PC heats up and shutsdown when playing a game or just music.

August 10, 2012 at 14:19:20
Specs: Windows XP, AMDAthlon xp-M
eMachine laptop M5310 thermal shutdown when playing games or just music. Changed the harddrive and it worked fine for two years and now the problem has returned. I installed a new harddrive yesterday and didn't even install any games yet but only listened to an internet radio station and after about 3 songs it shutdown as before. Obviously it isn't the harddrive this time. It's and AMD Athlon XP-M mobile with ATI Radeon video accelerator card from the factory. This was like the first gaming laptop ever made and I've gotten 7 years of exceptional service from it, other than replacing the HD once before. Twice now. Any ideas? Although I bought a new PC about two yrs ago bc of this issue, I'd love to get it working again for not much more cash. It was very expensive in its day... It's a Win XP OS with service pack 3.

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August 10, 2012 at 15:18:32
Thermal shutdown has nothing to do with the hard drive. The CPU is overheating. When's the last time you blew the dust out of the cooling vents?

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August 10, 2012 at 18:51:09
Seven years is Very good for a laptop. I agree with riider, you probably have a build up of dust in the cooling vents and heat sink(s). Use a can of compresses 'Air' to blow the vents clean.
IF this does not help, install HWMonitor in order to 'see' exactly where the heat is building up.
Post back results.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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August 12, 2012 at 09:32:57
I'm calling it a "thermal shutdown" because it's what Win 7 says on my new HP laptop if I don't take certain "precautions" while playing a game. (I keep one corner where the exhaust vents are, elevated, so the heat migrates out more efficiently) It probably needs the dust cleaned out of it after two yrs of my useage.

Yes eMachines had a recall several yrs ago after Gateway bought them and one of the solutions was to clean out the dust build-up in the fan ducts/vents... That worked then. I think I tried that two yrs ago again but it didn't work time. I'll try this again but I doubt that will be the solution. I read about drilling heat escape holes in the trim piece above the keyboard and am considering doing this.

Could the CPU be bad or the ATi Radeon chip?

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