Solved Why does my computer restarts randomly?

March 4, 2016 at 06:38:48
Specs: Windows 10
So my computer has been randomly restarting. It first happened two days ago while I was watching a movie, and it keeps happening, sometimes after an hour or so, sometimes within a couple minutes of starting up.

When I boot up the computer I get this message: "Alert! Hard drive fan failure. Press F1 to continue, F2 to enter setup"

BUT I've been getting this message for a long time (months, possibly a year), and my PC has been working absolutely fine despite it until now.

I've tried opening the case and cleaning the dust as best as I could without taking out anything. As far as I can tell the fans are still working.

So, what is the problem? Has my hard drive finally conked out? Is it a power supply issue? Should I sent it for a repair, or should I just buy a new PC?

FYI, I bought this computer about 2 years ago from ebay. It was new (refurbished) I think.

Specs: http://postimg.org/image/o777dqj99/


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✔ Best Answer
March 4, 2016 at 11:53:09
Further to my #6 above.

We might get more useful information if you stop the system from restarting on failure, like this:

Right click Start icon at bottom left of screen. Select Control Panel from list then click System icon. Go to "Advanced system settings" from list at top left of page. In the Advanced tab go to "Start-up and Recovery" section and hit the Settings button. Under the "Systems failure" heading uncheck "Automatically restart" then OK your way out.

This should produce an error message, probably on a blue screen, next time it fails. If so give us the complete error message and at least the first set of numbers. If a file is mentioned then give us that too.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek



#1
March 4, 2016 at 07:29:05
Random restarts sure sound like an overheat issue to me.

I would probably use a monitoring software to evaluate if that is the case. There are several freeware options out there.

http://openhardwaremonitor.org/

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmo...

are two I have tried. Feel free to try a google search too

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=freeware+optio...

::mike


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#2
March 4, 2016 at 07:40:49
"As far as I can tell the fans are still working"
Sounds like you are not sure, so it could still be a fan fault, maybe a poor fan connection.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
March 4, 2016 at 08:17:07
That's what I thought too, but the cpu didn't feel warm, and I wasn't doing anything extensive when it shuts down, just watching youtube etc. The temp stays around 40ish C (is that too hot for a pc?)

How can I know if the fans are still working? I downloaded the programs you suggested, but they only show me the temp, which I already knew.

I'm pretty sure the fans are working, though, at least the two that I can see when I opened the case, because I can feel the air coming through vents. Unless there's a third fan that I couldn't see somewhere.

message edited by LCgirl


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Related Solutions

#4
March 4, 2016 at 08:25:01
40 doesn't sound too bad. Did you look through the CPU fan to see the state of its heat sink? It is usually possible to clean it reasonably enough with the computer off and carefully pushing a small paint brush between the fan blades - then compressed air.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
March 4, 2016 at 08:46:46
Yeah, I cleaned it pretty thoroughly with a mini vacuum that has a brush thingy attached. This is what my computer looks like:
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-OptiPlex...

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#6
March 4, 2016 at 10:03:02
Please don't take this the wrong way but often folk say CPU when they really mean Computer. What I meant was the CPU (Central Processor Unit) inside. I trust that was also your understanding.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
March 4, 2016 at 11:53:09
✔ Best Answer
Further to my #6 above.

We might get more useful information if you stop the system from restarting on failure, like this:

Right click Start icon at bottom left of screen. Select Control Panel from list then click System icon. Go to "Advanced system settings" from list at top left of page. In the Advanced tab go to "Start-up and Recovery" section and hit the Settings button. Under the "Systems failure" heading uncheck "Automatically restart" then OK your way out.

This should produce an error message, probably on a blue screen, next time it fails. If so give us the complete error message and at least the first set of numbers. If a file is mentioned then give us that too.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#8
March 4, 2016 at 13:08:50
You should never use a vacuum on a computer due to the possibility of a static discharge damaging the motherboard. Instead, you should use a brush to loosen the dust buildup, then blast it away with compressed air (then vacuum the floor afterwards).

Try Derek's suggestion in response #7 - disable the auto-restart feature - however the method is different in Windows 10:

http://www.kapilarya.com/disable-au...

EDIT: I found the following about the HDD fan error:

http://en.community.dell.com/suppor...

message edited by riider


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#9
March 4, 2016 at 13:43:22
riider

I'm a tad confused. The path I gave was based on my Win 10 and I can't see where this approach goes wrong. Are you suggesting that MS has left in place an obsolete method of preventing restart after failure?

I accept there are often alternative ways of going about things.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#10
March 4, 2016 at 16:09:18
Sorry, I don't use Windows 10. I did a search to have a look at the procedure & what I found is a lot different than what you posted.

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#11
March 4, 2016 at 17:25:07
Yeah, many ways as often. On the face of it the two methods look a lot different but I think both give the same results.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#12
March 5, 2016 at 05:54:20
Okay, I've done that, and so far no blue screen yet, and my pc has been on for about 6 hours straight. Hopefully this is a solution. Thanks, Derek.

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#13
March 5, 2016 at 07:56:47
Sorry but it is not a solution, it just allows us to gather information when it fails again, as per last line of my #7.

If it's behaving itself now it is pure coincidence. The trouble with this one is that it could be either hardware or software, so it's early days.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#14
March 11, 2016 at 07:22:50
Well, it's been a week now, and still no blue screen. Does that mean the problem wasn't hardware related?

Btw, do you have a suggestion on how to get rid of the annoying "Alert fan failure" warning that I get everytime I start up the computer?


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#15
March 11, 2016 at 08:11:19
Unfortunately it doesn't really tell us anything except that the fault seems to have gone away (at least for now). It could still have been hardware or software.

There are quite a few Google hits about that "alert fan failure". It would be worth trying the second response (from Dell) on here:
http://www.techspot.com/community/t...

