue. Depending on the software or hardware, my first reaction would be to look to the vendor for reported problems and possible updates. In particular, device drivers are the most likely to cause crashes and reboots without warning.

As I said, software related reboots and blue screens have become more rare under Windows XP. However you should still make sure that your system is as up-to-date as possible, particularly including drivers for recently installed hardware.

… Which leads to the ultimate predicament… it could be anything. Quite literally.

I know that many folks have become suspicious of Windows Automatic Update for various reasons, but I’ve not heard of any crashes resulting its use. I still recommend it as the best way to keep Windows up to date.


I will say that if your computer is still under warranty, you need to talk to the manufacturer first. You should exhaust all your options in getting them to repair a failing machine before you head out on your own and possibly void your warranty.

Naturally, if you’ve recently installed new hardware, that’s a possible clue. You might consider removing it temporarily to see if the problem abates. If it does, it points to either the device itself being the cause, or perhaps the system power supply, as I’ll discuss in just a minute.

If your computer has been running fine for some time, and you haven’t installed any new hardware or software recently, then my tendency would be to start suspecting various hardware components.

Perhaps the most common are failing fans. The fans that move air through your machine to keep it cool are critical to its operation, and are often the first to fail – either due to accumulated dust and dirt, or simple age. When the fan stops working, the machine overheats, and when the machine overheats – it crashes. Randomly.

Next most common is a failing power supply. Power supplies can fail slowly – meaning that they can become ‘marginal’ before they fail completely. And the symptoms of a marginal power supply are – you guessed it – random crashes. This is one of those cases where replacing the power supply (or having someone replace it for you) is often an inexpensive test. Particularly if you’ve added more hardware to your system over time, you may simply be demanding more of the power supply than it was designed to provide, so an upgrade might well be in order as well.

I have this gut feeling that memory is failing just a little more frequently than in the past. I won’t speculate as to why, or even if my observation is accurate. The good news is that there are tools specifically designed for testing memory. Memtest86 is one such tool that performs an exhaustive test of your computer’s memory. Microsoft also provides a Windows memory Diagnostic. Both tools run from a bootable floppy or CD (Windows cannot be running for the tests to exercise all memory), and both tools are free.

Naturally, it’s also possible that the fault lies elsewhere. Your motherboard, an add-in card, even your disk drives or video card. Which leads to the ultimate predicament … it could be anything. Quite literally.

One of the more common repair techniques is to make an educated guess at what might be wrong, replace that component, and keep repeating until all the components of your computer have been replaced, or the problem goes away.

Unfortunately, doing that is beyond the resources or desire of most computer owners.

My approach

So here’s what I would do, when faced with a randomly rebooting computer:

  • Yes, I would consider upgrading to Windows XP, if the machine is capable of it.
  • Make sure that anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities are running and up-to-date.
  • Make sure that the operating system and all device drivers are as up-to-date as possible.
  • Run a memory diagnostic such as Memtest86 or Windows memory Diagnostic.
  • Run a hard disk diagnostic such as SpinRite.
  • Run a motherboard temperature monitoring tool such as Motherboard Monitor – it’s a free tool that will report your CPU’s temperature among other things, and will let you see if the machine is overheating for some reason.

At this point I’ve done pretty much everything I can that doesn’t involve opening the computer. If the problem isn’t evident or resolved, we need to get a little more serious. This might also be the time for some to simply take their computer in to a technician for diagnosis.

Next, I’d open up the computer and:

  • Carefully vacuum all the dust out of the machine.
  • Make sure that the fans which are accessible are running properly. If not, I replace them. If the machine doesn’t crash as quickly with the cover off, that’s often a sign of overheating.
  • Remove as many optional hardware components as possible that would still allow the machine to run. If the problem disappeared, I would re-install components until it reappeared, and then remove other components to make sure that the problem was associated with only a specific component.
  • Re-seat all remaining and accessible connectors and expansion cards – sometimes problems are as simple as a loose connection.

