Dell Latitude E6410 random "overheat" issue

I'm working with a laptop experiencing odd behavior. Most of the time it shuts down randomly, and it seems to never run more than a few seconds. The issue is, I'm swapped just about everything on it and get the same problem.

Replace mainboard multiple times.
Checked hard drive and replaced hard drive.
Tested with another battery from another laptop but same model.
Tested with another CPU from another same model laptop that worked.
Kept laptop plugged in and unplugged.

Laptop will boot up a little bit then shutdowns with no error code.
Laptop will boot up a little then pop up with a warning stating system is overheating and then shutdown.
Will sometime boot off a CD in boot mode but again sometime it will do nothing at all.
Will not run long enough to run a diagnostic on laptop.

Any suggestions? I feel like the chassis is possessed!
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Casey WeaverNetwork EngineerAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Tested with another CPU from another same model laptop that worked.

I am not entirely clear from the above. Are you saying a different CPU works without overheating?  Please let us know about this question.

Did you properly use thermal compound to seat the CPU?

Did you remove the GPU? and does it need thermal compound?

Check the fan and gently clean all the dust away (and from everywhere inside).
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Casey WeaverNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Sorry, the CPU that works in the unit it was from, would not work in this unit that is acting strange. This CPU was from the exact same model, and was the exact same type (they have about 35 of these units, all ordered at once back when they were gotten).

We did clean and use new thermal compound on the CPU. I'm not sure if the GPU was ever redone. The system has been disassembled multiple times, the first time we did it we cleaned everything with compressed air.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The system has been disassembled multiple times

I would recheck thermal compound on all required surfaces (CPU, GPU) and recheck the fan for being clogged.

If all that is OK and the unit overheats, then there will be a motherboard problem.
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Tom FI.T. and Support Staff ManagerCommented:
You mentioned you replaced the motherboard multiple times so I'm assuming that's not the problem.  It does sound like a heat issue.   Can you boot and get into the BIOS, and check the temp from there?  How long can it sit in BIOS without rebooting, and at what temp does it reach?
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rindiCommented:
Maybe you don't need thermal transfer paste, but rather a thermal transfer pad, or you didn't mount the heatsink properly. On many laptops you need thermal transfer pads as without them you have a too big gap between the heatsink and the chip (remember that there can be further chips that need adequate cooling, like video RAM or chipsets etc, not only the CPU and GPU). Those pads have a certain thickness, like 1mm or so.

If the heatsink doesn't touch the chip because it is too far away, the thermal transfer paste won't help. Paste is only good if the heatsink and chip are tightly pressed to each other, and it is only there to fill in tiny gaps that could be caused by uneven surfaces, or scratches in them.
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nobusCommented:
can you access the bios?
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Casey WeaverNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Well it turns out it was the motherboard. We were finally able to get one in today from another supplier and it worked right away. The other refurb boards we were getting were duds. Sorry for the lack of testing everyone!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@Casey Weaver - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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