Why does my Aspire One shut down unexpectedly?

Discussion in 'Acer Aspire One' started by qckslvr, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. qckslvr

    qckslvr

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    Hi. New member here. First post.

    I've had an Aspire One Model ZA3 for over two years now, and love its compact size and light weight. Other than that, the jury is still out with some of its quirky issues.

    The problem I am experiencing at this time is that the unit shuts down unexpectedly after about 20 minutes of use. This occurs regardless of whether it is operating on battery power or plugged in and charging. The unit I have has 2 gigs of memory, and a 250 gig hard drive. It has never been more than half-full at any one time.

    I have two homes, and two different ISP's. Comcast in PA, and Verizon in FL. The fault occurs on both networks.

    I also have both Internet Explorer and Safari loaded on this system. The fault occurs regardless of which one is in use.

    When it shuts down, it does so without warning. The only way to power it back up at that time is to hold down the power button, and then re-boot it.

    If anyone has any thoughts as to why this may be happening, I would greatly appreciate hearing them. Thanks in advance.
     
    qckslvr, Oct 19, 2011
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  2. qckslvr

    something back

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    Although I have no exact answer to your problem “sorry”.

    Some other members have reported blocked fans causing their Netbooks to
    shut down. It's has to be worth a look at your fan vents.

    Many Disassembly Manuals listed on the forum.
     
    something back, Oct 19, 2011
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  3. qckslvr

    qckslvr

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    Thank you for your prompt reply, S. B. As I was lying in bed last night, I began to think about the fan, myself. Short of some virus-type malady, that seems to be the most likely cause for these shutdowns. I'll do some surgery, and let the forum know if that corrects the issue. At least I'll be doing something constructive, rather than just waiting for the inevitable to happen. Thanks again.
     
    qckslvr, Oct 19, 2011
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  4. qckslvr

    nestone

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    What do you mean by "shut down?" Do you get the "blue screen of death first? Does it freeze? You say you have to hold the power button down to re-boot. So, does that mean the screen goes blank and the computer stops altogether?
    If you are a bit more descriptive of what's happening, you might get better suggestions based on the symptoms. Yes, overheating of the CPU is the most common reason for the computer to shut down. However, it can also be an operating system fault, bad memory etc. Can you hear the fan running before this happens?
     
    nestone, Oct 19, 2011
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  5. qckslvr

    qckslvr

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    In reverse order, the fan seems to run intermittently. By "shuts down", I mean the screen goes completely black and the system becomes entirely unresponsive. No key strokes have any effect at that time, which is why I then have to power it off manually, before I can re-start it.

    I'm leaning toward the fan inop being the issue. I'll attack that first chance I have. Golf first!
     
    qckslvr, Oct 20, 2011
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  6. qckslvr

    nestone

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    I think you are correct. I had a similar issue once. Turned out there was a little ball of dust in between two of the blades of the fan. Apparently, this resulted in an imbalance of the fan blade that resulted in the fan turning itself off. The CPU then overheated and the computer shut down to save itself. Once I cleaned out the fan, the problem went away.
     
    nestone, Oct 20, 2011
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  7. qckslvr

    Swarvey Moderator

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    If the fan's still running, chances are it's still cooling the system, albeit a dirty fan will do a lesser job of it. As far as my experience has led, an overheat shutdown will actually shut down the machine, the monitor will shut off, and there will be no lights.

    To check for a BSOD, reboot the machine, tapping F8 while it's booting, choose the option to not automatically restart on system failure. This will make windows throw up a BSOD with an error code if there is one.

    Supposing it's a driver issue which is confusing the graphics chip or the LaunchManager software, have you plugged in an external monitor to the VGA port? Very slim chance here, but it might be throwing your display to the external for some reason. As I said though, very slim chance.

    If you have an external USB DVD-RW or a USB Flash Drive, you may be able to create either a bootable Linux distro, or a bootable Win7 image, from both of which you can run a memory check with MemTestx86 (or the "microsoft" memory diagnostic). A memory fault could very well be the cause of the system "blacking out".

    If you listen closely, are there any wierd clicks, grinds, groans or screaming noises coming from your HDD. A failing HDD, or even a HDD with a slient problem such as a malfunctioning circuit board could also cause these symptoms. The same thing happens in a PC if you disconnect the primary HDD (the one you're booting from) while the system is running, it'll eventually freeze and malfunction. You could potentially test this by running a "live" linux distro such as Ubuntu with the HDD disconnected from the computer.

    Lastly, how long does the system last in normal mode, vs running Windows in Safe mode?
     
    Swarvey, Oct 20, 2011
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  8. qckslvr

    qckslvr

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    Thanks to all who responded to my inquiry. I can state with a great degree of certainty that a clogged air intake was the cause of my computer shut down problem. I brushed and then vacuumed the intake grille, and the fan began operating normally. The computer has been running for at least an hour now without shutting down. I'll be sure to keep on top of it from here on out. Thanks again!
     
    qckslvr, Oct 22, 2011
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