PC Randomly Restarts While Gaming: Troubleshooting Tips

Wolf King USA was founded by Samuel Thompson, who has a background in computer engineering and over a decade of experience in the PC hardware industry. Samuel is passionate about making high-performance computing accessible to everyone. He believes in the transformative power of a well-built PC and its ability to enhance personal and professional productivity.
Wolf King USA was founded by Samuel Thompson, who has a background in computer engineering and over a decade of experience in the PC hardware industry. Samuel is passionate about making high-performance computing accessible to everyone. He believes in the transformative power of a well-built PC and its ability to enhance personal and professional productivity.

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Our blog posts are meticulously crafted and reviewed by experts in computer science and technology, ensuring accuracy and relevance by referencing authoritative sources, including technical journals and industry standards. Before publication and significant updates, we rigorously verify the factual accuracy to deliver thoroughly researched content grounded in the latest advancements in computing and PC hardware.

PC randomly restarts while gaming? To tackle this annoying issue, you’ll need to take a systematic approach. Start by checking if your power supply is adequate and securely connected. Also, monitoring your CPU and GPU temperatures can reveal if overheating is the key factor. But that’s just the beginning. Understanding the full scope of potential problems and solutions might just save your gaming experience from constant interruptions. So, what’s the next step in ensuring your rig stays stable during those pivotal moments?

Key Takeaways

  • Verify the power supply unit (PSU) wattage and secure all power connectors to ensure consistent power delivery.
  • Use monitoring software to check CPU and GPU temperatures and address any overheating issues by optimizing cooling and airflow.
  • Update all drivers, including graphics card, motherboard chipset, and peripheral drivers, to maintain system stability.
  • Run a full malware scan using software like Malwarebytes to detect and remove malicious software.
  • Perform RAM diagnostics with tools like Windows Memory Diagnostic and MemTest86 to identify and replace faulty memory modules.

Check Power Supply

troubleshoot the power source

Before delving into complex solutions, first verify that your power supply unit (PSU) can handle the power demands of your gaming setup. Begin by checking the wattage rating of your PSU. Confirm it meets or exceeds the combined power requirements of your CPU, GPU, and other components. Manufacturers often provide a wattage calculator on their websites to help you determine this.

Next, inspect all power connectors. Loose or improperly seated connectors can cause power fluctuations, leading to random restarts. Make sure that the 24-pin motherboard connector and the 8-pin or 6-pin GPU connectors are firmly in place. If you’re using multiple GPUs, verify that each one has its dedicated power connector.

Additionally, examine your PSU for signs of wear or failure. Listen for any unusual noises, such as buzzing or clicking, which could indicate internal issues. If your PSU is older or of questionable quality, it mightn’t deliver consistent power, causing instability.

Monitor Temperatures

Start by checking your CPU temperature using monitoring software to make sure it’s within safe limits.

Next, monitor your GPU heat to see if it’s causing thermal throttling or system instability.

Check CPU Temperature

Monitoring your CPU temperature is vital for identifying potential overheating issues that can cause random PC restarts while gaming. Start by installing reliable monitoring software like HWMonitor or Core Temp. These tools will give you real-time data on your CPU’s temperature. Ideally, your CPU should stay below 80°C under load. You can also read our guide on how to reduce CPU usage while gaming.

Next, guarantee your CPU cooler is effectively dissipating heat. Inspect the thermal paste between your CPU and its cooler. Over time, thermal paste can degrade, leading to inefficient heat transfer. If you haven’t reapplied it in a while, consider doing so. Remove the old paste with isopropyl alcohol and apply a new, thin layer.

Fan positioning is another important factor. Your PC’s airflow should efficiently move hot air out and bring cool air in. Check the orientation of your CPU cooler’s fan—make sure it’s pushing air towards an exhaust fan.

Additionally, verify that your case fans are positioned for efficient airflow—intake fans should be at the front or bottom, while exhaust fans should be at the top or rear.

Monitor GPU Heat

Monitoring your GPU’s temperature is essential for diagnosing potential overheating issues that cause random PC restarts while gaming. Start by using reliable GPU software to keep an eye on your graphics card’s thermal performance. Programs like MSI Afterburner, HWMonitor, or GPU-Z provide real-time temperature readings and additional data such as fan speed and voltage.

Begin by installing one of these tools on your system. Once installed, run the software and check your GPU’s idle temperature. Ideally, it should be below 40°C. Next, launch your game and play for about 15-20 minutes. Monitor the temperature closely; your GPU’s temperature shouldn’t exceed 85°C under load.

If you prefer manual checks, you can access the GPU temperature through the Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar, select Task Manager, go to the ‘Performance’ tab, and click on ‘GPU.’ This will display the current temperature and usage stats.

Don’t forget to record these temperatures at various intervals to identify any sudden spikes. Consistently high temperatures indicate potential overheating, and you’ll need to take corrective actions to prevent random restarts.

Regular monitoring will help you catch issues early and maintain the best GPU health.

