My not-yet-one-year-old N411z displayed the same problem. It would power off whenever I'd do anything more than just web browsing -- it would even turn off on flash games. Watching hi-def video or doing anything CPU intensive would do the same.
After going through the normal troubleshooting like BIOS, drivers, dusting the vents etc. to no avail, I downloaded the Core Temp software to see what my CPU was idling at and was shocked to see it idling in the 70s Celsius.
System fan was working fine and there was no dust ball clogging the vents anywhere. So I took the heatsink apart and voila~ discovered the problem with dried up thermal compound.
After cleaning and reapplying the thermal compound I had laying around, I'm currently running 1080i video and Core Temp software is telling me Core1: 50C Core 2: 39C.
It's no longer powering off.
Is your laptop overheating? If so, clean the air vents:
Below are the steps to clean the air vents:
Note: Do not use your mouth to blow the Dust out of a Laptop. If using a can of compressed air use the can according to the directions on the side of the can as you can cause damage to the computer if used incorrectly.
Please check your system's functionality in BIOS:
I will also recommend you to update the BIOS:
Note: The ac adapter should be connected and the battery should be at least 10% charged. Please disconnect all the external devices connected to the system before updating the BIOS. Please save all the unsaved data as your system will restart automatically while updating the BIOS.
Keep me updated. Please reply in case you have any further questions.
Thanks and Regards,Vikram M#iworkfordellTo know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, please go to http://dell.to/YBlak6
I'm having the same problem with a brand new inspiron 14z, seems to be when processor is high and the power cable is off and you connect it, or the cable is on and you remove it.
I'm not sure, but it seems to be relatet to the change of video driver, from intel to amd, or the change of battery profile.
I have had the same problem and cleaning does nothing. I would follow what you are doing but it is Greek to me. What and where is the heat sink? What is the thermal compound? Be most greatful to hear back from you as I am in Spain and have no way to communicate with someone (I don't speak Spanish well enough) for help with this.
I'm having the same problem. Dell has already sent a tech to replace the motherboard, to no avail. They are going to send out another tech. I'll mention the thermal compound (it's Greek to me too), and see if that's one of the parts that will be replaced this time. I've been pretty patient with Dell so far, but this is getting ridiculous.
I happened to buy the extended service thingy, which I don't normally do, but I'm glad I did this time. The tech replaced the motherboard again, but also the heat sink and fan. I mentioned the thermal compound to him, and he said that the thermal compound was part of the parts that he was replacing. That was on Saturday, and I haven't had any spontaneous shut downs SO FAR. Fingers crossed...