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Windows XP - Disable automatic restart

Disclaimer Jan 2020: Microsoft no longer provides official support for Windows XP.

Windows XP has numerous built in functionalities to handle errors. One such feature is the automatic restart. This option essentially reboots the system in the event of an error. However, this can cause problems where numerous reboots happen automatically on errors which do not require a reboot. There are a couple of ways to switch off the automatic restart option under Windows XP. One option is to alter System Properties via the Control Panel. The other option is to enforce a change in registry to change the value of the parameter controlling the automatic reboot functionality.

By default, Windows XP is set to restart when an error occurs. To stop uncontrolled reboots, proceed as follows:

Solution 1

  • Go to Start Menu/Control Panel/System/System Properties
  • Select the Advanced tab
  • Uncheck "Automatically restart" option

  • Open the System log of the Event
  • It is possible to read error messages generated by the system through the event viewer. Go to:
    • Open the Control Panel, then Administrative Tools
    • Double-click Computer Management
    • Open Event Viewer (under System Tools) and read the error messages

Note that this procedure is not applicable under all circumstances (some errors require that your system reboots in order to be fixed).

Solution 2

You can also disable this option via a registry tweak:

  • Click on Start > Run > Type "regedit"

Next, head to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > CrashControl

  • Click on Edit > New > Dword
  • Rename it as "AutoReboot"
  • Set its value to 0.
  • Close the Registry and Restart your PC.

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