Computer Keeps Restarting Troubleshooting Tips

| September 21, 2009 | 39 Comments

If your computer keeps restarting it can often be fixed in software, but there are many different things that can cause a system to crash and keep rebooting. Modern Operating Systems will not usually produce a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). Instead, Windows will simply restart the computer and hope for the best. The theory is, if something critical to the Operating System failed, a reboot will correct it. This is often true. But if a computer is having a hardware problem, this may not work. So the first step in solving your computer restart problem is to isolate the source.

Turn Off The Automatic Restart If Computer Keeps Restarting

Computer Keeps RestartingIf your computer keeps restarting, you can turn off automatic restarts by right-clicking My Computer and selecting Properties. Under the Advanced tab, look for Startup and Recovery and under the Settings find and uncheck the Automatically Restart option. Now, when your system crashes, you should receive a blue screen error that will have some type of information you can use to find a solution to your restarting issue. Write the entire error down and visit us on our forums for a diagnosis.

Restart in Safe Mode

Restart the computer and tap F8 to get into Safe Mode With Networking. By starting in Safe Mode you can uninstall any recently installed software that might be causing the crash. You can also update drivers, perform a system restore and even scan for and remove malware that might be causing the restarts. By successfully running in Safe Mode for an extended period of time, this tells us the problem is likely related to software. If the computer keeps restarting or shutting down, the problem is likely hardware-related.

Scan Your Memory If Your Computer Keeps Restarting

You can run utilities in Windows that scan your Memory and hard disk for errors. If you have faulty RAM, this can cause massive instability with your system.

Scanning your RAM will require third-party software. We like Memtest86. Download and burn the image to a floppy or a CD and reboot to that drive to begin the scan. You may need to change how your PC starts in the BIOS. If you make a CD, go into the BIOS setup and make sure the CD ROM is first in the Boot Sequence option. If you’re running Vista, you can access their RAM scanner by going to the Administrative Tools area of the Control Panel. From within that section, look for the Memory Diagnostic Tool.

Scan your HDD for errors by opening My Computer and right-clicking the C drive. Select Properties, then under the Tools tab, look for the Error Checking area and click the Check Now button. Check both options and hit OK. The computer will run a thorough scan when the system boots next time.

If your computer keeps restarting at this point, you can try is flashing the BIOS. If there is a known flaw with hardware on a machine that software can fix, a BIOS update will be issued by a manufacturer. Contact the manufacturer of the computer or the motherboard for specific details on how to flash the BIOS.

If at this point the computer keeps restarting, you should look into replacing the power supply, then the motherboard in that order. The power supply is a cheapest and easiest thing to replace and is often the source of the problem for shut-downs and reboots. Be sure to replace the power supply with a name brand you recognize. Cheaper is not better when it comes to power supplies. Also, be sure to get the same wattage or greater. For instance, if the power supply is 350 Watts, you can get the same of go higher.

If your computer keeps restarting, write down as many details you can about your system and join our free computer forums, or read more of our Windows tutorials.

Category: Windows

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (39)

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  1. chris j. says:

    My vaio is messed up! After the animation screen, it says “setup is inspecting your computers hardware configuration” then repeats the animation. What can I do to fix this? My computer didn’t come with a recovery cd either!

  2. fernando says:

    my computer keeps restarting when i turn it on

    • Dave Dave says:

      Try tapping F8 at boot. If you can get into Safe Mode, you likely have a problem with a driver. If you can’t, join our forums and we’ll troubleshoot.

  3. nurdin says:

    hi everybody, my computer restarts continuously whenever it reaches with the START WINDOWS NORMALY with a blue screen.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Have you tried to scan the RAM and hdd as described above? Can you get into Safe Mode (tap F8 at boot) and undue any recent changes you have made.

  4. dave h says:

    My computer just keeps restarting. I have made boot disk went to restore, repair, F8 everything. Nothing seems to work. It won’t let me press F10 during startup. Although through the boot disk I can reach certain areas like i stated but nothing good results from it. Is it my hard drive that went out? I have Vista on It. It just started today. I scanned what I could and found no problems. Any ideas.
    Dave

    • Dave Dave says:

      You might not be able to get get into F8 options if you have a USB keyboard. Some BIOS settings can turn on a USB keyboard, but this might be the problem you’re having. Find a PS2 keyboard (round connector) if you have one handy.

      Regarding the restarting of your machine, I can be caused by programs, hardware–anything you recently installed. By getting into Safe Mode (tap F8) you can remove any recent programs or undo recent updates, etc.