At this point we’ve done pretty much everything we can with what we have on hand. Next up, we start spending money (or, perhaps if you’re a geek, pulling from your spare parts bin), and go down the “replace parts until it works” path. This is another jump off point for many – it’s definitely easier to simply take the computer in to a technician for diagnosis.

  • I’d replace the power supply first. Unless there’s other data that says the problem is likely to be elsewhere, I’m just playing the odds here. If I went this far, and I planned to keep the computer for some time, I’d also consider upgrading to a higher wattage supply at the same time. Replacing a power supply is only moderately difficult.
  • Next up, would be the motherboard. This is a bit of work, as it often involves tearing the entire computer apart.
  • Lastly, I’d consider replacing the computer.

In reality, unless you’re really interested in playing with the hardware and trying the “replace it ’til it works” approach, I’d recommend skipping this last set of items completely and taking it into a repair shop to let them figure it out.

And, naturally, before you do so, it might also be time for a cost/benefit analysis: will it be cheaper or more effective to simply replace the computer than to fix it? I’m not at all saying that it will be – it depends on the availability and going rates for computer repair in your area, and the potential cost of fixing whatever is broken. But this is the time to at least do the math and compare.


  1. mark

    Hardware-wise I have to go with the over heating option as a first try after all the software stuff checks out. My comp was doing this to me recently and once I gave her a good cleaning, things worked better. The fans checked out ok, but if you have a ton of dust in the machine, they simply may not be able to keep up. Clean out your machines once in a while. Its the often the difference between the cost of a can of compressed air and the cost of a new processor. If that fan dies and your processorover heats….bad news….

  2. Greg Bulmash

    Aside from checking the computer’s power supply, you may also want to check the power supply’s power supply, your home wiring.

    We’re conditioned to believe that we’ll get a consistent voltage from our home wiring, but it’s not as consistent as we think and can spike and dip. That’s why major datacenters (the ones that host big racks of servers) and hardcore audiophiles and videophiles use power line conditioning to iron out those peaks, valleys, and frequency distortions into a smooth, clean, flow of power. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_line_conditioner

    Consumer models run from $40 – $500 depending on how much you want to plug into them and how hardcore you want to get about the voltage and frequency regulation.

  3. Ivan Tadej

    Well, I must say that it seems quite strange to me that nobody has mentioned yet the most obvious thing to do in this particular case, i.e. nobody mentioned that the computer’s restarts might just be common BSODs (well, Leo did mention a BSOD, but …), which in turn can be caused by anything really (i.e. the BSODs themselves), and that the first thing you should do is the following:

    — go to “Control Panel”, open the “System” applet, and navigate to the “Advanced” tab. Then under the “Startup and Recovery” section click “Settings” button, and finally in the window that opens-up check you current setting (it’s a check-box) for “Automatically restart” under the “System failure” section.

    /IMPORTANT: If the respective check-box is CHECKED, then you need to UN-CHECK it. This way you will be sure on the next occurance that the reason for these restarts is actually a BSOD and not something else, for instance a too high temperature etc. However, there is also a slight chance that you’ll at least get some clue on what’s causing it (of course, if it’s indeed the BSOD) by the “stop error-code” displayed on the BSOD’s blue-screen (under “Technical Information”), and if you are lucky enough, you may even get a file-name of the driver that’s causing it.


    best regards,
    Ivan Tadej, Slovenija, EU

  4. Dirk

    I have had the same problem. It started after some other problems developed. Their could be a missing or corrupt file.

    Try truning Windows Update off and see if the problem goes away.

    Anti Virus was downloading an update, then started an install. Windows Update was also downloading an update, then started an install while the other install was still running.

    I started getting Anti Virus error messages, contacted the vendor, and they had ne re-download and install the update.

    Then the Windows Update icon would appear in the SYSTRAY, and disapear after a minute. No updates were installed. I went to the Windows Update site, and there were updates waiting. I downloaded and installed them, then Windows Update would start an install and install the updates again.

    Microsoft support had me re-install SP2 without cleanup, then my computer would restart without warning every time there was an update.

