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My laptop just now shut down on its own. Not a regular shutdown, not even a bluescreen. It was like a regular PC without a UPS having its power cord janked out of the socket.

I lifted the laptop to feel the bottom, but there was no real heat to be found. I had started up just minutes before, SpeedFan was showing 50° Celsius, nothing bad.

I've gone to the HP website and found this article: link
But that seems to be about BlueScreens.
C:\Windows\Minidump is empty.

That's all I can think of to check. My laptop is a HP Pavilion dv7-4141eb Entertainment Notebook PC.

I found that out by entering the serial number on the HP website. Gonna see if there are BIOS updates, maybe that helps.

Apart from a short-circuit, I have no idea how this could have happened.

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3 Answers 3

Do you carry the laptop around with you in a bag or something? At the datacenter I work at I had someone here have the same issue, and it got worse over time. The motherboard had bent while being slung around on the backpack. It flexed just enough (not much) to flex the motherboard and cause horrible issues. The laptop would randomly shutdown, even when sitting on a stable flat surface. It would shutdown anytime between 5 seconds to 30 minutes.

I called Lenovo support and they came out and replaced the motherboard the next day free (due to accidental protection).

You also might want to try running memtest 86 on the laptop, and I know it might be a stretch, but you might want to run a chkdsk on the machine too.

If you have any questions about this, please let me know!

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I do carry it around in a backpack. On my bike when I go to college. So, that could be it. What's more, when at home, to help with overheating a bit, I put an old transfo-block of a power adapter under the end of the laptop, tilting it, so that there's room between the surfaces and the heat can escape easier. I've just got a regular fan, that's it. –  KdgDev Jun 11 '11 at 2:19
    
I really don't think it is overheating issues if it isn't getting that hot as you said. 50 C is not that hot for a laptop. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is probably a bad motherboard. To do a form of testing, try taking the hdd out and putting it into another computer that is similar and see if it shuts down like that. Also, try powering it up and down repeatedly (not force!), just regular safe shut downs, then power it back on. If it ever does the spontaneous power off while it is POSTing it is definitely the motherboard. This is the way I tested the motherboard at my work. –  David Jun 11 '11 at 19:28

Still sounds like an over-heat issue, and it may be happening so fast that it shuts down before the outer plastic gets noticeably hot.

  1. Clean the fan's input and exhaust vents with a can of compressed air.
  2. Ensure the fan is actually spinning.

Beyond that (if it doesn't fix it) the notebook should be taken apart, and throughly cleaned, and have the cooling apparatus examined/replaced. If the notebook got jarred "just right" it may have fractured the heat-pipe that pulls the heat from the CPU to the heat-sinks.

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Oh the fan is actually spinning. Almost constantly actually. Just hold my hand next to it and I can feel the breeze. –  KdgDev Jun 11 '11 at 2:18

I have a similar issue on my laptop. I ran some diagnostics and it seems the battery will occasionally do /something/ (I have no clue what) and it will cause an instant reboot, even if I'm plugged in. The third or fourth time this happened, Windows and Linux both started complaining about the battery. I can be at a full charge, and run something that causes the CPU and GPU to go full-throttle, and after a while the computer will reboot and the battery will be stuck at 0% instantly and won't charge for about an hour.

I'd buy a new battery but I can't afford it right now.

If you're plugged in when this happens, next time your computer does this, check the battery charge level as soon as you're back into your OS. If it's more than 5% lower than it was before the reboot, you should definitely look at the battery.

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if you remove the battery does the laptop still behave erratically? it seems odd that the battery would cause this behavior and i would bet that there is an issue with the power and/or charging circuits –  Xantec Jun 9 '11 at 21:26
    
It's too rare and unpredictable for me to take out the battery to test that, without running without the battery all the time. Even then, it is too rare for me to put together the pattern. Windows says the battery needs replaced, Linux says the battery needs replaced, and even on a full charge on power saver, it lasts less than half the time it did on high performance. But every time it happens, my battery goes from 100% to "not present" for about 10 minutes, then "0%, not charging" for almost an hour. Strangely, it only reboots in Linux, but both OSes complain afterward. –  TuxRug Jun 10 '11 at 5:36
    
You may be right though.. just because my computer says it's the battery, doesn't mean it is. I do have miscellaneous hardware issues occasionally that require completely removing power, but they're too rare to do anything about and I can't find a laptop for under 2k that compares spec-wise to this one (that I got on sale for ~$800 and upgraded the HDD) –  TuxRug Jun 10 '11 at 5:38

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