TechSpot

Laptop randomly shuts off without errors

By sheepgoat
May 19, 2009
  1. a friend gave me a laptop and i was cleaning it up when it started randomly shutting off. first i was doing a cleanup and it shut down during a malwarebytes scan. then i rebooted and it finished. then when installing avast right when it started coping files it would shut off. when it shuts off its like your pulling the power out so there's no errors in the log or minidumps.

    i tested the hard drive and its good. i ran memtest86 and after about 6% tested it shut off. i tried each stick individually and in each slot and it shut off on every one of them. then i tested the ram in another laptop and they passed. i left the laptop on all night long and it was still on when i got up.

    i'm stumped. all i can think of is blaming it on a bad memory controller, but i think thats just an excuse that sounds good.
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,915   +167

    The laptop may be overheating. Are the CPU cooling vemts clean and free from dust? The laptop may have to be opened in order to clean the area well
     
  3. sheepgoat

    sheepgoat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i completely took the laptop apart. i didn't see any visible signs of damage and i cleaned it out. there is no temp sensor on it but if i can hold my hand on the heatsink and it doesn't burn me then its not hot enough to shut down. and when i put it back together i only had 3 extra screws (pretty good for me on a generic laptop with tons of screws)

    i've run specific motherboard tests and it only dies when testing certain parts which i can't remember what they were right now, only one i remember it dieing on was the dma controller. it never died when testing the cpu.

    i've come to the conclusion that i can't fix it, but i'd still like to know whats causing it.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,915   +167

    You may have a failing hard drive... even if it passes tests. Remember that any test never is 100% correct. DMA Controller could point to a hard drive as well as physical memory
     
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