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I have a Dell 1525 which I reinstalled xp on recently due to a hard disk problem.

Apparently I've missed something, it's taken to restarting for no apparent reason (I believe it's too frequent for windows updates which was my first thought).

Last night it was particularly bad, it stopped 5 times in 2 hours while playing an online game. I can't actually think of a time it's happened when it's not running something in full screen mode.

I can't see anything in the event log apart from usual start up details. How can I find and fix this issue?

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I assume you did Windows Update multiple times to get ALL of the updates installed, and check Dell website for the latest drivers and installed them? – Moab Jun 30 '11 at 15:31
Yeah - I don't have any pending updates – Liath Jun 30 '11 at 18:02
What about drivers? – Moab Jun 30 '11 at 19:07
Having been playing most of the night (in an attempt to reproduce honest) it has now shut down. (After about 3 hours), again nothing in the event log. The only thing WhoCrashed found was a few events from a couple of weeks ago. I downloaded new drivers from the Dell website a few weeks ago when I rebuilt although I do have some missing. Can you recommend a tool to verify? – Liath Jun 30 '11 at 21:44
I like this – Moab Jul 1 '11 at 0:04

Well, assuming its BSODing , you can turn off reboot on BSOD by Right-clicking My Computer and selecting Properties. Click on the Advanced tab. Click on the Settings button under Startup and Recovery. Under System failure, uncheck the box next to "Automatically restart." Click OK.

If it IS BSODing, and its cryptic, (which is all to often is) you could probably use whocrashed - which interprets the dumps and helps pinpoint where's the issue.

You might also want to check the SMART status of the hard drive if possible, to rule out hard drive failure, or potential failure with something like smartmontools

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Sorry - no BSOD just plain power off black screen. – Liath Jun 30 '11 at 8:13
As per my comment above, after shutting down tonight WhoCrashed did not detect any new crashes. – Liath Jun 30 '11 at 21:46
it might indicate your issue is sudden, and hardware related. whocrashed not findign anything means whatever is happening isn't very graceful, and windows dosen't have enough time to do minidumps – Journeyman Geek Jun 30 '11 at 23:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I believe this was because the laptop was overheating, I used RealTemp to observe that the temperature while I was playing was in the high 90s then this article to take out the Cooling Assembly and clean out a significant amount of fluff from inside.

Thanks for the pointers guys

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