Jump to content
MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. ×

[Help] - Spontaneous Shutdowns


WBHoenig
 Share

Recommended Posts

I haven't posted here in forever, so here I go. I hope that this is in the correct forum.

I have a Toshiba P15-S420 laptop with Windows XP Pro (it came w/ XP Home, but I formatted my HD and installed pro the very second that I got it). I have been pretty happy with it for the 1.5 years I've had it. Over the last three months, however, it has been very problematic. It started out that whenever I was on my final approach with Microsoft Flight Simulator, the computer would just turn off. No shutdown dialog, no blue screen, just gone. It has gotten worse. Lately, whenever I run a program that takes any sizable amount of power, it does the aforementioned action. Today, it has gotten exponentially worse than even that. I thought that if I run the original recovery disks and upgrade to pro, that might help. While backing up my data, it went off. I looked for viruses (although I doubted there would be one; this same thing had happened on my last installation of XP); it shut off (McAfee). I run spyware scans every day and it has never found anything. Does anyone have anything that might help or should I dump this thing on BestBuy with a warrenty certificate? My specs are as follows:

Toshiba Satellite P15-S420 laptop

3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 HT

512 mb ram

80GB HD

Windows XP Pro SP2

:realmad:

Title Edited - Please follow new posting rules from now on.

--Zxian

Link to comment
Share on other sites


How hot is the laptop getting, maybe a fan has failed and the CPU us now overheating and the system is shuting down to protect itself. Could be the case that for a while the fan has kind of been working but has now completely stopped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it's almost definitely a hardware problem - I'd start by contacting the manufacturer to see what they have as far as diagnostic utilities that you can run, or perhaps they can repair it under warranty if they can find the root cause of the shutdown issues.

Could be heat due to a non-working fan, could be a bum RAM chip, could be a faulty video chip. It is likely one of these three.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How hot is the laptop getting, maybe a fan has failed and the CPU us now overheating and the system is shuting down to protect itself. Could be the case that for a while the fan has kind of been working but has now completely stopped.
Pretty much normal, although now that you mention it, the fan has been a bit louder lately than usual.
Well, it's almost definitely a hardware problem - I'd start by contacting the manufacturer to see what they have as far as diagnostic utilities that you can run, or perhaps they can repair it under warranty if they can find the root cause of the shutdown issues.

Could be heat due to a non-working fan, could be a bum RAM chip, could be a faulty video chip. It is likely one of these three.

I doubt it is a bad ram chip, as I have 2 256mb chips. Unless both are bad, then I should be able to fall back on the other if one is bad. That narrows it down to two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's some quick diag. in PC's. It'll help you relate to the laptop:

Blue screens usually mean a RAM problem.

Program crashings, mainly games, usually mean video card problem.

Slow programs usually mean low RAM or low HD space.

Random shutdowns or shutdowns during heavy use usually means the PSU can't handle the load, or your CPU is too hot and the BIOS shuts it down to save it.

Usually with laptops, they can't really be used to heavy gaming. What you should try is lower the visual settings, and close any other programs running before you use the game. If it still shutsdown then your CPU is getting too hot, either because the thermal compound is messed up or the fan's heat sensor is outta wack. Since you said that the fan is spinning faster, it's proabably trying to keep up with the CPU's heat, and failing. Do this, if you can, try to prop the laptop up so that the center of the laptop is a good couple of centimeters off of a flat surface like a table or whatever. Place a fan so that it can blow air toward the bottom of the laptop, and play your game. Hopefully this'll help you with diagnosing the issue. If it still shuts down, call ur provider and tell 'em to fix it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's some quick diag. in PC's. It'll help you relate to the laptop:

Blue screens usually mean a RAM problem.

Program crashings, mainly games, usually mean video card problem.

Slow programs usually mean low RAM or low HD space.

Random shutdowns or shutdowns during heavy use usually means the PSU can't handle the load, or your CPU is too hot and the BIOS shuts it down to save it.

