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OK, before y'all jump on me and say this is a duplicate (, let me explain...

UPDATE 6-24-10 I have taken the cover off and vacuumed it and the PC many times...i don't see any/much dust, so I don't think that is the was an issue before, and I cleaned it out really well, and the problem stopped for about 8 weeks...then the problem is back, but I don't have dust? the copper coil that runs near the processor seems to be very, very are not running much, and I tried taking out the 2GB RAM stick, and it seemed to run the same/somewhat cooler on the 1 GB RAM stick that was left in...

UPDATE Core temps when doing something memory intensive: Temp1: 63 C. Core 1 & 2: 48-60C, sometimes more...

4-12-2010 I have a Dell Studio 17 laptop, a refurbished model almost 2 years old...It is currently running Windows 7 32-bit, Home Premium. Via a clean install, it is a Vista upgrade machine...A while back, a problem started to develop while running Vista that it would suddenly just turn off. No warnings, messages, anything. It was like I had the battery out, then just unplugged it from the wall. Just like that. Over several months of this happening (or more), I've observed several things...First, it only seems to happen when I'm doing memory-intensive things, such as watching a online video full screen or running many applications in the background...Second, I can tell when it is about to "flip" as I've termed it, when the fan starts running...the computer gets really hot in places...

Anyways, I'm pretty sure this is a hardware problem, because it still exists, even after a Vista-to-7 Upgrade...Is this true? Hardware vs. software?

Is there anything I can do to fix this? Is it just a specific component or what? What do you recommend?


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Load up the program "Speedfan" and report your temperatures when doing something intensive. Should at least narrow it down to which component is the problem. – Dmatig Jun 25 '10 at 4:35
see updated question...good idea, thanks! – studiohack Jun 25 '10 at 5:05
For what it's worth, I have a Dell Studio 17. It does run very hot, always has. But mine doesn't turn off randomly. – Macha Jun 26 '10 at 20:03
I don't know why, which is why I only commented. Just saying that it seems to happen somewhat more often than with other laptops. – Macha Jun 26 '10 at 20:50
There's a few questions on here about Studio 17's overheating, and even ones that aren't having problems (i.e. mine), get quite hot in use. – Macha Jun 26 '10 at 21:40
up vote 1 down vote accepted

OK, out of desperation, I decided to disassemble the laptop and take the heatsink out, just in case there was more dust that I was not seeing...I took out the heatsink, and there were a number of dust bunnies preventing the fan from running, which explains why I couldn't see any dust, but it was still not cooling now, I need to find some thermal paste, and put the processor heatsink back together...Thanks for all the help! :-)

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It dosn't sound like a heat problem, and could be a RAM issue.

I would suggest running some memory tests, which are built-in into Win7. See this:
How To: Test Your RAM or Memory With Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool In Windows 7.

Even if the test finds nothing, and you have more than one memory stick, I would try to take out alternatively one stick and see if the problem disappears.

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OK, ran Win7's Memory test, and no errors were found...will try running it w/o different RAM sticks next... – studiohack Jun 25 '10 at 14:24

With the Laptop powered down completely, hold the Fn key down and power it up, see if the Dell diagnostics load, run the extended tests.


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