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Old 12-18-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 24,099,804 times
Reputation: 5183

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I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop that's about three years old. For about a year now, it just randomly shuts itself off. It's very frustrating. I'm also occasionally getting warnings from my anti-virus program that I have high CPU usage. Not sure if the two problems are related; I've only been getting those warnings for maybe the past month or two.

I've read a lot of possible reasons online. I tried blowing compressed air into the vents on the bottom but this made no difference. I am definitely not qualified to be taking things apart.

Any advice before I take it somewhere for repairs? I hate to spend the money. Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:43 PM
 
28,803 posts, read 47,719,218 times
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You might find an answer on one of these sites. It looks like it's not an uncommon problem

Why does my Dell shut down?

If you do take it somewhere don't go to Best Buy.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,585 posts, read 81,260,275 times
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Laptops do overheat. Try keeping it raised up, perhaps put doorstops
or small blocks under it and see if that helps. One of ours did that and
since we keep an inch of air space under it we've never seen it shut down since.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 24,099,804 times
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Tek - that's the problem, there is too much info out there on the problem. Enough to convince me to not buy a Dell again.
Hemlock - I'll try it, could be a cheap fix. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
61,753 posts, read 87,217,162 times
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Is the laptop hot to touch? Clean the bottom with an air.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,144 posts, read 10,718,210 times
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The most common reason I've found for a laptop shutting itself off is overheating. This also can account for the supposed high cpu usage that your av program is reporting.

Picked this up for the wife's HP Pavilion (notorious for overheating), and she loves it. Solved the shutdown issues, and stopped burning her legs when she had it on her lap.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:01 AM
 
28,803 posts, read 47,719,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
Tek - that's the problem, there is too much info out there on the problem. Enough to convince me to not buy a Dell again.
Hemlock - I'll try it, could be a cheap fix. Thanks!
The problem is common amongst all laptops if they are dirty and overheating. Dell is no different that any of the others in that regard.

I also use a base under mine that has fans in it. Mine isn't overheating. I just want to keep it cooler.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:36 PM
 
16,294 posts, read 28,543,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Is the laptop hot to touch? Clean the bottom with an air.
Which will do nothing.

Today I cleaned an Inspiron 1520 that was shutting down (not a shut down, just off). The bottom vent was clean, no visible dust even if you looked closely. Exit vent, clean, no dust or dirt was visible.

Some models require a fairly substantial tear down, as does this model, requiring removal of battery, hard drive, optical drive, keyboard, screen, palm rest which finally revealed the thermal cooling assembly which I removed

which revealed that the fins (upper left in photo) were completely blocked by dust. A little compressed air clear the fins. Also removed the fan and cleaned the fan blades.
Cleaned the old thermal paste and applied fresh Arctic Silver, and reassemble.
Only thing needed is a #1 phillips and thermal paste (available at Radio Shack and other places) and take you time. Pay attention to what length screw goes where, and follow the instructions that are easily found online.

On a model with a similar layout, you cannot see the blockage without disassemble, nor could you remove it.

Start to finish was about an hour, with 15 minutes spent on "where did I put my tube of Arctic Silver ".

Other models will be different as my old 600m takes about 10 minutes total to clean the heat sink fins.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,982 posts, read 35,231,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Which will do nothing.
.
You mean it doesn't always work because normally it is just dusty on the inside and simply cleaning it out does work. I normally remove the cover, get a can of air and spray small squirts [not too much; those things have water in them]. Leave the back off for about 30 minutes and let it dry.

Normally if your laptop overheats; your fan comes on alot. If not; may be something else.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:03 PM
 
16,294 posts, read 28,543,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkgiraffe View Post
You mean it doesn't always work because normally it is just dusty on the inside and simply cleaning it out does work. I normally remove the cover, get a can of air and spray small squirts [not too much; those things have water in them]. Leave the back off for about 30 minutes and let it dry.

Normally if your laptop overheats; your fan comes on alot. If not; may be something else.
Won't work for the very simple reason it does nothing to correct the cause, blockage of airflow that cools the thermal cooling assembly.

Remove the cover what cover are you talking about?
Canned air does NOT contain water, but you can cool components to the point that frost forms from condensation.

Nor is it "just dusty" on the inside, air flow is blocked due to dust, hair and other derbies. Yes, simply removing the dust is all that is necessary, but getting to dust blocking airflow will require significant disassemble on some laptops.

Then you leave the "back" off to let it dry was this the "cover" removed earlier or something else.

On most laptops, at least newer ones, the fan is quiet enough that most people won't notice if it is running or not. The symptom of an overheating laptop is it will just turn off when the max CPU temp is reached, just like they are designed to do to prevent damage, and on a 2 year old or older laptop a very probable cause.
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