      I would also unplug any external devices to make sure they are not causing the problem. For extended help, please join our forums.

  5. jason smith says:

    ok i have been trying to fix my computer.pressed the f8,pressed f10 went try to go into anything at all just keeps restarting over and over tried boot disk.All its doing is restarting oh,and tried replacing power box still same problem can u help,ty.

    • Dave Dave says:

      If you tap F8 at boot (continuously) and it doesn’t go into Safe Mode, then you you either have a serious problem with Windows or a flaky motherboard. You should try reinstalling Windows. If you cannot boot to the install disk, you should join our forums so we can troubleshoot further.

  6. jasoune says:

    my computer keeps restarting i cant even go to safe mode. if i try to reinstall windows,it will shut down automatically.

  7. eneri says:

    Same problem of jasoune,,what is the caused of that?
    any suggestion pls,,i need your help.

  8. You should try some registry softwares. Maybe the random restarting is caused by registry errors or some malwares… So, think twice about it…

  9. Joy says:

    Ok I’m having the same problem. I went to add my sd card to the computer and it didn’t locate it so I restarted it and now all it does it sits trying to load windows and then reboots.. tried safe mode and flashes a quick blue screen then shuts off again.

  10. jho says:

    My toshiba laptop restart randomly,,,but when i top f8 and go to safemood it works properly…and when i start it normaly it restarting by itself again without warning….what can i do???Plss Help me….

    • Dave Dave says:

      While in safe mode, go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore and use system restore to go back to a date before the problem began.

      • Jason says:

        Hello,

        My pc keeps rebooting. It started with random reboots once or twice per week.
        then after a while once or twice per day, I did virus and malware checks but found nothing. Then rebooting started to happen many times per day to the point where nothing can be thoroughly checked without fear of a reboot right in the middle of what you are doing.

        I disabled auto restart, but it still reboots with no BSOD, no error messages.
        I try to boot into safe mode and it will reboot from there. I get into Bios and wait a few minutes and it will reboot from there as well.

        I replaced my hard drive to larger size 6-8 months ago, replaced faulty power supply 1 year ago and upgraded to a new processor about 4 -6 months ago,
        all without any hitches. I also upgraded to svc pack 3 so I could installed MS
        Office 2010. This was 2-3 months ago, again with no hitches until this random rebooting started a few weeks ago.

        I tried putting my old hard drive back in, no change, put old chip back in, no change, reseated the memory chips and tried booting with 1 stick at a time (there are two 1gig sticks), no change. I unplug everything except power supply,
        memory sticks and cpu / heat sink, still reboots. A visual inspection of the motherboard shows no swollen or leaking capacitors. No scorch marks. Plenty of
        thermal paste on cpu, temp is normal in Bios (was able to check quickly once
        before a reboot kicked in).

        The only thing I haven’t tried so far is another PSU or clearing the Cmos (which
        I was hesitant to do, not knowing what would happen).

        I think the most telling piece of info is the rebooting even in safe mode, no BSOD error messages and rebooting even when in Bios.

        Any ideas other than PSU? I don’t want to buy another since it’s new. I still
        have my old one, but it’s probably an unreliable test replacement considering I
        had to replace it 1 year ago. But am thinking of trying it. If that’s not the problem what else could it be?

        Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

        • Dave Dave says:

          I would try Speedfan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php), a program you can use to check system info such as power supply voltages. If they fluctuate too much, this might trigger a reboot. A flaky motherboard can also cause this. I suspect one or the other, especially since it reboots in the BIOS.

          • Jason says:

            Hi,

            Thanks for the quick reply.

            OK, I’ll give that a try. Every once in a while the Bios will hold long enough to check several things. That was also one of the last things
            I haven’t checked but will try to check next time I’m able. On the PC Health tab in Bios I’m pretty sure the voltages were the usual 3.3v, 5v
            & 12v, but I can’t remember 100% to be positive. If that comes out normal, I guess the most likely cause is the mobo?

            I have located a replacement mobo online, just in case, but didn’t want to go that route…Lol !

            I have read a little about a corrupt Bios or Cmos, any possibility there or does that sound unlikely based on my symptoms?

            I also read some advice about flashing my Bios, but I really don’t want to do that given the unintentional havoc it seems to cause if done wrong and I’ve never done that procedure before.

            Thanks,

            Jason

  11. Jason says:

    Actually, now that I think about it, I probably won’t be able to use SpeedFan
    since The computer won’t stay up long enough to login to a user.

