A recent post reminded me of an experience I had.
I recently had problems with my ASUS L3500H laptop, where it would turn itself off at (seemingly) random times. The first time or two I simply wrote it off as a software conflict, but it wasn’t long before it was happening regularly — which had me concerned. My initial thought was that I had a virus. I ran check after check (including online scans and other, downloadable, A/V programs from the web — not to mention Spyware, Adware and any other scanner I could think of), which produced nothing.
Hmmm… so, I start Googling various phrases regarding my problem to see if anyone else is having the same problem. It took a little digging, and a bunch of search term modifications, before I found what I was looking for. I don’t have the link to where I actually found this information as it was a couple of months ago now… sorry! Don’t worry, though — that’s what this post is all about! 😉
What I found was a post that talked about various laptops turning themselves off at random times, just like mine! So far, so good — what’s the cause, I wondered, as I read on. As the cause of all my problems revealed itself, I couldn’t believe what I was reading — it seems that all my problems were caused by me! Well, not physically by me, but simply due to my lack of attention to the cleaning of my machine.
Cleaning? You’re supposed to clean them? 🙂
Yup, especially if you have cats!
Upon removal of the cover from my laptop, it was evident this was the problem. Dust Bunnies running wild everywhere — attacking my CPU, RAM and HD! I quickly grabbed for my can of compressed air and started blasting Bunnies (if I could only make some Star Trek type phaser sounds)!
Sorry, got a little excited there! Actually, I did something prior to blasting those nasty Bunnies… I downloaded and installed a program called SpeedFan. Upon running SpeedFan, I recorded all of my current temperatures, shut down my machine and then started blasting Bunnies. It only took about 10 minutes with the compressed air and a small paint brush to clean it up.
Well, here comes the real tell-tale — I fired it up, ran SpeedFan again and checked my temps. Amazing! The temperature was 30 degrees cooler on my CPU! In fact, all temperatures were lower across the board.
I would like to point out that it is not an ASUS problem, nor is it related to any particular manufacturer. I found that this is related to the XP operating system, and is why I didn’t notice the problem until after I wiped out 2K and installed XP (yeah, I know… and that’s why I’ve recently switched to Linux!).
I also noted that these, seemingly, random turn offs were not random at all. The problem is directly related to the temperature of the CPU. The temperature of the CPU goes up under heavy loads, such as virus scanning, which is when I noticed the problem the most. The more the CPU is used, the more heat is generated. Once the “critical” temperature has been reached, the OS will turn off the computer in an effort to avoid physical damage.
I am happy to report that my laptop has been running smoothly ever since the cleaning. I have also gotten into the habit of taking off the covers from all my machines, on a monthly basis, and blowing them out with compressed air! I hope this post has inspired you to clean out those Dust Bunnies as well! 🙂
NOTE: Please be very careful when using compressed air around the CPU, RAM and Motherboard! Compressed air is in a liquid form inside the can — holding it upside-down, or at odd angles can result in liquid being disbursed from the nozzle. This liquid is EXTREMELY cold and can freeze your CPU, RAM and/or other chips on your Motherboard instantly, rendering them useless!