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Computer Help


My laptop for a while now will sometimes just shut down on its own (I think due to it overheating at times). I've since gotten a cooling pad which has greatly help.

As of late though, within the past week 3 times the monitor has gone haywire (best described as changing the channel onto a station that is scrambled). The computer locks up as well.

Norton Anti-virus runs everyday and nothing comes up, this seems to be a hardware problem. Anyone run into a similar problem?

Thinking it might be time for a new one, but it's not even 2 yrs old yet.


A friend of mine had an old dell (3 to 4 years old) that would do that. The wires running from the screen to the motherboard eventually wear out and short out... its a function of how much you open and close it as to how fast it wears.... its really not fixable... if you open your laptop a lot, get a warrenty on the next one for 4 years. It is kinda of pricey but well worth it if you use it a lot for its portability. Mine mainly sits on a desk and I take it somewhere less then 1 time a week so I never worry about it....

Granted, if you scope newegg you can get a dual core 3gig ram laptop for under 400 bucks most days.... so at this point they are really consumables in my mind....

If it still shuts off because of overheating.. take it apart and clean it.


doesn't really get open and shut that often.

I found a 4gb 500GB HD Gateway for $600, not sure I need 4gb RAM, but the HD space would be nice


Sounds like it could also possibly be the video card overheating. Do you know if it has integrated graphics or a card? Does it happen when you do things that require a lot of power, maybe playing games or does it just randomly?

Try opening it up and cleaning out the fans and the heat pipes.


I'd have to agree with hardware problem. I've seen a couple of laptops (over the last couple of weeks actually) have the screen go "funky" when they overheat (both had fans which died within a few days of each other).

Is the screen the only symptom? No strange noises that it didn't make before, no burning smell, no burn marks on the casing (I know that sounds stupid, but one of my girlfiends laptop had burn marks by the keyboard from where it overheated).

Does this happen immediately when it boots up, or after a while? Does the amount of time before it happens vary depending on what the laptop's doing? Are all of the case fans spinning? Do you have it sitting on your lap or a desk? Does it give you a warm fuzzy feeling when it is sitting on your lap?

These are all important questions.


Happens at random, usually when I'm trying to run a few basic programs Firefox, Media Player.

it's an integrated card

No other warning signs besides the screen going crazy and it locking up.

Computer stays on all the time, I close the monitor when not in use. Cooling pad stays hooked up all the time.

It used to get really really hot, hence the cooling pad.


You missed the one about the warm fuzzy feeling when it's sitting on your lap, but we'll let that go for the moment.

How often do you restart it or actually turn it off?


Only time I restart it is when it locks up on me. I will turn it off if I'm going away for a few days, but besides that, it stays on. Takes too long to boot up.

I don't let it sit on my lap since it gets hot and now I have the cooling pad, but by sitting on my lap it blocks the fan on the cooling pad.


It's overheating. Google the make and model number for instructions on how to open it up and clean it out.

The main ways computers die are heat, vibration, and shock. Yours has heat in abundance, apparently even before it started acting up. It's a BAD idea to leave most laptops running all the time; I'd advise suspending (Stand-By for Windows folks) when not in use if you're not doing so already.

If you end up buying a new one, give your current one to a techie friend, they'll fix it up and find a good use for a fairly modern machine.


I would look at updating your display drivers before replacing a video card.


Not his problem.


Its a sign from god telling you to stop the pronactivitees