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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    I am relatively new to Win 7 and obviously have much to learn about this OS having stayed with XP for so long. I am running a Dell Studio XPS 8100 3.2GHz machine with 8GB RAM and a 1TB HDD which I purchased this spring. All patches/updates (at least that I am aware of!) are up to date. My computer is running 24/7 and I am finding that it is periodically rebooting (apparently generally overnight when I am not around, at least that seems tol be the case). I do NOT have MS updates set to install automatically, only to download so that I can review and install at my leisure. I do not like the idea of some unknown source rebooting my computer without my knowledge or consent. If anyone could give me suggestions as to why this is occurring and, hopefully, how to prevent it, I would really appreciate it!

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!

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    First thing to check if you haven't is the power options in Control panel and see if you have require a password turned on. If the system is going to sleep overnight and you mouse it awake and require password is on, you are taken back to the login page and it might seem the computer has rebooted but it hasn't.

    If that's not it, you probably have to start checking the event viewer for activity at the time it reboots and see if you can pinpoint it to a source or coincidence.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    Malware

    You've touched on one thing I always look at first: viruses and spyware. Do make sure that your scanners are running, and are being regularly updated with the latest databases of spyware and virus definitions. For anti-spyware tools, that should happen daily - anti-spyware tools typically do so less often.
    If you've made a recent change to your system, perhaps installed a new software package, or a new piece of hardware, and these problems started happening thereafter, that's a likely clue. Depending on the software or hardware, my first reaction would be to look to the vendor for reported problems and possible updates. In particular, device drivers are the most likely to cause crashes and reboots without warning.
    If your computer has been running fine for some time, and you haven't installed any new hardware or software recently, then my tendency would be to start suspecting various hardware components.

    Perhaps the most common are failing fans. The fans that move air through your machine to keep it cool are critical to its operation, and are often the first to fail - either due to accumulated dust and dirt, or simple age. When the fan stops working, the machine overheats, and when the machine overheats - it crashes. Randomly.

    Next most common is a failing power supply. Power supplies can fail slowly - meaning that they can become 'marginal' before they fail completely. And the symptoms of a marginal power supply are - you guessed it - random crashes. This is one of those cases where replacing the power supply (or having someone replace it for you) is often an inexpensive test. Particularly if you've added more hardware to your system over time, you may simply be demanding more of the power supply than it was designed to provide, so an upgrade might well be in order as well.

    You can also perform a memory test here's the link;Memtest86
    You can buy a power supply tester @ your favorite local eletronics store or online.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Memtest is also included on the Win 7 DVD under repair installation option. Check it out.
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    2 Star Lounger
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    Thanks all for your responses!

    Byron- Power is always on and I just changed the display setting to "Never off" although I don't see how that could contribute to the problem; I have checked Event Viewer several times and that does not seen to yield any obvious clues as to reason for reboot.

    chowur- As far as malware is concerned, I am running Sunbelt Software VIPRE 4.0 Premium which covers anti-virus, anti-spyware and also has a built-in firewall so I have never had any problems along those lines. I am also running a Linksys WRT45G router (hardware firewall). This is a relatively new machine, less than 1 year old, and I have had no indication that either the fan(s) or power supply are a problem. I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic and did not see any problems there either.

    This problem is not a "show-stopper" but it is aggravating and, being a bit paranoid, I am somewhat concerned that it may be masking something else.

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    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    Just curious how long you ran the mem test? It was back in Feb of this year I had the same problem.Radom reboot,come to find out the memory was getting to warm.Hence the reboot action.I put a memory cooler on all 8gig's of memory solved my problem.Even though your computer is only about 6 or 7 months old I would take the side off & get a can of air & blow it out.Even the cleanest house the computer will collect dust.I can only advise preventive maintence is the best.Good luck on what ever you decide of course.
    Happy Holidays...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExiledMainer View Post
    some unknown source rebooting my computer without my knowledge or consent. If anyone could give me suggestions as to why this is occurring and, hopefully, how to prevent it, I would really appreciate it!
    Exiled,
    Hello... Here's one from the "outfield" Check for loose connections in the PC....Had that happen to me, once a while back ... Give a "sharp rap " on the side of your case ..It would cause my PC to re-boot.. turned out to be loose motherboard screws..also could be power line glitches ... Aside from all the other good advice ...Hey it couldn't hurt. Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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    No software that's sceduled to run overnight or when the processors are not busy (or have you unexpectedly rebooted during use as well)?.
    Connected to a UPS?
    If no and no, and your system is not telling you its just recoverd from some kind of error when you log in again, I'm also thinking connections/hardware at this point, though I don't know why it would only seem to happen when you aren't there.

