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After having read these post: Mathematica 10.0.x freezes in Initializing kernels, Mathematica sporadically crashes on open, Front end freezes on start-up, I have borrowed the title for this question from the former, for reasons that will be soon clear.

I think that this question isn't a duplicate one because (1) the problem is a reboot, not a freeze (2) all what advised there is fruitless, hence the cause is perhaps different.

On a pc (Windows Xp 5.1.2600) there are installed Mathematica 7.0 and 8.0. Now 9.0 has been added also, because I need Cell, and that's my sorry tale:

  1. launching ... Mathematica\9.0\Mathematica.exe makes the system reboots just a second after the "initializing kernels ..." message

  2. I have inspected $BaseDirectory\Kernel and $UserBaseDirectory\Kernel Both contain no other file than init.m and those files are void. Same holds for $BaseDirectory\FrontEnd

  3. I have launched ... \9.0\MathKernel.exe and performed some simple calculations (NIntegrate, etc.)

  4. I have tried a clean start using CTRL + SHIFT. It doesn't help.

  5. I have tried a clean start using Mathematica - clean. It doesn't help.
  6. As above many times ...
  7. Now the splash screen is shown at start of both when 7.0 and 8.0 and the list of recently open files is void (Has the previous option been resetted to its default value ?)
  8. In kernel 9.0

    PacletSiteUpdate /@ PacletSites[] PacletUpdate["CloudObject"]

    produces an error:

    PacletInstall::notavail: No paclet named CloudObject is available for download from any currently enabled paclet sites.

  9. I have disinstalled all my printers.

  10. I have turned off Automatically check for data updates and Automatically check for documentation updates in the Internet Connectivity tab of the 8.0's Preferences menu.
  11. I have removed managerData_9.0.1.0.pmd2, pacletData_9.0.1.0_1405393016.pmd2, pacletData_9.0.1.0_874150744.pmd2and pacletSiteData_9.pmd2 from C:\Documents and Settings\user\Applications Data\Mathematica\Paclets\Configuration
  12. Mathematica 9.0 started one single time and I have been browsing Documentation Center for few minutes.
  13. Now we go again with reboots.

How can I climb out from the cliff ?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you considered getting into contact with support? $\endgroup$ – Lukas May 12 '16 at 7:11
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    $\begingroup$ Nuke your PC from orbit and start again, preferably with Win 7 as a minimum. You're running a 15 year old OS and up to 8 years old versions of MMA. You have so many different variables involved diagnosis would be incredibly difficult and would take longer than a fresh wipe and re-install of XP followed by MMA v7, v8, v9. $\endgroup$ – Gordon Coale May 12 '16 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the replies !! I'm experimenting tight circumstances and hardware is quite antiquated too. But indeed your recommendation is, unfortunately, the only good way ... $\endgroup$ – mitochondrial May 12 '16 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ In principle it is impossible for a user-mode program to cause the system to reboot. I will suppose that you have a buggy driver, which Mathematica somehow causes to crash and this produces a STOP error (blue screen) followed by an automatic reboot. If so, and you can find the memory dump file (or turn that on so it makes one next time--use drwtsn32 to change that), run it through WinDbg and see what it shows you. $\endgroup$ – Oleksandr R. May 13 '16 at 0:32

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