    For the past 9 months Microsoft has had me do over 100 emails of commands, re-installs, and recoveries. Windows Update is in manual mode and I have to check for updates. Even when I do a manual install, the computer restarts.

    I have checked everything on this site, and did not find anything that has’nt already been tried.

    The Microsoft support people keep saying I can’t help you, contact support. I get a new person each time, and they wnat to start all over with all of the things that have already been tried.

    They appear to be more worried that if they have to ask for help, it would not look good on their record.

  5. yeosh

    ok i read the article and the comments. this is all good stuff. my computer does not get BSODs i already turned off the “automatically restart on system failure” configuration. overheating is not an issue with my computer, i also replaced the thermal paste on my heatsink and processor. my memory isnt bad either, nor are my hard drives overheating. all my software is up to date and the only thing that i havent tried is disabling windows updates. i didnt really notice that whenever i turn on my computer i do get that yellow shield icon on my system tray then it just restarts… but heres my problem, even tho i dont get into windows, my computer restarts. i used a diifferent hard drive without a operating system just to test that out. i left it for a few minutes and it restarted. even in the BIOS settings page it restarts. so im thinking hardware issues. since its not the memory, hard drive, or the processor (maybe it is i just dont know it). what else could it be?

    on a side note: when i used the integrated video card on the motherboard instead of my video card, my computer crashes. also whenever my computer reboots into windows, my wireless adapter has to be removed and then reinserted into the USB port for it to be detected by windows…. maybe this might help come to a conclusion. im all out of answers maybe anyone here can help me out… THanKS

  6. janusz

    There is no ONE solution. What works for one may not for others.

    I, too, HAD a random reboot problem. I went through all the usual things from upgrading audio drivers, changing video cards, updating BIOS, new BIOS battery, RAM memory checks, changed IDE cables, and on and on. Power supply is 430 watt and plenty big for my pc. I am using APC UPS so it was not incoming power (verified). Temperature was not an issue so I was left with the possibility it was a defective MB or CPU.

    I spent countless hours trying to isolate the reboot to certain things but never could — but I did notice that it was more likely to occur when I first started the pc in the morning. I set the BIOS to do a full memory scan — which can take 30 seconds or so — in order to see how the pc responded. It seemed to stabilize things such that I would not experience a spontaneous reboot for days (I ran it 48 hours). The next time I started the system it seemed to go okay until I clicked on a desktop shortcut — ZAP! Reboot! I became suspicious of the hard drives (2) so ran the manufacturer’s diagnostic program and both HDs are perfectly okay.

    My questions were “What could it be about perfectly okay hard drives that when a program is access by desktop shortcut, it would reboot?” and “What are the controllable features of a HD?”

    This led me to the master-slave jumper connections. For some reason, I had the HD0 set to Cable Select and the HD1 set correctly to Slave. Both drives needed to be set for Cable Select or one Master and the other as Slave. I changed the jumper on HD0 to Master. Problem solved.

    So, include master-slave jumper check on your HDs in your troubleshooting!

    I’m no tech by any means. I can only assume that the HD controller was confused on initial startup as to which drive was the Master but once established it stayed with that setting for that session.

    I hope this helps.


  7. Mark

    My computer randomly shuts down and when I have it on I can tell the fan is running fine. I have Windows XP but it still randomly restarts. Also when I have it on, it sounds like my computer is playing ping pong. It has these weird beeping sounds like a video game of ping pong.

    I went to Radio Shack and bought some dust remover spray which helped a little bit but if I leave my computer running all day it will either restart, or freeze. I’ve been having a lot of freezes lately as well. When I try to run scans and just leave the computer it will restart, or freeze. So as I’m running a scan I have to continue to keep the computer from going to idle.

    If someone knows how to help please send me an email.




  8. Dimitri

    The problems started when I have installed some gadjets od Google side bar.
    I will remove them, to see if I can repair the problem.
    You site was very helpfull to me.

