Below are the steps on how this feature can be disabled and enabled in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.
- From the Desktop, right-click My Computer.
- Click the Properties option.
- In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab or the Advanced system settings link.
- Under Advanced, click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.
- In the Startup and Recovery window, uncheck the Automatically restart.
- Click OK.
Now, if the computer generates an error, it won’t automatically reboot and will display an error message, most likely BSoD.
Hardware problem or failure
Note: Some of the steps below require you to turn on your computer. While working inside a computer, exercise extreme caution with ESD.
Any unsuccessful hardware component in your computer could cause your computer to create an error or restart without warning unexpectedly. If you recently tried to add a new hardware device, remove that device to make sure it is not causing your problems.
Make sure you are not experiencing any hardware conflicts by looking at Device Manager for the error.
Hardware drivers can also cause this problem. If you recently installed new hardware drivers, you may want to try a previous version of those drivers. You can find more information and help on drivers for your computer on our driver page.
If you have updated your drivers and removed any hardware that might be causing this problem and random reboots keep happening, a memory may be bad in the computer.
Finally, hardware devices that are not correctly installed in the computer can also cause random reboots. Make sure all the cables and expansion cards are connected properly inside the computer. The best way to determine this is to disconnect and reconnect all cables and expansion cards.
Certain types of computer viruses, such as the blaster virus, are designed to restart your computer without warning. Usually, these viruses restart the computer every 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes after the computer boots.
If you believe that your computer has a virus, make sure that an anti-virus program is installed on your computer and that the virus scanner definitions are up to date.
Today, most computers are designed to shut down or restart automatically if the processor, video card, or other computer devices get too hot. If you’ve ever heard any unusual noises from your computer lately, it could be a sign that a fan isn’t working, which can cause the hardware components to overheat.
First, verify the power supply fan is working by checking the computer’s back and seeing that the fan is moving in general and moving quickly and smoothly (e.g., without wobbling or scraping). For all other fans on the computer, you need to turn on the computer and verify all fans are working (e.g., processor fan, video fan, and case fan).
As shown in the image, a temperature gun can also be used to help gauge how hot the hardware components or integrated circuits are inside the computer.
Tip: If your BIOS monitors the speed or fan RPM, enter CMOS Settings and verify it doesn’t report any errors.
Note: If this is a laptop, a fan located on either side of the laptop can be checked. Make sure this fan blows air away from the laptop and check if you can feel the hot air from the laptop. You might also consider getting a cooling pad if you find your laptop is hot.
Released with operating systems
If your computer keeps restarting after following each of the suggestions above, you may have a problem with Microsoft Windows operating system. To help determine if this is the case, try the steps below.
- Restart the computer and enter the CMOS setup when the computer starts to boot.
- After you have loaded your computer into the CMOS setup, leave it idle for a few minutes.
If the computer doesn’t restart after idling in CMOS and you’ve tried other solutions on this page, you can try activating an earlier restore point in Windows before the problem started to occur. If activating a previous restore point didn’t work, or there’s no one available to activate, you might have to reinstall Microsoft Windows.