TechSpot

Laptop freezes randomly

By ninjadead
Apr 26, 2012
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  1. Hello everyone,

    The problem that I’ve been facing is my laptop just freezes, the screen freezes, the audio distorted, not able to move cursor, keyboard does not work. Had to force power off.
    Here are the specs:
    Laptop Lenovo Ideapad Y450, bought around October 2009
    CPU Intel centrino 2 dual core 2.53 ghz, P8700
    GPU nVidia geforce GT240M
    Ram 4 GHz
    HDD WD 500 GB
    Wireless Intel 5100 AGN 802.11

    Operating System: Tried both Windows 7 32 bit and Windows XP
    CPU temp monitoring software: Speedfan 4.xx
    Anti virus: Avira free antivirus

    Next reply I will post problem history and details
    Please request information if needed more, I am willing to provide.

    Thank you,
    Ninja
     
  2. ninjadead

    ninjadead TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My questions and doubts:
    1. How can it be solved?
    2. Can we call this “overheating” since it freezes when temperature is not over 60 C? but it freezes more when the weather is hotter.
    3. Is the temperature during safe mode normal or too high?
    4. Am I abusing my laptop?

    Please request information or pictures if needed more, I am willing to provide.

    Problem history:
    It works fine with Windows 7 since 2009, when I’ve been recovering from spine surgery, I’ve been using it more than usual since December 2011 where the problem occurs first time, then it occurs more often since March 2012.

    Computer usage behavior:
    I usually use Autodesk Inventor and Autocad software for 3D and 2D designing, along with web browsing, playing music with iTunes, watching some concerts and South Park by windows media classic. I play occasionally play games like Left 4 Dead 2, Elder Scrolls Skyrim (once-twice a week).

    The laptop is placed on a 30 degree inclined stand, due to my surgery I need to only lie down to use the computer. It is turned on about 4-10 hours a day.

    Observations:

    It’s been working fine since bought, when I play games, the temperature of CPU and GPU goes up to 75 C for about 1-2 hours, no problem, usually I don’t play longer than 3 hours.

    Since March, it freezes randomly about 1 hour after startup when I’m using designing software along with web browsing. Temperature is about 48-53 C, I have screenshots of the temperature software before it freezes. This happens at least once a day.

    Since March, it freezes about 5 minutes after start running left 4 dead or skyrim.

    During safe mode, the temperature stays about 70 C and sometimes freezes.

    After forced shut down and power on right away sometimes it freezes during boot, or even 5 seconds after power on.

    It rarely freezes when watching videos and when turning the computer on all night for downloading.

    I never finish a full system virus scan, it freezes about 20 minutes after scanning while temperature is about 50 C.

    Weather condition: Thailand, hot and humid.
    No air conditioning in room, temperature during of months Dec-Feb: 20-30 C, Mar 30-35 C, Apr 35-40 C (hottest of summer). My laptop in this temperature works fine in the past 2 years, other older laptops are also working fine.

    Suspected causes and solutions tried:
    Replace thermal paste at CPUs and GPU, dust removal at CPU fan, got a cooling pad underneath laptop: temperature slightly drops (3-5 C), no significant improvement in freezing.

    Tried updating drivers to the latest possible for the right OS, reformatted partition to change OS to Win XP but problem still occurs.

    Thank you,
    Ninja
     
  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,164   +175

    50 degrees doesn't sound critical. Might just be hardware failure. Maybe try some memory tests, graphics, CPU, so on to see if you can isolate a component.
     
  4. ninjadead

    ninjadead TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Darth Shiv, Do you mean running tests by programs like memtest86? I've never done that and going to do it. Thank you
     
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    The internal cooling fins might be clogged with dust, and the thermal paste or pads might need replacing. This mat trigger the motherboard to start acting up
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    I would definitely check the ram first and then check the power brick. Power supplies do go bad.
     
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    "power brick"... AC Adapter?
     
  8. ninjadead

    ninjadead TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hello Tmagic650 and Tedster,
    I already removed dust and reapplied thermal paste, sligtly cooler but freezing is still the same as stated above.
    I ran Memtest 4.0a and it froze 3 times , did 3 hard reboots already. The tests didn't last longer than 3 minutes, i'm going test one RAM at a time. A sign of computer shopping time...
     
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    "A sign of computer shopping time"... If the memory is bad, new memory is a lot cheaper than buying a new laptop
     
  10. ninjadead

    ninjadead TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did memtest with individual RAM sticks; stick A upper slot lasted only 3 minutes then memtest just freezes
    Stick B upper slot went through 3 passes took about an hojur then I stopped, tried using computer for 4 hours works fine, properly shut down.

    Stick B lower slot lasted only 3 minutes
    Stick A lower slot lasted only 2 minutes

    So quite good news that might be only stick A ram that is causing the problem? Or should I just test stick B more to make sure it's really fine

    Ps. Nice cat
     
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    Thanks the cat's name is Tipper. He has a black tail with white stripes and a white tip. He's 5 years old. Most computers need the socket nearest the CPU filled, so when you test each memory stick separately, you must do it from slot A. Go ahead and replace stick A
     
     
  12. bambuz

    bambuz TS Rookie

    try to remove the battery when your computer is plugged in
     


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