Inspect Cooling System

To guarantee efficient heat dissipation, carefully inspect your PC’s cooling system, including fans, heatsinks, and airflow pathways. Start with fan maintenance: make sure all fans are spinning correctly and not obstructed by dust or debris. Clean them using compressed air or a soft brush. Check if the fans are properly connected to the motherboard and receiving power. Sometimes, a simple reconnection can resolve underlying issues.

Next, examine the heatsinks attached to your CPU and GPU. Over time, dust can accumulate, reducing their ability to dissipate heat. Use compressed air to clean these components thoroughly. Inspect the thermal paste applied between the CPU/GPU and their respective heatsinks. Thermal paste degrades over time, leading to poor heat transfer. If you notice it’s dried out or absent, carefully remove the old paste with isopropyl alcohol and reapply a fresh, thin layer.

Lastly, assess the overall airflow within your PC case. Ensure that intake and exhaust fans are positioned correctly to promote efficient airflow. Cables should be managed to prevent obstruction.

Update Drivers

keep software up to date

Ensuring that all your drivers are up-to-date is an important step in resolving random PC restarts during gaming sessions. Start by updating your graphics card drivers, as they’re vital for gaming performance and stability. Visit the manufacturer’s website, download the latest driver version, and follow the installation instructions.

Keeping your GPU drivers current can resolve many issues related to driver compatibility that may cause system instability.

Next, update your motherboard chipset drivers. These drivers manage communication between your CPU, GPU, and other components. Manufacturer websites often have the latest versions available. Make sure to download and install the appropriate drivers for your specific motherboard model.

Sometimes, new drivers can introduce new problems. If you experience issues after updating, consider performing a driver rollback. This process restores the previous driver version, which may have been more stable. To do this, go to Device Manager, right-click the problematic device, select ‘Properties,’ navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab, and click ‘Roll Back Driver.’

Don’t forget about other drivers like those for sound cards, network adapters, and storage controllers. Keeping all drivers up-to-date ensures thorough system stability, reducing the likelihood of unexpected restarts during gaming.

Scan for Malware

Checking your system for malware is crucial, as malicious software can cause random PC restarts by disrupting normal operations and consuming system resources. Start by identifying common malware symptoms such as slow performance, unexplained crashes, and frequent pop-ups. These signs might indicate the presence of various malware types, including viruses, trojans, and spyware.

First, make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date. An outdated antivirus might miss newer malware types. Run a full system scan to detect and remove any malicious software. Pay special attention to high-risk areas like system folders and the registry.

If your antivirus software doesn’t find anything, consider using additional tools like Malwarebytes or Spybot Search & Destroy for a second opinion. These programs specialize in finding and eliminating malware that traditional antivirus solutions may overlook.

Sometimes, malware can disguise itself as legitimate software. Use tools like Autoruns to inspect startup programs and services. Disable any suspicious entries and see if the random restarts persist.

Test RAM

test ram for errors

To test your RAM, begin by running the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to identify any issues.

Make sure you check for RAM errors by allowing the test to complete its full cycle.

If errors are detected, consider reseating the RAM modules or replacing faulty ones.

Run Memory Diagnostic Tool

One effective way to diagnose if faulty RAM is causing your PC to restart during gaming is to run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool. Start by pressing `Win + R` to open the Run dialog box, then type `mdsched.exe` and press Enter. You’ll be prompted to either restart immediately or schedule the test for the next reboot. Choose the option that suits you best.

Upon restarting, the tool will automatically begin scanning your memory for issues. It performs a series of rigorous checks to identify memory corruption, which could be the root cause of your random restarts. The test may take some time, depending on the size of your RAM and the depth of the testing options chosen.

Once the test completes, your system will reboot into Windows. To view the results, open Event Viewer by pressing `Win + X` and selecting Event Viewer.

Navigate to `Windows Logs` > `System` and look for entries tagged with `MemoryDiagnostics-Results`. These diagnostic logs will provide detailed information about any errors detected during the scan.

Check for RAM Errors

Testing your RAM for errors is a crucial step in diagnosing why your PC might be randomly restarting during gaming sessions. Faulty RAM can create instability, leading to such unexpected shutdowns. First, make sure all memory modules are correctly seated in their memory slots. Reseating them can resolve connectivity issues.

Next, confirm RAM compatibility with your motherboard. Mismatched RAM can cause system instability. Consult your motherboard’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for a compatibility list.

To test for errors, use a reliable tool like MemTest86. Boot from a USB drive and let it run multiple passes. This will identify defective memory modules.

Task Description
Reseat Memory Modules Ensure proper seating in slots
Verify RAM Compatibility Check against motherboard specs
Run MemTest86 Diagnose errors via USB boot

If MemTest86 finds errors, try testing each RAM stick individually. This helps isolate the faulty module. Swap modules between different slots to see if the issue persists, as a bad memory slot can also be the culprit.

Inspect Hardware

Start by carefully examining the interior of your PC case for any loose connections, damaged components, or dust buildup that could be causing random restarts during gaming. Begin with cable connections: make sure all power cables, SATA cables, and motherboard connections are secure. A loose connection can interrupt power delivery, leading to unexpected shutdowns.

