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Computer Keeps Restarting!!

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  • Computers
  • Windows 8
Last response: in Windows 8
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February 2, 2013 6:21:25 PM

Hey Everyone,

Long time observer, first time poster here at tom's hardware. Roughly a week ago I made the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro (from win7 premium) due to the deal Microsoft had running for updates. However, ever since I have upgraded I have had countless problems. I will explain the problems the best I can:

1. The computer has restarted probably a dozen times since I have updated. Sometimes it just restarts, other times I get the "Windows has encountered a problem and needs to restart" page which I assume is similiar to a BSoD?
i) The errors I have noticed are: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION, PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON_PAGED_Area.

2. Sometimes my displays (3 monitors) just shut off and the power buttons start blinking as if they are not getting a signal from the tower; this is also true for both my keyboard and mouse (they are both illuminated/back lit), as their lights go out.

3. Sometimes the computer just straight freezes up. I can see everything, but my mouse won't move, keyboard won't do anything, etc. This of course forces me to manually shut the PC off by holding in the power button.

4. When my computer does restart, sometimes it just stalls out... Either it will just restart again and I will get a Windows failed to restart error, or the screen will just stay black with a blinking underscore in the top left corner.

I have had this PC for a little over 2 years and although I have had tiny problems here and there, nothing this troublesome.

My computer specs are as follows:

-Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
-AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Processor 3.21 GHz
-8gb of ram
-2x AMD Radeon HD 6950s
not sure what else to add here.

Can anyone help me with any of this? Is it possible my power supply cannot run Windows 8? ANY help whatsoever would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you!

Jamie

More about : computer restarting

February 2, 2013 6:49:41 PM

Just restarted again and I got this error: APC_INDEX_MISMATCH. Got the error screen but the computer didn't restart, I had to restart myself... Ugh this is frustrating, impossible to do anything for any length of time. The error messages are fairly random. Sometimes they happen like 3 times within 20 mins. Sometimes hours in between. They became way more frequent though approximately 16 hours ago.
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a b * Windows 8
February 2, 2013 7:05:59 PM

1.Download and install updates and device drivers for your computer from Windows Update.
2.Scan your computer for computer viruses.
3.Check your hard disk for errors.
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Related resources
February 2, 2013 7:22:08 PM

1. I did some updates already. There is still 1 important update (concerning a definition update for Windows defender) and 2 optional updates (1 for Bing and 1 for PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller). However it keeps failing every time I try to update them. I get the "Some updates were not installed" Error code: 80240016.

2. I use avast and do automatic scans but I am currently in the process of doing a full system scan. However the computer will probably restart before it gets a chance to even come close to finishing.

3. I have two hdds. My primary is a 600gb WDC and my secondary is a 3tb Segate Baracuda. I ran an error check for both and they tested fine.


Edit: Just restarted AGAIN and I got error: CLOCK_WATCHDOG_OUT... something like that... I went to type this as soon as it happened and it slipped my mind... It was CLOCK_WATCH..... something or other. One interesting fact though is it my PC seemed to be working okay for a little while and then about 2 or 3 minutes into watching a video, it crashed. This seems to be consistent with what was happening the other times.
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a b * Windows 8
February 2, 2013 7:41:32 PM

I looked up the watch error and it states that it tends to be caused by overheating, and/or overclocking.
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a b * Windows 8
February 2, 2013 7:48:30 PM

some mb need bios updates before you instal lwindows 8. windows 8 is not the same os as 7. on some system 8 does act wanky. with an old system like yours i would open the case make sure you dont have a cat ball living inside growing on the dust bunnies. check that the cpu and gpu fans are moving. (not sluggish slow but moving fine) also check the power supply fan. and see if there any leaking caps in the ps or on the mb. make sure you install the newest amd chipset drivers for windows 8. also install msi afterburner and set a fan profile to make sure the gpu fan will spin up and keep cool. download hardware monitor and check gpu/cpu temps and ps voltage output.
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a b * Windows 8
February 2, 2013 7:55:44 PM

Windows 8 enabled low power link states, Windows 7 did not have this by default
and a lot of devices that appear to run fine on Windows 7 have implemented this incorrectly. Users don't have a problem until they upgrade to windows 8 and the hardware functions actually begin to be called from the OS to the Vendor device driver and to the vendor's electronics. it is often the first time it has been called and if not correct it just bugchecks.

What to do:
- run a program like whocrashed.exe often it will indicate the failing device driver
and you can look for a newer one that might have a work around for the issue.

