jblangston7
1 Copper

Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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So I have searched through forums looking for a solution to this problem, and I have seen that other users have experienced similar problems with other studio laptops.  I'm not sure why this is happening but when I'm using my computer it makes a clicking noise (like the noise when you normally shut it down) and shuts off randomly.  I haven't had it on for an extended period of time and it isn't that hot.  Thought it might be overheating or some other battery connection issue, but it's not.  I bought it previously ordered new from the Dell Outlet so it should be brand new. I was wondering if anyone has found a solution to the problem or if Dell is providing any help with this extremely aggravating issue.  I'm a college student and it's been happening to me in the middle of doing assignments.  I bought this computer specifically for school and all while it performs nicely for the most part, the random shutting down is simply unacceptable.  I bought it in January so I don't know what the warranty is like.  Any help would be appreciated.  I sure haven't gotten any yet.  

 OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium

Version 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1 Build 6001

Other OS Description Not Available

OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation

System Name JED-NOTEBOK

System Manufacturer Dell Inc.

System Model Studio 1537

System Type X86-based PC

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     T5800  @ 2.00GHz, 2000 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)

BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. A06, 11/17/2008

SMBIOS Version 2.5

Windows Directory C:\Windows

System Directory C:\Windows\system32

Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume3

Locale United States

Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6001.18000"

User Name Jed-Notebok\Jed

Time Zone Mountain Daylight Time

Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 3.00 GB

Total Physical Memory 2.96 GB

Available Physical Memory 1.55 GB

Total Virtual Memory 6.12 GB

Available Virtual Memory 4.35 GB

Page File Space 3.25 GB

Page File C:\pagefile.sys

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gaiden
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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After 3 days of troubleshooting I now consider myself an expert in this matter.  Below is a veritable thesis on everything you could ever need (or want :)) to know about this problem.  I know it is long, but it is worth reading through to completely understand what this problem is due to and how to fix it.

A intermittent/random/unexpected immediate/instantaneous shut down (without the normal shut down/power down sequence) is a safety feature (I am guessing as a component of the bios, but who knows) that functions to prevent heat damage to the CPU or GPU.  When these chips reach a certain critical threshold temperature a heat sensor is tripped to protect the hardware.

Three separate problems can activate this feature:

1.  an error in the bios.

Solution:  update the bios

2.  a dysfunctional heat sensor

Solution:  run Dell Diagnostics to confirm (see below).

3.  its actually too hot

Solution:  depends

As diagnosing (2.) is involved with (3.) I will just go through (3.).

There are 5 hardware components to defray heat from the C/GPU.  In order of heat transfer:

A. thermal adhesive/pad/glue/compound

B. heat sink tubing

C. fan

D. heat sink

E. vents built into the base of the laptop

The thermal material conducts heat from the C/GPU to the copper tubing which is routed towards the fan and the heat sink.  Heat thus travels from the C/GPU to the external environment with the fan blowing hot air out through the heat sink and ultimately through the vents visible on the base of your laptop.  Any one of these components can malfunction:

A.  thermal material can dry and/or crack disturbing its perfect interface that uniformly transforms heat from the C/GPU to the copper tubing thus creating localized hot spots on the C/GPU.  This can in turn fry a portion of your processor.

Solution:  you'll need a new processor

B.  heat sink tubing can break or dislodge.  

Solution:  I don't know enough about this type of damage to usefully discuss it but if the tubing is damaged replacing the whole heat sink assembly will only cost about $50 if you search around online.  Incidentally the model for Studio 1735 is NU380.

C.  the fan either works or it doesn't - if you hear the fan its working, if you never hear it, it likely is not working.

Solution:  follow the steps in the system manual for your particular dell laptop to replace the fan.  I just worked on this on my own machine and its obnoxiously designed.  You literally have to disassemble the entire Studio 1735 to access the fan.  I don't know what the engineers were thinking.

D.  The likelihood of the heat sink itself being damaged is slim to none unless you have physically damaged your laptop and if damage has been significant enough to damage the grate you ought to be thinking about more than just the heat sink grid as the force involved in that kind of trauma has probably disturbed the system board and the variety of chips attached to it.