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    2 Star Lounger
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    Thanks to all for the responses!

    Ted & chowur- apparently Windows Memory Diagnostic does not give a report if no problems are found. On reboot after running the diagnostic, there was a message in the Notification Area indicating "No memory problems found" or some such. I will check for excessive dust in the tower.

    Fred- Good thought! When I have the case open for D&C (dusting and cleaning out), I will also check all connections.

    Byron- the only thing I can think of that is scheduled to run at night is a full VIPRE scan and Sunbelt Software assures me that this should not cause a reboot. I think I should probably revisit that situation. VIPRE definitions also update periodically but I have observed this action during the day when I am at the computer and this does not cause a reboot. However, do you know of a definitive way to check for any and all possible scheduled actions???
    I do have an APC ES-750 UPS so I would not necessarily know if there has been a momentary (or even longer!) power glitch. If there was an extended outage and the UPS power was used up, the computer would simply shut down but would not automatically reboot. (BTW, I do NOT use the accompanying PowerChute software having had problems associated with that in the past. Once burned, twice shy!) It also occurs to me that if we were to experience even a momentary off/on power outage I would know about that since I would have to reset every electronic alarm clock in the house!

  10. #10
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    I have heard/read on more than one occasion (that's why it came to mind without prior confirmation) that a flaky UPS or one that is low on charge and is/or not maintaining anything near full charge anymore can cause the momentary power interuptions all by itself so you might want to test that by bypassing it for a while if nothing else turns up.

  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger
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    I just stumbled onto Action Center/Maintenance/View Reliability History in Control Panel from a reference in the How To Geek ezine. It looks like that provides a more intuitive approach than event viewer. I will be following that up and will let you all know if anything interesting falls.

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    Hello all!

    Using Action Center from Control Panel, I got several reports similar to the following:

    11/29/2010 3:30AM
    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000007f (0x0000000000000008, 0x0000000080050031, 0x00000000000006f8, 0xfffff80002d493b4). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 112910-18158-01.

    This is good additional info and confirms the random reboots but I have to admit I still have no idea how to get to the root of what is actually causing the reboot. Once again, any comments or assistance would be much appreciated!

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExiledMainer View Post
    11/29/2010 3:30AM
    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000007f (0x0000000000000008, 0x0000000080050031, 0x00000000000006f8, 0xfffff80002d493b4). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 112910-18158-01.
    Download an run Nirsoft's BlueScreenView here. It will open your Memory.dmp and in many cases will reveal the source file causing the reboot. You can also read up on BlueScreenView for instructions when you check out the link.
    Deadeye81

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  14. #14
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    [
    I was having that proble SEVERELY - I went in to the BIOS and set everything back to default, turned off unlocking, set the RAM at manufacturers (mfg.) recommendations, and boosted the Memory Voltage to the MFG recommendation. This has NOT eliminated my problem but has improved it tremendously.

    Additionally, I did find out that some of the Win 7 updates were automatically rebooting during the night.


    quote name='ExiledMainer' date='2010-12-06 11:53' timestamp='1291650803' post='870144']
    Hello all!

    Using Action Center from Control Panel, I got several reports similar to the following:

    11/29/2010 3:30AM
    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000007f (0x0000000000000008, 0x0000000080050031, 0x00000000000006f8, 0xfffff80002d493b4). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 112910-18158-01.

    This is good additional info and confirms the random reboots but I have to admit I still have no idea how to get to the root of what is actually causing the reboot. Once again, any comments or assistance would be much appreciated!
    [/quote]

  15. #15
    2 Star Lounger
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    Don-

    Thanks for the response! I have NOT modified the BIOS since I got the computer in February but will take a look at the settings.

    I suspect that I am getting some automatic updates from Windows and, as far as I know, I should not be as I have updates set to download but not install. If anyone has any ideas how to get Windows to quit that nonsense, I would like to hear about it!

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