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laptop shuts off randomly

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gmbshady, Feb 15, 2005.

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  1. gmbshady

    gmbshady Thread Starter

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    hello,

    recently i have been having trouble with my laptop (toshiba satellite, running windows xp, about a year old). it seems to randomly shut off at times, often causing me to lose whatever i am working on. often it happens when i am in the middle of a game or in the loading of a game, but even happens when i load different applications or watch websites with flash/music playing. the fans usually get pretty loud, and then the laptop shuts off all together. the laptop is just about always plugged in, not running from battery. if anyone knows any way i can fix this without sending it into the manufacturer i would be most grateful.

    thank you :eek:
     
  2. marioh

    marioh

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    It sounds like the laptop is overheating and shutting itself off. Is the laptop unusually hot prior to shutdown (either heat from the vents or on the bottom of the laptop). Also, are the vents on the laptop (varies by model, so you'll have to find yours) clear of any obstruction ?
     
  3. Arcadion

    Arcadion

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    Sounds like it's overheating. The fans spin faster to try and cool it down, but once it hits a certain internal temperature the safety kicks in and turns it off to avoid hardware damage. This is especially likely to happen when running games.
     
  4. marioh

    marioh

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    You could also check the BIOS to see if the laptop's BIOS has a thermal section which would show shutdown temperature values, and maybe even the temperature of the CPU and system as well.
     
  5. gmbshady

    gmbshady Thread Starter

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    yeah, i figured it was overheating, and yes, sometimes the bottom of it is rather hot. is there anyway to remedy this problem? right now i have the laptop running on the lowest power settings (long life), but when I play games it still shuts off. do i need to buy a new fan or what? thanks for your help so far :)
     
  6. marioh

    marioh

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    It's hard to tell exactly what is overheating as their may be 2 culprits. The first is the CPU overheating, the other is the system overheating. Unfortunately, laptops are not like desktops where you can just buy a generic fan from a website, and easily install it. Some laptops are easier to take apart and fix than others, but opening up the laptop will typically void any warranty you have on it. My recommendation is to contact the laptop manufacturer for repair, especially if it's still under warranty.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. willydigger

    willydigger

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    How do you access the BIOS to see if there are temp values? I have the same problem with an HP 1135. At first I thought it was the power supply. Eventually it fried my hard drive. So I bought a new hard drive and a new power supply and it's happening again. I don't know if it's overheating, but I'd like to rule it out. Are there any other reasons why the laptop will shutdown?
     
  8. asdfqwerty

    asdfqwerty

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    I also have a Toshiba Satillite laptop.

    It used to shut off like that.

    My fix: get some compressed air and clean it out.
     
  9. asdfqwerty

    asdfqwerty

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    Also I cleaned out my ex-roomate's Dell that was overheating and turning off and that fixed the problem. Yes.. we had a VERY dusty room.
     
  10. willydigger

    willydigger

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    I pulled apart my HP and found a boat load of dust clogging the heat exchanger of the processor. The fan was working fine and I also discovered how to access the BIOS. I hope this works.
     
  11. asdfqwerty

    asdfqwerty

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    Let us know if it fixes the prob,
     
  12. willydigger

    willydigger

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    My computer shutdown a few minutes ago. I had cleaned it a few days ago, so I did some further investigating. When the computer rebooted, I accessed the BIOS and the CPU temp read 257 C! I pulled the unit apart. The fan had minor dust accumulation. I cleaned it out. The heat exchanger is connected to a plate that mounts to the CPU. I removed the plate and turned on the computer. The CPU got so hot it burned my finger. It shut down almost immediately. On the back of the CPU there is a metal chip that acts like a heat transfer from the CPU to the metal plate. The chip doesn't look so good (there are small pieces broken off and obviously the tape that is keeping the chip attached to the CPU is melted.

    I figured out that the metal plate has to be touching the CPU chip. If it doesn't the CPU gets hot too quick. The plate transfers heat to the heat exchanger and the fan cools the heat exchanger to dissipate the heat. I think my problem is with the damaged metal chip on the back of the CPU. It may not be getting enough contact with the plate that is used to disperse the heat.

    I tightened down the plate so that it is snug against the chip on the back of the CPU. Hopefully this will ensure the most contact between the two pieces. I’ll have to start looking into finding a new chip so I get maximum contact. Do all CPU’s have this metal chip taped to the backing?
     
  13. willydigger

    willydigger

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    Here is a pic of the CPU and the damaged chip that is taped to the back. You can see the CPU, the chip, and the tape. I've also started another thread dealing specifically with overheating called Overheating Laptop.
     

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  14. willydigger

    willydigger

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    I was sitting there minding my own business and all of a sudden the HD began to scrape. I tried to shut the unit down, but it froze. I reset the computer and when it came back up the HD was gone. The BIOS couldn't find it. This would be the second HD destroyed by the mystery problem. When I pulled apart the HD it had a brutal visual scrape across the top face.
    The Speedfan temp was 51 C. Maybe it isn't temperature, but something in the laptop breaks my HD. I've given up on the laptop and I'm embarrassed to say I spent $1,500 on a computer that lasted 2.5 years. I will never buy another HP anything.
     
  15. flameboy1974

    flameboy1974

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    Feb 3, 2001
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    I'm sorry to say this but I don't think you should be messing with that laptop. The metal chip you refer to is the cpu my friend. And if this is the second hard drive that has spent on you you should take back to the manufacturer, but then again you don't have a warranty anymore because you opened it. Well maybe someelse can help you, but i think you your up a creek without a paddle.
     
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