For the last month my Dell 1735 laptop will, at random times, shut itself off without warning or shut down. When I turn it back on it asks if I would like to start it in Normal or Safe mode. I thought it might be about overheating or how I always have it plugged in charging, but find it turns off with the AC plugged in or running off the battery. Other than that, I'm only occasionally seeing minor problems, I've checked for viruses & errors, & neither appear on scans. I contacted Dell's online chat help however, because my laptop is 1 month out of warranty, they will not help me without a fee! Terrible customer service Dell.
So trusted minds of the Dell community, please help me.
I'm having the same problem. Tech support suggests reseting the software to factory settings which also means I lose everything except what it came with. I have to backup everythng I want to keep and hope for the best.
This laptop has been the biggest piece of junk I have ever purchased. I've built computers that were better than this one. It will be my last from Dell. I know it's a hardware issue but they don't want to admit it. I guess they would rather save money now than have a repeat customer. The keyboard is garbage too, I have to really hit the keys. I've purchased my last Dell.
I'm having the same problem with my new studio 1558 and tech support has a fix that will be released on their website monday or tuesday of next week. they say it will fix the problem, which is with the fan running too slow and the system is overheated causing it to shut down.
I am fed up with this piece of junk!!! Has anyone heard if the new BIOS was released? I updated to AO5 last year and that was supposed to help...it obviously didn't. I can do anything that might actually require this thing to work a little or it will shut down on me.
I did the BIOS upgrade and it did not work. I called Dell and spent $49 for a diagnostic check. What I described to them they said it was the fan and maybe the motherboard. It took $358.14 for a new 2 yr warranty and then they replaced the fan and heat sync. They did fix it quick. Its been a week and its worked like brand new. They claim 10% of the batch they make has this problem.
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
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
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.
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.
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post these instructions. I have a Studio 1735 laptop that started randomly shutting off last fall - about a month after the warranty ran out. I just sort of figured I would need to replace the battery or power cord or whatever. Every once in awhile I would check for info on the Dell forums but only found an understandably high frustration level and no real fixes until I found your post. I think I had seen this page before but didn't look down to the end because it seemed full of the same old thing. Anyway, I ran the diagnostic utility and it found nothing out of order. So I removed the heat sink and cleaned the area with canned air and a child's paintbrush. My laptop has not turned itself off since - going on four days now. It would have shut down many times in that span before following your instructions. So far, so good! Thank you for your help. You saved me alot of money!