Usually with laptops, they can't really be used to heavy gaming. What you should try is lower the visual settings, and close any other programs running before you use the game. If it still shutsdown then your CPU is getting too hot, either because the thermal compound is messed up or the fan's heat sensor is outta wack. Since you said that the fan is spinning faster, it's proabably trying to keep up with the CPU's heat, and failing. Do this, if you can, try to prop the laptop up so that the center of the laptop is a good couple of centimeters off of a flat surface like a table or whatever. Place a fan so that it can blow air toward the bottom of the laptop, and play your game. Hopefully this'll help you with diagnosing the issue. If it still shuts down, call ur provider and tell 'em to fix it.

I'm trying it now. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doubt it is a bad ram chip, as I have 2 256mb chips. Unless both are bad, then I should be able to fall back on the other if one is bad. That narrows it down to two.

Actually, if one of the chips is bad, then it'll bring down the whole system regardless. You'd have to check one at a time to see if one or the other is faulty.

Regardless, it doesn't sound like a RAM problem. Like others have said, it's either a heat or power supply issue.

Oh... actually on second thought, it could be something else entirely... This is going to sound wierd, but hear me out. I just googled that model number and saw the pics of what it looks like. I had a classmate who bought a model that looks the same as that one. He said that he had a problem with random shutdowns/reboots as well.

To make a long story short, apparently Toshiba had failed to properly shield the metal case of the laptop from the electronics inside. Simply touching the metal where your wrists would lie might throw the computer off and make it hard shutdown. A call to Toshiba and a (free) shipment to the repair center solved the problem (they replaced that top panel).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doubt it is a bad ram chip, as I have 2 256mb chips. Unless both are bad, then I should be able to fall back on the other if one is bad. That narrows it down to two.

Actually, if one of the chips is bad, then it'll bring down the whole system regardless. You'd have to check one at a time to see if one or the other is faulty.

Regardless, it doesn't sound like a RAM problem. Like others have said, it's either a heat or power supply issue.

Oh... actually on second thought, it could be something else entirely... This is going to sound wierd, but hear me out. I just googled that model number and saw the pics of what it looks like. I had a classmate who bought a model that looks the same as that one. He said that he had a problem with random shutdowns/reboots as well.

To make a long story short, apparently Toshiba had failed to properly shield the metal case of the laptop from the electronics inside. Simply touching the metal where your wrists would lie might throw the computer off and make it hard shutdown. A call to Toshiba and a (free) shipment to the repair center solved the problem (they replaced that top panel).

I think that it is the overheat problem. Right now I'm running McAfee (one of the programs that shut the thing down) with my computer being balanced (watched closely by me) by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It is working just fine as of now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's a heat problem, you might consider opening it up and removing the large amounts of dust and other debris that have probably been deposited onto the heatsink and fan in the form of a thick coating. A P4 3.0HT is definitely not a cool-running processor. It requires plenty of cooling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It soundes bad, if u can get a new computer or get one with out a hadrdrive and ram, (the stuff u allready hav) and implant that stuff in the new computer, (if u kno how) or get someone else to help u too

is it possible you have your windows critical restart thing set to restart after a certin ammount of time, try setting it to never restart!

oh and has anyone thought to try system restore?

Edited by wolf7448
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It soundes bad, if u can get a new computer or get one with out a hadrdrive and ram, (the stuff u allready hav) and implant that stuff in the new computer, (if u kno how) or get someone else to help u too

is it possible you have your windows critical restart thing set to restart after a certin ammount of time, try setting it to never restart!

oh and has anyone thought to try system restore?

Wolf7448, it is fixed. It is being balanced by Harry Potter. And I don't have the money for a new computer. God knows I want one, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It soundes bad, if u can get a new computer or get one with out a hadrdrive and ram, (the stuff u allready hav) and implant that stuff in the new computer, (if u kno how) or get someone else to help u too

is it possible you have your windows critical restart thing set to restart after a certin ammount of time, try setting it to never restart!

oh and has anyone thought to try system restore?

Wolf7448, it is fixed. It is being balanced by Harry Potter. And I don't have the money for a new computer. God knows I want one, though.

thats good its fixed! happy computeing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...