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A year or so ago. I'm playing LoL. In the middle of the game my laptop shuts down. Immediatelly and abnormally - in a second my screen goes black and the system is off.

I switch my laptop on again. Check memtest86+, no errors after 2 passes; SMART also OK. I decide to wait if such problems appear again.

They don't until today. Again I'm playing LoL and again in the middle of the game my laptop shuts down in an instant and with no prior warnings.

Could this be overheating? If so, I'm surprised, because I've had far longer sessions with LoL on highest settings with no such problems. Anyway, is there any log that could contain such an information that the system was subjected to an emergency shutdown due to overheating?

Or if its not the case, is there any log that would contain the cause of such a shutdown, whatever the cause might be? Any way to find out this cause?

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    Have you checked the Windows Event logs? Windows Key + R and run: eventvwr – HelpingHand Aug 7 '18 at 19:32
  • Nothing gets logged on a spontaneous shutdown. Probably a buggy graphics driver, update your graphics driver for a start. – Moab Aug 7 '18 at 19:33
  • Not even kidding, one time I had an old system that I was using to play LoL and it did the same thing. Guess what the culprit was......DUST. I opened the side cover and it was so covered in dust that the system couldn't breathe. Just because you don't notice any signs of overheating doesn't necessarily mean it isn't. It could be a GPU chip getting way overworked or a number of things, especially in a laptop. Probably much much tougher to diagnose as well seeing as they are designed to be slim and discreet. depending on how old it is/how much you've been using it, could be any number of things. – RickwhoPrograms Aug 7 '18 at 19:53
  • @RickwhoPrograms I had this laptop serviced for unrelated reasons (HDD failure) a few months ago (this would be between the two shutdowns). They said they also removed dust. – gaazkam Aug 7 '18 at 20:05
  • @Moab actually not true. A prompt shutdown is usually a BSoD that resets directly after. a BSoD does get logged in the eventlog. – LPChip Aug 7 '18 at 20:08
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I'm assuming that you're on Windows; if you're not, this won't be applicable.

Not everything that should be logged actually is. However, the Windows Event Viewer might be of help; you would want to check the System log, the Application log, the Hardware Events log under Applications and Services Logs, and the specific log for your application, if any. If you can't find any clues (not necessarily answers, just clues) in one of those logs, you're probably out of luck.

  • Then I'm out of luck :( Or not competent enough to see hints where they are. – gaazkam Aug 7 '18 at 20:06
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Absolutely it could be overheating. Temperature control in laptops, especially high-performance laptops while running e.g. games, has always been a tricky matter. If you're technically competent to do so, open the laptop, remove the heat sink/fan assembly(ies), remove all dust from all of the fins with a soft brush and compressed air, and replace the thermal compound on both the CPU and the graphics chip.

It could also be a power supply issue (I refer to the laptop's internal voltage regulators and power distribution circuits, not the external "power brick"). That would mean a motherboard replacement to fix.

  • @RickwhoPrograms I had this laptop serviced for unrelated reasons (HDD failure) a few months ago (this would be between the two shutdowns). They said they also removed dust. – gaazkam Aug 7 '18 at 20:06
  • "Removed dust" does not necessarily mean they did a thorough cleaning of the heat sink fins as I described. It might have been a purely superficial cleaning. Likely they didn't remove the heatsink/fan assembly. – Jamie Hanrahan Aug 7 '18 at 20:50
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If this is a complete shutdown sounds like a BIOS with an overheat protection set. Can you check that?

Normally that setting in the BIOS shutdown the computer automatically (power off) if the temperature is over a give threshold.

You can try relaxing it a bit. Have in mind that it's not only what you do with the computer but how's the environment (it's summer ;))

  • Can't see such a setting in BIOS. – gaazkam Aug 7 '18 at 20:06

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