  9. James Nell

    Denial of Service “Ping of Death” attack detected.
    I get this on my sygate firewall , what is it and why would someone want to restart my pc,My firewall stops the atack but it also slows my internet conection , I can do without the atacks , 5 in the last hour, help pls.
    In a Ping of Death attack, the hacker uses a packet with a size that is larger than the normal standard. When your system encounters a packet of this size, it often crashes, hangs, or reboots.

  10. jamie

    my computer was covered in **** basically lol i threw away the master reset CD along with the windows XP CD key that was attached to the cd wallet. extremely stupid i know lol but yeah so after 20gb of my memory was “lost in space” (i could not find it ANYWHERE) so i attempted to master reset myself. also VERY stupid. seems the application i downloaded from Packard Bell was only to initialize the master reset, not actually do it. so, my computer was buggered. i took it to an IT techinician i knew very well and he had to re-install windows XP, but, because he was an IT tech, he had used the version of windows already, so mine became susseptible (dont know how to spell it) to WGA at the next windows update i got. i got another friend to find an application to remove the annoyingness of it, but because my windows version had already been used, i no longer recieve the updates =( this was 5months ago, and i have installed the minimum on my computer, Comodo Firewall and Anti-Virus, Ad-Aware SE Personal, and my games. (i only installed the anti virus and firewall when i started to get the random reboots) but i do get a “serious system error” message whenever i turn on my comp.


    they are the 2 files included in my error report, although i never send them. it wont improve my situation so no point lol. i cant find where them folders/files are located either, hope someone can shed light on this.

    (oh i dont know that IT tech anymore, moved away =( lol )

  11. Paul

    I had comodo firewall 2.4 on a work computer on a network and it started rebooting without warning (even when the pc was unattended). When rebooted the pc would say that it had recovered from a serious error. I removed comodo and no more reboots.

  12. Robert

    I remember reading this article last time for Windows 98/ME/XP. Now I have Vista and it all still aplies. I have been able to narrow down my memory/drivers/CARDS/internet explorer/ and just about everything else….
    I opened up the case and looked around and found that the CPU Fan power cord was loose. AKA the reason for the shut downs. Thanks to you, after reading you article here I poked around and found this. Gateway=”on purpose eat your computer up.” Actually probably just a distraught assembly line worker. I have a GT 5432. So far so good….
    Still thinking of the 500 watt power supply though.:-)Again thank you for some common sense in a typical problem.

  13. Steve


  14. Randy

    I didn’t see any mention of this but just as you should have anti-virus software installed and running, do not run two AV programs at the same time. That is guaranteed to cause system problems.

    To be clear, it’s the real-time scanning that typically causes problems: do not have two AV programs installed and have both of their real-time scans enabled.

    – Leo
  15. chippy

    Had similar problem on my laptop. It was overheating. Blew out the dust and it got a lot better. Have to do that every so often. Also defragment your hard drive to keep things running smooth.

  16. Nick

    Hi Leo! Gud Day!

    I hav a problem to my computer.. it seems when i turn.on my computer by pushing the Turn.on switch.. it Restarts after 4-6 seconds..? I hav already check all the possible reasons that may cause my computer from restarting… there are time that when i fix it, it goes back to normal condition… after a few days.. that problem returns again from turning it on.. wat should i do?

  17. Ed

    Nick. The problem you are having is a faulty power button. Simply replace with a new power button and your problem will go away. It’s a very inexpensive fix.

    Your power button is sticking when you press it. When you hold down the power button on any PC for 4 seconds, it will force a shutdown. It’s a feature that is used to shutdown a computer that has had a fatal crash and isn’t responding.

  18. Jen Marion

    Leo. I have external fans running on my PC which appear to keep it cool for now. My computer restarts itself only when I use it. That is….if I leave it running day and night without actually using it, it will stay on. As soon as I browse or begin to open up files or emails it starts to restart over and over after a few minutes. Likewise, as soon as I leave the computer it stops restarting.
    If it was the fan causing this it would happen all the time wouldn’t it?
    It’s like it’s possessed.it knows when i’m there.

