I have been cruising through the forums quite a bit and none of the questions ask seem to help me out with my issue. I have a Dell E6410 w/ discrete Nvidia graphics.
About a month ago my computer began randomly shutting off due to overheating. Initially, I rigged something up such that a fan blew cold air on the bottom of the laptop and this seemed to temporarily prevent the issue. I noticed that when I had my laptop docked w/ 2 23" monitors, the computer shutdown from overheating significantly faster than if I ran it by itself (not docked). After a week or so of this, the fan underneath no longer made a difference and my laptop will always shutdown due to overheating indicated by the dell error code #M1004.
So I took a few steps to troubleshoot this...
I cleaned out the CPU fan & vent of dust hoping that would lead to a simple fix but after doing so, nothing changed.
I then proceeded to go to Radio Shack and pick myself up some Arctic Silver thermal paste to replace the existing paste in the machine which was dried out and clay like. After replacing the thermal paste and reseating the heat sink the issue has still persisted. Im confident that I did not apply too much thermal paste.
After talking with a buddy about the behavior of my CPU fan, I decided to order a new one in hopes that mabye mine was just malfunctioning, the new fan failed to fix the issue as well and made no difference. My buddy claims that the CPU fan should be spinning at all times when the machine is powered up but it does not so that leaves me with a few questions.
Any help or advice would be much appreciated! Having no working computer is so depressing :/