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#16
April 11, 2016 at 02:35:55
So it happened again. Same as last time. Just suddenly shuts down and starts again. No blue screen. At one point, I got this message:

"Previous attempts at booting this system have failed at checkpoint [Ithr]".

The [Ithr] changed to [WRIT] at some point.

There's no pattern that I can find in this random restarts.

What should I do?


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#17
April 11, 2016 at 13:15:27
These intermittent faults can be very tricky, also it is not giving us much to go on - a blue screen would have been useful.

Next time it plays up, note the time then type Event Viewer in search. See if there is an error showing at exactly the time this happened. If so it might give us some info. Often there are stacks of errors (minor bugs etc) so only look at those which definitely coincide.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#18
April 11, 2016 at 23:07:15
Okay, it happened again just now (1:50 PM). This is what I could find from event viewer.

Critical: 1:49:35 PM: "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."

Error: 1:49:48 PM: "The previous system shutdown at 1:33:54 PM on ‎4/‎12/‎2016 was unexpected."

The time is off by 20 mins there. I don't know why.

The one before that is from 11:53 AM: "Session "" failed to start with the following error: 0xC0000011"

Is there anything else I should be looking for?


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#19
April 12, 2016 at 02:39:02
Can you let us have the Event Error number please?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#20
April 12, 2016 at 06:21:30
Is that the Event ID number? 6008

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#21
April 12, 2016 at 08:56:21
Yes indeed that is the number - thanks. Unfortunately, as it turns out, that error can be caused by everything under the sun. It could be a hardware issue or software (drivers maybe).

I would start by running this RAM test all the way through:
http://www.memtest86.com/download.htm
Ensure you get the free version (available for both CD or Flash Drive).
You have to burn the image onto the device you intend to use, ensure that drive is ahead of the system drive in BIOS, then boot with it in the drive.

Hope you are up to all this - let us know how you feel about it.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#22
April 12, 2016 at 10:36:55
I will try to do that, but I don't know if my pc can manage to last through all the steps. It can conk out at anytime. Seems to happen more frequently today.

Do you think it could be the power supply? Because sometimes it reboots before even entering windows.

It's most likely an hardware issue, right? Is it even worth the cost to repair?


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#23
April 12, 2016 at 11:42:47
I agree that if it happens before entering Windows then it is most likely a hardware issue but the power supply is only one of the possibilities. In a workshop they can try these things but in the home unless what you buy happens to be the culprit it can get very expensive. It's only worth considering repair if you get a reasonable estimate.

As for RAM there is another quick test you could do if you are familiar with removing and inserting RAM. Firstly clean the RAM edge connectors with a soft pencil eraser then pop the stick(s) in and out a few times to clear any oxide off the sockets. Many times this simple procedure has helped.

If you have more than one stick of RAM then you could try the computer with each stick on its own in first position. That should tell you if one of them has a definite fault. However, as this fault is intermittent a solid RAM fault seems less likely.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#24
April 12, 2016 at 20:38:09
Weird thing happened this morning. The computer turned on on it's own! What's up with that? I suspected it has happened before and I just didn't catch it in the act.

That was a few hours ago, and I just switched off the main power when it happened. Now I cant even get to windows anymore. It just keeps endlessly rebooting.

Time to prepare for the funeral I think.


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#25
April 13, 2016 at 07:31:57
Yeah funeral maybe LOL.

This procedure can sometimes unstick a computer if it is rebooting. What you are doing is discharging the motherboard components, like this:
Turn off the computer somehow (just holding the Power Off button for a while should do this). Now remove the power cord - with laptops you remove the main battery too. Now with everything off and disconnected hold the Power Off/On button down for at least 20 seconds which does the discharge. Bit of a long shot be see if it helps.

If you are happy looking at that RAM (#23) then do so.

Harping back to #3, where did you get your 40 degrees temperature reading from and was that the processor temperature or general inside temperature?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#26
April 13, 2016 at 20:43:42
The temperature I got from Core Temp. I think that was the processor temperature, though. How do I know the general inside temp?

Yes, I knew about the power off button trick. Have done it a few times, and sometimes it works. Anyway, I eventually managed to get into windows, and it lasted a few hours before starting up again.

Re #23, I'm not actually savvy enough to mess around with hardware stuff, but since this cpu is dying, I'll give it a shot, since I can't possibly make it worse anyhow.

What did you think about my computer turning on automatically? What causes that usually?


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#27
April 14, 2016 at 03:05:43
this cpu is dying - I think you mean computer.

The CPU is the processor (big chip under a fan in the middle of the motherboard). The heat sink is under that and, with the computer off, can be cleaned through the fan with a small paint brush and a bit of blowing. Just don't bust the fan blades. Canned air is the best way if you can get hold of some. All vents and fans should be cleaned.

Overheating is the most usual cause of restarts and I'm not sure this has been eliminated. This program should give them all (set it to Sensors):
http://www.hwinfo.com/
They appear against a thermometer symbol.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#28
April 18, 2016 at 02:03:44
Okay, I did the memtest last night. No errors found. This morning it started endless rebooting again. After a million tries of switching off/on the main power, and unplugging/plugging the cable, finally got it working again.

I installed HWinFo too. This what I got: http://postimg.org/image/l4chadvwb/


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#29
April 18, 2016 at 07:11:05
Well, that's the "Favorite" off the list - those temperatures are not the cause of your restarts.

The next most popular reason is that the Power Supply Unit (PSU) is playing up. Not easy to check without trying a replacement (as would happen if a repairer was looking at it). So it's hard to know what to suggest because we all hate spending money unless we are certain it is going to fix the problem.

I feel sure this is a hardware issue rather than software but that's about as far as it goes.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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