Life Hacks

Laptop Goes Off After A Few Minutes? Here Is What To Do

Laptops are a necessity for business, educational uses and personal entertainment. The problem is that they are quite prone to problems. One of the common problems people encounter is that laptops can suddenly go off when in use. This could happen while working on important documents, or just when a movie is getting interesting.

The major reason why this happens is heat. But then, if the user is not careful or lucky, that small heat problem could quickly damage the laptop permanently – making it too costly to repair, and sometimes just cheaper to get another one.

Hopefully, your computer is not yet so bad. We will look at a number of reasons why this can happen, and eliminate them on by one.

Why Does A Laptop Go Off Suddenly, And What Can I Do?

Heat is the major reason. Laptops are small, and getting smaller. The spaces on the inside are very compact, and components are very tightly packed together. When a laptop is powered on, it naturally generates heat. This poses a few questions for how to remove that heat because failing that, the laptop will fry itself with its own heat. Laptop makers try to make ventilation. You can check if it’s adequate.

Check Ventilation: usually, there are slats on the sides and under the laptop. These are vents through which hot air should leave the system. Sometimes these vents can get clogged with dust and other debris.

You can clear the debris with a brush, and also by blowing compressed air through the vents. It is also important to ensure that the vents are not covered by you when in use. They could be covered by the surface on which you use the computer. As a rule it is commonly advised that users avoid putting their laptops on the bed, or cushion, or any other such surface when in use.

Create More Vents: if you are good with a drill, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from making additional vents to your laptop. This will increase efficiency, and make it last many more years.

However, it is important to ensure that you do not damage any of the internal components while making the additional vents. As a rule, the vents should only be make on the underside of the laptops, and the casing should be opened first, so you can see what you are drilling.

Check the Fan: most laptops have fans whose job is to force cool air over the hottest components. Sometimes dust and debris can clog up the fan, making it stuck and unable to move. When that happens, the normal thing is that the laptop overheats, and malfunctions.

Sometimes it is not even dust. The fan can just get tired from working hard over many years, and can just fail. Sometimes it may work and stop, work and stop, and so may not provide sufficient cooling for the computer.

To make sure that the fan is working is usually not very difficult; just putting your ear to it is often sufficient because you can often hear the fan humming.

If by checking the above you find that the issue is resolved, then you may go on to enjoy your computer. However, if the issue persists, then it could be a software issue.

Check for Software Issues That Can Make the Laptop Go Off

Auto Switch Off: sometimes users can fiddle with their computers too much, and unwittingly set programs into effect that carry out automatic switching off of the computer. To see if there is any such program, open the run dialogue by hitting the windows key, and typing into the search box.

Type “shutdown -a” and then press enter. That will remove any automatically scheduled shutdowns that may be in the system.

Scan for Viruses: computer viruses are designed to carry out actions without the knowledge of the computer user. Sometimes they can strain a computer so much that it overheats and shuts off. Other viruses can make the computers behave erratically, and shutting down without warning is not ruled out.

Using any good antivirus of your choice, you can scan the system, as well as any other attached drives or devices for viruses. Then remove them immediately. You can now restart the computer and see how it does. If the problem persists, then maybe it’s time to re-format the laptop, including reinstalling all drivers.

Re-format the laptop: this is probably too complicated for a first timer. It is best to take the laptop to a technician. When you do so, it is probably a good idea to explain the reason you are doing it. That way, the technician may have a look at the hardware as well, so as to double check, and ensure that everything is right.

The technician can service the laptop; changing the cooling paste as well before proceeding to re format the system. He will probably need to purchase a new copy of windows, as well as fresh copies of the software that you use.

At this point, the laptop should be good. If it was a software problem that has been causing the computer to power off abruptly then that should be cleared up. If the laptop works well, then that is just great. If however, it still persists with the issue then it could be the bios.

Update the BIOS: this is a tricky thing to do, and so there is no shame in taking the laptop to a technician. However, it is not too difficult to do so you may decide to give it a go. The BIOS is a set of commands that the computer uses to start when it is powered on.

In some systems it appears briefly as a blue screen before loading up the operating system. You can access it by pressing F10 or F2 or F1 or DEL or ESC – depending on manufacturer. You have to do this immediately after pressing the power button – before the computer enters the windows environment.

To update the bios you need to make sure you know the exact system maker and the model number of your computer, as well as the existing bios. You can get these details by tapping the windows button and typing in the search box.

Type system information and enter. It will bring out a huge dialogue box with all the information about the computer. Write it down.

Go to the manufacturer website of your laptop. Locate the support and downloads section. Look for your exact laptop model, and then download the bios update. There may be several bios updates to choose from, it is often best to choose the latest one. After that, transfer the file onto a flash disk.

All important documents, including pictures, movies and songs should also go into a separate flash disk, or other memory device.

Then restart your computer, tapping whatever button takes you into the bios environment. In some cases, if the flash disk is plugged in, it will immediately bring up a menu that will allow you to just click “update.” Then it will go ahead and update the files. It will note take long, but make sure the computer does not go off as it uploads. (Insert laugh emoji here).

If it does not bring up the menu then look for it yourself. You are looking for something with “EZ Flash Utility” in it. Usually, you will find the laptop maker’s name in front of it like Asus EZ Flash Utility. Click that, then click on USB drive, and then click on the file. It will then upload, after which you can restart your computer, and allow it to boot up normally.

In the more advanced systems you can update your bios directly from your windows environment without restarting and pressing F12. Just go to Settings, and then go to Update & Security then Recovery then Restart Now (under Advanced startup). In the window that pops up, look for and tap Troubleshoot then Advanced options then UEFI Firmware Settings then Restart.

Further Reading:

The bottom line:

Aside from a lucky guess, the only way to discover why your laptop shuts down suddenly is to eliminate possible causes one by one until the computer is working great again. It is important to start from the top; the procedures at the bottom are a lot more complicated and require an expert hand.

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