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Compaq CQ60 Shutting down randomly


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#1
IdLikeToBeAGeek

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Hi, guys.

I have a Compaq CQ60 laptop shutting down after about 20 minutes, starting with a 100% battery. When it shuts down, it's at about 70%. It only shuts down on battery power. Plugged up, it's fine.

I have trouble believing it's a battery problem. It's only about a year old and has only received moderate use. I've tried the calibration thing with no luck, and I've also done the thing where it should pop up a warning at 50% power or 10% power, and that warning never comes up because it doesn't get that low. After it shuts down, I reboot to find that it's still at 70 or 80%. Then it very quickly crashes again.

What to do? Replace the battery and see if that helps? I'd like to think there was a software or OS thing I could try first.

By the way, coreTemp says the laptop gets up to around 70 or 80 degrees, but usually is between 60 and 70 when it shuts down. Actually, if it's overheating, I should be able to let it cool down for a while and then it should boot up fine. Will try that.

I'm open for suggestions.

Thanks.
Steve.

Ok, I'm adding this: It just shut down after 20 minutes of sitting on the glass-top coffee table. Actually, the right edge is hanging off. It was at 82% battery power and had been that high for at least the last 10 of those minutes. It was about 56 degrees. I'll wait 20 minutes or so and crank it back up. We'll see what it does then.

Another addition: I just installed coreTemp on my Compaq CQ62, which is about 3 months old. It's been running 38-41 degrees steadily for a while during web surfing and typing. The CQ60 was 56 degrees just sitting there doing nothing. 56 doesn't seem too hot, but it is considerably warmer than the the newer laptop, especially sitting idle.

Edited by IdLikeToBeAGeek, 16 October 2010 - 09:07 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hi IdLikeToBeAGeek :D
Have you ever cleaned the inside of your laptop, your symptoms are typical of what heat trapping dust can do, have a look at this video

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#3
IdLikeToBeAGeek

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Thanks, philpower2.

I was hoping to not have to open it up. It actually belongs to my wife... But I was leaning toward an overheating problem, too. I could try a can of air sprayed through the vents before digging into it.

But...

It only happens when it's running on battery power. Why would it not happen when plugged in? Does the battery itself generate that much extra heat when in use? Actually, looking now, I'm at 67 degrees plugged in. It crashed at 56 last night.

Something else:

After it crashed last night, I let it cool overnight. Then I started it up this morning not plugged in. I got a black screen and an hp battery alert message saying my battery has low capacity. Then it shut down. I don't trust the capacity message since it's dying when the battery is almost fully charged. Could it be that the HP software that detects a low battery is misjudging it and shutting down the system? Where would I go to disable it. It's not in msconfig. Would the bios be doing it, or something in the boot up files?

Thanks again.
Steve.
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#4
phillpower2

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I could try a can of air sprayed through the vents before digging into it.

If the laptop is overheating because of dust this may improve things slightly and only in the
short term because you will simply be moving the dust around not removing it, if the cpu fan
is clogged or not working the cpu will overheat and the system will shut down to protect it a
black screen is sometimes an indicator of this.
Is the laptop ever frequently used whilst both the battery and ac power cord are attached, one
sure way of making your battery malfunction, using inferior replacement batteries is another.
For power management try right clicking on the battery icon on the bottom right of the taskbar
and it should say something like Power Options, if is not there it may be in the BIOS.
For what its worth the strange battery behavior may be nothing to do with the crashes, I will
attempt to find the manual for the laptop to see if there is an easier cleaning method.

EDIT: Here is a link to a step by step guide to dismantling the laptop, if you did not feel comfortable completely dismantling it to clean, it may be possible to partially dismantle it and then use the compressed air through the vents as you suggested, not perfect but you may be able to get some dust out at least.
http://www.insidemyl...60-cq70-laptop/
Have you tried removing the battery and running direct from the ac adapter, what happens?

Edited by phillpower2, 17 October 2010 - 02:17 PM.

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#5
IdLikeToBeAGeek

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Thanks again, phill.

Someday soon, I'll try to go in and clean it out. I've disassembled other laptops before with no problem, but they didn't belong to my wife. :-) If I mess hers up, I guess I'll have to give her mine.

It operates the same without the battery as it does with the battery and plugged up (i.e. it doesn't crash). It only shuts down when strictly on battery power.

As far as using the laptop plugged in and with a battery at the same time, this laptop was used like most everyone uses a laptop. Go unplugged as long as you can, but when you get the low battery warning, plug it up and continue what you're doing. Otherwise, I guess you'd have to stop what you're doing and turn it off until it's charged, and then unplug it and pick up where you left off. Does anyone really do that?

I looked at the power management advanced options. It has all sorts of ways to prolong battery life, and I've played with those a ton over the past couple months to limit the amount of juice being used. The laptop still shuts down at around 80% battery.

I just tried BIOS but didn't see any power management section, which was surprising.

Overheating doesn't make sense to me anymore because it runs the same temperature with the battery vs. plugged-in, and it only crashes on battery power, and even after it cools off, it still acts like a dead battery. If it was a non-functional cpu fan, I think it would overheat all the time, plugged-in or not.

And yet, like I say, the low-capacity battery theory seems faulty too because the battery holds it's charge very well up until it shuts down, and it never drops below 70%.

Looks like I have 4 possible problems and solutions:

1) Dirty innards -> Take it apart and clean it.
2) Bad battery -> Replace battery.
3) Corrupted software -> Re-install Windows(It's Vista, by the way).
4) Bad hardware (motherboard battery terminals, etc) -> Live with AC adapter or replace laptop.

I'll start with #1 and then move on to 2 and 3, not necessarily in that order. If I get to #4, I'll probably just trade Compaqs with my wife so she can have the newer one. :-(

I'll post here and let you know how it goes. Thanks again, phill.

In the meantime, I'm still open for any suggestions!

Steve.
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#6
phillpower2

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Is the whole laptop only about 12 months old or just the battery? Either way check and see if the warranty is still valid.
The evidence is pointing to a battery related issue because it is present whenever you have the problem, re-chargeable batteries have memory chips and it is possible for them to go bad and that is why I asked if the laptop was regularly run with both the battery and AC cord connected, at the link below are some options for looking at the battery possibility;
http://www.brighthub...cles/50844.aspx
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#7
IdLikeToBeAGeek

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The entire laptop is just over 12 months old. I checked the warranty. It expired in August. Isn't that always the way?

I'll look at the link you provided.

Thanks for all your help.

Steve.
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#8
Shamos

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I have had my Compaq Presario CQ60 running on Windows 7 for over 3 years. After about the first year the display started to flicker occasionally and I noticed the fan was coming on full blast. I ignored the symptoms until a few months ago it started to shut down with the blue screen of death and then restart on its own. I propped up the laptop and put dry ice bags under the hot spot (next to the fan area). This was allowing me to use the computer until it started to shut down after only 5 to 10 minutes. I got frustrated and looked up remedies on the internet (it was gruesome since it kept rebooting on its own) and one fellow suggested that it was the display driver for the NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G graphics display adapter. I tried the website he suggested but ended up down loading Driver Detective which will tell you what’s wrong with your driver set but wants money to let you download the driver. Determined not to spend money and confident that I had found the problem I went into device manager and found the display adapter and right clicked on it and updated the driver software . I did this 3 nights ago and not once since then has it rebooted or acted like it was excessively hot although I have run it continuously for a few hours at a time. I hope this solves your problem too. Good luck
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