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Apologies at the start if this is a bizarre question. Over the past two days I have experienced three sudden, unexpected shutdowns on Windows 7 (Professional) on a Samsung Laptop. The sequence is screen goes black; four or five seconds later the computer shuts down. There are no intervening messages and there is no restart. I just start up again using the power button.

The common thread is that they have all happened while I have been debugging an application in VS 2010. So to be clear my app is running, I start it from VS 2010 and it is in debug mode. I think that the shutdown triggers during mouse actions but I can't swear to it. It is an application that I have been developing for a number of years.

So folks can anyone provide me with:

(a) any explanation why what I assume is an emergency shutdown might occur (b) any insight into why this might be triggered by VS2010.

I had a problem with a virus a few weeks ago. To be sure I ran a full scan with MS Security Essentials including my main backup portable drive that is always connected.

Any suggestions on where to begin much appreciated.

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migrated from May 20 '11 at 19:41

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Is anything CPU intensive in your app? Maybe it's overheating? (longshot) – tom502 May 20 '11 at 15:53
What kind of app is this? Is it using any custom drivers? Is it somehow messing with low-level parts of the system? – Piskvor May 20 '11 at 15:55
I wondered about overheating but it is not cpu intensive and the basic app has been on my system in the same form for several years. – ScruffyDuck May 20 '11 at 16:00
No custom drivers. It is GDI+ intensive but that is all done via managed wrappers in C#. – ScruffyDuck May 20 '11 at 16:01
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The most common cause for a proper shutdown rather than a restart is over-heating. Make sure that the fans of the case and CPU are working ok. There are various programs that can tap into various temperature signals that are available on windows. Pick your favorite and try it out.

Another option may be a rootkit that MSE didn't find. Try to get your hands on a proper rootkit inspection tool.

Yet another option is that some driver crashes. This really depends on what kind of software you're debugging. If it's anything that does heavy GPU processing like CUDA then its a possibility although usually windows is able to recover from a driver crash with nothing but a few seconds of a blank screen.

Check the windows event log to see if there's anything suspicious there. Usually you'll find something there even if there was no message box when the error occurred.

You might also want to try to update the BIOS to the latest version.

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Thanks I will try all those suggestions. – ScruffyDuck May 20 '11 at 16:11
I have monitored my CPU temps and see that they get dangerously high when my app is running in the debugger. However if I let it sit for a moment the temp comes down. I have ordered a chill pad for the laptop so I hope that will solve things. – ScruffyDuck May 21 '11 at 10:38

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