Solution:  There are actually 2 grids - one is integrated into the heat sink assembly, the other is integrated into the fan assembly.  If you have to replace either component, the grid will come along with it.

IMPORTANT:  THE MOST LIKELY CAUSE OF YOUR COMPUTER OVERHEATING IS NOT ACTUAL DAMAGE TO ANY OF THE ABOVE COMPONENTS BUT DISRUPTION TO THE HEAT TRANSFER.  THE THERMAL ADHESIVE DELL USES IS CHEAP AND SHOULD BE REPLACED ANNUALLY.  HOWEVER, WHAT TAKES THE CAKE IS DUST.  ONE THINKS (AND I INCLUDE MYSELF HERE) THAT BY USING AN AIR CAN THAT YOU ARE KEEPING YOUR LAPTOP CLEAN.  THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!!!  USING A CAN OF AIR TO BLOW OUT DUST ACCESSIBLE VIA VENTS ONLY WORKS FOR AIR FLOW ACCESSIBLE VIA THOSE VENTS.  THAT INNER HEAT SINK GRID I SPOKE OF ABOVE (THAT IS ATTACHED TO THE FAN) WILL NOT BE CLEANED BY FORCEFUL AIR FLOW.  IN ORDER TO CLEAN THIS HEAT SINK YOU WILL HAVE TO DISASSEMBLE THE ENTIRE LAPTOP (AS I DESCRIBED ABOVE FOR FAN REPLACEMENT) AND WHEN YOU TAKE OUT THE FAN YOU WILL THEN SEE THE DUST THAT HAS COLLECTED THERE.

Ok, so you now know how the system works, what can go wrong, and how to fix what can go wrong.  Here is how you can diagnose what the actual problem is.  If I am not mistaken, all dell (at least) laptops come with their hard drive partitioned.  On the partition is a diagnostic utility accessible during the boot sequence with F12.  The absolute most sure fire way to assess what damage your system has (if any) is to run the extended diagnostics.  This may occur after a pre-system diagnostic test or may be directly accessible.  In this diagnostic utility you will be able to assess the integrity of your heat sensors, your processors, your memory, your harddrive and a variety of other components that can be damaged by overheating.  The utility is fairly self explanatory to operate and guides you through its use.  If you are a more comfortable user, you can use other features of the diagnostic utility that more directly assess particular system features.  Thus, this diagnostic will solve problems with both (2.) and (3.).

My suggestion is to run through the diagnostics before you start attempting to replace hardware.  The reasoning for this suggestion should be obvious:  you don't want to start fixing something that isn't the problem.  I spent hours and hours figuring out that the problem initially identified by the poster was due to overheating.  I called Dell and they told me that without warranty I'd have to buy a new laptop (comparable is about $1000) or have a service technician come on site (to my home) (cost = $400).  In fact, just to speak to the service technician was going to cost $60 but the guy was nice and said since I had basically self diagnosed the problem he'd directly route me to the technician and not charge me the fee.  I called up geek squad and they were going to charge a $70 diagnostic fee to figure out what I had already identified and have defined for you above and would then charge me for parts and labor to replace the heat sink.  Note, this was all before I actually opened up my machine and realized that the internal heat sink grid was clogged.  Thus, I went from potentially having to spend $1000 to spending $8 (because I disassembled my heat sink, I now to replace the thermal adhesive to restore the uniform interface it shared with the C/GPU).

It pays to be knowledgable about these things - it pays big time!  In the past I would have probably wrote the problem off to being a broken machine and bought a new one.

It also is helpful to understand what the mechanism underlying the problem of overheating is (as I have outlined above) because a few other things should be intuitively obvious:  

i. if your system is overheating, use it extremely sparingly so you permanently damage any of the hardware (and don't run high processing features like video and games)

ii. if the problem is heat you can use an external cooling system.  the external cooling pads at best decrease the C/GPU temperates by 10 degrees C, thus if your system is at 100 degree C that's not going to do too much.  However, if you set up the computer in a cold environment with active convection (I put my laptop on a wire cookie sheet to elevate it and then had a powerful area fan blow over and under it to make sure I could run the diagnostics without the system shutting itself down).  Let me tell you, that fan was doing alot more than the power that could be transferred via a USB connection.

