Why my computer shut off automatically

One of my laptops used to immediately shut off. This always happened to me when I was in the middle of working on something important. Since the shutdown was immediate, not graceful, I would lose all my unsaved work.

I noticed this usually happened after the fan had been running. The fan would run at high speed for a while, then the computer would immediately shut off.

After a few months of this, my amazing powers of deduction led me to take apart the computer looking for some hardware issue. Here is what I found:

Apparently, there was a lot of dust blocking the fan exhaust. Once I removed all of this, the computer has always worked perfectly. It has not shut off automatically in 6 months.

I have no idea where this dust came from, by the way. I promise we are clean people!

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11/30/10 5:50 PM # Posted By Phillip Senn

Sometimes you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and head on down the road!

11/30/10 6:07 PM # Posted By TJ Downes

I feel your pain Dan. I recently cleaned out my server. Took me an hour and a half. We get a lot of dust here, so ideally I should be doing it every 6 months, but hadn't done it in two years. The fans are much more quiet now!

11/30/10 7:52 PM # Posted By Jim

This is why they make air in a can.

Or in my case with dogs, cats, gerbils and kids... an air compressor.

11/30/10 10:43 PM # Posted By Nathan Strutz

How would you classify that? Dark matter? Cloud computing? Really seems to easy to call it a dust bunny.

12/1/10 7:17 AM # Posted By RyanTJ

Wow. Nice laptop hair ball. At least it was not preceded by a horrible hacking sound like other hair balls. Or was there hacking, hmmm.

12/1/10 8:34 AM # Posted By Eric Cobb

My question is, why did you hold on to that dustball for 6 months before taking a picture and posting it online? ;)

12/21/10 12:24 PM # Posted By Jose Galdamez

This reminds me of the Chrome netbook commercial where something keeps happening to the computer while the guy is in the middle of something. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm-Vnx58UYo

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