• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 8729
  • Last Modified:

My Computer will shutdown and restart all by itself.

I have Windows XP Home edition and have formatted my hard drive and ordered a new hard drive to put in if I cannot find a solution.  My computer started to shut down and restart all by itself.  I can be doing any application and after 1 minute to an hour it will just shut down and restart.  My work seems to save itself but this is very aggravating.  Has anyone else had this problem.  It started about a month ago.   I had Norton's SystemWorks and Norton's firewall on it before I formatted.  I ordered a new application of Nortons Internet Security.  It does not find a virus or worm or anthing.  I thought that after I formatted it, that the problem would be gone.  But it is still here in my computer. I just cannot figure out what is wrong.
I don't know which classification this would fall under so I just put it in MISC.  
8 Solutions
Hello mistyholly =)

It can be becoz ur system is producing a BSOD and restarting automatically..... try this, Right click My Computer>Properties>Advanced>Startup and Recovery Settings and uncheck Automatically Restart.
Now ur system will throw a BSOD instead of restarting, note down the STOP error code and paste it here, ot try to din out in the following links urself :)

Truobleshooting STOP Error Messages in XP:


If it was fine, then just started doing this, a good place to start would be overheating.  Check for dust bunnies, and give it a good cleaning.  Make sure all internal fans are spinning well.  It could also be that your power supply is on it's way out.  a third possibility would be RAM, but it all was good, and now it's not, I would try my first 2 ideas first, then start playing with the ram.
BSOD  = Blue Screen Of Death ?

Am I right ?  


you might like to check your BIOS is still good, also I assume that the powersupply in your area is good quality ?
erm.... cant think of anything else that hasnt been said ;)

Cloud Class® Course: CompTIA Cloud+

The CompTIA Cloud+ Basic training course will teach you about cloud concepts and models, data storage, networking, and network infrastructure.

>> Am I right ?
Yes :)
YAY :p
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
You're in very good hands here, and your feedback is important to help you achieve your goal quickly.

Curious if your BIOS settings have Power Management enabled as well as asking if XP was updated from WindowsUpdate, since initial XP installs had similar problems and subsequent updates fixed many of them.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Also curious if you checked for Hardware and Software compatibility prior to attempting this installation, since a number of solutions have been found for different scenarios, but one thing that is generally agreed on is the primary cause for most shutdown ills still relate to hardware and software compatibility and driver issues.
Is it a desktop system or a laptop? Also check the CPU to make sure the clips for the Heatsink haven't fallen off. I've seen that before too.. causes an overheat shutdown.. If its a laptop ive seen a lot of users that accidently block their cooling fan by using the laptop in the case..
Hello mistyholly,

Have you tried disabling the automatic restart function in XP? This may help in troubleshooting your problem.
Right click on "My Computer" and select "Properities"

Under the "Advanced" tab, select "Startup and Recovery" - "Settings"

Under the "System Failure" heading, uncheck "Automatically Restart"

As eccs19 stated, this could be due to overheating.  Can you hear your CPU fan running at all? If not, open the case and look at the fan to see if it is spinning up or not. A faulty CPU fan will cause the PC to restart/shutdown after about 5 minutes of use.

If your xp proceed to the proper shutdown procedure (there's a windows telling you that it is shutting down), then it might be that you've infected Sasser-type virus.  How fast can it infect your computer? I have a brand new ThinkPad out of the box. Came with Norton AV.  Pluged it into network for Norton to get a live update on the antivirus dat, and before I knew it was shutting down by itself.

I think, if it cause by hardware failure (heat, bad RAM), the XP will just hang, or BSOD, or snap to cold reboot, without 'shutting down' procedure.

Unplug the computer from the network, and check your Anti Virus.  Does it has the latest definition file?

Download a sasser detection tool (stinger.exe by mcafee) is a good small utility to detect and remove this sasser.

Keep us posted on this.

Good luck.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
mistyholly -->  The best benefits you can achieve by using this site is to provide feedback to those who add comments in an attempt to help you.  Often it is a step-by-step process, and sometimes the order in which things are done has impact.  Without your feedback, we flood you with "possibilities", and perhap something has already given you some indicators and/or messages that can help narrow the scope.

Please update us on your progress as we work through these things together.
This helps in terms of TIPS on how to use the site and work the question/answer process.
Hi Mistyholly,

I have seen win 2k do this after software was installed.  I agree with the comment about the sasser worm too.  I would suggest two actions.

1. scan for viruses with McAfees stinger.exe    http://vil.nai.com/vil/averttools.asp#stinger

2. If the bug persits, use windows recovery to reinstall the OS without wiping out your data files.  It will make most of the mocrosoft software you have break and you will have to reinstall that but other vendors programs can usually survive an OS recovery and your data files will be spared from reformatting your drive.

You can also try the recovery option of booting to the last known good setup.  When you restart hit F8 when you get to the screen that asks which OS to load and select the option "last known good" .  If the bug has been on your system for a long time this may not work.  If it just started over the last week you might be in luck.

Try a windowsupdate.microsoft.com or use the mbsa tool from microsoft. It may not be that your machine is infected but some other machine in your lan is infected and is broadcasting to shutdown your machine.... I think it was the ms04-011 patch from microsoft that resolved this problem!!!
Tell me is it RPC (Remote Procedure Call)?
Constant restarting is indicative of a faulty power supply. Power supply age has no bearing on whether or not it is good. A new power supply could be cheaper than a new hard drive. I would try that route first.

It just might be RPC.
In any case you should download and install this patch:
Yes i have the same problem, its a blue screen error just xp dosnt shoe blue screen errors be default.  The shutdown and restarting can be caused by a number of things, applications performing things it shouldnt etc. or apparently even overheating!!!! It could be a bad power supply, it is unlikely that it has anything to do with XP itself.
What you need to do is view the blue screen error so you can get the error number or whatever its called and do a search on it or search microsoft website on it etc. and see if you can gather anything from that.  

To view the blue screen error do this:

Right click my computer
go to the advanced tab
click setting under startup and recovery
under system failure uncheck Automaticly restart

this well send xp into a blue screen error and display the blue screen error the next time the thing happens that is caussing your computer to restart.  here take note of the error number and do a search on it.  you could also check the system log ofter the error accors and the computer restarts it might give some clues as to whats causing it.

Good Luck

software wise it would be the RPC virus or any other simmiliar virus for that matter, the automatic restart option which have both been mentioned earlier on by other users and there comments. You could also check msconfig to make sure nothing is starting up with your computer that should not be.

Also if you search google for registry run keys, it will show you were to look in your registry to see if anything is starting up on your computer when you log on or start your computer up. If there is anything in either msconfig or in your registry that should not be then delete it. IMPORTANT NOTE - be careful of what you do delete from your registry though !

You might want to get a utility from www.downloads.com to search through your registry or that displays any startup programs. You can get this here :


I find that program very useful and that will save you going in to msconfig and the registry because it already displays all of that info and allows you to un check items that you do not want to start up with your computer and other things ;)

Hardware wise it could be an IDE cable that is lose on your hard drive, possibly something in the bios or maybe your cpu is over heating, how ever I doubt it is that because generally when it over heats it will just shut down without restarting.

I hope this helps.


If it is not a hard ware or software problem that I have stated, you might also want to do a virus scan using AVG www.grisoft.com or spy ware scan using spy sweeper www.webroot.com

Without any feedback from author, it is like the dog chasing its tail. We all have shared our knowledge but don't know if anything has even been tried. I guess we should all get points or abandon the question.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Thank you.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Featured Post

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now