Select the product you need help with
- Internet Explorer
- Windows Phone
- More products
Windows XP restarts unexpectedly or restarts when you shut down the computer
Article ID: 320299 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q320299
If you shut down your Windows XP-based computer, your computer may restart instead of shutting down. The computer may also restart unexpectedly while you are using the computer to perform certain tasks. An error message may appear on a blue screen when the computer restarts.
This behavior may occur if Windows stops responding during a typical operation or during the shutdown process. By default, the computer is configured to automatically restart when Windows stops responding. To view this setting, follow these steps:
If your computer constantly restarts while you are using it, or if you are trying to shut down the computer after it has stopped unexpectedly, click to clear the Automatically restart check box. If you clear this check box, you receive an error message when the computer stops responding. This error message may describe the cause of the problem. You can also review the system log in Event Viewer to view the critical stop error that occurs when the computer restarts. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
308427To configure the way that Windows responds when the computer stops unexpectedly, follow these steps.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427/ )HOW TO: View and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
Note: You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from completing this procedure.
By default, the Automatically restart check box is selected so that you can continue to use the computer if a critical stop error occurs. Microsoft Services starts during the startup process before you log on. Therefore, the computer is functional after it restarts. If the computer stops because of a critical stop error, you lose all functionality, including the remote access functionality. After the computer restarts, you can investigate the reason for the stop error.
The stop error message only displays information about the possible cause of the critical stop error. In most situations, the error is logged in the system log.
Configure Windows to perform the following actions if a severe error such as a stop error or fatal system error occurs:
To configure Windows to create a dump file, follow these steps:
To save memory, click to clear both the Write an event to the system log check box and the Send an administrative alert check box. The memory that is saved depends on the computer. Typically, these debugging features require about 60 kilobytes (KB) to 70 KB of RAM.