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I have a laptop that runs the OS just fine (fan runs fast though). I can use the computer as long as I want and will have no problems. If I restart it after using it for awhile, it will typically not make it to the XP splash screen before rebooting on its own. If I wait awhile it will power up just fine. However, if I wait awhile (letting the computer cool) I can use the BIOS for awhile or make it through some of the re-installation of XP from disc process but never all of the way. This seems like a heat issue so I replaced the thermal compound on the CPU and the GPU but not the chipset due to it having a thermal pad. Since the computer seems to shut down only when in the BIOS, would this be from the chipset overheating? If so do you just have to get a new thermal pad (I assume putting thermal compound on or cleaning the pad wouldn't help much)?

More information: I forgot to mention that I updated the BIOS to a newer version and also set to factory defaults with no luck. The battery does not work either; it says 100% charged but will turn off instantly if un-plugged. <-Not sure if relevant, does not seem to be a power issue.

tl;dr

Will an overheating chipset cause the computer to shutdown only when running in the BIOS?

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"Only while running in BIOS" sounds like your BIOS / pre-boot environment does not have a proper driver for handling power management on your system, and the default is brokenly configured to be to have the CPU fan powered all the way down / off. Can you confirm that the CPU fan is off or moving very slowly while in the BIOS? –  allquixotic Jan 25 '13 at 15:39
    
@user142485: How logn can you stay in the BIOS before it crashes? About the same length of time as during a re-installation of XP? Shorter? Longer? –  Hennes Jan 25 '13 at 15:46
    
@allquixotic The fan seems to be spinning at the same speed as always (pretty fast). –  user142485 Jan 25 '13 at 17:24
    
@Hennes The time length is completely dependent on [what seems to be] the computer temperature. It makes it to completely different points in the process with respect to how long the computer has been off beforehand. –  user142485 Jan 25 '13 at 17:26

1 Answer 1

Will an overheating chipset cause the computer to shutdown
only when running in the BIOS?

No, but I have had BIOS versions which used busy-waiting. Which means they used 100% of the available CPU cycles, causing a rapid drain of the battery and raising CPU temperature as high as any stress test did. (The CPU temperature display build into the BIOS did not show chipset temperatures, but I assume they were equally high).

Which means that while the answer to your precise question might be 'No', a longer version would be 'No, not only".

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So you're saying try to check the CPU temp in the BIOS and/or try to run the CPU at full power in the OS to see if it will crash then since it may still be the CPU getting too hot? Or you're agreeing that the chipset will get a lot hotter when in the BIOS and is a likely culprit? –  user142485 Jan 25 '13 at 17:36
    
I suspect both CPU and chipset might get a lot warmer when stressed. And I know the BIOS can stress the CPU. Depending on what it is doing ti might also stress the chipset, though a lot of this depends on what it is doing, and what is build into the chipset and what is build into the CPU. (E.g. old Intel CPU used to have the memory controller in the northbridge part of the chipset. Continuous non-cache memory reading stressed that part.) –  Hennes Jan 25 '13 at 17:42
    
Would the graphics card be used more heavily in the BIOS also? This seems to be the culprit as the computer runs fine in the BIOS with an extra fan pointed at the graphics card. –  user142485 Jan 30 '13 at 20:57
    
None of the BIOSes I used had a measurement of the graphics card usage or temperature. I can't imagine why they heavily use it though. All the BIOS needs is some text (in text mode) or some simple 2D stuff. –  Hennes Jan 30 '13 at 22:02

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