I bought my Dell 1555 laptop around 14 months ago, and around 3 months ago I started having this problem. The laptop will shut down randomly without warning, like the power cable has been pulled out or something. It has never happened when the computer is idle, it only happens when using Java applications, and most recently when playing games, e.g Counter Strike: Source. I was told that this problem was due to overheating, so I have tried to clean out any dust that may be in the fan section with a can of air spray a couple of times, but still the laptop shuts down randomly. I have installed the latest BIOS, but that had no effect. Does anyone know of a fix? My warranty/guarantee has run out, so I want to try and hold and sending it in to Dell if possible. Any help is appreciated.
If it is overheating, you need to monitor the temperatures in the PC to see what's getting hot.
I found a copy of SpeedFan here that looks like it can read the temperatures in the PC. I've not used it before but it looks useful. What I'd try is:
Spraying canned air may not have removed the dust; only moved it around. Look at the service manual here and see if you want to tackle taking the computer apart and spray the fins out. Try to do this without taking the thermal assembly off the CPU.
When you're playing, make sure the PC is on a hard surface and has plenty of airflow around it. If you sit in the comfy chair to play, you might consider a laptop cooler. They have build-in fans under the unit that keep the air flowing.
I hope this helps.
This started happening to me recently and I have found out that it's not a heating problem.Only thing I do on my laptop these days is browse the net and use word, around 2 years ago when I bought this I played "Crysis-Warheads" lolz...those days long are gone unfortunately due dust and general wear,it heats up and shuts down if I play any intensive games etc... But this new shutting down problem is not at all to do with over heating, its to do with a faulty power adapter.... what I noticed is that all these random shutdowns occur when its plug in and is charging. Once you remove and start using it, everything works fine...plug it back in, then it shut downs at a random time, sometimes in 2-3minutes or smtimes in around 1-2 hours... The shutdown occurs because the adapter trips a Current or Voltage sensor inside the laptop, That is my general idea... I hope this sensor is not faulty, if not , the new power pack should work.... I have ordered one just yesterday... I'll let you know if this remedy works when I get it...
Ok I WAS WRONG, This random shutting down problem was due to the Video Thermal Sensor going off....
So in my earlier post I was talking about how everything worked fine when I was on battery but it would randomly turn off the moment I plug in my AC adapter.... Well this is the reason...
When you plug in the AC adapter, power settings change, so to modify this--> Click the battery icon,then click on "more power options"--> Here you have your power plans --> Click "Change Plan settings" for which ever plan you are using now--> Then click "Change advanced power settings" --> Ok sooo in here, U'll see a lot of sub headings click on each of them, then make all the "plugged in:" settings equal to "Battery On:" settings(This worked for me) If you are having the shutting down problem even when you are on battery , try turning down all these options, You MUST TURN DOWN all areas connected with your Graphics Card(The name tags are pretty self-explanatory,You'll understand when you have a look at them) ... Leave the CPU stuff alone, unless it still doesn't work after you turn down the graphics part....
So why do all this? well you are effectively tuning down your laptop performance = in turn less processing is done in a given period of time = which means less heat is produced = Laptop want turn off at awkward times :) (i.e In the middle of a presentation, at the very moment you were going to submit that VERY important assignment Or when you have just written code 500 lines long on Matlab and everything crashes,and all the files associated with it gets corrupted etc... incidentally, all these things did happen to me)... And why did this all start happening after 2 blissful years(In my case that is, might have being sooner for some of you out there)well the thermal glue on your graphics card wears off with time, hence it doesn't remove heat from the GPU as it used to... therefor your GPU will always run at a very high temperature, around 101C,in my case, when it's doing absolutely nothing!!![ I found this out when I ran Dell Diagnostics... If you guys are interested, check it out, it does a really thorough check, and lets you pin point which hardware part is malfunctioning]...Sooo , How does this relate to the AC adaptor, Well if u check in the power setting as I have said before, When you plug the AC adaptor,the laptop switches from GPU,Powersave mode to--> GPU Maximise performance mode, therefore the idle temperature goes up, so when you start using your laptop, like moving your mouse around or opening up a web browser, a tiny bit of your GPU will be used, which might make it a bit more hot and making it pass the max-temperature, effectively triggering the safety mechanism which turns off your computer...
This method may not work for you if the thermal glue is completely gone... In which case you may have to change it... Just to make sure that the, thermal glue/heat sink/clogged fan is the real problem run the Dell Diagnostics.. do the "extended version", it takes awhile, but it checks everything.
So did lowering my laptop performance help me? YES, 100%... I can't play any games on my laptop, but I can still browse the net,play some music,watch movies and use office + some of my engineering programs(Matlab etc)...This should get me through another 8-10 months, "Hopefully, fingers crossed :)"
So what does this say about DELL Laptops! They SUCK BIG TIME!!! I MAY HAVE BEING A FAN 2 years ago, BUT NOT NOW!... People, spend a bit more money and BUY APPLE!!!, I have couple of friends who's being using them for over 3 years, and they don't SLOW DOWN,OVER HEAT or Randomly TURN OFF!!!... So if you want your laptop to last at least 3-4 years Go APPLE!!!(Mac Book Pro)... I hated there overpriced systems with low specs, 2 years ago,but now its seems they ain't that expensive, plus all there specs are really good... for $2000 you can get a good model,compared to a dell for $1500 You pay that extra $500, for quality and a peace of mind :)...
Man, if don't know much about computers, you're right, you should buy a Mac.
Is it that hard to take apart your laptop and change the thermal paste?
I've been using my Dell Studio 1555 for 4 years now and no hardware problems what so ever.
It's true I changed my thermal paste 1 year ago, and now I can still play, without interruption games like Dirt3, Crysis Warhead, Test Drive Unlimited 2, with no overheating problems.
All you need is a cooling pad and new cooling paste.
Dell offers good technical support on their site and you can search on youtube to see how to change the thermal paste.
You need a good thermal paste (like Arctic Silver 5 or Arctic Cooling mx-4) for the processor and the chipset and a cooling band (or what ever it is called) for the GPU and memories.
I used in mine only thermal paste and some aluminium strips instead of using cooling band for the GPU (The space between the radiator and the GPU is bigger and you cannot add just thermal paste). I works like a charm.
hey! greetings from India and thanks for the solution, was facing the same problem for a long time, just one doubt, how can i now restore my laptop to a state where i don't have to change the GPU setting in power option?, is thermal glue for the graphic card a solution?, thanks for the help.