    Many computers actually generate more heat when they’re being used. So it could still be an overheating issue, but of course it could be a software issue as well.

    – Leo

  19. Darko

    hi Leo i have a problem with randomly reboot
    my computer reboot it selfe all the time
    some time i must restar 10 times to start up windows i try other windows but same thing
    reinstaling it everything but all the same
    then something get on my minde and i try
    to put usb mouse bicause my friend tell me that
    and when i put usb mouse its restart again but for lesser time. i have no virus or enything like that can you tell me what can i do to fix that
    pls man send me a mail on [e-mail address removed]
    and tell me everithing what can i do to fix that
    pls man.

    Please read the article you just commented on.


  20. J Payne

    My computer has developed a strange problem in restarting itself… When the computer is first turned on in the morning it will restart itself or freeze instantly… If i keep rebooting or allowing it to restart, It will go a little further in the boot process until it eventually reaches the desktop. After many restarts it eventually runs fine. If I should restart the computer for any reason while it’s up and running it has no problem in completing its booting process. Problem seems to only happen when the computer has been shut off for 30 minutes or so.

  21. Salohcin Knurb

    Computer shuts down every 25 mins. while playing solitare ; sometimes more often ; the screen that allows restart options is presented “sometimes” not everytime ; taking to the shop “again” Monday . it only occurs while playing solitare “KingSol”. E Mail and E Net are okay . Salohcin

  22. TJ Forster

    hi Leo. i have a computer that loves to randomly restart itself. it is not over heating becuase i have alot of fans and there is no dust. also it loves to randomly show the blue screen of death. i tried everything posseible to keep this from happening. i am running windows media center eddition with the latest pack. thanks

  23. Jesus Bolivar

    hi im having some issues with my computer, sometime my desktop just reboot by itself, sometimes after 5 min sometimes after a couple of hours, after the first reboot it keep doing again and again until i just shut the power, at this moment the case is open so is not the temperature, i check the memory ram, remove 1 of them and use just one memory then i switch the memory and the same, update the BIOS on my MOBO, reinstall the windows, check the power supply using a power supply tester, plug the power supply tester, turn or the power supply and leave it like this arround 1 hour and it work fine but when i connect everything else and the problem keep comming, on the BIOS show me the internal temperature at 46 C and the CPU temperature at 38 C, remove all the hardware and leave just the HDD and one cd drive but nothing, remove the CPU fan and clean it, add more cooling paste on the CPU… i dont know what else can i check, PLEASE I NEED SOME HELP!!!!!! who can give me some ideas about how to fix this??? im using an intel mobo G35EC with the cpu E8400, 2 Gb ram 800 mhz, the video card is an XFX 9800 gt, the power supply is 550W, changed the CPU fan a while ago…

  24. Knox

    I’m having the same problem. However i’ve found out the solution lies on the ram. If i remove one ram out, it’s fine. Although my motherboard max ram is 2gb, it can’t take 2gb. 1gb + 512mb works fine, but not 2Gb im not sure why but hey it works :(

  25. J Payne

    I had posted a few months back about my computer restarting itself… Turns out it was a motherboard issue. I noticed (by accident) that the capacitors had starting crapping out. Replaced the mb and no more issues. an Ebay $39.00 fix

  26. Gerard Mannarino

    My computer reboots without warning. However, if I change the electrical source (different outlet in another room) it works fine. If I put an extension cord onit using the outlet that workd it shuts down and restarts again. An electrician and the power company has checked the power and said all is fine. I then plugged a different PC into the original outlet and it works fine.

  27. Fazy

    hy. my computer is restarting without reason. it appears a black screen and restarts. I dont know what to do. I’m in the middle of something and the ps is restarting. i cant even save what i’m doing. please help

  28. Ravindra

    My pc was also rebooting without warning. I guess it started after installing MS Visio 2010 Beta. I only had XP SP2. Office 2010 requires SP3 for XP. So installing sp3 solved my problem.