Next, inspect for dust buildup, which can block airflow and cause overheating. Overheating components may trigger automatic shutdowns to prevent damage. Use compressed air to clean fans, heatsinks, and vents. Pay special attention to the CPU cooler and GPU, as these are crucial for maintaining ideal temperatures during intense gaming sessions.

Examine the condition of your hardware components. Look for any obvious signs of damage, such as burnt marks, swollen capacitors, or frayed wires. Check your power supply unit (PSU) as well; a failing PSU can be a common cause of random restarts. Test it with a multimeter or consider using a spare PSU to see if the problem persists.

Adjust BIOS Settings

optimizing computer performance settings

Adjusting your BIOS settings can help resolve issues with random PC restarts during gaming by optimizing hardware performance and stability.

First, access your BIOS by rebooting your PC and pressing the designated key (often Del, F2, or Esc) during the startup screen. Once inside the BIOS, locate the overclocking settings. If your system is overclocked, disable overclocking to return your CPU and GPU to their default clock speeds. Overclocking can cause instability, especially during resource-intensive gaming sessions.

Next, navigate to the voltage settings. Incorrect voltage levels can lead to power instability, resulting in random restarts. Carefully adjust voltages to match the recommended settings for your CPU, GPU, and RAM. Many BIOS interfaces provide auto settings, which can be beneficial if you’re unsure of the correct values. However, make sure these auto settings align with the manufacturer’s specifications to avoid under or over-volting your components.

Lastly, save your changes and exit the BIOS. Your system will reboot with the new settings.

Check Event Viewer

Accessing the Event Viewer can provide critical insights into the underlying causes of random PC restarts during gaming. First, press the Windows key and type “Event Viewer,” then press Enter.

Once open, navigate to the “Windows Logs” section and select “System.” Here, you’ll find a detailed log of system events, including errors and warnings that may be causing your PC to restart.

Look for red error icons, which indicate critical issues. Pay attention to the timestamp of each event to correlate it with the time your system restarted. Double-clicking an error will open a detailed window, offering more specifics.

Common culprits include kernel power errors, which often point to power supply issues, or driver-related errors, which could be resolved by updating your drivers.

Use the Event Viewer’s filtering feature to streamline your search. Right-click on “System” and select “Filter Current Log.” Choose to display only critical, error, and warning levels to narrow down the results.

Document any recurring errors and research them online for potential fixes. By methodically analyzing log errors and system events, you can identify patterns and address the root cause of your gaming interruptions.

Reinstall Operating System

reinstall computer s operating system

Reinstalling the operating system can serve as a thorough solution to resolve persistent random restarts while gaming. Start by creating a system backup to make sure you don’t lose any important files. Use external storage or a cloud service for this.

Next, you’ll need to prepare the installation media. Download the OS from the official website and use a tool like Rufus to create a bootable USB drive.

Once the installation media is ready, insert it into your PC and restart. Enter your BIOS/UEFI settings by pressing the designated key (often F2, F12, or Delete) during startup. Set the USB drive as the primary boot device and save the changes. Your PC will now boot from the USB, launching the OS installation process.

Follow the on-screen instructions to format your primary drive and install the operating system. This process will replace potentially corrupted system files and drivers, which are common culprits for random restarts.

After the installation is complete, restore your files from the system backup. Finally, update your drivers and install essential software. This methodical approach should eliminate the random restarts, providing a more stable gaming experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Faulty Game Installation Cause Random PC Restarts While Gaming?

Yes, a faulty game installation can cause random PC restarts. Corrupt files and installation errors disrupt system processes, leading to instability. Confirm all game files are verified and properly installed to minimize such issues.

How Can I Check if My Graphics Card Is Malfunctioning?

To check if your graphics card is malfunctioning, update your drivers and monitor for overheating issues. Use software like GPU-Z to track temperatures. Run stress tests with tools like FurMark to identify performance inconsistencies.

Does Running Too Many Background Applications Affect Gaming Stability?

Imagine your CPU as a busy traffic intersection. Too many background processes and application conflicts can cause congestion, leading to gaming instability. Closing unnecessary apps frees up resources, ensuring smoother gameplay and preventing random restarts.

Could an Unstable Internet Connection Cause My PC to Restart During Online Games?

An unstable internet connection itself won’t directly cause your PC to restart. However, network interference can disrupt online games. Verify your router settings for potential issues and make sure firmware is up-to-date to minimize disruptions.

Are There Specific Game Settings That Could Lead to System Instability?

Yes, specific game settings can lead to system instability. Overclock settings might push your hardware beyond safe limits, and an inadequate power supply can’t support high-demand settings, causing unexpected restarts. Adjust these settings for stability.


By systematically following these steps, you can pinpoint why your PC keeps restarting mid-game.

Make sure your power supply is up to snuff, keep an eye on temperatures, and update those drivers.

Don’t forget to scan for malware, test your RAM, and inspect your hardware.

Tweak your BIOS settings if needed and delve into the Event Viewer for clues.

If all else fails, a fresh OS install might be your ace in the hole.

Happy gaming!

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