Computer keeps resetting itself.
June 22, 2006 5:56 PM   Subscribe

My friend's computer keeps 'resetting' itself after each reboot.

I've changed all kinds of settings and even installed software, but after shutting down, the computer keeps coming up as though none of my changes ever happened. After much digging, I found that both the config.sys file and the autoconfig.bat files were empty (0 bytes). Could this be the problem?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
posted by richmondparker to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Dead cmos/bios battery? (easy to replace)
posted by digital-dragonfly at 6:25 PM on June 22, 2006

Are you sure the installed software is not there anymore or just the icon is missing?

Is it stable before you reboot?

What version of windows are you using?
posted by Hypharse at 7:03 PM on June 22, 2006

Does your friend's computer have faronics deep freeze installed on it? If there is a little polar bear in the system tray, shift and double click on it to get the password dialogue. If there is no polar bear in the system tray install this software and see what processes are running? They are the things running under the services tree.
posted by bigmusic at 7:15 PM on June 22, 2006

Config.sys and autoexec.bat haven't been relevant since DOS-based operating systems (Windows 9x/ME). They serve no purpose under NT/2k/XP so that has absolutely nothing to do with what you're seeing.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:57 PM on June 22, 2006

Thanks for the ideas. I checked for Deep Freeze before posting, but had not thought of the cmos/bios battery. I'll check that today. Also had no idea that config.sys and autoexec.bat were no longer relevant. I'll also try installing the process explorer.
posted by richmondparker at 5:22 AM on June 23, 2006

Deep freeze can be hidden from system processes as well if it was part of an enterprise install.
posted by bigmusic at 11:50 AM on June 23, 2006

I've found that if the system keeps restarting, it might actually be blue-screening. Windows, by default, is set to reboot automatically after a blue screen happens.

To stop Windows from rebooting after a blue screen, go to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced tab -> Startup and Recovery Settings. In that window, uncheck "Automatically restart". If a blue screen event happens, you'll be able to see what it says and go on from there.
posted by phrayzee at 2:26 PM on June 23, 2006

Preferences, like screen wallpaper and menus, seem to be saved at shutdown. Make sure the pc is shutting down correctly. Also check the profiles, in c:\docs&settins\userid. You may find multiple profiles like c:\docs&settins\userid.000. If so, harvest useful data, like My Docs, favorites, Bookmarks.html, desktop stuff, and then rename the profiles to c:\docs&settins\userid.000.bak and allow Windows to create 1 new proile, and repopulate with the saved data.
posted by theora55 at 8:06 PM on June 23, 2006

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