  29. Steve B

    Please Please Please DO NOT VACUUM YOUR COMPUTER. If you want to build up a static charge and kill components, this is an easy way to do so. Computer stores sell compressed air for a reason.

    Things to look for to provide further diagnosis

    1. Capacitors – google image search this to get an idea for what they look like. They should not appear to either leak or be “pregnant”. If they are smooth on top, and not leaking, you are good. Otherwise you are not.

    2. Download a bootable copy of Knoppix Linux and burn it to CD. Run it on randomly restarting computer. Go on internet etc, and just try leaving it on for a while. If it doesn’t restart, you are likely (but not 100%) dealing with a software issue that has made windows unbootable, or some other software issue which causes random crashes.

    3. In this modern day and age, cooling can be rather critical. Your video card, CPU, Northbrdige and Southbridge should all be cooled. Random power offs can be caused by any. The CPU and Video cards will have fans. Watch the fans and see if they stop spinning or struggle to spin. Please note that your computer will likely slow the fans down in order to keep your machine quiet, so slow fans may also not be the issue.

    4. While the power supply could be the issue, the power cord could also be an issue too. Try a different one. If issue persists return it to Best Buy for full refund. A nice solution that doesn’t violate your warranty.

    Cleaning out your computer with compressed air can also help. The most important things to check over are “Did I make a recent change” as this would likely be the cause, and if not “Is everything in here working”. Eliminate the fans by watching/cleaning/replacing them, eliminate software with the knoppix, then start looking at the other culprits – leaking caps, and bad Power Supply.

  30. haseebullah

    my domputer does not start normally and reboot repeatedly
    how can i restore my pc through cmd to an ealier time.

  31. Ruselrones

    I had a sp2 in my Lenovo computer but when I switched to Windows vista after some time it gives blue death screen and sometimes it rebooting again and my warranty period has been over so I moved to Computer repairs sheffield and got a solution from there , actually it was not because of changing the OS but because of some registry problem and somewhat other problems so I advise to try registry cleaner for this problem.

  32. Ron

    I recently built my current system and it works great when just doing general everyday computing, but when I try to play Age of Conan, I can only play a few minutes before my computer reboots. I thought it was an overheating issue as I installed Speedfan and saw my CPU would heat up to 55-60C and GPU would reach 70-75C before reboot. But I can play Lord of the Rings and while the same temperatures are reached, my computer doesn’t reboot. I contacted AoC tech and they tell me they know of no know issue that would cause this and it sounds like a hardware issue. Well, if it were a hardware issue, why doesn’t it happen when I play LOTR?

    Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.100427-1636)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
    System Model: System Product Name
    BIOS: BIOS Date: 05/21/10 12:07:52 Ver: 08.00.15
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 750 @ 2.67GHz (4 CPUs)
    Memory: 3580MB RAM
    Page File: 479MB used, 4983MB available
    Windows Dir: C:WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)

    Card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
    Manufacturer: NVIDIA
    Chip type: GeForce GTX 275
    DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
    Device Key: EnumPCIVEN_10DE&DEV_05E6&SUBSYS_0E0619F1&REV_A1
    Display Memory: 896.0 MB
    Current Mode: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor
    Monitor Max Res: 1600,1200
    Driver Name: nv4_disp.dll
    Driver Version: 6.14.0012.5896 (English)
    DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
    Driver Attributes: Final Retail
    Driver Date/Size: 7/9/2010 18:38:00, 6343040 bytes

  33. Majo

    I got this problem for about one year now and just can’t and can’t fix it, my dad already tasted my video card, Processor, RAM and motherboard, it still kept rebooting or freezing randomly, the next step was installing Linux and putted the Processor to 99% performance, it ran for around 2 days and the comupter didn’t reboot. after I went back to my windows XP and it rebooted again, than I even installed windows 7 and still rebooted. today I even changed my Hard Disk and it is still rebooting sometimes.. I dont know what to do anymore

  34. Lenette

    I have a problem with random reboots and I am runing Vista. I have virus and spyware protection on my system. Often when the computer reboots the graphics are out of sync. Are there any other areas that I should look into?

