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Ask Harold Hanna Your Own Question

Harold Hanna
Harold Hanna, Engineer
Category: Laptop
Satisfied Customers: 156
Experience:  Sr System Administrator at General Dynamics
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I've formatted the hard drive, put on a fresh copy of Windows

Customer Question

I've formatted the hard drive, put on a fresh copy of Windows 7 on, installed all the drivers, cleaned the dust out and my laptop still shuts off after a while. Toshiba A665-S6086 . . . what else could it be?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Laptop
Expert:  Charles A. Roberts replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** to verify after cleaning the dust out of the heatsync and fan the computer still shuts down and looses power? How long does it stay on?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Only a few minutes . . .
Expert:  Charles A. Roberts replied 10 months ago.
I am going to assume it's not even getting hot in that time period so this would not be a over heat issue however it called have started out as a over heat problem however once the heatsync and fan were cleaned out the damage could already be done. There are two things that could be causing this kind of problem now. Either the CPU itself has been damaged from over heat which is why it's now shutting the machine off or the motherboard is the culprit.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm ready any time you are!
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
Hello, are you able to see if the problem remains while you are in the BIOS monitoring the fans and temperatures of the CPU and motherboard?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No . . . are you connected or not?
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
No we are not remotely connected. We can not remotely connect to the BIOS, you would have to tell me what you see. If the problem was with Windows itself, after we rule out hardware or a BIOS problem, then we may chose to do a remote connection.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
So that means that I have to reboot the computer to get into the readings . . . . how do I get back to you after I do?
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
Are you on the computer that is in discussion right now? I didn't think it would stay on this long if it was the machine you were speaking of. You can get back to me by using the email in your email account, but if you're able to keep it on for closer to 30 minutes I can attempt to look at it remotely?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes this is the computer . . .
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK how long does it usually stay on for? Is it closer to an hour? When it shuts off, does it immediately turn back on, or do you need to wait several minutes?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
When I cleaned it to day and formatted the hard drive and installed Windows 7 Home Premium and all the drivers it was on almost all day!!!
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
How many times has it restarted and how long approximately in between each time? Is this the same issue you reformatted and cleaned it for?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
. . . it shut down twice since I've been going back and forth with you guys . . . now it's been on for about 20 minutes. When it does shut down . . it boots right away.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
What was the reason you formatted and cleaned the computer earlier today? Was it for the same problem?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes. I bought it used. I wanted to start fresh.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK. To clarify, it was restarting before intermittently... also, you wanted a fresh start on the computer, so you formatted it?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes . . . it was doing the same thing before I formatted it.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK understood. I believe the best way to troubleshoot this issue would be to see what happens when it's in the BIOS. This takes Windows and other software/hardware out of the equation. If it is in the BIOS, the temperatures look normal, and it never restarts, this likely means the hard drive is having an issue. If it restarts even while in the BIOS, it is likely that the power supply, motherboard, RAM, or the software re installation could be part of the problem.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I will check it and get back to you . . . just don't charge me for the connection . . . if your not connecting!
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK it should not charge you for a connection unless you click on the request to do so. As mentioned earlier, I will try to verify other means to check if a remote connection (additional charge) would be worth the value. Use your email to log back into our chat and we will continue after you have tested this for a while. I will be here the same time tomorrow evening as well, this may take a while to test, but time is not relevant to your charges. Answering the question is what is important, so there is no rush.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
O.K. . . . I got into the BIOs and the computer shut down as I was checking everything.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK were you able to see what the temperatures were before it shut down? Have you tried taking out the battery and reinserting it in case the connection isn't solid?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No . . there was nothing there to show me the temps . . . and I've always ran this laptop plugged in.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
I understand if it's plugged in but sometimes battery issues can cause it to have odd power issues as well. And I believe you mentioned it has always been a problem with restarting randomly?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
. . . but it doesn't restart . . . I have to restart it . . . it shuts off completely.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Should I check the battery anyway?
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK sorry thank you for clarifying. Restart/power loss, yes please check the battery either way. Some batteries also have a power indicator directly on the battery. We want to see if it seems it's holding a charge.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The battery seems to be fine.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
. . . I made sure the battery was seated properly. I ran the laptop on the battery when I first got on Answer and it is down to 30%. I plugged the power cord back into to it to charge.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
Does it have any indicators on it showing charge levels? What sometimes may happen is if the battery is bad, the computer may seem fine for most of the time (while the AC adapter is plugged in), but then if the adapter is somewhat faulty, it has no way to retain power if the adapter drops out for half a second. This is why a bad battery will sometimes make the computer restart regardless of if the AC is plugged in or not.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
Is there any difference as far as it restarting when it is plugged in or not plugged in (aside from the battery dying)?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
. . . again the computer does not shut down and than restart . . . it shuts down period the I have to start it myself.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It will shut down if it's plugged in or not.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK. Is there any difference as far as the computer shutting down when it is plugged in or not plugged in (aside from the battery dying). It is same problem if it restarts or shuts down. Have you seen the battery go to 100% full and that seems to work correctly?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
What is the most you have seen it charge?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
100% . . .You know what I don't have the confidence in you being able to solve this problem.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
OK I will opt out and let a third person try to help you. Have a good evening!
Expert:  Byron replied 10 months ago.
Hi. My name is ***** ***** I can solve your problem. I looked into the pedigree of the laptop and itfirst came out in 2010. It's old. If it's not overheating but is spontaneously shutting down then the issueis on the motherboard. Given the age of the laptop it's not worth putting money into keeping it alivewith a motherboard replacement.Replacing the laptop will solve your problem.
Expert:  Harold Hanna replied 10 months ago.
As you bought this laptop used, are you able to return it? There is not much that can be done with a laptop that restarts while in BIOS if the battery and AC adapter seem functional. The last you can try is a different AC adapter, but if your battery is working properly this should make the AC adapter not as important. Please let me know if there is any further information for this.