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Aqua's avatar

Troubleshooting: PC keeps restarting over and over again. Can you help me get it to stop?

Asked by Aqua (2546 points ) December 6th, 2013

I have an Asus U56E laptop running Windows 7.

Earlier today, it started to randomly restart on its own, over and over again. No error messages, no obvious problems. I figured it might be a virus, so I tried running Symantec Antivirus, but the computer restarts on its own every few minutes, so it’s not possible to finish the scan.

I also tried going into Advanced Boot Options and selecting selecting “Disable automatic restart on system failure.” That didn’t work either.

I restarted in Safe Mode, and the computer seems stable (so far so good), but I’m not sure what to do from here. I don’t have a copy of Windows 7, so re-installing the OS or anything like that isn’t an option. Any suggestions?

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12 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

First off, most ASUS laptops have a secured (hidden) recovery partition that lets you do a whole system restore. I don’t know if the U56E specifically does, but most recent machines do. When the machine is rebooting, just as you are seeing the ASUS logo, hit the F9 key (I think) that will get you into Restore mode. Follow instructions. (Note, it might be F9, it might be Windows-S…it might take a little research on the ASUS side.)

I doubt it’s a virus. It could be a memory issue – bad chip inside. Although that doesn’t explain why it just started this morning. Chips generally just don’t ‘go bad’.

Was the laptop dropped or jostled? A flaky electrical connection could be a problem.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Try to boot into safe mode hit f8 just before the win7 splash screen.

Aqua's avatar

@elbanditoroso It was dropped, but that was around 6 months ago. We have had problems with the wireless adapter randomly shutting itself off and it stopped working completely a few weeks ago, but I don’t know if it’s a related problem or not. I got to the Preload Wizard, but it looks like I’ll need to backup everything first.

@ARE_you_kidding_me It’s in safe mode now and seems to be doing fine, but I’m not sure what to do now that it’s in safe mode.

Smitha's avatar

Since it’s working in safe mode, this could be an incorrect device driver, or the video card or a part in the pc is having a heat issue under stress.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

That’s a really good sign, This basically means that your hardware is probably ok and there is a driver screwed up somewhere.

mrentropy's avatar

You may be running into a “blue screen of death.” Windows is set to reboot by default when this happens, and sometimes it blinks up and is gone before you realize it. You can turn that off by:
1) Click on Start button (Windows logo in a circle thing)
2) Right Click on ‘Computer’
3) Select Properties
4) Click on Advanced System Settings (on the left side of the window)
5) On the System Properties window that shows up, click on “Settings” under “Startup and Recovery”
6) Under “System Failure” remove the check from “Automatically restart”

Sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s not too bad. Anyway, if it is a BSOD, then you’ll be able to see it next time it happens. Sometimes you can figure out where the problem is by the name of the driver that may be listed at the top of a blue screen. Usually it’s all pretty cryptic. Since it’s working in safe mode it can be a driver issue, but I wouldn’t rule out a hardware issue if it was dropped.

If, for example, the memory isn’t soldered on and it clips in, it might have come partially out of socket when it was dropped. It may just now working its way out of the socket far enough to start causing problems. If you can get to it easily (sometimes through an access door on the bottom), it may be something to check.

Heat issues can also cause sporadic rebooting. If it takes longer to reboot itself when it’s been off overnight and happens more frequently when it’s in use is a good indicator of that.

yankeetooter's avatar

Try restoring it back to any earlier time (before this problem started).

Aqua's avatar

@mrentropy Nope, no blue screen of death, at least, not that I’ve seen. I’ll try that out and get back to you.

Also, safe mode disables the drivers needed to use USB drives and external hard drives, so I can’t back anything up right now.

Aqua's avatar

@mrentropy I went through the steps and found that the “Automatically restart” box was already unchecked.

Now it’s shutting down instead of restarting. Any way to check the drivers or figure out what error is causing it to shutdown/restart?

Aqua's avatar

@yankeetooter Ok, I restored it to about two weeks ago, then again to almost a month ago. Neither one fixed the problem.

mrentropy's avatar

@Aqua Have you checked the System log for things with a red mark next to them?

If it’s a driver problem, you may have to go the long route and disable or uninstall all the drivers and then re-install them one by one until the problem starts happening.

If it’s a heat issue, check your BIOS to see if t here’s any hardware monitoring page and let it run while checking the temps every so often.

Aqua's avatar

Ok, I restarted, hit F9, and did the whole system recovery/restore. When it finished, the same problem kept happening. I called Asus customer support, and they said the only option now is to send it in :(. I’ll have to find a PC repair place around here and take it in.

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