I'm using the Windows 10 preview on a couple of machines (a laptop, and a server-2012-hosted VM). On the VM, Windows shuts itself down about every hour and has to be restarted from the Hyper-V console.

There's no indication of any error; the screen shows "shutting down", and the event log records an event from the User32 source saying that NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM is shutting it down:

The process wlms.exe has initiated the power off of computer XXXXXX on behalf of user NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM for the following reason: Other (Unplanned)
 Reason Code: 0x0
 Shutdown Type: power off

I can't say for sure, but although it's reminiscent of a "sleep" due to inactivity, my impression is it's not related to activity. I think it's happened at times when it was used a few minutes ago.

This issue doesn't happen on the laptop, which just stays on.

  • EDIT adding info about the build versions in use. Both machines cited are on build 10074. If anyone reading this is perplexed that someone would use anything other than the latest build (currently 10130), remember that during a technical preview not everyone is expected to be, or wants to be, on the latest build. Users can select whether to be on the slow ring or the fast ring, which determines how quickly they will receive updates for new builds, which in turn means in theory they can defer updating until a new build has had a chance to prove its stability. Additionally it's in the nature of a pre-release product that whole areas may not yet work properly (even 30 days pre-RTM!) and issues are still being resolved. If you look on the Windows Feedback app you'll see numerous posts relating to failure to update to the current build (10130). This failure is afflicting the two machines I've posted here about, and I'll be continuing to work with whatever MS push out in response to the broken 10130 update feedback, in the hope that any findings from this exercise can ultimately contribute to the stability of the RTM version. I use a different VM with a clean install of 10130 for using 10130.
  • Returning to my question, it's by no means clear that this should be an issue only with build 10074 (and indeed the other machine on 10074 is not afflicted by this issue). Nor have I seen a single post linking this issue to build 10074. In the absence of any information to the contrary, we must assume it's an issue that could affect any Windows 10 build or any version of Windows. END EDIT

I've searched and found reports of similar messages in various scenarios and Windows versions, but not a simple unexplained shutdown like this.

Why is it doing this, and how can I stop it?

  • Please provide the build your using on each machine, if they are not the current build, then be sure you upgrade each machine that isn't running the current build.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 29, 2015 at 14:54
  • @Ramhound I've edited my question to add info on builds in use.
    – Reg Edit
    Jun 29, 2015 at 21:11
  • If you will not update to the current build we cannot help you.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 30, 2015 at 2:30

3 Answers 3


Same issue, I've disabled windows software protection service and that's it.


You need to set value 4 for Start dword and reboot.

  • This works. You'll get one last auto-shutdown, and then it stops.
    – pgr
    Apr 1, 2020 at 16:00
  • This caused an unactivated Outlook 2021 (LTSC PP 2021) to fail to launch. Reverting the value back to 2 and rebooting fixes Outlook launching.
    – markdon
    Nov 24, 2021 at 0:44

This happens when Windows 10 has failed to activate.

Windows 10 activates automatically whenever it has an internet connection; if it fails to do so, it may succeed after a restart. It seems such restarts are now automatic, without any notification that activation has failed.

If the failure is for reasons that a restart won't help with, such as the DNS name does not exist issue, Windows 10 will keep restarting periodically to try and activate, in an endless loop, never succeeding in activating.

Within Settings there's a section for activation. Press the Activate button. If activation fails here, you are shown the reason for the failure, such as "DNS name does not exist". Armed with the failure details, you can now do a search for the particular issue encountered, and take the necessary steps to resolve the activation issue.

Further information about activation in Windows 10 and resolving activation issues can be found here.


Look like the Windows 10 Preview license have been expired. Is it running the same preview version as the laptop ?

Please run Windows Update to latest build to see whether it fixed this issue.

  • Preview license have been expired - Eric, could you provide a reference for this comment? The closest I found is that the [first three builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview--9841, 9860 and 9879, all released in 2014--will refuse to boot at the end of April [...] and have been displaying warnings of the impending expiration for the last two weeks. Starting Wednesday, the PCs have been rebooting every three hours, another hint from Microsoft to update](computerworld.com/article/2910469/…). But that doesn't fit what I'm seeing.
    – Reg Edit
    Jun 29, 2015 at 21:43
  • I overlooked the reboot will be only last for several days then stop afterward. Thanks for your information.
    – Eric Leung
    Jul 5, 2015 at 16:08

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