    The article you just commented on has the general approach. Beyond that it would take more details or a technician to take a look at the machine.


  35. David

    So since we on the topic of computer randomly rebooting I have my question. My computer will randomly restart when playing video games. Ive replaced the motherboard, processor, ram, power supply, videocard, everything but the case and CD rom. Im running a I5 750 8 Gigs of DDR3, GTX 275, WIN 7 64 Bit, 1200 Wat power supply. After i have replaced everything it STILL does it. Any ideas. During this last buid I put on a water cooling set so I KNOW its not over heating. Fresh install of WIN 7 and every driver is up to date. The only thing left is my case. ITs an antec 900 Case. Ive read a lot of forums and i havnt read anything suggesting that it could be the case but besides that it is the CD ROM. ANY Help would be appreciated. I took my computer to a shop and they have no idea what it could be everyone is STUMPED.

  36. Yeppers

    Leo, if after a random re-boot occurs, a Windows XP message pops us that says, “The system has recovered from a serious error”, and the Error Report Contents window shows a couple of files in a …Locals~1Temp… folder, does this mean that the random re-boot was probably caused by a software glitch? Is this an indication that a hardware problem probably is not the cause? This has been occurring recently about once or twice a month. Anti-malware scans are all clean and I have not installed any new hardware for a long time. Thanks…

    Unfortunately we can’t infer either way. Could be hardware or software.


  37. Jouke van der Maas

    My brother had this problem. It turned out his computer manufacturer had created a bunch of tasks in the task sheduler to reboot his computer every day at specific times. I know this may be a bit far fetched, but it might just solve the problem.


    My computer(XP) restarts repeatedly when i connect my old unboot(badsector problem) HDD through SATA/IDE to USB Adaptor Cable for backup my Data. and if I remove USB Cable System Runs without Problem.

  39. ThiagoR

    sir i found the answer to the reboot problem , turns out i had the same problem its not overheating neither its the videocard the problem its the PROCESOR yes i have an i5 too all what i did was log into the BIOS of the pc and modified my i5 so it only works with 2 cores instead of 4 i heard somewhere that computers run better videogames with only 2 cores active; i did so and to my surpirse my pc did not reboot anymore it was a miracle! try it !! it will work make your i5 to work only with 2 cores !!

  40. Satnley

    I installed another OS, Ubuntu, and the problem continued.

    Does that mean I’m looking at a hardware problem?

    Very likely, yes.

  41. Hidden Name

    Power Supplies have the Power_Good signal, also called Pwr_Good, which is supposed to be 5v. When it deviates outside of the range, the timer chip holds the reset line on the processor, making a reboot. Please note, however, that cheap power supplies just hook up any old 5v line to that. So please, if you have a $1000 processor, use a premium power supply – and those “1000 W !!!!!!!” power supplies on ebay are NOT premium!

  42. John Cherish

    One thing you failed to mention was that electrolytic capacitors used on almost all motherboards have been known to fail sometimes when they do you start getting reboots and in some cases drivers that used to work addressing hardware on that motherboard no longer see the hardware as being there. As a computer technician I have come across this problem a large number of times on computers that have been acting flaky. Upon inspection I have found one or more electrolytic caps bulging indicating that they have failed. This is a particular problem as many manufacturers bought motherboards with capacitors from manufacturers that have been known to have high defect rates and failure rates. To trim costs they bought the cheapest components available from their suppliers with less than good reliability rates. In example at one time Gigabyte motherboards for instance were known to have high fail rates because of these defective capacitors on the market. Check your caps for bulging or better yet in invest in motherboards that don’t use electrolytic caps instead opt for ones using solid capacitors instead the solid capacitors life span is on average 23 years electrolytic ones on average are only 3 years. Gigabyte has switched to them because of the problems they were having with the electrolytic ones on their motherboards. Asus also is now using solids. Check the specs when you buy

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