Windows restarts without warning

Windows restarts without warning

Question

Windows restarts without warning.

Cause

This issue could be caused by any of the below possibilities.

  1. Software issue or error.
  2. Hardware issue or error.
  3. Heat related issue.
  4. Computer virus.
  5. Issue with operating system.

Answer

Tip: This document is for computers that are restarting or rebooting by themselves and not computer’s that turn off and remain off.

Software issue or error

With the introduction of Windows XP Microsoft designed Windows to automatically reboot each time an error occurs such as a BSoD. Although this may be nice for errors that do not occur often, users who have a re-occurring error may wish to identify the error to troubleshoot it. Below are the steps on how this feature can be disabled and enabled in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.

  1. From the Desktop right-click on My Computer.
  2. Click the Properties option.
  3. In the System Properties window click the Advanced tab or the Advanced system settings link.
  4. In Advanced click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.
  5. In the Startup and Recovery window uncheck the Automatically restart check box.
  6. Click Ok.

Now if the computer generates an error it should not automatically restart and should display an error message, most likely a BSoD.

Hardware issue or error

Caution: Some of the below steps require you open your computer. While in the computer, be cautious of ESD.

Any failing hardware component in your computer could cause your computer to unexpectedly generate an error or reboot without warning. If you have recently attempted to add a new hardware device, remove that device to make sure it is not causing your issues.

Make sure you are not encountering any hardware conflicts by viewing Device Manager for errors.

New drivers can also cause this issue, if you have recently performed any hardware driver updates you may wish to try an earlier version of the drivers. Additional information and help with computer drivers can be found on our drivers page.

If you have updated drivers and removed any hardware that could be causing this issue and continue to experience random reboots, it’s possible that the memory is bad in the computer.

Finally, hardware devices that are not installed properly in the computer can also cause random reboots. Make sure all the cables and expansion cards are connected properly to the computer. The best way to determine this is to disconnect and reconnect all cables and expansion cards.

Computer virus

Computer viruses such as the blaster virus are written to reboot your computer without warning. Usually these viruses will make the computer reboot ever 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes after the computer has booted.

If you believe your computer may be infected with a virus or are uncertain if your computer is infected with a virus make sure your virus scanner definitions are up to date.

Heat related issue

Many computer today are designed to turn off or automatically reboot if the computer, processor, or other device in your computer gets to hot. If you have heard any abnormal noises coming from your computer recently such as a high squealing this could indicate a fan may be failing in your computer.

First, verify the fan on the power supply is working by examining the back of the computer and seeing if the fan is moving and moving smoothly. For all other fans in the computer you will need to either open the computer and verify all fans are working, e.g. processor fan and case fan.

Tip: If your BIOS monitors the RPM of the fans enter CMOS Setup and verify it does not report any errors.

Issue with operating system

If after following each of the above recommendations your computer still continues to reboot it is likely that you are experiencing a Microsoft Windows operating system related issue that cannot be explained. To help make sure this is the case try the below steps.

  1. Reboot the computer and enter CMOS setup as the computer is booting.
  2. After you have loaded the computer in CMOS setup let the computer sit.

If the computer does not reboot while letting the computer sit in CMOS it is likely that you are in fact experiencing an issue with Microsoft Windows and it is recommend that if you have followed all of the above recommendations that you reinstall Microsoft Windows.

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Some Virtualizing types

1. Hardware Virtualization: This is the most common type of Virtualization prevalent in corporations and IT companies. In this case, Virtualization software is typically run on an actual physical server to capture its “image” and port it to being a “Virtual Server” with all the same settings intact.

Different Types Of Virtualization

This image is then run from a part of your current existing virtual server farm on whatever technology you are implementing (such as VMware or Hyper-v). Consolidating your physical server to a virtual one gives you many advantages such as:

a) Making server upgrades easy as you can add RAM and CPU on the fly to a virtual server

b) You can retask your old physical server

c) Never have to worry about physical component failure or not being able to find outdated hardware

d) Smaller carbon foot print due to more efficient power distribution and utilization in a virtual environment.

2. Desktop Virtualization: Desktop virtualization is the new trend in corporations these days as organizations move away from the pain of maintaining expensive hardware which is often under utilized.  VMware was the first company to come out with an Enterprise implementation and they called this technology VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, since then other major players such as Microsoft and Citrix have joined in to take partial share of the VDI or Desktop Virtualization market.

In Desktop Virtualization, typically a Workstation is virtualized with all its applications, user customizations and preferences all in a virtual machine. This virtual machine can be accessed from anywhere in the organization using any workstation hence cutting down on licensing costs for installing software on individual machines. Machine maintenance and patch management becomes much easier for IT support personnel. Users love it because their machine is “never down” and they always have access to their customizations on their virtual machines. Virtual Desktops also reduce the carbon foot print and increase Total Cost of Ownership when compared to maintaining physical machines.

 

3. Storage Virtualization: Finally we have Storage virtualization. This is where the actual storage space that use to be offered by your SAN or NAS is virtualized. Virtualizing storage space means you also are virtualizing your Virtual Machine disk files as well. This becomes extremely useful for your Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery, because with a virtualized infrastructure, you can very easily replicate your storage across over to another location or even a different geographical regions. Better yet, Corporations are now looking into implementing fault tolerant clusters for their storage. Newer technologies such as SnapMirror from NetApp make this possible, the initial replication is bandwidth intensive but the subsequent transfers are just differentials maintained on both sides of the wired cluster.