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Laptop keeps restarting - Packard Bell


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Old 03-04-2013, 21:45
mogzyboy
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Evening guys,

I'm in need of a bit of help. Mate has just text me asking about his laptop. It's a Packard Bell P5WSO.

It boots Windows (Windows 7) to the desktop, and then just restarts itself. He said it happened about three months ago, but he managed to do a System Restore which seemed to fix the problem.

It did an automatic Windows Update yesterday and now the issue is back. A System Restore didn't seem to sort it this time. I can't think what it could be. Any suggestions / solutions? Could the update have upset something?

Much appreciated in advance.
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Old 03-04-2013, 21:48
Stig
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Are you sure it's not just restarting to install an update?

It's amazing how many people don't see the message in the corner saying 'this PC will restart in 10 minutes'.
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Old 03-04-2013, 22:40
mogzyboy
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Apparently not.

He said he shut it down last night and it went through the 'Installing update' bit that happens when you shut it down. All fine and dandy as you would assume. Turned it on today, goes through the update completion bit when Windows starts, and then starts restarting itself over and over again. He said it's happened over thirty times this evening. Unlikely to be an update installation I'd have thought?
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:46
Stig
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Does it shutdown properly and restart, or just crash and reboot?
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:25
mogzyboy
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Does it shutdown properly and restart, or just crash and reboot?
It goes through the proper process. It doesn't crash.
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Old 04-04-2013, 13:19
Stig
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Does it do it if you start the PC in Safe Mode?
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Old 04-04-2013, 17:10
mogzyboy
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Nope. It'll stay on in Safe Mode.
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Old 04-04-2013, 17:41
Stig
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Nope. It'll stay on in Safe Mode.
Hopefully that proves its not a hardware problem. It might be a program that's running at startup, but you would have to systematically work out which one it is.

Have you scanned for malware using something like Malwarebytes?
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:54
mogzyboy
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Cheers, I'll get him to scan for malware and stuff later. Also, would it be a good idea to send him into MSConfig and untick all the startup programs? Or are there any that absolutely HAVE to be left ticked?
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:00
Stig
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Cheers, I'll get him to scan for malware and stuff later. Also, would it be a good idea to send him into MSConfig and untick all the startup programs? Or are there any that absolutely HAVE to be left ticked?
No, you don't have to tick/untick anything. Safe Mode doesn't start anything.
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Old 05-04-2013, 13:25
CLL Dodge
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I have similar issues that started yesterday on a Vista machine. Maybe this is some malware infection?
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Old 05-04-2013, 14:26
mogzyboy
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No, you don't have to tick/untick anything. Safe Mode doesn't start anything.
Ah, what I meant was if you untick them while in Safe Mode (as the laptop stays on then), and then try and load Windows normally, would that be worth trying?

Or, when you go into MSConfig in Safe Mode, do they all come up unticked anyway?
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Old 05-04-2013, 14:35
Stig
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untick them while in Safe Mode (as the laptop stays on then), and then try and load Windows normally, would that be worth trying?
Yes, give it a try. Nothing to lose.
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Old 05-04-2013, 14:51
mogzyboy
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Yes, give it a try. Nothing to lose.
Untik them all, do you reckon? Or leave ones relating to the C/\WINDOWS folder ticked?

The OS will still boot with them all unticked anyway, won't it?
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Old 05-04-2013, 15:40
Stig
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The OS will still boot with them all unticked anyway, won't it?
Yes, it will boot.
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Old 05-04-2013, 16:31
LION8TIGER
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Untik them all, do you reckon? Or leave ones relating to the C/\WINDOWS folder ticked?

The OS will still boot with them all unticked anyway, won't it?
Just the ones under the startup tab in msconfig, if it does boot up don't forget to reinstate whatever antivirus you have.
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Old 06-04-2013, 13:43
mogzyboy
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Right, been down to see him this morning...

Worked out that it only keeps restarting when it's connected to the WiFi. So I'm guesing something a bit nasty has got in there somewhere. I had to come home, but I'm going to pop down tomorrow with MalwareBytes on a memory stick and see what that finds.

Take it off the WiFi and it runs fine.
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Old 06-04-2013, 13:57
max99
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Could be the wireless driver. If it updated recently, try rolling it back to the earlier version.
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Old 06-04-2013, 16:10
Stig
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Could be the wireless driver. If it updated recently, try rolling it back to the earlier version.
I thought the same, but it would be very odd for a dodgy driver to cause a PC to do a proper shutdown and reboot rather than just freeze or bluescreen.

Checking for malware is an early diagnostic step for most PC problems.
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Old 06-04-2013, 17:03
max99
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I thought the same, but it would be very odd for a dodgy driver to cause a PC to do a proper shutdown and reboot rather than just freeze or bluescreen..
Correct. I'd overlooked the shutdown part.

Checking the system logs in Event Viewer may throw up some clues. As it's a proper shutdown, whatever is triggering it may be listed.
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Old 06-04-2013, 19:23
cp2
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You said that winding back to a restore point seemed to sort the problem until an auto update appeared to mess it up again.
Have you considered using restore but switching off auto update? You can get it to advise of updates without downloading them first. If the laptop is stable for a while that might indicate that it is an update that is the problem.
You could then step through updates manually looking at their purpose and perhaps find the culprit.
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