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Four days ago, my Dell Inspiron with Windows 7 began to shut down randomly for no reason. Prior to shutting down, '10 appears in the address-bar of the browser even when a web address is already in there and the address-bar is not being typed into or edited.

Why is this happening and how can I get it to stop?

The URL is replaced by '10. The browser being used is Internet Explorer 9. The web address bar is not highlighted, and is not being typed into when this occurs. It makes a 'ping' noise when it occurs. It also opens the help tab.

I had the laptop system checked by Dell, I also took the laptop back to factory settings, had it checked for viruses at my local computer store and tried the Fix-It on the Microsoft support page.

I haven't looked yet at computer management event viewer, but will do.

Many thanks for your help. I have limited computer knowledge, but find myself with a 4 month old laptop which keeps going wrong, and can't seem to find anyone who has seen this problem before.

Many thanks for replying. Computer Management Event Viewer is giving me a multitude of different reasons, most recent one being "kernel-event tracing". Also, previously, has been "Windows Update Client, McLog Event, Service Control Manager, bowser, Msi Installer, Application pop-up, Data Safe, WMI, CAP12, EVENT Log, VSS, Distributed COM".

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What browser? Where does the '10 appear? To the left of the URL in the address-bar? To the right? Does it completely replace the existing URL? Is the URL in the address-bar selected/highlighted when it shows up? Do you see or hear anything else (e.g., on scree, from the speakers, or inside the case) when it happens? –  Synetech Dec 25 '12 at 23:20
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try a different browser, it will tell you if it is hardware or software. What does computer management event viewer tell you? –  Logman Dec 25 '12 at 23:24
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1 Answer

Looks like a virus to me - running an antivirus scan does not guarantee to detect all known viruses. Does it show a 'Shutting down' message or just shows a BSOD or blank screen and reboot? If it is showing shutting down message,probably some virus program will be triggering the shutdown.

Do a complete formatting on your system partition and reinstall the OS. Install an updated antivirus right after the OS is installed- before you open any folder in a non-system drive or plugging in a USB or removable disk- to prevent the infection again.

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