Solved

Overheating error on startup

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I'm working on a Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop. I keep getting an error that states that the PC was shut-down due to overheating then gives me an error code of M1004. I've gone through the online troubleshooter at Dell support with no success clearing the error. I've also updated the BIOS with no change. The BIOS has also been set to factory defaults.

I've installed a replacement for the system fan.

I've also installed and run Speedfan and I8KFanGUI which is a Speedfan-style utility specific to Dell laptops.

I've even removed the battery, AC & BIOS battery in an attempt to reset the BIOS. No joy.

There doesn't appear to be any overheating problem (except the error). I even get the error after a normal shutdown with the processor still cool.

Does anyone know how I can clear that error?
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Question by:mummer1
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Expert Comment

by:TDKD
ID: 24843854
Call DELL support, you may have a bad motherboard. Usually this type of behaviour is due to a mechanism on the motherboard not reporting correctly and shuts down the CPU to protect it from damage.
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 24844253
This can also be caused by a heat damaged cpu. Remove the battery and ac and press and hold the power button for 30sec to 1 min, plug the ac back in and if you continue getting the error then either the motherboard or cpu is damaged.
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Author Comment

by:mummer1
ID: 24845608
jamietoner: I performed the reset for ten seconds for Dell and did it a second time for a minute based on your recommendation. No change.

TDKD & jamietoner: I agree that there is a possibility of damage to the CPU/MB. Since I've replaced the fan, the temp has been hovering around 70C +/-2C for extended periods according to the fan utilities. What I'd like to find is a means to clear that error. For example, is there a 'secret' key combination that opens up the control in the BIOS for the temp subsystem? If I can clear it and it returns that will confirm damage & I can go back to the owner with that info. Right now, the Dell diags give the PC a clean bill of health.

Dell support won't even talk to me by email without payment - something I'm trying to avoid.
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jamietoner earned 125 total points
ID: 24845638
There is no way to manually clear the error, it should clear itself. It may be staying due to the high temps try removing and reapplying the thermal grease on the cpu. I suggest replacing it with either arctic silver 5 or zalmans zm-stg1.
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Author Comment

by:mummer1
ID: 24849463
jamietoner, that's a good idea. While I'm out today, I'll pick up a new supply of thermal grease and reapply it.

talk to you later.
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Author Comment

by:mummer1
ID: 24862839
I reapplied the thermal grease. The result is that the laptop stays below 60C longer but ultimately it reaches 80C and doesn't seem to be inclined to cool down again. It stays usable for over an hour. The error didn't clear.

I'll be returning it to the owner Friday AM. If anyone has a 'light bulb moment' in the next 24hours, I'll be monitoring this thread until then before I close the question.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 24863207
Looks like the cpu has been heat damaged.
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Author Comment

by:mummer1
ID: 24863889
jamietoner, do you feel that (given the info you have) replacing the processor is likely to resolve the problem?

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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 24864232
It's either the cpu or motherboard I'd replace the cpu with the info that's been given.
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Author Comment

by:mummer1
ID: 24865750
Thanks for the opinion, jamietoner.

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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 24865885
You're welcome.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mummer1
ID: 31603005
jamietoner, thanks for the input on this problem. Don't know, yet, if the owner is going to accept CPU replacement, so we may never know how this will end.
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