Unknown problem causing shut downs and restarts

  corsaraver007 13:55 PM 22 Jan 12
Locked

Hi,

I have a computer problem that is very strange. While in Windows, the computer sometimes shuts down automatically without any warning, and then restarts. No error message is displayed. It may either do the full regular shut down process, or switch off immediately while the computer buzzer makes a turning off warning (which is fast). The restart may go ahead immediately after the computer turns off, or some seconds later. The computer can then switch off and on again repeatedly for a number of times (which number is also not constant).

N.B. The automatic restart setting is switched to off, so an error page or blue screen should show up. But there is still no message given. No problem was highlighed even when starting by pressing F8 and selecting disable automatic restart process.

The computer is not troubled by this problem while running in safe mode, and the BIOS setup page also continues running indefinitely. So it might be a problem related to Windows XP. The strange thing is that the computer appears fast and reliable when this problem does not materialise, thereby showing no symptoms.

Tests already run: Full virus scans by Avira showed no serious problems. Malwarebytes scans revealed some registry items that had to be deleted, and they were fixed. CCleaner suite of tools used to optimise performance, and rectify any deficiencies with the registry. Scandisk was completed. Hardware scans revealed no problems with the hardware.\ No overheating resulted.

System details: Windows XP Home Version 2002 Service Pack 3 Dell Inspiron I6400 Intel (R) Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0Ghz 2GHz, 1GB RAM

  lotvic 14:13 PM 22 Jan 12

Laptop, are you making sure the airflow to the fan outlet is not being obstructed when using? i.e. using it on a hard surface.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:27 PM 22 Jan 12

Certainly sounds like overheating

but try a XP repair first

Repair XP by replacing corrupt files Type

sfc /scannow

in the run box, press enter and let system file checker find and replace missing / corrupt file in windows and explorer.This will take awhile to complete and you may be asked for the CD to be in the drive if windows is not preinstalled on the hard drive.

sfc /scannow problems http://www.updatexp.com/scannow-sfc.html

  Secret-Squirrel 16:58 PM 22 Jan 12

Corsaraver, a couple more things to try:

1) Check XP's Event Viewer for any clues. Type eventvwr.msc into XP's Run box then click OK. When Event Viewer opens, select System from the left-hand pane, then in the centre pane, look for any errors or warnings that occurred immediately before previous shut downs.

If you find anything that looks promising, double-click on the entry to view the full details. There's a handy copy button there if you want to paste the error report into your reply.

Note that on most PCs, Event Viewer will show various warnings and errors. However they're rarely serious, so only concentrate on the ones that coincide with the shut downs.

2) Faulty RAM can cause all sorts of weird problems, so if you haven't already done so, run a memory tester - if you haven't got one then try the Windows Memory Diagnostic. The instructions will tell you how to create a bootable CD.

PS: I don't think it's an overheating issue - if it was then the PC would switch itself off and stay off.

  corsaraver007 21:18 PM 22 Jan 12

Thanks to everyone for your support.

I think that this is not an overheating issue, as the pc would not restart if that was the case. Program installed to measure heat is not detecting an abnormally high temperature.

I have run sfc /scannow, sounds like an interesting and very useful utility to run. Computer has not shut down and rebooted yet, so fingers crossed! Hope this works!

Reran avira antivirus scans as well as malwarebytes scans just to make sure. No detections were made.

Faulty RAM idea also seems plausible, but an IT expert told me that my pc does not display hardware problems following his investigation. I also ran the diagnostics tool by pressing F12 (or F2 can't remember which) upon windows booting. Checked the BIOS and all the settings seemed as being OK.

I am really perplexed by this problem, it's like a ghost, shows no trail.

Btw, I noticed that in event viewer, the Event 7035 is very common, and 7036 is common too. The Type is Information, the Source is Service Control Manager and the User varies from System, to local service, to N/A. Looks like these are turning on and off commands to several services. Is this normal?

  Secret-Squirrel 08:53 AM 23 Jan 12

"Faulty RAM idea also seems plausible, but an IT expert told me that my pc does not display hardware problems following his investigation..."

I still think it's well worth checking the memory fully as per my previous post - if he was really an "expert" then he'd have fixed your PC ;)

"I also ran the diagnostics tool by pressing F12"

If that included a complete check of all the PC's RAM then you can ignore the above.

"I noticed that in event viewer, the Event 7035 is very common, and 7036 is common too. The Type is Information, the Source is Service Control Manager and the User varies from System, to local service, to N/A. Looks like these are turning on and off commands to several services. Is this normal?"

Those informational events are usually quite normal, although like previously mentioned, you can double-click on it to view the full details in a new window. The new window has a Copy button (picture of two sheets of paper) so you can use that to paste any info here that you're not sure about.

I would however only expect Event Viewer warnings and errors to be the cause of your problem.

  Snrub 12:40 PM 23 Jan 12

Quote 'The computer is not troubled by this problem while running in safe mode' this would suggest problem is not hardware related but software.

Try running Ccleaner in safe mode with networking. Then do shutdown and restart.

  spuds 12:42 PM 23 Jan 12

I had a similar problem, and after many attempts at trying various ideas, in the end a complete reformat cured the problem.

So perhaps time to think about back-ups and locating previous disks?.

If you are an experimenter, then you might think about obtaining one of those 'diagnostic and boot' disks from eBay, which usually contain a large number of freeware and other programs, covering many computer subjects. Price approx £1.50/£3.00 for the same product from different people (look for feedbacks and quantities sold before purchase)!.

  corsaraver007 21:50 PM 23 Jan 12

Just wanted to share this.

I am leaving the laptop without the battery when not in use, due to this ongoing problem. I was going to switch the pc on, so I inserted the battery. When I plugged in the power supply, the pc switch on and windows loaded. It then proceeded to switch off and restart for a number of times.

While it was loading, I removed the power supply and it still switched off but did not restart.

So I then started the pc only with the battery and it remained on.

Just thought this might show something.

  ams4127 23:28 PM 23 Jan 12

I would guess that your power supply is faulty. Can you get an electrician to check it's output?

How old is the computer in question? Could you get a new power supply on warranty? You may well be able to buy a generic supply in PCW or similar.

  Secret-Squirrel 08:37 AM 24 Jan 12

Corsaraver, you said this in your initial post:

"The computer is not troubled by this problem while running in safe mode, and the BIOS setup page also continues running indefinitely."

I'm therefore not convinced it is a power-supply issue. I think it's either a software problem, or because only a fraction of the RAM is used in Safe Mode (and virtually zero when at the BIOS screen), a fault with one of the memory modules.

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