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I have a gateway NV52 that is randomly shutting down after running memtest from the Ubuntu Live CD, I have also tried the memtest on a regular cd and memtest on the ultimate boot cd.

The test run for about 15min or so and then the computer just shuts off.

I have tried removing the memory, one DIMM at a time, and changing it around, I tried removing the harddrive, no go.

I'm guessing that perhaps the thermal paste between the processor and heatsink has worn away and that it needs to be reapplied. (the laptop is not unusually hot when it shuts down)

Is there anything else it could be?

EDIT: I have also tried removing the battery, testing the adapter with a multimeter (adapter tested good), and changing outlets to no avail.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Heat is most likely the problem. It is very unlikely that degradation of the thermal paste is to blame though. More likely is failure of the fan, accumulation of dust, or mechanical failure of the heat sink assembly. Compressed air in the inlets is the first thing to try.

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Alright I'll try blowing it out with my duster –  Mike Hagstrom Oct 13 '11 at 18:06
    
Excellent seems to have worked, I'm guessing one of the fans were stuck. –  Mike Hagstrom Oct 13 '11 at 18:57
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