Windows 7, like earlier versions of Windows, has a what I consider a bad habit. It may be OK for most people, but I like to solve problems and not just see that they occurred.
The default action for Windows, if it has an internal problem, is to flash an error message at you, and immediately reboot while you were trying to figure out what happened.
As you might guess, this is a current issue that has been bugging me — my computer has been rebooting during the night and sometimes in daytime, but when I’m away from it. Now that I’ve changed the setting, I’ll be able to debug the system when it happens again!
All I know for now is that it reboots and I get the usual "Windows has recovered from an unexpected error…" message. Checking for a Windows fix has been fruitless so far.
One of the default settings in Windows is responsible for that automatic reboot. Fortunately, it’s also one that’s easy to change.
In Windows 7, the option is available through the Control Panel. Start the Control Panel, then pick System and Security, and then System.
In the System window, click the "Advanced system settings" in the left-hand column. That will open the System Properties dialog box, and should have the Advanced tab already selected.
The bottom section is Startup and Recovery. Click the Settings button. That will open the following dialog box:
Notice that, under System Failure, "Automatically restart" is checked. Un-check it. Click OK. Then, click OK on the System Properties dialog box. In this image below, note that I have unchecked the Automatically Restart check-box.
Now, when Windows 7 hits an unrecoverable error, instead of automatically rebooting, it will give the error message and wait for your action.
If it’s checked, then uncheck it and click OK, and again OK on the System Properties dialog box to close it.