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Laptop too cold, gets winded and shuts off?


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#1 Vectron

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:12 PM

Hello!

 

I have an annoyance problem with my Dell Inspiron 15R SE. It's an old laptop I bought back in 2012, but barely used it. A while ago I wanted to give this laptop another try and installed Windows 7 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS alongside on it. Both performed fine, but on occasions I noticed that the laptop would suddenly power off. I can't tell exactly where this started, but I recall it happened as early as in the BIOS screen before an OS even booted. I later formatted the disk, but it's still happening.

 

It happens as follows: When I press the power button, the laptop will power on and do its BIOS initialization stuff. Then sometimes the fan will suddenly go up to 100% speed and a second later the machine will lose power and black out (I'm on AC power; battery is removed). I have to press the power button again to start it. This happens only once or twice (rarer) after I power it on or maybe it doesn't happen at all. Just yesterday (and a number of times previously) the device booted fine to a console on a linux OS I have currently installed to HDD. When I logged in and typed "startx" to bring up X11 desktop, the same thing happened - fan went to 100% and a second afterwards the PC lost power. Had to "re-boot" it and then it worked fine. This happens only once or twice in a row or it doesn't happen at all.

 

I've searched the internet a bit, and most results are describing overheating issues. But I know it's not overheating because it only seems to happen initially i.e. after the laptop has been powered off for a long time (like overnight). But after successfully booting to desktop it doesn't happen any more. I can use it normally, browse the web, do IRC chat, watch videos, use various programs, issue console commands, do heavy CPU processing i.e. compiling with gcc, scan local network, run RF spectrum analyzer software (gqrx), etc. Once the device is powered on for a while the crash will stop happening. I think I even tested rebooting it afterwards without it happening.

 

 

Does anyone know what could be the cause?

  • It happens only initially before the laptop warms up, doesn't happen later.
  • It's not an overheating because it also happens when the laptop is cold, doesn't happen on stress testing, and the fan is clean.
  • It seems to happen at random points of OS startup - I recall it happened in the bios init screen and in linux console, but there were definitely other examples.
  • It's not OS-specific problem because it also happens before an OS boots i.e. in BIOS initialization screen.
  • A notable event is that just 1 second before the crash the laptop fan goes up to 100% so perhaps this has something to do with the firmware?
  • hamluis: Before you suggest to install MiniToolBox, please note that I'm not running Windows; I'm trying different linux distros.

 

Thanks in advance.

Vec



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#2 mikey11

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:50 PM

A notable event is that just 1 second before the crash the laptop fan goes up to 100%

 

When I press the power button, the laptop will power on and do its BIOS initialization stuff. Then sometimes the fan will suddenly go up to 100% speed and a second later the machine will lose power and black out

 

When I logged in and typed "startx" to bring up X11 desktop, the same thing happened - fan went to 100% and a second afterwards the PC lost power.

 

 

 

it's overheating.....

 

all those things are a sign of over heating

 

a computer can shut off in as little as 1 second from a cold start from overheating,

 

the fan is going to 100% because its getting too hot and the fan is trying to cool it.....when the system realizes the fan can not cool it effectively the system shuts down to prevent damage

 

you need to take it apart and clean the fan/heatsink assembly.....its probably clogged with dust


Edited by mikey11, 21 December 2017 - 03:55 PM.


#3 mightywiz

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:19 PM

or the thermal bond between the heatsink and cpu has broke.   and you need to clean both cpu & heat sink and re apply new thermal paste.

 

and clean the fan out as suggested



#4 Vectron

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:44 AM

If you people are so confident it's an overheating issue then how do you explain the fact that the laptop is able to withstand heavy CPU and GPU stress testing afterwards?

 

The fan has already been cleaned thoroughly.



#5 mikey11

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:20 AM

If you people are so confident it's an overheating issue then how do you explain the fact that the laptop is able to withstand heavy CPU and GPU stress testing afterwards?

 

The fan has already been cleaned thoroughly.

 

 

overheating can be intermittent....

 

if the fan and heat sink are clean as you say....then refer to post #3

 

you need to remove the fan and heat sink.....clean the old thermal paste off using alcohol wipes and apply new thermal paste


Edited by mikey11, 22 December 2017 - 07:20 AM.


#6 mightywiz

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:35 PM

If you people are so confident it's an overheating issue then how do you explain the fact that the laptop is able to withstand heavy CPU and GPU stress testing afterwards?

