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Toshiba laptop shuts down without warning

KorlashKorlash Registered User
Hey guys, I need your tech skillz!

My father's Toshiba laptop (Satellite L500 -OOW) will shut down very quickly after startup without warning. There doesn't seem to be any link to what's happening: it will shut down during boot-up, when loading into windows, even sometimes almost immediately after pressing the power button. There doesn't seem to be a specific time at which it will shut down. It can rarely get to fully boot up windows, but it just shuts down in the same way at some random time.

When it shuts down, as I said, there's no warning: the screen goes black and all the lights turn off immediately, and you can hear a click coming from inside the laptop.

I thought it might be an overheating problem, but you can hear the fan running when the computer's on.

It's not the first time this happens. The laptop had the same problem this summer, but after a virus scan, it was magically fixed. So there's a chance this might be the problem.

Bastard is just two months out of warranty also, just our luck!

Can you help? Do you know what might have caused this?

Korlash on
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Posts

  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Buy a can of air and blow the dust out. It could fix it and even if it doesn't you are out like $4.

  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited November 2010
    If it's shutting down before windows even starts loading it won't likely be due to a virus.

    It may stopped happening in the summer because it started getting a little cooler around that time.

    Just to be certain, you're not using the notebook with any of the bottom vents blocked by legs or anything like that? Can you prop up the back a little so the vents have even more clearance to pull air and see if that helps?

    Also, 2nd the can of air.

    Spoiler:
  • KorlashKorlash Registered User
    edited November 2010
    The bottom vents are perfectly fine.

    My father is now apparently convinced that this is due to static electricity buildup. Apparently, laptops are now equipped to shut down if this happens. He wants to buy some kind of mat to deal with the problem.

    I've never heard of this myself, is this a realistic explanation?

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  • Fred Savage Power GloveFred Savage Power Glove Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Sounds like overheating to me.

  • KorlashKorlash Registered User
    edited November 2010
    He tells me he's gone into the bios and the temperature is fine.

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  • Fred Savage Power GloveFred Savage Power Glove Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Korlash wrote: »
    The bottom vents are perfectly fine.

    My father is now apparently convinced that this is due to static electricity buildup. Apparently, laptops are now equipped to shut down if this happens. He wants to buy some kind of mat to deal with the problem.

    I've never heard of this myself, is this a realistic explanation?

    I love when people asking for advice (your father) suddenly become experts in the thing they're asking advice for.

    Static electricity buildup? Just... no. Not at all.

    Running off battery or A/C?

  • KorlashKorlash Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Tried both, the same thing happens either way.

    I should probably have a look at those temperatures myself. What's the norm for a laptop?

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Static electricity is not a likely culprit.

    Check whether the fan is spinning at all. Or turn it on next to an open window with the bottom plate removed and the laptop propped up at an angle and see if it stays on longer.

    Remove the battery and run off AC and try that.

    Another possibility is some internal wiring getting loose, but this may be hard to observe unless you dismantle the thing wholly.

  • TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    i also agree with it possibly being an overheating issue, probably 8 months back my computer was shutting down with no indication (desktop) dust wasn't a concern on the outside and i've always heard my fans, but on a closer look i saw my heatsink had a massive dustball formed blocking the cool air to it, made it restart before loading the OS. Although in my case I could monitor the bios and I knew something was off by the rapid temp gain. I'd take a look at it yourself, anything over 90c is pretty bad, although someone with more hardware knowledge can probably provide a better temp average

  • Fred Savage Power GloveFred Savage Power Glove Registered User
    edited November 2010
    The actual temperature range varies based on what CPU you have, there is no hard and fast "OH SHIT" rule.

  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I also recommend giving it a good air dusting. Toshiba's have rather tight heatsink fins that can get clogged with dust pretty bad. When you do blow air through the vents, try and keep the fans from moving. Nip the head off of a q-tip and hold them still if you can. This will prevent the fans from spinning too fast in the air blast, and screwing up the bearings, etc.

  • OgdillaOgdilla Registered User
    edited November 2010
    I don't have a solution for you but wanted to add that I had the exact same issue on my last laptop with the random shutdowns after about 2 years. I disassembled / cleaned everything to spotlessness and even swapped out the thermal pads and compound but could never fix the problem. Ended up tossing it shortly thereafter.

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