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* New - Windows® 7 Tips, Help & Information
Computer reboots itself or shuts down.
A Overheated CPU is usually the cause. Be sure all air vent pathways are clear for at least several inches outside the machine. Check inside of your fan and case, and especially around the CPU heat sink for dust or pet hair. Replace CPU fan and/or add a Case fan. Clean is important. Also a bad memory chip can do this. Remove one at a time or replace the current module and run the computer.
When a Stop error occurs, by default XP is set to restart. This makes it hard to troubleshoot the error. To change this behavior, right click My Computer and click Properties. Click the Advanced tab, and under Startup and Recovery, click the Settings button. Uncheck the box that says Automatically restart. Click OK. This won't prevent the Stop errors, but it will keep the computer from rebooting when they happen. Now you can note the error ID and try to troubleshoot the problem.
Hardware problems can also cause unexpected restarts, as can power problems such as a very brief loss of power. We recommend always plugging your computer into a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).
Other possible causes include new device drivers, viruses, and overheating (a common cause is failure of the processor fan or power supply fan). To help figure out whether it's a software problem (Windows, a driver, a virus, etc.) or a hardware problem, you can try rebooting and entering Setup (CMOS) or booting to MS-DOS from a floppy or to another operating system if you have a dual boot configuration. Wait a while and see if the computer still restarts unexpectedly. If it does, you probably have a hardware or heat problem. If not, it's probably a problem with the software in Windows.
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