I've had a Gateway M-1631U laptop with Vista SP1 for about a year and a half. Not sure if it's related, but the cooling fan has always been loud.
Recently (within the last month), my wife has complained that it would shut down on her after about 10-15 minutes of use. Additionally, she's said that the bottom is very hot when in use.
This weekend, I was letting my daughter use it for some educational on-line games and we noticed that after about 20 minutes the computer would completely turn without warning. When we'd turn it back on, a screen would appear asking if we want to start normally or diagnose the problem (not sure of exact wording). If we picked the option to diagnose the problem, it would go to another screen that said it was fixing errors and may shut down a few times during this process. Sometimes it would die during this process and I'd turn it back on and find the same thing. Sometimes it would make through this scan and ask me to reboot. When I rebooted, I'd see a BSOD appear quickly and the computer would come back to the same "restart normally or diagnose screen". If I try the restart normally option, it will power off immediately.
The only success that I've had in getting it to reappear is to let the computer sit for about an hour. I can normally get another 10 minutes out of it and then the whole process begins again.
I captured the BSOD message and have it pasted below.
As one final twist, I decided to check into the loud cooling fan and hot machine. I took off the cover over the fan and saw a minimal amount of dust. However, I did not put the cover back on and the computer hasn't turned off for about 25 minutes and the fan is running a bit more quiet.
I don't know if the crashes were related to heat and the BSOD is related to a process not ending because of the overheating..I'm stumped.
Here's the BSOD information from Windows:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.768.3
Locale ID: 1033
Additional information about the problem:
OS Version: 6_0_6001
Service Pack: 1_0
Files that help describe the problem:
Read our privacy statement:
Here's the information from BlueScreenView:
Dump File : Mini112810-01.dmp
Crash Time : 11/28/2010 9:38:38 AM
Bug Check String :
Bug Check Code : 0xc000021a
Parameter 1 : fffff880`005f38d0
Parameter 2 : 00000000`00000000
Parameter 3 : ffffffff`c0000001
Parameter 4 : 00000000`00100438
Caused By Driver : ntoskrnl.exe
Caused By Address : ntoskrnl.exe+553d0
File Description :
Product Name :
File Version :
Processor : x64
Computer Name :
Full Path : C:\Windows\Minidump\Mini112810-01.dmp
Processors Count : 2
Major Version : 15
Minor Version : 6001