Laptop will not stay powered up

I have a Dell Inspiron 1500 which will not stay powered up.  On pressing the power button it goes to the Dell screen and I hit F12 to get the boot menu.  this shows for a couple of seconds and then their is a click sound and the unit powers off.  

I have tried this with the battery removed and plugged in but the same result.  What can I check further?
canuckconsultingAsked:
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JohnnyCanuckConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It sounds like a thermal issue to me.  Is the fan even turning?  Are the bottom vents blocked by dirt/dust?.  Recently I had an HP laptop with these symptoms plus the fan was not turning.  I took it apart in order to replace the fan but instead I found a marble sized ball of hair that had become lodged in the fan housing.  Removing the hairball restored the fan and laptop to working order.
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peeaCommented:
Can your Dell laptop stay in the BIOS mode if pressing ESC after powering up the machine?
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Does the POST process complete if you don't press any buttons (so the Dell logo has gone and the laptop tries to boot even though it may not be able to)?

Any chance of overheating?  Can you hear the CPU fan running, are the case vents unobstructed?

This sounds like hardware.  Either a component is failing during POST and the BIOS shuts down as a result or heat causing thermal protection in the CPU to shut down the system.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can also try booting with a bootable CD (Ultimate Boot CD or equivalent) to see if it will run this way. That will help narrow down the hardware problems, that is, if the problem is a thermal problem as noted above, booting from a CD won't work.

... Thinkpads_User
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davidlevans13Commented:
If your laptop is over 3 years old it may be the CMOS battery is dying.

I replaced one in a Dell Inspiron and machine lived on...  had thought it was dead... black screen etc, but the processor was still working.. check for sounds lof life when you think it is off.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
So overheating was the cause?
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