- some people just set their power management to high performance and never use the low power options. It is not a fix but a workaround.

-you can post your problem and put bugcheck dump file on the cloud with a link to it. Someone can point a debugger at it and tell you what the failure was. Pretty easy most of the time.

-or you can just update everything until you randomly hit a working solution. It is good to update anyway, update all files in OS, update BIOS, update firmware in DVD drive, update graphics firmware, update USB controller firmware, update chipset firmware, update solid state drive firmware. It in theory does not hurt anything Just takes a long time.

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February 2, 2013 8:59:00 PM

Thanks for the info Danny.

My computer has a liquid coolant system (correct teminology?) so I don't think over heating should be a huge issue but maybe.

Hello smorizio,

I am unfamiliar with similarities or differences between OSs. My laptop has Vista and when I bought my PC back in Dec of 11 (it was a custom built PC that was roughly 2 months old - had NCIX receipts), it had Windows 7. So this is the first time I ever upgraded my OS myself and I did straight through the Microsoft website.

I will inspect it shortly, however I do blow it out with compressed air every now and then and I did a full clean about a year ago when I installed a new secondary HDD.

I right clicked on my graphics cards and processor in Device Manager and chose to update drivers and was told all my drivers were up to date. Is there anything else I need to do to check chipsets?

I downloaded msi afterburner, how do I set a fan profile?

I also downloaded "CPUID Hardware Monitor" and I got these statistics:
CPU Temp - 50°C (Min - 49, Max - 50)
GPU Temp - All 6 cores are around 42-43°C (Min 41, Max 47) - I think my processor is what you mean by GPU? :\
Not sure where it says my Powersupply voltages.
It didn't look like any of the values had Voltages or temps outside their Min/Max values. However this is while doing basically nothing on my PC other than just running it. I could maybe test it under a heavier load of programs?

Again, although I am not a complete noob towards computers my knowledge towards the inner-workings is fairly non-existent so try and bare with me lol.

Also one small note: I recently installed Classic Shell to revert some of my W8 settings back to W7. Could this at all be messing stuff up? I know it's a long shot but most of the problems did happen after I installed this program (not immediately after).

Thanks again for the help and I look forward to hearing any other suggestions or ideas you guys have.

Cheers,
Jamie
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February 2, 2013 9:07:27 PM

johnbl said:
Windows 8 enabled low power link states, Windows 7 did not have this by default
and a lot of devices that appear to run fine on Windows 7 have implemented this incorrectly. Users don't have a problem until they upgrade to windows 8 and the hardware functions actually begin to be called from the OS to the Vendor device driver and to the vendor's electronics. it is often the first time it has been called and if not correct it just bugchecks.

What to do:
- run a program like whocrashed.exe often it will indicate the failing device driver
and you can look for a newer one that might have a work around for the issue.

- some people just set their power management to high performance and never use the low power options. It is not a fix but a workaround.

-you can post your problem and put bugcheck dump file on the cloud with a link to it. Someone can point a debugger at it and tell you what the failure was. Pretty easy most of the time.

-or you can just update everything until you randomly hit a working solution. It is good to update anyway, update all files in OS, update BIOS, update firmware in DVD drive, update graphics firmware, update USB controller firmware, update chipset firmware, update solid state drive firmware. It in theory does not hurt anything Just takes a long time.


Hey John,

Thanks for the very detailed and organized response.

-I ran whocrashed.exe and found out that my last crash resulted from Avast. I have updated Avast and will see if the problem persists. If so, I will either re-install or just get a new Anti-Virus.

-My power management was set on balanced but I moved it to High performance. Does this have any long term side effects?

-I am pretty lost here lol

-I went through Device Manager and updated anything I could, which turned out only to be the network adapater as I mentioned earlier. I did do a lot of clean up though in the form of registry cleaners, spyware, temp files, etc, etc.

Thanks for the help!
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February 2, 2013 10:06:40 PM

Btw, I have a problem which sounds quite similar to yours. My system is all fairly new. Windows 8, 3770K, 2*680 GTX, 128GB SSD, 16GB, 2*1.5 TB HDD Raid 0, Z68 chipset.

I have this randomly restarting problem and thinking about it, it may have coincided with upgrading to Windows 8. It is getting more frequent and now often happens while the OS is loading.

