A laptop I administer has recently been suffering from random unclean shutdowns when it is moved around. Not every time, perhaps once every 3-5 days, but still annoying. I finally got around to taking a look at it, and I noticed a rattling sound when it was moved. I opened the RAM/Wifi card panel and found a very small piece of metal, even smaller than a penny.

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Could this cause these random shutdowns?

I checked the Windows event viewer, which had this error recorded, 16 times. I took some screenshots of the error, viewable here. The laptop is a Dell Inspiron running Windows 7 and is about 3 years old.

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    Has the issue reoccurred since you removed the piece? – CharlieRB Mar 18 '15 at 14:01
  • This is a ground contact which should have stayed clipped on an internal metallic border. This is the sign of a poor quality assembly if this laptop was never opened before these spurious crashes. – dan Mar 18 '15 at 14:40
  • @CharlieRB, no, but like I said it occurs infrequently, and I just removed the piece last night. Crossing my fingers... – D. Strout Mar 18 '15 at 17:17

It absolutely could. It could short connections inside the laptop, causing crashes, shutdowns, and potentially even a fire or permanent damage.

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  • yup, i've had similar once when i lost a screw behind a motherboard. – Sirex Mar 18 '15 at 3:12
  • It could also cause electric shocks to users. – dan Mar 18 '15 at 14:48

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