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Re: [vox] The Mystery of the Dying Laptop
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Re: [vox] The Mystery of the Dying Laptop


I have a buddy with a high-end Toshiba that had this same problem.  At no
predictable interval. (2 minutes - 4 hours), the machine would just turn
off.  After a few weeks of googling and frustrating tech-support calls, he
finally figured out that it was a bios setting to shut down at a certain
heat (like you guessed).  The problem was that the machines were released
with this setting a tad too conservative for realistic use.

The fix came in the form of a bios update that set that max temp a little
higher - no problems since (except his keyboard came apart, but that was a
different issue).

I don't know if your machine is experiencing the same exact issue, but
based on what you've said it sound similar.  The problem with laptops is
how hard it is to troubleshoot anything.  It's not like you can swap out
the power supply or anything.

Hopefully those guys will take care of you...


On Wed, 3 Dec 2003, Richard Crawford wrote:

> This is not a Linux question, but it's sufficiently odd, I think, to pique
> the interest of many on this list.
> My wife has a Sony Vaio PCG-GRV 670 laptop -- a very nice one, with a 17"
> TFT screen, 128MB of RAM, a DVD/CD-R drive, 40GB hard drive, etc.
> Unfortunately, this laptop has a habit of mysterious shutting itself off
> for no reason.  It doesn't go through the Windows shut down procedure --
> it just turns off.  This happens whether my wife is playing a game,
> checking her e-mail, browsing the web, whatever.  I can find nothing
> software-related that might be doing this.
> Here's the thing, though.  This only happens downstairs.  It never happens
> in the office, which is upstairs.
> At first, I thought it might be overheating; she often sits with the
> laptop on a pillow on her lap while sitting on the couch, and I thought
> that a fold in the pillow might be blocking the vent, causing the
> internals to overheat.  However, it also happens when she is seated at the
> breakfast nook table downstairs, when the vent is clear and airflow is
> good.
> But upstairs, it has never shut itself off at her desk in our office.
> I can find no environmental differences between upstairs and downstairs;
> the upstairs tends to be warmer, of course, but not substantially so.
> When she has the laptop upstairs, she has a number of USB devices (a
> full-sized keyboard, a mouse, digital camera, Palm Pilot cradle, and so
> on) plugged into a single USB hub that plugs into her computer.
> The computer has a P4 processor, and I know that the processor has an
> automatic shut off in case it overheats, which lends credence to my
> overheating theory.  But since the downstairs is cooler, I'd expect that
> this would be more of a problem upstairs.
> And, of course, I have exactly the same model laptop, purchased on the
> same day at the same location, and I've never had this problem, no matter
> what I do.
> Jennifer's laptop is going to be shipped to Sony's repair facility in San
> Diego so that they can poke at it, but I wondered if anyone, anywhere,
> might have any clues to the solution of this mystery?
> Richard S. Crawford (AIM: Buffalo2K)
> http://www.mossroot.com   http://www.stonegoose.com/catseyeview
> Howard Dean for America:  http://www.deanforamerica.com
> "I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous
> group. They are subversive. You think they're just sitting there at the
> desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man.
> I wouldn't mess with them."
> --Michael Moore
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

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