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Computer shuts down at 3am, really frustrating

Posted on 2013-12-21
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Running Windows 7 pro on a Dell 490 fully patched.
The computer shuts down at 3am.  I don't know why.

Here is what I have done so far:
- The computer has Macrium backup installed so I checked the options there, the shutdown option is NOT selected.
- Checked the Windows 7 Pro power options, Allow Hybrid sleep is set to off

- Checked Windows 7 Pro backup, there is no option there I can find to turn off the pc

-  As far as I know, there are no other programs installed which have to option to shut down the pc

- Checked the Windows update options, they are set to “download them but let me decide when to install”

I don't know what else to check.  How would you troubleshoot this ?
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Question by:donpick
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11 Comments
 
LVL 52

Assisted Solution

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 20 total points
ID: 39734234
Is it exactly at 3am every day?
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 160 total points
ID: 39734257
Hi Don,
Take a look in Task Scheduler to see if there are any scheduled tasks that may be the culprit. There are numerous ways to access Task Scheduler...one method is via Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools. Be sure to expand all of the sub-libraries in Task Scheduler by clicking the triangles and then look at all of the tasks in every section, paying particular attention to anything that runs around 3am. Regards, Joe
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by:dsnegi_25dec
dsnegi_25dec earned 20 total points
ID: 39734267
What event viewer is saying .

Any antivirus on the system may be that is rebooting the system
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 160 total points
ID: 39734277
Don,
One other thought. Even though you have the Windows Update option set to "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them", it's possible that Windows is shutting down after the download. I don't know how this option works, because I never use it, but one idea to try is set the option "Check for updates but me choose whether to download and install them". That's the option I use and I can say that it definitely does not result in a shutdown. Regards, Joe
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Will Szymkowski earned 140 total points
ID: 39734305
Try disabling all "non microsoft" services using msconfig.
- type msconfig (at the run line)
- click on the services tab, click "hide all microsoft services"
- disable all other services
- apply the changes and reboot

Work with the machine for a few days with 3rd party services disabled. If the issue goes away, start to enable a couple 3rd party services each day until you run into the issue again. When you do you can track down the app or program causing the issue. You can then check the properties of the program or uninstall/disable it entirely.

If the system is rebooting automatically, it should show this in the system event log as it might be the local system account triggering this.

Will.
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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:Gareth Gudger
Gareth Gudger earned 20 total points
ID: 39734311
Does Event Viewer say what process is shutting down your system?
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39734321
Are you connected to a UPS?
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Norm Dickinson
Norm Dickinson earned 140 total points
ID: 39734602
I think leew is onto something - it sounds like possibly a power issue. Are other computers on the same circuit? Do they also restart? Do you have any large electrical loads nearby that may be on a schedule? Does the cleaning crew come by at the same time every night and flip off the switch on the outlet strip? (I had that happen once and it was rather frustrating to troubleshoot!)
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Author Comment

by:donpick
ID: 39735403
Hello padas:  We don't really know since no one is up all night to watch the pc.

Hello joewinograd: Excellent suggestion, totally forgot about this.

Hello dsnegi_25dec: I checked the Event viewer,   I cannot see any event suggesting an abnormal shutdown.

Hello joewinograd:   I will change the update settings per your suggestion.

Hello leew: no UPS is attached to the pc

Hello tqfdotus:  This is a single pc in a small office.  No other pc's in the office.  As far as I know, there have not been any power outages yet the pc shuts down every day.
 
Hello Spec01:  Yes, if nothing else can be found then I will use msconfig.  

I will be at the pc in about 8 to 10 days.  I will assign points then.  Thank you for your prompt replies.   I appreciate all the ideas.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39735960
Thank you for the feedback.

Basic troubleshooting steps may include moving the computer to a different location, as in a different building altogether, for one night to see if the symptom moves with it, or even replacing it with another one to see if it happens to the other one? Good luck.
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Author Closing Comment

by:donpick
ID: 39744080
I have not had a chance to get to the affected pc yet.   Not sure when I can get to it  so I am assigning points now.   Thanks to all who posted.
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