Unexplained shutdowns

By WienSam ·
I have an HP510 2.13GHz laptop and it keeps shutting down for no apparent reason from time to time. It is 1 year old, is nearly always on and runs XP Pro SP2.

As I have run PC Tools Registry Mechanic and CCleaner on it plus keep it regularly defragged and backed up with Ghost 10.0, I am beginning to think it may be an early sign of some kind of hardware failure. I have run system diagnostics on it online from the HP web site and it has not found anything. I have blown air through the fan vents and still it will just suddenly shutdown for no apparent reason. Sometimes it won't even finish booting. The only solution then appears to be to disconnect all power from it, remove the battery and wait for a few minutes before reconnecting and rebooting.

I use this laptop as a DAW in the first instance and for internet access (primarily radio via RealPlayer) but also for downloading sound fx samples as and when needed.

The only other symptom is that sometimes it gets skippy when recording...

I know there is a way to diagnose where the problem is occurring but can't remember where it is.

All help and advice much appreciated as always.

Thanks very much


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All Answers

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Try t his for you hdd.


Run this and see if it finds any problems.
I think that you might need a new hdd, so get a new one and test it out. Test this also. Take out your batt and then plug your computer to the mains, does it run ok now? if still you have the same problem then the best bet will be a new hdd.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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See if this helps

by Jacky Howe In reply to Unexplained shutdowns

Laptops run fast microprocessors that can generate a lot of heat. The heat is mainly vented out of the bottom of the laptop but ventilation effectiveness is reduced when the laptop is placed on a solid surface. A hot laptop can suffer from reliability problems and a system that overheats can fail.

Adjusting your power options will help your laptop from heating up when not in use even if for short periods of time. You can set your hard drive and display to turn off after a set time period. Another option is to set the laptop to go into standby or hibernate mode.

One way to help in this situation is to use a Notebook Cooling Chill Mat, something like this.


Indications of laptop overheating problem:

The keyboard and the bottom of your laptop are very hot when the laptop is working.
The CPU fans are working all the time at maximum rotation speed and operate much louder than before.
The laptop suddenly shuts down by itself without warning. When it just started, the laptop was shutting down after 1-2 hours and how it shuts down after 5-10 minutes of operation.
The laptop works fine when it runs idle, but shuts down as soon as you start using any memory demanding applications (DVD player, image editing software, video editing software, etc.).


If the CPU heatsink is not clogged with dust and lint completely, you can use canned air and just **** it inside the laptop through the openings on the bottom and on the sides. It?s nice as a precaution measure, but it might not work if your laptop already has a problem and the heatsink is completely clogged.

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Now it's worse

by WienSam In reply to Unexplained shutdowns

Thanks Pecs and TB. Ok, here is what I did.

First of all, I tried canned air. No difference.

Next, I have a 'under laptop' USB fan so I plugged that in though the system is not too hot. No difference.

Then, I then tried it with and without the battery but no noticeable difference.

Last, I tried SpinRite 6.0 as Pecs suggested and it shut down on level 4 after about 5 minutes. It shuts down on level 2 too. Each reboot since has lasted for a shorter and shorter time.

If I try to boot it with the disk scanner programme it shuts down almost immediately now. It has rebooted since into XP but it didn't last long and ZoneAlarm rejected connection from my router...?

It is currently switched off and disconnected from both battery and mains. I will leave it like this for about half an hour or so and try again.

Could I have picked up a really nasty virus? If so, what can I do?


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After half an hour

by WienSam In reply to Unexplained shutdowns

It rebooted back into XP and is currently running but ZoneAlarm needed to be reconfigured?

Still confused as to what is going on here

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There are a few things that might be wrong.

1) Windows is missing a few bits of code.
Solution: Do a repair.
2) Harddrive is slowly giving up.
3) Your motherboard connections are lose inside. Solution: Check the connections.
4) Memory becoming unstable or lose. Solution: test another memory ram stick.
5) Your mains connector is not powerful enough (though i doubt it) but check it any way.
6) Something is grounding/earthing inside the case. Solution: Check the board to make sure it is seated right.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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Number 4

by CharlieSpencer In reply to There are a few things th ...

Also, download Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. Use it to build a bootable CD that checks your RAM.

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See if this helps

by Jacky Howe In reply to After half an hour

Download Stinger. http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/stinger.htm

Download Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.5.2 and install it. Update it. http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html

Restart the PC in Safe Mode and turn off System Restore and run Stinger and then run Spybot.

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