Windows Vista shuts down unexpectedly at random times.

I have recently purchased two new PC's.  One is a gateway Quad core running Vista Home Premium x32.  The other is an Acer Quad core running Vista Home Premium x64.  These are both desktop PC's.  Both machines began exhibiting the same symptoms within about 1 month.  The system shuts down as if the power cord had been pulled.  This happens at random times and there are no indications in the Event Logs - other than; "The previous shutdown was unexpected."  I have reinstalled the OS via the manufacturer's "Restore to Factory Install" on both machines.  Problem still persists.  I am an IT Professional and have found no helpful suggestions in Microsoft's Knowledge Base.  I do not believe that two machines from two manufacturers, running only the basic software with which they are sold can have "Hardware Driver Issues" or "Third Party Software Issues" as implied by the Knowledge Base suggestions.

There is a basic problem here with the Windows OS Kernel and I would appreciate some straight answers.
 

Question Info


Last updated August 4, 2019 Views 21,899 Applies to:
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Answer
Hi,

Well there has to be something in common. Poor ventilation, low power (brown outs) or fluctuating power.
Computers come with old drivers and often early releases of antivirus and other programs so they are
not 100% fresh out of the box - they need to be updated as the maker fully expected to have happen
when the machines were released which I know you have seen all too often.

Most are driver and antivirus related if not the heat/power.

Look in the Event Viewer to see if anything is reported about those reboots.

http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/vista/vista_event_viewer.htm

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Also do this so you can see the likely bluescreens.

Windows Vista automatically restarts if your PC encounters an error that causes it to crash.
http://www.winvistatips.com/disable-automatic-restart-t84.html

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Here are some methods to possibly fix the blue screen issue. If you could give the Blue Screen info that would
help. Such as the BCC and the other 4 entries on the lower left. And any other error information such as STOP
codes and info such as IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA and similar messages.

As examples :

BCCode: 116
BCP1: 87BC9510
BCP2: 8C013D80
BCP3: 00000000
BCP4: 00000002

or in this format :

Stop: 0x00000000 (oxoooooooo oxoooooooo oxooooooooo oxoooooooo)
tcpip.sys - Address 0x00000000 base at 0x000000000 DateStamp 0x000000000


This is an excellent tool for posting Blue Screen Error Information

BlueScreenView scans all your minidump files created during 'blue screen of death' crashes, and displays the
information about all crashes in one table - Free
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html


Many BlueScreens are caused by old or corrupted drivers, especially video drivers however there are other causes.

You can do these in Safe Mode if needed or from Command Prompt from Vista DVD or Recovery Options if your
system has that installed by the maker.

This tells you how to access the System Recovery Options and/or from a Vista DVD
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/326b756b-1601-435e-99d0-1585439470351033.mspx

You can try a System Restore back to a point before the problem started if there is one.

How to Do a System Restore in Vista
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/76905-system-restore-how.html

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Start - type this in Search Box ->  COMMAND   find at top and RIGHT CLICK  -  RUN AS ADMIN

Enter this at the prompt - sfc /scannow

How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program
generates in Windows Vista cbs.log
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928228


The log might give you the answer if there was a corrupted driver. (Does not tell all the possible driver issues).

Also run CheckDisk so we can rule out corruption as much as possible.
How to Run Check Disk at Startup in Vista
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/67612-check-disk-chkdsk.html


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Often updating drivers will help, usually Video, Sound, Network Card  (NIC), WiFi, 3rd party keyboard and
mouse, as well as other major device drivers.

Manually look at manufacturer's sites for drivers - and Device Maker's sites.
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/driverssupport/ht/driverdlmfgr.htm

How to Install a Device Driver in Vista Device Manager
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/193584-device-manager-install-driver.html

How To Disable Automatic Driver Installation In Windows Vista - Drivers
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-disable-automatic-driver-installation-in-windows-vista/
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730606(WS.10).aspx

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How to fix BlueScreen (STOP) errors that cause Windows Vista to shut down or restart unexpectedly
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958233

Troubleshooting Vista Blue Screen, STOP Errors
http://www.chicagotech.net/vista/vistabluescreen.htm

Understanding and Decoding BSOD (blue screen of death) Messages
http://www.taranfx.com/blog/?p=692

Windows - Troubleshooting Blue Screen Errors
http://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=7033

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In some cases this might be required.

StartUp Repair from Recovery Options or Vista disk

How to do a Startup Repair
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/91467-startup-repair.html

This tells you how to access the System Recovery Options and/or from a Vista DVD
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/326b756b-1601-435e-99d0-1585439470351033.mspx

Hope this helps.

Rob - Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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Is the system crashing while in safe mode?

If not, try a clean boot:

How-to run Windows in Selective Startup (Clean Boot)…

1.     Click Start, click Control Panel, click System and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click System Configuration.

2.     Click Continue, or provide Administrator credentials if prompted.

3.     Click the General tab, and click Selective startup.

4.     Under Selective startup uncheck Load startup items.

5.     Click the Services tab, check the Hide all Microsoft services box, and then click Disable all.

6.     Click the Apply, then OK, and then Restart.

 

       After finishing restart, enable half of the services and reboot again to see if the problem return.  If problem return, continue disable services to one by one to determine the service causing the problem.


If it is giving you issues in safe mode, it's quite likely this is a hardware issue.

On the following thread, SpirtX suggests several ways to test your memory for errors. I'd highly recommend trying that:

Let me know the results!

Cody C
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.
Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised.

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