What can cause laptop to overheat & shut down

Toshiba Satellite a215-s4767 notebook
October 27, 2010 at 13:15:47
Specs: Windows Vista
Toshiba Satellite, 2-3 years old, always used on kitchen table, fan is operating, fins look free of any lint, but after 45 minutes it shuts off with no warning. Took me two days to figure out that the computer feels very hot on the left side (side of fan and fins). After years of flawless operation this started two days ago. Any ideas?

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#1
October 27, 2010 at 15:12:57
Although the fins look clean, the inside could be dirty. If you feel confident enough, take it apart and clean it. Also, try to keep it elevated to allow more air flow underneath.

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#2
October 27, 2010 at 16:01:20
Try blowing out the vents with compressed air.

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