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Laptop switches off randomly (NOT heat-related)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by maxormark, Mar 20, 2005.

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  1. maxormark

    maxormark Thread Starter

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    This is the same laptop that was causing problems way back in October 2003 (http://forums.techguy.org/t175403.html). To summarize briefly, I got it working again by removing one of the two RAM chips which was kaput and later installing another. Recently, however, the same machine has begun misbehaving again -- it switches off randomly. This is not hibernation or standby; the only way to get it going is the reboot.

    After searching the interweb for a solution, I figured the closest answer was probably overheating: the fan did seem to be on a lot of the time. We purchased a cooling pad which certainly put paid to any heat issues -- and made life a lot quieter -- but the laptop is still randomly shutting off.

    It doesn't seem to be linked to memory load -- it will fail while it is just idling -- and there doesn't seem to be any pattern to the problem: it will go days without going belly up and then fail twice in 30 mintes.

    It has a firewall, anti-spyware and is anti-virus protected so I'm pretty sure this is not mal-ware related. All the relevant Windoze XP updates have been done. I even increased the size of the partition to make sure it wasn't a pagefile problem.

    My next likely candidate is faulty RAM: either the chip that survived 2003's accident has finally begun to lose it, or the replacement chip is on the slide.

    Is this likely? Or does anyone else have any ideas?
     
  2. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    I'm probably not going to have much to offer on this as heat and ram are the things that first come to mind.

    But how old is this laptop and what is the Brand and model?

    There have been some issues on older models that involve faulty thermistors.
     
  3. maxormark

    maxormark Thread Starter

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    It's a Dell Ispiron 5000e which makes it about 5 years old (ancient in PC terms, I know). Mind you, during that time it has had two HDs and had half of its RAM replaced.
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Well you can test the RAM with these diagnostics: http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp
    Press T to run the extended tests.

    If the laptop is over heating internally becuase a fan is removing the heat then a cooling pad isn't going to help much.
     
  5. maxormark

    maxormark Thread Starter

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    Not sure about the logic of that: before we got the cooling pad the iternal fan was running all the time; now it isn't. It also feels much cooler to the touch.

    I'll check the RAM using the link you supplied. Many Thx
     
  6. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    I can't find anything specific to your machine and problem, but if it were mine, I'd have this site bookmarked:

    http://kropf.net/i5000/
     
  7. maxormark

    maxormark Thread Starter

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    I'll certainly keep an eye on this link.

    Meanwhile, been running the RAM diagnostic for the best part of an hour without the cooling pad and with the thing getting warm and no sign of a switch-off OR a dodgy RAM chip. This isn't using Windows or any other resources. Could this be linked to Windows or a faulty driver?
     
  8. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Yes it could be a Windows or software fault. Have you checked your computer for viruses and spyware? Do a free system scan at housecall.trendmicro.com
     
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