How to Disable Auto Reboot On System Crash

Have you ever experienced a system crash? Crashes often occur at the most inopportune times, don’t they? Windows XP’s default behavior after such a crash is to reboot. Although this may be convenient, there is a downside as well. Users are not able to see the error message that comes up whenever a crash occurs. The error message is often very useful in determining the source of the crash. Once you know what error was responsible for the crash, you can avoid this problem in the future.

There are two ways to disable auto reboot on system crash. The first requires editing the registry, and the second requires using System Properties.

If you choose to edit your registry, keep in mind that there are risks associated with making registry edits. Always make a backup before attempting to edit your registry. You should also note that this registry tweak is designed for Windows XP.

Registry Method

  1. Click Start and go to Run. Enter regedit.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and expand the folder.
  3. Go to SYSTEM and expand.
  4. Now go to CurrentControlSet. Expand this to take you to Control.
  5. Expand Control. Go to CrashControl.
  6. Look at the right side of the box. Is AutoReboot present? If the value is there, go to step seven. If AutoReboot is not present, follow the steps below to create the value.
    • Right click on the right hand side of the registry editor.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename it AutoReboot or right click on the new DWORD value and select Rename.
  7. Double click on AutoReboot. A new box will come up on your screen.
  8. Put in 0 if you want AutoReboot disabled and put in 1 if you want AutoReboot enabled.
  9. Exit registry and reboot.

System Properties Method

This method is to be used if you do not want to risk editing the registry. The same end effect will be achieved.

  1. Go to Start and then go to Control Panel.
  2. Inside Control Panel, go to Performance and Maintenance. Now go to System.
  3. Select the Advanced tab. In the Startup and Recovery section, click on Settings.
  4. Clear the checkbox that can be found next to Automatically Restart in the System Failure section

  5. Click OK and OK to exit.

As an additional note, when you disable the Automatic Restart option, you may be presented with this warning:

If the pagefile on volume C: has an initial size of less than 0 megabytes, then the system may not be able to create a debugging information file if a STOP error occurs. Continue anyway?

This warning is most likely to occur when the pagefile is relocated to a different drive to improve the performance of virtual memory.