Recommendations:

R1  When using a laptop always use an external cooling pad.  Despite what I wrote above, when your system is running normally without excessive temperatures, this marginal decrease in temperature will increase the overall lifetime of your laptop.

R2. Install the software that allows you to monitor your C/GPU temperatures continuously (many different programs available - just do google search).

R3.  Disassemble your heat sink and fan at least annually (I have heard every 8 months) and clean the dust from the fan and heat sinks and replace the thermal adhesive.  The time frame will obviously depend on how often and how intensely you use your computer and also the cleanliness of the environment it is in.

R4. Do NOT rely on Dell customer service.  They are designed to make money and recommend "well you might need a new computer, it is probably the better option anyway"  }:(

R5. Be wary of Dell!  This may come as a shock and it came to a shock to me as well.  After surveying the forums in detail dell has recently gone to using nVidia boards and Windows 7, both of which allegedly are notorioius for (have notoriously) caused overheating problems and as you have all experienced, as I have read, and as I have experienced, Dell support staff is not what it used to be and don't actually solve the problem.  Not in one location after surveying these forums did I find anything about the problem possibly being due to a clogged system inaccessible via the external vents.  I happened to find a video tutorial that explained how to replace the thermal adhesive and it was mentioned there (sorry, forget link).  Thus, my conclusion is that the support staff does not actually understand what it is telling you, and concludes you need a service member or need to send your laptop in to get it fixed when in fact, you can fix most problems for free.  And it makes me angry that they would charge you $60+ to do diagnostics, something that is already built into your system and they could explain with about 1 minute of assistance.  To emphasize this point, I will not buy another a Dell.

R6. When working inside your laptop, note that you don't actually need any sort of certification to do this work.  However, note that if you don't have an intuitive understanding of electronics that you might want to actually pay for this.  Disassembling your computer can be a daunting process and the first time you go there is an inherent trial and error aspect to it.  There are certain features of the Studio 1735 that are highly susceptible to damage if not handled properly.  If you follow the directions precisely you have nothing to worry about.  However, if you skim them and miss something, you could be looking at an expensive bill and dysfunctional laptop after you put everything back together.  The key to successfully working inside your laptop is having the right tools for the job.  A set of small philips head and flat head screw drivers and a set of needle nose plyers (preferably grounded with rubber covering) are ideal.  If you are super sensitive about the aesthetics case you can get a plastic stylus (forget the precise name) that is designed to pop out certain click-n-lock hardware components, but a gingerly used small flat head screwdriver does this trick just fine.

Finally, please forward this.  I have spent an hour writing this up for your benefit!  Please pass this forward.  As it will undoubtedly prove invaluable to you, please help out another user with this information by finding one additional post and forwarding this information there.  Also, if a dell representative ever finds this, please at teh very least cut and paste whatever pertinent sections you feel are appropriate into your troubleshooting guide as the current help guidelines are, well, unhelpful.

42 Replies
tennis12341
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I have experienced similar issue on my new Studio 1537. In chatting with Dell Tech Support, they suggested upgraded to latest BIOS which is A08 which has not solved the issue for me. I suspect over-heating issue but fan diag passes OK and unit does not appear to be running hot even when placed on a stand to improve circulation. Suggest staying in touch on this topic and hoping other forum users start to chime in here as well as I am getting very frustrated.

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ptm03
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I'm also having the same issue with my XPS M1530. THIS IS FRUSTRATING!

 

MODEL: XPS M1530

OS: VISTA 32-bit

Problem: LAPTOP TURNS OFF BY ITSELF / SPONTANEOUSLY WITH A SHORT "BEAMING" SOUND

SPECS:

  • BIOS A12, Recently updated
  • NVIDIA 8600
  • Warranty til 2012

 

SYMPTOMS:

1. COMPUTER KEEPS SHUTTING DOWN BY ITSELF WITHOUT WARNING, NO BLUE SCREEN, NOTHING.

2. Tried doing the Diagnostic Boot but it turns off halfway so I can't even do that.

3. Was able to pass through windows and Dell Media Direct a couple of times but it just happened again.

4. Fan activity gets progressively noisy and by the time it reaches its peak, computer turns off. (I thought BIOS A12 fixes that?)

