Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My laptop shuts down.

It happened several times so far, and there is a pattern; after I leave it for an hour or so, power saving activates, and then I start using it again for 10 - 15 minutes when it shuts down with no prior warning.

I'm pretty sure that it's not an overheating issue, because I keep it in a fairly cold room, and the laptop is not hot at all after shutting down (it can get much warmer, without shutting down).

I use Windows 7 so that could be the problem, because I never had this problem while using Windows XP. The laptop is an Acer Aspire.

Do you know if there are some settings in Win 7 that can be changed to stop this?

share|improve this question
does it actually 'shut down' or does it cut off immediately? – Molly7244 Jan 5 '10 at 23:08
Cuts off immediately. – MladenB Jan 5 '10 at 23:15
Could this person who voted -1 please explain why? – MladenB Jan 5 '10 at 23:20
People seem to be quite unforgiving about grammar/spelling errors; I would assume that would be the reason for the downvote. – RJFalconer Jan 5 '10 at 23:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

If it cuts off immediately, it is very likely to be an overheating or power problem.

By "power-saving activates" do you mean the fans spin down, etc? If they fail to spin back up again it's perfectly feasible that the CPU will overheat, even in 10-15 minutes in a cold room.

Consider either opening up and cleaning laptop air intakes, or purchasing a can of compressed air to blow out dust.

share|improve this answer
I'm not sure about the fans, I only noticed that screen light becomes darker and then turns black completely (I haven't activated any screensavers). – MladenB Jan 5 '10 at 23:34
i had a laptop that did this too. cleaning it out helped a little, the first time. didn't take long for it to stop helping. to really fix the problem i had to clean off the old crusty thermal paste (from the CPU & heatsink) and apply some fresh. – quack quixote Jan 6 '10 at 0:14
I turned off all those power saving settings, laptop is plugged all the time anyway (battery is 1 year old - almost useless). I postponed the openning of the laptop, I was afraid that I could make things worse, or create another problem. Anyway, this solved problem for now. – MladenB Jan 7 '10 at 18:57

Your problem is probably not the battery but a badly implemented Acer design feature. On the reverse side, there are a series of Torx screws. If the hardware detects any are open, it kills power as a "safety" feature. This is done to reduce the risk of a fire should the user open the case and turn on power to the laptop. This sounds nice, but the feature has been implemented poorly because the screws are self-loosing over time! Try tightening the screws hard. A Torx screwdriver (with changeable heads) can be picked up from a good hardware store for a few dollars.

The problem (with resolution) is described in great detail here.

When you opened the case (to blow out dust) the problem was probably actually solved when you closed the case afterwards...! :o)

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .