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Random Restarts


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#1
sherlock23

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My girlfriend's computer randomly restarts when she is browsing the internet. I ran a quick search of these forums to see what I could find, but it seemed like the problem tended to occur when people were using graphics-intensive applications (such as video games).

The restarts were fairly infrequent -- once every couple of days or so -- but it's happening more often these days. In fact, it just happened three times in a 5-10 minute span.

It used to happen when she played games online, but they were flash games and not anything really large. Over the past few days it's been happening on random websites, and even when she wasn't browsing the internet at all. In fact, I had her download ewido, but it restarted during the scan!

I also read that it could be because the laptop is overheating. I felt the base and the bottom of it when it restarted, and it didn't feel exceedingly warm.

Also, I should mention this: she used to have almost this exact same problem many months ago (the difference being back then, her computer would shut down rather than restart). She plugs her laptop in (as opposed to using the battery). We figured out that the prong that connects the adapter to the laptop was loose, so we sent it in and had it replaced. That seemed to fix the problem, until now.

Anyway, I am not entirely sure what the next step should be or how this can be solved. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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#2
Guest_Tony_*

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Do you have a proper cooling system in the comptuer?

May be the comptuer is over heating.

Do you have the correct device drivers?
Have you cleaned out your computer?
Defraged your computer?
Done a virus scan?
Done a spyware/malware scan?
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#3
austin_o

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you can go to start, my computer, right click, manage and view the event log. Look for those with a red x associated with the time of the event. Right click, properties to see the details of the event. You can also send a report to M$ and view their knowledge base for additional clues as to what the cause may be. The main causes of random reboot is heat, memory, driver issues and power supply problems. Since you describe graphics intensive activity at the time of the event, it could be power supply or driver, put hey, could be memory too. You just have to work through each and rule it out. You can run memory tests, check drivers, check for heat problems.
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#4
sherlock23

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Do you have the correct device drivers? -- I am not sure. How can I check?
Have you cleaned out your computer? -- cleaned? like, run anti-virus software?
Defraged your computer? no; will attempt tomorrow
Done a virus scan? -- computer shut down in progress
Done a spyware/malware scan? -- computer shut down in progress.

I am not sure about the cooling system. How can I tell if the proper one is installed?

Anyway, now it is shutting down more frequently. She tried to run ewido last night, and it shut down during the scan. Tonight she tried to run trend micro's scan and spybot, and it shut down during both of those. It was shut off for most of the day, and this evening when she turned it on for the first time it shut down before it was even fully loaded. I am, of course, NOT the expert (which is why I am here :tazz:), but it seems like that would basically rule out overheating as a possible problem.

Perhaps it is overheating, or a defrag or spyware/virus problem ... but it shuts down before I have the chance to check anything out. I'm not sure what to do ... it is getting very frusterating.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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#5
Guest_Tony_*

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For example on how I find the correct drivers, is that I look on my graphics card and see that Nivida made it so, I go into the nivida website and download the drivers (also when I know the type as well)

Cleaned - Like uninstall software that your not using for the last 6 months etc, also using the Disk clean up to clean your hard drive.

With you software stopping, is it dectecting any virus etc before it stops?

Well for example, with my computer I was finding that it was heating up and not cooling fast enough, so I installed a newer fan and that does the job, with you Laptop, I dont really know how to tell, when you look at the bottom of the laptop when it is turned on, and then you touch it, is it really warm?

I'm thinking that it could/might be 3 things, your hard drive playing up, you might have a virus on your laptop, or you might have spyware/malware on your computer.

If you can, load windows like normal, (hope you have windows XP) go to My Computer, right click on the Main hard drive that windows is installed on, e.g C:\ (C Drive).

Click on the Tools tab, then click on Check now and then click all boxes, and click start, if you have XP Home, you will have to reboot and it will do it then.
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#6
austin_o

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check out the event viewer like I suggested in my previous post. It should give some clue as to what the problem was. That will help to determine a direction for you to go.
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#7
sherlock23

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Okay, I worked on this a little more and here are some updates:

1. I checked the event viewer, but there were no items marked with a red x between now and May 9, and those were all associated with Microsoft/Windows update.

2. I managed to get Spybot to run all the way through, and it came back empty. Ewido ran about 5% through, and found/eliminated a few things that looked like malware (they were in her cookies folder).

3. I've felt the bottom of the computer after each shut down/restart, and it never feels all that hot. I have certainly felt it at hotter temperatures.

I am going to try the windows install thing from two posts above and see where that gets me.

Also, for what it's worth, when the computer loads initially after a restart, a prompt comes back saying:

Windows cannot find 'C:\WINDOWS\svchost.exe


I am not sure what that means or how bad it is, but it might help.

Thanks again!
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#8
Retired Tech

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This says it's a system process so you should be able to replace it by clicking start then run then typing sfc /scannow then pressing enter, however, the note says something, which looks identical to me, can also be a bug which causes a PC to shutdown

http://www.processli.../files/svchost/

http://www.microsoft...n/ms04-011.mspx
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#9
sherlock23

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Update: I tried to defrag. Everything seemed okay. I tried to reinstall Windows. Seemed okay.

I tried Ewido again; it shut down in the middle.

You may have noticed that it used to restart, whereas now it simply shuts down. I don't believe it is a problem with overheating, as the computer is not that warm. It's not spyware, since spybot came back empty.

It could be malware, since I can't get Ewido to finish. But the SVChost is apparently the key?

I read the information on the first page, but to be honest, it might as well have been in Greek. It didn't make all that much sense to me.

svchost.exe is a process which is registered as the W32.Welchia.Worm. It takes advantage of the Windows LSASS vulnerability, which creates a buffer overflow and instigates your computer to shut down.

That quote also didn't mean anything to me, but I do see the words "worm", "vulnerability", and "shut down" so maybe this is what I am looking for? It also says that the svchost.exe needs to be removed, but if the prompt says it can't find it, doesn't that mean the problem is taken care of?

Anyway, I downloaded the "XP" update on the second page, but when it was finished downloading it said that I didn't need to install it because the service pack on the computer was newer than the update.'

I guess the SVCHOST problem is what we should be looking at?

Thanks again for the help!

EDIT: I read the post directly above this one again, and I understood it a little more. I tried the > start > run > sfc /scannow method, but it didn't do anything. It just said that windows couldn't find what I was looking for.

Edited by sherlock23, 24 May 2005 - 08:37 PM.

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#10
Guest_Tony_*

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could Ewido be the problem?
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#11
austin_o

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You need to have your windows install cd in the cd drive when you do the > start > run > sfc /scannow Windows will get the missing file from the install cd.
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#12
sherlock23

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I don't think it is ewido, because the shutdowns/restars were happening before I downloaded that.

However, she was looking for the windows cd and couldn't find it. If it doesn't turn up, is there a way to get a replacement cd from Microsoft? Or is she out of luck?
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