So the title pretty much says it: quite randomly, the computer will freeze for a couple of seconds, and then reboot itself. The 'repair options' screen displays on the next startup. I always ignore it and continue to boot.
I have actually been working on this machine for months.
So I tried to fill out as much hardware info as possible in the registration form, so it should be viewable on my user account page. It's a Dell Inspiron 580 running Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64.
I have professional Avast AV and firewall software running on this machine, as well as Malwarebyte's pro scanner (for flash scans). I have been up this machine's a$$ inside and out looking for malware, locking down IE, the firewall, installing security updates, etc, and I am convinced this is not a virus of any kind. I even threw on an IP firewall, fired up Wireshark, and let it go for an hour looking for FTP/SMTP logins or other suspicious activity, but it was all quiet.
Next I went through updating drivers. I thought maybe Windows was using a Vista driver from a previous install, but then realized that this machine is still running the stock install of Windows 7. Anyways, can't hurt to try, right? The HD driver is old, but I can't seem to find a new one. Same goes for the optical drive. The sound card, video card, and ethernet card drivers all have been updated via the Dell website. I looked through Device Manager for IRQ conflicts and have found none. I used GPU-Z to monitor the video card load (it won't show me a temperature) and ran some benchmarks, and that wouldn't induce a freeze/reboot. Also, this machine gets used for WoW for hours at a time and does fine, so, although it really seems like a HW problem, I'm leaning towards the video card not being the culprit.
[Auto reboot on system failure is disabled, and the memory dump is enabled. Figured I should mention that at some point, I'd kill for a BSOD right now lol.]
I had run some live Linux distros from USB, thinking this could definitively tell me if it's a hardware or software issue. Despite that none of them ever crashed, I think running an x86 live *nix kernel from USB is changing way too many variables at once to be sure. SO! I decided to take it a step further (:
What I am working with now is a dual-boot configuration. I shrank the C drive 20 gigs and thus we now have a D drive, where I have a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64. I updated the sound, video, and NIC drivers on this install, installed a few hand-selected Windows critical security updates, and left it at that. This is all in the course of today, and I have not let it run for an extended period yet. I figure I will do that while I wait for replies here.
You may be thinking what I am thinking right now! It's the power supply! Yes I am suspicous of it myself, however I replaced that already (when the last one quit and wouldn't do anything) and now we have this going on (plus I don't own a multimeter). The power supply that's in it now is from another Dell machine with a bad video card, and was rated 50 watts higher than the Dell stock PSU that died.
I'm not too
savvy with the Event Viewer, but just comparing timestamps, I can't seem to find anything that consistently precedes the Kernel-Power message that says:
"The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."
I'd be happy to post any event logs or helpful information, just let me know what you need. Thanks for reading and helpin out!
Edit: The new Windows 7 Ultimate install made it about 20 minutes. Then did the same exact thing, freeze and reboot. Guess I should start hunting for a new PSU, eh? I ran Memtest86 and Windows Memory Diagnostics on the RAM, and it all came back clean.. I guess I still just don't understand why WoW could go for so long with no problems, but a few minutes in idle is too taxing on the PSU. Has me wondering if that's not it, and I don't wanna cost the PC owners any $ unneccessarily.