My Computer Keeps Restarting Itself: Hardware Checks You Should Make

by Rod Dunne on January 26, 2011

in Hardware, Performance

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The major concern whenever my computer keeps restarting itself is the possibility of a mechanical fault. In this article I’ll show you some of the checks you can perform if your system is continually rebooting itself.

The reason why it is important to check for mechanical faults to begin with is because these can lead to more serious faults if left unattended. For example, if the disk drive is damaged it can cause the system to reboot repeatedly. If the heads are misaligned there there is a possibility of disk platters being scratched repeatedly leading to severe data loss.

Here are some the checks you can perform

  • Check the BIOS menu. This can be started as Windows is booting up by hitting the F2 key. Review the diagnostic levels for the CPU temperature and make sure they are within manufacturer guidelines. You should also review the fan speeds to make sure they’re operating correctly. If either of these are failing there is the possibility of overheating.
  • Check all air vents and air inlets are clear of dust. You can use a can of compressed air to clear out these to ensure cool air is getting inside the PC.
  • Laptop users should make sure that no vents are being blocked by an uneven desk (i.e. vents on the underside of the laptop). Whenever my computer keeps restarting itself while on client site this is one of the first things I check along with making sure that the laptop is not left near a heat source or radiator.
  • Open up your desktop computer and check that fan filters are clear of dust, that all fans are connected to power sources and that the heat sink is not damaged or unattached from the CPU.
  • While the system is running, can you hear any strange sounds coming from the hard disk? If the motor is damaged and causing the system to restart then it will begin making clicking noises. If internal components such as the spindle or bearings on the platters are starting to seize up then you will hear scratching or grinding noise. In both these scenarios you are best advised to seek professional help.

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