 

The fan has already been cleaned thoroughly.

thermal paste turns harder as it cools off and becomes less plyable.   so after your processor over heats and softens the thermal paste then you would tend to have less problems.   and if your cpu is running in an idle state and cool then your paste will start to harden up again and cause issues again.



#7 mightywiz

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:39 PM

ideally you want the thermal paste to dry out and form a solid permanent bond between the chip and heat sink.  but thing happen like a laptop takes a leap off your lap and then breaks that thermal bond between the chip and heat sink.  and that's when problems start.



#8 Vectron

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 04:19 PM

You know what? I think I'm gonna take your word for it. Although I find it a bit hard to believe that a device I have barely used would have this happening, but at this point I'm willing to believe anything. I only have some cheap white thermal paste I got from china via ebay, so I'm guessing it isn't the best thing to use for a CPU. Prolly I'll have to order some better paste first. You have any suggestions? (please not some american brand that's not available in EU). gg

#9 mikey11

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 04:51 PM

You know what? I think I'm gonna take your word for it. Although I find it a bit hard to believe that a device I have barely used would have this happening, but at this point I'm willing to believe anything. I only have some cheap white thermal paste I got from china via ebay, so I'm guessing it isn't the best thing to use for a CPU. Prolly I'll have to order some better paste first. You have any suggestions? (please not some american brand that's not available in EU). gg

 

 

i normally order mine off ebay for a couple of dollars....i just look for a seller close to home so it only takes a day or two

 

i think i buy 1.5g size which is enough for about 20 applications or more



#10 mightywiz

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 05:36 PM

yeah you only need a small pea size amount on the center of the chip. if you apply to much you could cause just as many problems as your already having.

 

and you can use the generic stuff you have just make sure you mix it up in the package before opening it....



#11 Vectron

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:30 AM

UPDATE: Okay, went to local PC shop and bought a 4 W/mK thermal grease.

 

I swear these laptops are one of the most difficult things to service ever invented by mankind... so many screws, cables and little details. As expected after disassembling the case, the fan and the rib cage were pretty clean. I removed the motherboard and unscrewed the heat sink. The existing thermal grease appeared to be solidified into blocks around the CPU/GPU and showed signs of melting on top of the silicon CPU frame. I thoroughly cleaned it with some cotton and added a pea-sized amount of the fresh paste. The CPU frame was rectangular, so I had to spread the paste out a bit. Pressed the heat sink back on, replaced the mobo and reassembled the laptop. Powered it on (once) and so far it runs fine, but we'll see in the near future.

 

Honestly I had no idea CPUs can overheat this fast, and I was convinced this was some other electronic issue. If anyone else has to replace on an Inspiron 15R SE (7520), here is the video tutorial for disassembly/reassembly. But be careful, my model had some extra screws that are not mentioned in the video i.e. there is one extra screw at the top left when removing the motherboard. The model in this video uses an integrated GFX card, but mine had a separate one so the heat sink had another segment with 3 more screws on the upper side (where the empty BGA slot is).

 

We'll see how this plays out. If I don't post again here then I'm living happily ever after.

 

Cheerz0rs!

 

 



#12 Joe C

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:46 AM

Might be a long shot, but this laptop does use two graphic cards, and you might try updating those, especially with running a *nix distro because AMD doesn't support *nix very well

 

this system uses Radeon's "switchable graphics" feature. It prompts you to assign a graphics setup for every program. For example, the Catalyst Control panel will ask me if I want to run a certain program in "low power" or in "high power" mode. The lower power mode defaults to my Intel 4000 onboard graphics, while the high power mode defaults to the 2gb Radeon 7400m graphics card. The laptop doesn't turn on the dedicated card unless you tell it to by picking high or low power mode. This setup is quite common on new laptops running Radeon mobile cards.

 

https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/50507

 

You might have a bios setting for how these cards work before the o.s. boots up


Edited by Joe C, 23 December 2017 - 11:47 AM.


#13 mikey11

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:06 PM


 

Honestly I had no idea CPUs can overheat this fast, and I was convinced this was some other electronic issue.

 

 

 

 

like i said previous.....i have seen computers shut off within one or two seconds of powering on due to overheating, it doesn't take a long time to heat up like a car would,

 

good job on the fix!! :thumbup2:


Edited by mikey11, 23 December 2017 - 12:07 PM.





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