|Toshiba Satellite P15 shutdown Overheat Problem|
After 11 months my daughter was complaining about her Toshiba laptop mysteriously shutting down for no apparent reason. When she came home from college, we went through a checklist meant to rule out or confirm possible reasons for shutdown.
The obvious reason was a setting to power off the laptop. Checked the power settings and that was not it. Then we attempted to recreate the problem. Sure enough, the computer stayed on all day and into the night but upon awakening the next morning we discovered it had shut down.
Then we went to the event manager to find the last entry and there it was (or so we thought), McAfee virus scan had started but not completed. McAfee was scheduled to scan at night. My wife then took on the McAfee tech support team, which was very helpful but failed to fix the problem. At least we know we have the latest updates and correct settings for McAfee.
Finally I camped in front of the laptop and ran the scan. Sure enough about 2/3 of the way through, it shut down. Just prior we noticed a CPU usage spike and the fans got noticeably louder. Fans, heat? We GOOGLEd the two terms and found that Toshiba as well as some other laptop makers seemed to have this problem. Turns out that when a lot of processing takes place, the cpu generates more heat and the fans could not keep up with this heat production with clogged vents and fins.
So then we went hunting for anecdotal evidence of those who fixed their laptops. Along the way we heard their stories about completely removing the case, keyboard and CPU and could not get it back together. We read about using heat sink paste and which was OK and which was best.
As a test I used a vacuum cleaner to suck air through the vents (IN THE DIRECTION THE FANS BLOW IT). Another story told of someone sticking the air can nozzle into the ports and blowing dust throughout the laptop. I figured pulling air along the same route as the cooling fans used was safest. Amazingly the laptop now stayed on through the scan. However I knew that this was a quick & dirty temporary fix because the vacuum could not remove enough dust. I needed to see where the air goes, visually check for dust and forcibly blow it out.
Finally it boiled down to trying to crack the case prior to going to the LCS (local computer store).
If you are unsure of your abilities do not do this, stop and take the laptop to your computer repair shop.
That did it for us. It was noticeably cooler at the hot air exhaust ports than before and the computer did not shut down again.