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Understanding and Eliminating System Errors

ERRORS RESULTING IN AUTOMATIC SHUTDOWN

2.1.  The process of resolving any computer error may be divided into four logical steps

·         Obtaining an exact copy of the error.

·         Finding out what the error means.

·         Determining what the solution might be.

·         Fixing the problem.

Before starting on a complicated enquiry into what the problem might be, however, I suggest you restart the computer as this resolves many errors. Also check that you have free disk space of 20 to 25% free disk space on your C partition as low free disk space can lead to performance issues, which destabilise your system.

2.2. The most dramatic computer errors are known as Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors. These arise when the system fails and the computer crashes. The computer will then either stop and display an error message on a blue screen, or it will automatically restart the computer. Whether a blue screen displays or flashes by as the computer automatically restarts, depends on how the computer has been configured.

2.3. To change the computer configuration select Start, right click on Computer, select Properties, Advanced System Settings, Start-Up and Recovery, System Failure and uncheck or check the box before Automatically Restart to suit your requirements. Checking the box before Automatically restart is recommended. You may choose not to do this if you are using Windows XP or the computer is continually restarting. You should also check the box before Write an event to the system log. This enables you to read the Event ID 1001 report in the Event Viewer System log containing details of the error that has occurred.

2.4. On all blue screens you will see a Bug Check Code (example Bug Check 0x9F) and description (example DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE), which identify the type of failure. You can read more about the meaning of individual bug check codes here. If you follow the previous link you will find for many bug check codes general advice on how to resolve the error. The quality of advice is much better for some codes than others
.

2.5. Many blue screen messages name a file, often a Microsoft driver, as the cause of the error. You should not assume the file named is the cause of the problem. Normally they are only a pointer to the area where you might look when trying to resolve the error. Thus the file named may be network related, whereas the cause of the error may be conflicting security software, malware or a virus. In this case the security software or malware is interfering with the named network related driver.

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