    I’ll have to try checking the Bios if it will stay on screen long enough.

    Another thing is the last time I tried to login to any user it said I had to ‘re-activate windows’.

    Not sure why, does this mean something is corrupt or missing from my windows files?
    Maybe from all the rebooting and disk checking?

  12. Suzanna says:

    Jason, I have EXACTLY the same problem as you! My computer has Windows 7 operating system. Originally when the problem have just occured, my computer would randomly restart once in a few weeks. And then getting more often. Now it does so every single time. It’s SOO annoying!

    The computer keeps restarting in all modes (even in safe mode), so what could be the cause? Anyone help us~

    Sometimes my computer keeps restarting every few seconds, sometimes every few minutes. I want to try and check for viruses/malware, but it won’t let me as whatever I try to do will get interrupted. I tried system restore when the computer surprisingly didn’t restart, but the problem persists.

    I have already unchecked “automatically shut-down”.

  13. Sheilla says:

    my sony vaio laptop keeps restarting. It goes to the logo vaio and then restarts again i mean its non stop. I dont know what to do? I did pressed F8 and nothing happened. It keeps restarting and goes to the logo all over again. Pls help me i dont know what to do

    • Dave Dave says:

      Tap F8 when you first power up the computer….seems like something is causing the computer to crash before it loads Windows. Could be a driver or any recent software you have installed. Once you get into Safe Mode, undo any recent changes you’ve made or use System Restore to revert the PC back to a time when it was operating normally.

      • Sheilla says:

        Thank youfor replying,.but unluckily it didnt work. I pressed F8 but nothing happens it keeps restarting all over again.can this problem be solve?are there new ,viruses out there?

      • Sheilla says:

        Thank youfor replying,.but unluckily it didnt work. I did pressed F8 but still nothing happens it keeps restarting all over again.can this problem be solve?are there new ,viruses out there?

        • Dave Dave says:

          If you tapped f8 repeatedly during boot and it did not give you any additional boot options, I have to wonder if your keyboard is working. Do you see any lights on the keyboard (with caplocks or any other lights)? This is definitely not virus behavior. More likely a problem with hardware. Is it making any weird beeping sounds?

          • Sheilla says:

            My keyboard is orking well there are still lights. And yes when i press caps lock it still shows. Theres no other beeping sounds. Yhe fan is also working normally.

          • Chiandria says:

            My compiter keeps turning on and off. When i press. F8 it doesnt do anything but still turn on and off. Any suggestions?

  14. Sheilla says:

    Oh sorry i think some of the parts of my keyboard is not working the right side of it ,id not. i cant press numlock but i can press capslock.

  15. Umesh says:

    Hi ,
    i am working continue my pc is correct. but i am no work 2 minute after my pc is automatic restart..

    Proccessor : Dual core
    M.B : Intel 41 RQ.

    Please Help me.
    Reply Soon
    Thnx.

  16. nick says:

    Hi
    My computer keeps restarting. I have turned off the auto reboot. I am getting a blue screen with text saying
    *** STOP: OX00000024 (0X00190203, 0X865252B8, 0XC0000102, 0X00000000
    I have no idea what it is. Can anyone please help

  17. Joel says:

    good day Dave,

    I have the same Problem with Jason, it automatically restart and the cpu fan keep on and off for about a minute b4 it will run, but in just a matter of 2 mins or less it will restart again and again.. i tried to checked it by some software’s that may help detect some errors or busted parts but the problem is it keeps on rebooting.. i already change may hardisk/ram/power supply and main board.. the only thing i haven’t change is my i3 processor 2nd gen.. plz help me sir..

  18. Will says:

    My computer keeps showing the ‘blue screen of death’ even in safe mode. All my files are backed up so I’m fine with rebooting and returning to factory settings BUT…I don’t have the disk AND the CD drive doesn’t work anymore. What can I do?

    Thank you in advance

  19. safal says:

    My antivirus Kaspersky Internet security 2012 said that there was a malware and option was given to advance scan and reboot (recommended) so I clicked on it. But my computer opens with a Windows error message that says “System has recovered from a serious error. A log of the error has been created and “C:\DOCU~\User\Local~\Temp\WER161e.dir00\ Mini122012-07.dmp” and “C:\DOCU~\User\Local~\Temp\WER161e.dir00\ sysdata.xml” has ben included. Also error message telling Spoolserver Subsystem app has crashed.

  20. valerie says:

    My computer go straight into repair mode then it says it cannot repair to send info to Windows I do that it restarts and go through the same thing over and over I press f8 nothing happens

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