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HP PCs - The Computer Restarts Unexpectedly (Windows 7)

This document is for HP and Compaq computers with Windows 7.
If Windows 7 suddenly starts without warning, or restarts when you try to shut it down, it might be caused by one of several issues. Windows might be set to restart automatically when certain system errors occur. This feature of the Windows 7 operating system can be disabled. A BIOS update can also resolve the issue. Use the information in this document to resolve issues with the computer restarting unexpectedly.
In addition to the steps in this article, updating video card drivers is known to resolve many of the problems that can cause the computer to restart.

Windows restarts for no apparent reason

If your computer restarts unexpectedly, follow the steps in this section until the problem is resolved.

Step 1: Disabling Automatically restart option to view error messages

Many hardware driver or operating system errors cause the computer to display a specific error message before stopping the operation or shutting down the computer. However, an error might cause the computer to stop operating, but it will not display an error message if the Automatically restart option is enabled. Disable this option to allow the computer to display the error message.
You can prevent the computer from restarting by turning off the Automatically Restart option using one of two options. Follow the steps in the appropriate section.

Step 2: Checking for failed hardware

Hardware problems can cause the computer to restart unexpectedly. For more information about checking for hardware problems, see Testing for Hardware Failures.
Failed hardware is usually caused by increased heat inside the computer. Over time, cooling areas can become clogged with dust buildup causing temperatures inside the case to rise. For more information, see HP Notebook PCs - Reducing Heat Inside the Laptop to Prevent Overheating or HP Desktop PCs - Reducing Heat Inside the Computer to Prevent Overheating.

Step 3: Updating the BIOS

A BIOS update can resolve issues with the computer shutting down unexpectedly. Follow the steps in the following sections to use HP Support Assistant or to check for a BIOS update at the HP website.

Step 4: Performing a System Restore

If an issue has begun recently, restoring the computer to a point before the problem began can resolve the issue. For more information about using system restore, refer to Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows 7).

Step 5: Recovering the computer

If the troubleshooting fails to resolve an issue, recover all software on the computer back to its original configuration using HP System Recovery. For more information, go to Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 7).

Windows restarts after a Windows Update

Your computer might experience system restarts after running Microsoft Windows Update or performing an Automatic Update.
If your computer restarts automatically after a Windows Update, perform the following steps.

Step 1: Uninstalling the latest Windows Update

To uninstall the latest Windows Update, follow these steps.
  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Programs, click Uninstall a program.
    The Uninstall or change a program window opens.
    Uninstall or change a program window showing View installed updates
  3. Click View installed updates.
    Installed Updates window
  4. Check the Installed On column to find the latest update installed.
  5. Click the name of the update to uninstall, and then click Uninstall at the top of the program list.
  6. Read and respond to any messages that open while the update is being removed from your computer.
  7. If the problem is resolved, proceed to the next step to prevent the update from reinstalling on the computer.
    If the problem is not resolved, repeat these steps with older updates until the problem is resolved.

Step 2: Preventing Windows Update from reinstalling an update

Windows Update might try to reinstall updates that you uninstall. To prevent Windows Update from reinstalling an update on the computer, follow these steps.
  1. Click Start , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update.
    Image showing Windows Update with Install updates highlighted
  2. Click the important or optional updates that are available.
  3. If the update you uninstalled is listed in the next window, right-click the name of the update and select Hide update.
    The update is now hidden and is not installed. To install hidden updates in the future, click Restore hidden updates in Windows Update.






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