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I disassembled the back of my Sony VAIO VPCEA36FG to clean the dust out of the fan, since it was making a lot of noise. Nothing fancy, just removing the dust (not replacing the cooling paste or anything).

Now, my computer keeps shutting down randomly. No fixed amount of time. I tried accessing the BIOS setting, but that fails a 100% of the times. As soon as I reach the BIOS menu after pressing F2 on start-up, the computer shuts down. I've tried this with and w/o the battery pack. I've run tests on the HDD to see if that's working fine, and SeaTools for Windows didn't return any errors. The RAM seems to be working fine as well.

I suspect I messed up the fan or the HDD somehow while disassembly and reassembly? I would really appreciate any help with this!

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Let me get this straight. The computer boots OK but crashes if you attempt to enter the BIOS? – terdon Jan 29 '13 at 23:02
yes, correct. And it crashes randomly after the OS has been up for a while. That time fluctuates from anywhere b/w 5 seconds to 2 hours... – dawnoflife Jan 29 '13 at 23:04
Is the fan actually spinning now when you turn the machine on? – Windos Jan 29 '13 at 23:04
Yes, the fan is spinning. – dawnoflife Jan 29 '13 at 23:05
Did you take the heat sink off the processor? (Some Sony laptops are tough to get apart without it). If so, and you didn't put on new thermal paste, it's definitely heat. – Marcus Chan Jan 30 '13 at 0:53

When fans start making noise, it means that their bearings are gone. Replace the fan (be sure to redo the goo connecting the CPU to the fan, it is required for efficient heat transfer).

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You are describing a heat issue. Even though the fan is spinning, and that you note a noise and it was worse before you cleaned it might suggest that the fan on your CPU heat sink is failing or that something is in the way to keep it from spinning up to full speed.

It may be spinning but at what RPM? If too slow and demand is put to the CPU, heat builds and a fan spinning too slow will allow heat to build. The system would then shut down in an attempt to keep from damaging heat sensitive parts.

If it is making noise, either something is dragging on the fan or it is a sign of potential failure. Also make sure that your laptop isn't set on blankets or anything that could restrict the air-flow as that would cause more heat.

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Hmm yeah I think that's the problem. I'm using my friend's laptop fopr now to work on a couple of assignments, but will open it back up soon. How does that explain the BIOS menu failing though? – dawnoflife Jan 30 '13 at 0:55
@dawnoflife - It could be a seprate problem from your heat issue. A short on your keyboard or the like. – Carl B Jan 30 '13 at 2:05
If you can get into windows, you may want to DL speedfan to check your temps and fan speed. – Carl B Jan 30 '13 at 5:42
I ended up taking to the computer fixer on campus, and all they did was replace that cooling paste. It solved the problem (for now at least...) – dawnoflife Jan 31 '13 at 0:20
@dawnoflife - it still may be a good idea to get speed fan, just so that you have a quick easy tool to ref. temps and fans spin. Congrats on the fix. So heat was the issue. – Carl B Jan 31 '13 at 0:43

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