To be honest, since the computer typically just restarts without apparent cause, and does so in any scenario (eg whether high load or idle), I suspected a failing hardware component. The one I suspected was the PSU (being the oldest component in the system) and am about to test it with another one. The suggestion that it might be something to do with the interaction between the OS and the BIOS regarding power states is an interesting one and merits further investigation.
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February 3, 2013 12:11:18 AM

Further to my previous post, I would like to add that replacing the PSU appears to have worked.

This definitely suggests that the problem was (as suspected) power supply related. Initially, my random restarts would happen twice a day. This accelerated to about once an hour and more recently, so frequently that it would restart immediately windows finished loading.

It's been running with the new PSU for about 1 hour without incident, which is a difference already. Fingers crossed this will continue.

Another poster mentioned that Win8 can cause crashes if the hardware fails to deal correctly with changing power states. I suppose it is possible that my old PSU was itself failing to adjust to the changing demands placed on it when Win8 changes power state, and this could in turn explain why a faulty PSU can be exposed more ruthlessly by Win8 than Win7

Just to throw this into the mix in case it's related to OP's problem.
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February 3, 2013 6:17:02 PM

Thanks for the suggestion Bwrlane. After doing all the above mentioned tasks to the best of my ability. My computer appears to keep restarting. I opened it up today and cleaned it out as well as checked all the fans (back fan, side fan, hdd fans, gfx cards fans) and they all appeared to be working. I also checked my PSU and it is an XFX 850W Power Supply, so unless it is failing, I don't believe that is the issue. Any more suggestions?
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February 3, 2013 6:36:10 PM

Boot into safe mode and run system restore. Pressing F8 after before Windows starts loading.


If system restore keeps rebooting then open up a textpad really fast and type some text in the document. This should prevent the PC from rebooting while you initialize the system restore.

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February 3, 2013 6:37:01 PM

just a wild guess on things that can fry your cpu...
are you running virtual pc?
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February 3, 2013 7:22:09 PM

Not that I know of? I have used Daemon Tools Lite in the past to create virtual drives, but I don't think that is what you mean? How can I check?
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a b * Windows 8
February 3, 2013 8:19:37 PM

You might google on how to force a memory dump and put the dump on a cloud share. You want to force a dump while your system is working ok. People can look at the image with a debugger and see your what the OS thinks you have for various hardware settings and maybe see something that looks blatantly incorrect.
I have found that sometimes the BIOS auto settings are coded incorrectly or have been overridden by turbo functions. For example, maybe overclock a cpu, then enable turbo which turns off cores and tries to overclock the last core but just ends up overheating the core and shutting it down. The memory dump will indicate various bus and clock speeds.
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February 3, 2013 8:38:11 PM

JayRich said:
Thanks for the suggestion Bwrlane. After doing all the above mentioned tasks to the best of my ability. My computer appears to keep restarting. I opened it up today and cleaned it out as well as checked all the fans (back fan, side fan, hdd fans, gfx cards fans) and they all appeared to be working. I also checked my PSU and it is an XFX 850W Power Supply, so unless it is failing, I don't believe that is the issue. Any more suggestions?


Given that my symptoms were seemingly identical to yours, I wouldn't rule out a faulty PSU. Maybe see if you can borrow one to test. Mine was a Corsair 1000W, so decent brand and more than adequate output. But it was clearly failing. Just a suggestion.

Given what others said about the differences between Win7 and 8, it is quite possible that Win8 is more likely to expose a faulty PSU.
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a b * Windows 8
February 3, 2013 8:51:17 PM

What drive setting are you using in Bios, I found with windows 8 I had issues with ACHI enable. I tried to setup drivers at the beginning of windows install. I still had the same issue, windows keep looping. I disabled ACHI. I created a raid array, boot strap at startup , Setup windows using the drivers for my chipset, Intel raid storage floppy disk from Intel’s site, drivers for windows 8, not the Microsoft one, it caused looping in raid at setup, If you have raid setup did you use the drivers for the mother board, I setup raid in two methods when testing. First I setup windows with raid enabled without creating a raid, using the board drivers from Intel, for windows 8, Then I installed the Intel control panel. Created a raid in windows. This method copied my OS to the raid

Second method was creating a raid 0 in boot strap, Installed the floppy drivers from intel site for win 8, then setup. Both ways worked for me. I found the windows raid to be better way.

I still cannot get ACHI to work., Also I had to delete the Microsoft Raid storage driver in device manager. this is just advice on setup not your actual problem

Do you have shut down with system errors enabled in bios

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February 4, 2013 3:21:00 AM

bwrlane said:
Given that my symptoms were seemingly identical to yours, I wouldn't rule out a faulty PSU. Maybe see if you can borrow one to test. Mine was a Corsair 1000W, so decent brand and more than adequate output. But it was clearly failing. Just a suggestion.

