Laptop shuting down on its own

  Ollyolly 13:14 15 Feb 2011

My daughters laptop (nearly 3 years old) has begun shutting down at its will.
She might me in the middle of doing something or it could be when it's idle.
I've reinstalling Vista but has made no difference.
The exhaust vents blow out a lot of very hot air. I was just wondering if the laptop is shuting down because it might be overheating.

Does anything think this might be the case and is it worth me trying to open it to give it a gentle clean?

  Eric10 13:45 15 Feb 2011

What make and model is the laptop? Some have a removable panel underneath which gives access to the CPU heatsink without a major strip down.

  Ollyolly 15:38 15 Feb 2011


Thanks for your reply. Interesting thought.

My daughter is at Uni at the moment.
The laptop is made by Toshiba and I think the model is A310.

The wife and I are hoping to pop down to visit her in a couple of weeks time so I'll have a look then.

From now till then she'll have to put up with it stopping and rebooting. It put an end to our Skype conversation last night.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:18 15 Feb 2011

Overheating is the most likely answer
A vac on the grills to suck out the dust helps but only a strip down will allow you to clean the fan and the heatsink.

click here

  Ollyolly 20:34 15 Feb 2011

Thanks fruitbat

I've saved the website but will try the vac on the grills first.

  robin_x 22:48 15 Feb 2011

Someone recently posted that those Lap Cooler Pad/Mat things can be found in Poundland for £1.

Might be useful in the meantime.

  adviceman 20:42 26 Sep 2011

Laptop coolers with fans built-in are one of those products where you instinctively feel they should work, but in reality, they are usually a disappointment.

The reason for this is that the laptop’s cooling system needs a continuous stream of cool air flowing through its internal heat exchanger. To provide any effective cooling the fan in the cooler has to be blowing directly into the air intake and the cooling system has to be free of dirt and fluff. Otherwise, they just blow air uselessly on to the outside of the laptop’s casing.

But, if the cooling system isn’t blocked up with dirt then the laptop’s internal fan will do a perfectly adequate job of blowing air through the machine. So there is really no need for an extra fan, even if you can find one that will line up with the air intake on your machine.

It is important not to confuse the laptop overheating (in which case it will usually shutdown unexpectedly) with the laptop running too hot for comfort, which it may be doing by design.

If the laptop is overheating, the cooling system is faulty (most likely blocked up with dirt or fluff), and it needs maintenance to get it running properly again.

If the laptop is running too hot for comfort by design then your best plan would be to get some insulating material between you and the laptop. When you do this, it is important not to block the ventilation slots on the laptop. So don’t use a cushion. You need a flat surface for the laptop with some comfortable insulating material underneath – a laptop tray.

If you want more details there is a series of articles on the subject of how to identify, diagnose and fix laptop overheating problems on the eTray News blog.

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