When I got back from work today I found that my Vista64 in a bad state.. computer was on, but screen was black and computer was not responsive (pressing numlock did not cause light to come on).

It looks like a bad shutdown (that I did not initiate). I'm trying to figure out what caused the shutdown, but the only clue I got from the eventlog is

"The previous system shutdown at 5:51:28 PM on 8/3/2009 was unexpected."

Does anyone know of any other clues I can look for? Again, this is Vista64. Thanks!


Most of the time when you see this someone has pressed the big red button. The message in the log indicates that there was no shutdown command given, so the event log service never got notified. If there were no other errors in the event log this is probably a hardware problem.

  • I suppose overheating might fit the "big red button" bill... the room did seem pretty hot when I got in. – Giovanni Galbo Aug 4 '09 at 2:32

If you have Automatic Updates turned on, check the bottom of your C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log for any error messages.


If you type in the start menu "problems" and select Problem Reports and Solutions, Vista will report the problem to Microsoft which may be able to narrow it down to a subsystem. It's probably time to make sure all your drivers are up-to-date, too.

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