Laptop shuts down periodically

By electricvoices
Sep 1, 2006
  1. My fiance's laptop used to have a problem where you would log onto it with WinXP Home & it would load everything, but then a few minutes later it would just shut down automatically -- then every time afterwards it would do the same thing. Finally, we took it to repair & had them fix it. I can't remember what they said was wrong with it, but alas it started working fine. Now a few months later, it is starting to do the same thing again. It won't do it immediately like it used to, but you can stay logged onto the laptop for a while (maybe 20-30 mins or so) & then it will just shut down automatically. I thought that maybe it was an issue with the fan not cooling properly, but does anyone else have any other ideas? I hate working on laptops.
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    what kind of laptop is it?
    low and defective batteries will shut down laptops. Also overheating. You can buy aftermarket laptop coolers.
  3. electricvoices

    electricvoices TS Rookie Topic Starter

    come to think of it, the battery on that laptop never lasts that long... maybe an hour top... could that be the problem?
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    If you're plugged into AC power, the battery shouldn't be causing this. You can verify if this is the case by running it with the battery removed and on AC power. If you're laptop will do this (and still has the shutdown issue), it's not the battery.

    Is this an HP zt-series by any chance? I've had to deal with SEVERAL of these that exhibit this exact problem and it's 99% of the time the motherboard. In most cases, I've learned removing bottom-devices fixes them, but limits them dramatically. For example, an HP zt1180.. it would boot up to windows fine but just shut-off on it's own after 35mins to 2 hours randomly. I had to pull both memory sticks out of the motherboard (had 2x256), and run a single 1x512 in the top slot (under the keyboard) as well as remove the bottom cardslot device as the motherboard had a short causing this on the bottom half (where heat builds up). With these limits (max 512mb and no bottom cardslot usage) it works great now.
  5. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine TS Rookie Posts: 60

    I had the same problem with my zt1170. I took it to get fixed and the guy said that it was the memory stick, and that it couldnt be replaced. no i have to run on 256 instead of 512. Another problem I'm having is that when i close the laptop, it completely chuts off, like its shorting out or something. I then have to wait a while, unplug it then plug it back in, then I can turn it back on. Any idea what this can be caused from?
  6. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    It's likely not the memory stick, and if it was, it surely could be replaced! hehe.

    More than likely, you have the same problem I described is a short on the bottom plane of the motherboard (zt's commonly have this issue). This basically invalidates the use of bottom devices, which in your case seems to be just a memory stick in the bottom slot.

    You can likely run 512mb on your laptop, but you'll have to toss your memory and install it on the top slot only. This is what I did- replace the top 256mb memory stick with a 512mb one and now it works fine with 512mb. Of course, putting any memory in the bottom slot at all (any size) will have the laptop periodically just shut itself off from the short..

    Another common problem with these. First thing to do is disable ANY form of software detection on the cover. In Windows, you can set "When I close the lid:" and change this to "Do Nothing"..

    If this doesn't cure your problem, you can also simply disable the switch itself as the whole top of the laptop keyboard (with the lid sensor and power/multimedia buttons) is easily removed with a couple screws. You have to remove this to get to the top memory slot as well, so you might just kill two birds with one stone and slap in a 512mb stick in the top slot at the same time hehe. Anyways, there is a small white lead that goes to the case lid switch.. you can either disconnect or cut this, and if cutting be sure to wrap with electrical tape or something non-conductive so the wires dont find eachother ever again.

    Great laptops, durable and perform well.. but sheesh, they do have their share of common design issues.

    Good luck!
  7. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine TS Rookie Posts: 60

    I can push the little button the shuts off the screen and it will come back on with no problem..It actually shuts off about halfway closed and also about halfway tilted back (wide open). I've been having issues with the screen turning pink periodically and going blank all of a sudden, (i then h ave to push the little button to get it to come back on. So i think these problems are all related.
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