Windows 7 host PC/laptop resets - Intel VT-x and Workstation 8 to blame?

Windows 7 host PC/laptop resets - Intel VT-x and Workstation 8 to blame?

Anbody have this issue? HP EliteBook 8760w, BIOS F.25, 16GB (4x4GB) ram, Intel Core i7-2820QM with Intel VT-x enabled, Win7 Enterprise 64-bit, VMware Workstation 8.0.4.

Laptop resets on me randomly throughout the day, even if i'm using VMs in Workstation 8 or not. Wondering if it's related to having Intel VT-x enabled, and/or having Workstation 8 installed. The laptop just all of a sudden powers off - no lights, and then a few seconds later, turns back on and boots up Windows 7 as usual, like nothing happened. The only sign is an entry in the event log saying "the system shutdown at date/time was unexpected". No BSoD or crash dump or anything. I have set it to not restart automatically when it encounters a crash.

Seen some threads from a year or two ago about folks wondering if Intel VT-x was the culprit for their host system reboots. mentions changing networking to host-only or none - not an option for me, need connectivity, using NAT for the VMs to access the network. mentions changing the power profile to "HP Optimized". This did not make any difference for me.

I have swapped laptops for a same model but different unit, reinstalled Windows without HP bloat, replaced/reduced memory, hard drives, SSD, everything I can think of. Even booted in to Ubuntu 12.04 for a few days and ran with that plus Workstation 8. It was fine, but had to be ditched due to lack of support for the HP Advanced Dock that I was using, and wasn't used long enough to see if it reset while running Ubuntu.

I've upgraded BIOS and will do so again now that I see F.27 is available, but I do not have high hopes.

Anybody else ever seen anything like this?

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You are describing the result of a triple-fault (i.e what happens when the fault handler itself faults - i.e. the 3rd nested fault causes the CPU to perform a reset). Typically this is the result of a page fault within the page fault handler, often from corrupted/overflowed stack pointers or corrupted IDT entries.Your best bet is probably seeking assistance from vmware.

I should also point out that this happens regardless of running VMs or not. But wish more information was generated as to the culprit. It cannot be forcibly reproduced, but happens several times a week. HP support said reinstall Windows. Tried that, same result. There is newer BIOS firmware which I will apply later, but having done that already, I'm not optimistic.

Page faulthandler ,dispatcher and scheduler will not be paged out.Because they are a critical components of windows kernel.
Random resets can be software or hardware initialized if this is software reset than some function is calling NtSystemShutdown in such a case kernel debugger should be connected to the debugee and conditionalbreakpoint should be set on the address of NtSystemShutdown when the breakpoint is hit caller of the SystemShutdown function will be revealed.In some cases rootkits can employ such a methods.
It could be also triple fault when the IDT entries are corrupted or machine check error.But in the case of machine check exception there BSOD should be.Check your CPU temp , also check that PSU is not overloaded.Another option is to seek for some bus errors with the help of kernel debugger.