Microsoft says whenever a computer freezes or reboots (crashes) you need to run chkdsk
Start, my computer, right click on your hard drive, select properties, select tools, error checking click "check now"(chkdsk).
(General maintenance can save alot of headaches, see link below for general maintenance)
Download the diagnostic tool and check your hard drive
Hard Disk Drive Diagnostics/Utilities
When your CPU overheats, it will usually cause your computer to reboot. Video card overheating causes artifacts to appear on your screen, and usually wont cause reboots.
Enter BIOS upon powering on your computer. Most BIOs have a hardware monitor. Use this to check your temperatures and fan speeds.
There is also hardware monitoring software that can check your temperatures from Windows. Your hardware monitoring software should have come with your motherboard. If you have no monitoring software, you can go to www.cpuid.com
and get PC Wizard. PC Wizard
is an easy to use program that will let you know what kind of temperatures you have, and what your fan speeds are at.
CPU overheating is usually caused by a failing CPU fan or improperly applied thermal paste. Fortunately, these 2 causes are easy to fix. If the CPU fan is dead, buy a new one and install it. If the thermal paste is improperly applied, remove the old paste off and apply new paste.
Another method is to take a house fan and open the case blowing the fan on high into the case.
if this helps we know its heat.
Goto radio shack buy a can of PCB cleaner (printed circuit board) unplug computer for an hour, open case spray everything starting from top working down to the bottom make sure you get the cpu heatsink and video card really goods.
Power Supply (PSU) Problems
It is important to have a functioning, proper size of PSU for your computer. Having an underpowered or failing PSU is often the cause for random reboots. To get an estimate of how powerful a PSU, use this PSU calculator
and add about 50W to the minimum power the calculator gives you.
The easiest and best way to diagnose a faulty PSU is to swap it with another one that you know is in good working order.
Flowchart for ATX Power Supply Repair
PSUs just die after a while.
Faulty RAM and RAM slots can cause random errors/reboots.
The best way to determine if RAM is your problem is to run your computer with one stick at a time, and see if the problem occurs for either stick. This obviously doesn't apply if you only have one stick to begin with Also, try the RAM in different slots. The actual slots might be causing RAM-failing like problems. The next step is to run memtest86
to determine if you have faulty RAM.
Visit the manufactures website and download the latest drivers for your hardware.
Ad-Aware SE Personal
I run this daily
I update once a week (keeps bad pages with known malware that cold cause damage from being displayed.)
Spybot - Search & Destroy
Daily or every other day
This is one I only use once a week or month lol but good to have
In order to get full use of this one you have to buy it but has a free trial. Good program to have and run before you run Hijackthis.
Download and update (update is very important before you scan) boot into safe mode (You do not need to boot into safe mode every time to run programs. Some malware cannot be fully removed or detected unless you are in Safemode, This is why I recommend running it the first time in safe mode then perhaps once a month in safe mode)
With some computers if you press and hold a key as the computer is booting you will get a stuck key message. If this occurs, instead of pressing and holding the "F8 key", tap the "F8 key" continuously until you get the startup menu.
Scan the computer,
Boot backup into Normal mode, download
CodeStuff Starter manage your startup programs
Disable all startup programs that you "do not" need running at startup.
A guide to help keep a smooth system.
Maintain your system with Windows XP
The best program to use for defragging