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My laptop suddenly shuts itself down

By lopdog · 14 replies
Nov 27, 2008
  1. Hi!

    Sometimes my laptop suddenly shuts itself down, as if i´d just cut the power.

    This usually happens while playing Crysis, is my computer getting to hot?
    I´m currently using WinXP, and it happens all the time, after about 20 minutes gaming. I used to run Windows Vista, and it happened only twice in 5 months. Anything I can do?
  2. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,892   +9

    My first question to you is this: do you notice any intense heat coming from the underside of the computer? Try playing the game in your lap, and feeling for heat (don't get yourself burned though!).

    Also, what type of laptop do you have? (brand and model #)

    In the past Sony Laptops were very known for overheating.
  3. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 275

    Yes, it gets quite hot after a while.

    My laptop is a Compal IFL90 (see system specs). I´ve reduced the detail level of the game to minimum, and that let´s me play a longer time, but still it shuts down after a while.
    Could this eventually damage the computer?
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,797

    It could, but the computer is merely shutting itself off to prevent that from happening. If you keep experiencing problems, you could always get a cooling pad which slips under the computer and disperses the heat using a series of silent fans. Also, try not to run the laptop on carpet and any other material that absorbs the heat. These materials do not disperse the heat generated by the computer as you would see with say hard wood or glass table top. If you hear the fan spin up, that means that the system is trying to cool itself down; you should notice a lot of heat being dumped out from the exhaust vent.
  5. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 243

    Sounds like your computer is overheating.
    The motherboard has a sensor on it that detects the temperature of the system.
    When the system gets too hot to operate safely without damage to its components, it shuts off.
    EXCellR8 is right, don't set the computer on anything that absorbs heat, don't set it on anything squishy like a blanket or mattress, because that will cover the heat vents, and make it more likely (almost certain) to overheat.

    If your fan does not go on, it could be that the fan is broken, so you would have to have that replaced.
  6. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 243

    tehpuntitles is making a very obvious, good point that supports our earlier statments.
    Crysis + Laptop = FIRE
    Or laptop shutting down due to overheat. I would try and see if you can get the laptop to be cooled better.
    If all your fans are functioning properly, see if you can get a cooling base or something for it, cause that might help when playing games.
  7. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 243

    Now now tehpuntitles, lets not rub it in.
    And resize pictures before posting, they're quite large, and they don't need to be so for the point you're illustrating.
  8. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 275

    Alright, this is not only a problem with Crysis, it happens with any CPU and GPU demanding program. I´ve used Everest 4.20 to log temperatures, and when I turn on the computer runs at about 52ºC (CPU and GPU). The computer shuts itself down when the GPU reaches 100ºC.
    Could this have something to do with the fact that I´m running XP SP3 from an external USB Hdd? My internal hdd broke down a few weeks ago, and while I´m waiting for the replacement disk i use the external drive only. It runs almost without problems, except windows is not able to create a pagefile and hibernation file on the disk.
    A few weeks ago (before hdd problems) I rendered some heavy 3D images (using ArchiCAD), and the processor run at 100% for up to 12 hours, without any overheating problems.

    Everest reports my CPU correctly as a Core2Duo T7700 @ 2.40 ghz, with maximum multiplyer 12x200, but in one part it says the multiplyer is 13x198=2574mhz. Could this be the reason for the computer running hot? Is it posible to "underclock" the computer to avoid heating problems? Vista has a battery-saving option on laptops that makes every component run slower to save battery, can I do something similar in XP?

    I´ve also noticed that even if the fan is spinning all the time at medium speed, it spins up to full speed when I end the game. Shouldn´t it run at full speed while I´m playing?

    Thanks for your help.

    PS: Attaching a small report from Everest 4.20, notice line 16.
  9. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 243

    Again, there is no difference physically between Crysis and other CPU / GPU intensive programs.

    If your CPU is getting to 100C, that's pretty hot... now most CPUs can tolerate just a bit more heat than that, but not much more than that I think is the limit for your CPU... though I'm not sure so if someone else could confirm that for me I'd appreciate it. (Or deny it... either way)

    Anyways, if you're saying that the system didn't shut down during a 3d model render when it was active for over 12 hours, then It's probably a GPU issue rather than the CPU, cause a lot of 3D modeling programs are more focused on the CPU than the GPU, so therefore your GPU (if there's a problem with it overheating) would not have overheated cause it wasn't being used so exclusively as in the game.

    I had a virus a while back that did something similar to this. The computer would be going, just fine... then poof! It'd turn off and I'd have to hit the power button to turn it back on.
    I just had a problem with my Sony Vaio (relatively new FZ290) that it would run for 2 hours, then it would blank the screen, and not respond to keyboard / mouse or anything, and you have to kill the power to it. This turned out to be some weird anomaly in the monster we call Vista. Reloaded OS and now it's fine.

    If the fan doesn't spin full speed when you're in game, that could be a problem, or it could mean that when you quit the game, the transition is hard for the processor so it goes and speeds up the fan.

    As far as underclocking the CPU/GPU, not sure if XP has any options for that.
    I don't remember if it did, but i don't think so. Check anyways.
    You could see about turning down the settings on your games and whatever else you run. That might help.
  10. techphile

    techphile TS Rookie

    What about if the power supply gets hot, and also the area where it attaches to the jack gets hot? The laptop has suddenly started getting problems booting, and suddenly shuts down before loading Windows XP. It happens a couple of times, and then sometimes it loads fine, and the laptop can be used. Some repair guy said it wasn't a problem with the power supply. Since it happens when the computer is just started, is it correct this could not be from overheating?
  11. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 243

    Well, if the area that you plug the power supply in gets very hot, it's likely to be a problem with the power supply even if the computer does start.

    Now, since it shuts down immediately sometimes, it could be an electrical short.
    Is your battery in good condition? If not, you might want to look into replacing that. I had a laptop that it had a problem with the battery, and as a result, it would shut down repetitively. It turned out there was a short inside the battery or something, because when we replaced that, it fixed it.
  12. techphile

    techphile TS Rookie

    Funny you mention it, because now that you say that, noticed that the battery recently was just about dead.
  13. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 275

    OK, I think I found the problem: I took out the fan and cleaned out a considerable amount of dust from the fan and surrounding areas. Now my laptop runs smooth at 60-80 degrees C, depending on the workload.
  14. Morphic

    Morphic TS Rookie

    Im having the same problem but its a littler stranger because it doesnt seem like my computer is overheating when it shuts down. I ran everest and CoreTemp log side by side to see what was overheating while i played GTA 4 and Mercenaries 2 ( both which shut down the computer ). It seems to be getting kind of hot on the CPU side but really its nothing that I havent been doing for over 2 years. I cleaned out the fans and it seems fairly clean. When I open really any Graphics/CPU intensive game it seems to shut it down about 10 minutes later.. could it be something overheating that the monitor isnt showing me? PSU?? How do I check lol
  15. VMSandman

    VMSandman TS Rookie

    I agree with pyromaster here. Crysis is a high load game. Maybe a akasa cooling pad would help... but to be honest unless you have a serious gaming rig notepad Crysis may be a big fat no-no! :*(
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