5. Computer always hot, CPU temp sometimes maxes to 192F

 

HELP! Anyone else having the same symptoms?

  • Could somebody provide a NUMBER OF POSSIBLE DIAGNOSIS FOR SUCH SYMPTOMS?
  • Is it leaning more towards a hardware / motherboard issue?
  • If shipped to technician, how long do you think it will take to finish? (I got a project deadline :((()
  • Please share your experiences as well
  • Thanks very much.
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PawsToDream
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I'm having the same issue with my Studio 1537!  I'll be typing away and everything shuts down.  If I close the lid and wait a couple seconds then open it I'm exactly where I was when it stopped, even still logged in and at the same table in online games.  It's like the computer is narcoleptic. 😞 I asked the tech I usually take my computers too and his advice was to watch for a recall as Dell definitely did something wrong here.   If anyone comes up with a solution please post it.. this is sooo frustrating! 😞 

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lynet_rob
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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Hey There,

I had a very similar thing happen to me last week.  I have an inspiron 1501.  The screen just went black.  And after a few minutes, when the fan stopped, I could press the power button and it would come back on again....at the sign in screen....and then take me back to exactly where I had left off.  Soooo annoying!  It seemed to just get worse and worse.  I called Dell, and (fortunately I took an extended warrenty, cause my laptop is more than 1yr old already), I sent it in to the depot, 4 days later I got it back...all fixed.  Turned out it was the backlight or something like that...part of the LCD of the monitor.   So, they replaced that...and VOILA....no more problems.

I would suggest calling dell and sending it in for repairs. If it is under a year old, it is probably under warrenty still.  They were fast with the repairs.  Even though it took me 2hrs to get through to the right department so that someone could help me (no exageration there at all), the repair was smooth and painless.  GOOD LUCK MAN!

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Ka1-E1
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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Hello!

 

I bought a Studio 1537 and during this four days of use (it arrived on wednesday), I've experienced two different problems that are mencioned here:

 

1.- It has hapenned twice that the computer without warning just reset itself (and windows dind't notice either), the same way that you reset with the reset button a PC.

2.- This is very frequently and it's annoying, the LCD turn off (black screen) and everything keeps running, but if i want to turn on the LCD, i have to use the same technique as you, this is, close and open.

 

Very weird and annoying, I'm a student too, so it's not funny to lose an important data because of this failure.

 

Greetings from Chile 😄

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cpitkin
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I have a brand new studio 1537 inspiron and it's doing the random shutdown as well.  There is not warning and it does it in different scenarios: plugged in and not, usb devices connected and not connected, monitor and no monitor.  there does not seem to be an ryme or reason.  It will do it within 2 minutes of turning it on and sometimes after an hour.  I have updated to the latest BIOS as of today which I believe is A09.  I have also updated every driver I can think of updated. 

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jasperic
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I alos have the 1537 studio and it is turning off at random just started happening and I spoke to dell support last 2 nights they said it is harddrive but then had me remove it and it still is happening so now they want me to send it to them. My original problem was I could not get on internet and kept getting message about wi fi 5100 is having hardware issues so I am not sure how these problems go together but I have only had computer 7 months.

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pattenp52
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I have the Studio 1537 and it's less than 3 months old.  It just shuts off with no warning.  When I power it back on I get the screen that says window shutdown improperly and to choose how to startup.  I don't know what's going on with this laptop and I don't see by the posts that people are getting any answers from Dell about this problem.

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bmartn2008
1 Copper

Re: Dell Studio 1537 Randomly Shutting Off During Use

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I have the same identical problem.  I purchased my Studio 15 from the Dell Outlet as Previously Ordered New as well.  I am running Windows 7 Release Candidate.  I am also a student and it is very frustrating to lose some work.  Anyone have a solution?

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