How to Disable the "Automatically Restart" Feature in Windows XP

Published on 09-22-2008  | 

When Microsoft released Windows XP Home and Professional in 2001, there was a major emphasis placed on dealing with the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death" or BSOD for short. In Windows 98 and ME when there was a problem with your computer, a Blue Screen of Death would appear with some information about what caused the problem.

Most people did not know what to do with the BSODs, so they ended up taking their PCs into a repair shop. Frequently the solution was to simply reboot the PC. So to better deal with these problems, Microsoft included an "automatically restart" feature in Windows XP that would automatically restart the computer when a Blue Screen of Death appeared.

While this sounds good in theory, some BSOD's appear over and over again on each boot up. When this happens, the computer boots, hits a BSOD, restarts, and hits another BSOD so it restarts again. This Blue Screen of Death loop is difficult to escape.

If you are not currently afflicted by this problem we suggest you follow these steps below to prevent it from occurring:

  • Left click on Start
  • Right click on My computer
  • Left click on "Properties"
  • Left click on the "Advanced" tab
  • Uncheck the check box next to "Automatically Restart"
  • Left click on Apply and left click on ok

*note* If your computer will boot into Safe Mode you may be able to avoid the BSOD and complete the above procedure.

If you are already stuck in a BSOD loop, then follow these instructions to restore your computer to its old self again:

  1. Find your original Windows XP CD that came with your computer
  2. Insert your Windows XP CD into your CD drive
  3. Restart your computer
  4. Press a key when you see "Press any key to boot from CD.."
  5. After the CD boots, press enter
  6. Press F8 to agree to the terms
  7. Press the R key on your keyboard
  8. Let the process proceed

*note* If you do not have the R option at this point you may have booted form the wrong XP CD. You must boot from the CD that corresponds to the version of Windows you have installed on your computer (Either Home or Pro). If you do not get the R option, you should take your computer in for service as your hard drive may be damaged.

DO NOT attempt to reinstall Windows if you do not have the Repair option!

Once your computer completes the repair process, you should immediately follow the procedure at the top of this page to disable Windows XP's automatically restart feature. There is a good chance that a driver or program caused the problem in the first place, so disable the automatically restart feature now before it happens again!

You may also have to reinstall some drivers, so have your Motherboard CD and any other driver disks handy. Don't forget to download your Windows Updates, as all previous updates were removed during the repair process.

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