Given what others said about the differences between Win7 and 8, it is quite possible that Win8 is more likely to expose a faulty PSU.



Why Exactly???
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February 4, 2013 6:39:15 PM

John, I will try to do this and see if that helps.

Gomer, I am afraid I can't follow much of that. As said, I am fairly noobish

On another note, after a few more restarts I have seen another different error message: UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP.

Is it natural to restart this many times and get such a variety of errors? I am up to 6+ unique errors...
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February 4, 2013 9:19:47 PM

Can you not boot into Safe Mode?

When exactly does the Blue Screen crash appear? Before during or after loading windows?
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February 4, 2013 9:36:52 PM

At random times. Like I will be doing regular activities and then I get the screen. The new Windows 8 version where it says windows is restarting and blah blah is the equivalent to the old bsod right? But yes to answer your question, I can load everything. It just restarts every now and again.
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February 4, 2013 9:48:56 PM

System Restore?
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March 18, 2013 6:51:01 AM

Just found this post because I have the exact same problem. I have built a very stable computer, and have neve had any problems in the past. I recently installed windows 8, and now have the restart problem. Interesting thing is windows 8 won't give you the option to continue. I DJ, and my DJ software is running fine, but I have to restart, which is not acceptable in the middle of prom!
One of the problems I know of that caused it to happen a lot was one of the backup USB drives I have has some fragment problem and stuff(it's old) that I was aware of, but never caused reboot problems before. Now when I hook this drive up, I can expect a reboot pretty soon if I start to access this drive.
That might be part of your problem.
The rebbot problem I have now only occurs when I'm playing videos, either when I DJ, or when we're watching a movie, like on Amazon. I would suspect the video card drivers, but I play SWTOR for hours, and never get the problem.
Tom, could you recommend anything? Is there a way to updat the coex for the movie players, and could my DJ software and the Amazon viewer have anything in common?
I appreciate you solutions, and I will implement them tonight, and let you know.
Jay, you might want to clean up your hard drives, and maybe change which drive is the virtual memory drive.
Speaking of which, I think I learned on here that "spanning" your virtual memory across all of your drives increases the speed of your computer exponentially!! Thanks Tom!

David Imm
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March 18, 2013 6:59:17 AM

Sorry to double post, but I reread your original post, and I thought I'd comment that you should recheck all of your power and standby options.
I really think it's definately a problem with windows 8, and we have to work around it.
By power options, I mean take out any kind of sleep mode, disable any kind of hibernation mode, and disable any kind of screensaver. Anything like that that might be trying to alter the state of the computer.
To answer your concern, I think these power options are a bunch of crap. I'd rather pay $10 a month (at the most) more to have my computer running stable. In fact, as shown by this post I think those low power options mess things up and make you go out and spend money on new crap you shouldn't need.
Good luck, and hope maybe this helps.

David Imm
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March 18, 2013 1:37:52 PM

You know, now that I think about it, I bet all of the above issues will cause the computer to reboot. I remember other versions of windows being really sensitive to hard drive/power/anything issues that would reboot on the drop of a hat, and I guess windows * is one of them. Should have stuck with 7 :( 
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February 12, 2014 11:28:19 AM

I was having similar problem, though you might not be having this problem anymore (kinda a old post). My MSI CX61 would randomly restart at times like described above. My computer is half a year old and came preinstalled with Win 8, so my solution might not be the solution to your old problem.

I came across the random restarts the moment i installed an old Win 95-XP game called Warlord Battle-cry 2. The game it self didn't work, and always crashed when i loaded part of the game, so i never did play it... But I kept it on for awhile in case i found a solution, which i didn't because it would sometimes randomly shut off. Then i happened upon this forum (cause i was looking for why it shut off on me), and read most of this and saw one thing that caught my eye, and that was you said something about an older windows. seeing how you said it wasn't related to the computer or anything externally, i quickly uninstalled Warlord Battle-cry 2, and the problems MAGICALLY disappeared.

It might be the fact win 8 is not Properly formatted to run/ hold older programs correctly. Hope this helps in some way. highly doubt that it will though.

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April 14, 2014 8:26:36 AM

my computer is having the same problems maybe we should try calling Microsoft or windows to see if they know how to fix it or have u found a solution?

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