I have a Dell Studio 1555 laptop, about 3 years old. During this time, it suffered many many faults (CMOS battery failure, hard disk failure (had to replace), eventually - motherboard gave out, had to be completely replaced). After all these repairs, now I'm getting a new problem: under high stress (like when gaming) this laptop sometimes shuts down in split second, like electricity was cut. Strangely enough, it doesn't happen always - maybe 1-4 times a week. Sometimes I can play on it for many hours with very high stress, and it doesn't shut down.
Now I know for sure that this ain't a temperature problem, because:
1) Thermal paste was replaced 3 weeks ago;
2) I clean the dust every month or so;
3) Heat sink doesn't get very hot (I know that sometimes it can get so hot that it's impossible to touch, and laptop wouldn't shut down);
I red that this may also be a AC adapter problem. Luckily, my father has similar laptop with EXACTLY same AC adapter, so I swapped them - however, the problem remains, so I guess this is something different than AC adapter.
So, if it ain't temperature nor AC adapter problem, what could it be? I bought Dell because it had a reputation of being very reliable, and yet there have been so many independent hardware failures that is way over the limit. I always utilize laptop in proper way: clean regularly, don't let it overheat (always place on solid surface), and so on.
I appreciate all the trouble shooting steps tried to resolve the issue. I recommend you to flash BIOS and update the video driver and that should resolve the issue. Please click on the link below, enter the system service and then select the Operating system to get the drivers for your computer:
Note: While flashing BIOS connect the Ac adapter and make sure the battery has minimum 15% charge as this needs uninterrupted power supply. Do not use the system till it restarts and comes up to the desktop. Restart the system after the video driver update.
Let me know the status after the update.
As BIOS and driver update did not resolve the issue, I recommend you to replace the heat sink and Fans. If the issue persists even after that, consider replacing the motherboard. If the system is out of warranty let me know the region you belong to, to provide the contact information to get the system serviced.
I'm sorry, but I just replaced the motherboard. It is brand new. Also, as I said, computer doesn't get hot anywhere, I can feel it by touching.
I would replace something only as a last resort, only if I knew that something exactly has broken... I don't have money to replace parts by guessing. Isn't there a way to determine what exactly needs fixing?
I agree to what you say. Unfortunately we have performed almost all the trouble shooting steps which should have resolved the issue to no avail. The only way to isolate the issue is to check by replacing this motherboard on a known good system.
I recommend you to run diagnostics on the hardware components of the system. To run diagnostics restart the system and at the Dell logo tap the F12 key every two seconds. This will start the One-time boot menu. Using arrow keys select ‘Diagnostics’ and hit enter. This will run diagnostics on the hardware components of the system which may take around 5 minutes. Please reply to this post in case of any error message.
If the diagnostics test pass, I request you to restore the system to the factory installed state. Please find the link below for instruction:
The above link is for Windows 7, let me know if it is a different Operating system.
I ran that diagnostic, and video card did not pass it. I couldn't write down the error code because laptop started beeping alarms at maximum volume with no way to silence them, so I had to hit "skip". I couldn't find any log/report file afterwards.
If error code and message is must-know, I will run it again and write it down. It stated something about missing user input, and error code started with 80, as I recall.