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computers restart - location dependant

Posted on 2007-11-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello,
I have a client that has a laptop that randomly restarts only when it is in her house. If she takes it anywhere else for any length of time it is ok. The unit can be on a battery alone or plugged in. If someone else brings a laptop over it will also restart at a random interval.

The problem seems to follow the house. What could cause a pc to restart if power cannot be the root cause and the system itself restarts no matter which pc is used?

Thanks.
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Question by:tadduci
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15 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:tryokane
ID: 20362679
electricity can cause problems. You might need to get an electrician down to solve the problem or maybe get an electric metre or something like that to test the electricity, sorry but i'm not a electrical technician so i don't really know what equipment but there are things out there to test problems with the electricity
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Expert Comment

by:kram0
ID: 20362694
Assuming it is a MS operating system, make sure you have "Automatically restart" on System Failure option turned OFF. In XP it is in System Properties => Startup And Recovery. It should be located in a similar location in 2000 and Vista.
With that option disabled you should catch a system fault error code that can be used to track down what is causing the problem.
My guess would be that some kind of hardware that is being plugged in to the machine whilst at home that is either faulty or has a driver problem.

Hope that helps!!
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Expert Comment

by:kram0
ID: 20362705
tryokane - the problem apparently occurs even while running on battery so it would be unlikely to be caused by the electricity supply.
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Accepted Solution

by:
tryokane earned 168 total points
ID: 20362730
It says that other laptops brought to the house also restarts so it is not a single laptop issue and in other places the auto restart doesn't occur. Probably some kind of interference, magnetic interference?
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Author Comment

by:tadduci
ID: 20362794
I also thought it might be magnetic. It can't be power as I said the problem occurs wether it is plugged in or just on the battery or both...

This is a condo building and the unit is far away from the elevator...
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Expert Comment

by:2PiFL
ID: 20362850

Are you near an airport - within 3 miles?
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Assisted Solution

by:wmeerza
wmeerza earned 166 total points
ID: 20362889
Sounds like RF interference, and don't discount the magnetic effect of a lift even it it is some distance away, could be in your house or equipment firing up in a neighbouring property. Particularly where different PC's act the same it has to be environmental.
do what Kram0 says also are you familiar with the event viewer, you should check there to see for errors at the times of the restart.
If all else fails, try wrapping silver foil around your head as you could be under alien attack!
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 20364928
wrap it in aluminium foil, and check if it still does it.
If not, it is a radiation problem.

You can measure - or let it be measured the actual radiation strength !
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Author Comment

by:tadduci
ID: 20365437
ok, I will try the foil... we are not near an airport either. No other electronic devices seem to be affected. I was thinking of how I could test. When the pc/laptop restarts it is definately not losing power at anytime... something makes it restart... the speakers crackle and then it shows the dell logo. Problem occurs with different makes and models...
3 pc's have done this so far...
very weird...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 20366419
well -it is weird  - that is the least you can say . .
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Author Comment

by:tadduci
ID: 20499749
Hello,
I just never got a real answer to the problem so...
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 20499801
Please follow the instructions I posted in my Link above to close it.

Thanks,
rindi,
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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Expert Comment

by:Computer101
ID: 20545868
Forced accept.

Computer101
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