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Unexpected shutdown on Acer notebook

Lately, (past couple of weeks) my Acer Aspire 3000 laptop has been powering off unexpectedly. It works fine when I am using it, but when I stop typing on the keyboard for some interval it inevitably powers off. Sometimes it will stay up almost the whole workday, other times it will power off in as little as 20 minutes. Usually, it takes a couple of hours. The battery is relatively new (6 months). I have tried various power schemes. Currently I have it set to "Always On" with all options set to "Never". I am up-to-date on Norton, so I don't think it is a virus. Please advise. I have lost important work becuase of this problem.

This laptop was purchase in 2005 so Acer won't help because it is out of warranty.
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jmarkfoley
Asked:
jmarkfoley
2 Solutions
 
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerCommented:
Overheating of the CPU is a common cause.
Make sure air intakes are clear.
Install a CPU temperature utility. PC Wizard 2008 has a good one as part of its armoury:
http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php
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elimesikaCommented:
HI
Can you see if you have any errors in your computer event log (MyComputer => Right Click => Manage)

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godfatha2Commented:
Some Acer laptops seems to have a common problem - a broken bearing in the fan. Randomly, the bearing locks, preventing the fan from spinning and causing the laptop to overheat.  Use speedfan (download speedfan at http://www.almico.com/speedfan438.exe) to monitor the temperatures.  When it gets hot, you can gently shaking the laptop or blow air into the fan which can usually get the fan going. Good luck.
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
elimesika - no errors in log that seem meaningful. vallis/godfatha2, I downloaded both pcwizard and speedfan and tried both. Neither showed any fan specific data including fan speed. I suppose that could be because this laptop doesn't have any sensor data available?

I get some temperature info. On pcwizard the Core #1 temp. is pegged at 71 degC and never moves. I think the same was true for speedfan. probably no sensor again?

interesting results in CPU temp. Although my computer has not actually spontaneously halted since I posted this (?), I do appear to have some funkiness with the CPU temperature. The CPU temp seems to hang out in high 50's to low 70's. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, it will climb to 89 degress. According to the specs I found on-line, the max temperature range is 77. So, it could be halting when it gets that hot 89c is 192 Farenheit, that's hot!

The temperature seemed to be corrected to CPU Load. The higher, the hotter. When it starts pushing into the 80's my cpu load is 100%. Why it is 100% is a puzzle. I thought it was related to a file transfer I was doing, but I am still doing that transfer as I write and it is only 6% utilization right now.

Interestingly, the temperature drops when I being using the keyboard, running other programs, etc. It's like the cpu gets hung up doing something or other and then drops load back down when hardware interrupt activity happens.

Any ideas? Could this be a probelm with the spu fan?
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Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerCommented:
You may need to have the machine cleaned out. Here's an example on a similar Acer laptop:
http://www.insidemylaptop.com/clean-cooling-module-acer-aspire-3620/

You could track down the cause of your CPU maxing out using:
Autoruns:
http://mywitsend.co.nz/computer-stuff/maintenance/49
and Process Monitor:
http://mywitsend.co.nz/computer-stuff/windows/51

You are not alone, Acer 3000:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=155251
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
Interestingly, I've not had the actual shutdown occur since I posted this, even though it was happening daily before ... like the car that stops making that incessant sound as soon as you drive it to the shop. So, I think I'll close this out. If I see problems again, I'll clean the inside and perhaps replace the CPU fan. You're right in that it is probably related to such things as I did see my cpu temp climb to 89c twice, though without shutting down. The resources vallis mentioned in 24369154 might be worth pursing too.

Thanks.
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