Hi, I have a Dell Latitude C640. It shuts off all the time and can usually only get windows loaded and it’ll shut right off, then it will turn on and turn off right away at boot. I’m very familiar with taking these apart and when this first occurred I suspected a clogged cooling system. So I checked, and it was clean as a whistle… hmmmm…so I’ve been looking for anything out of the ordinary on the motherboard but everything is tight and looks clean. Even took the LCD apart to make sure there weren’t any loose connections. So if you could give me any insight on this it would be a great help! The only thing that “SOUNDS” suspicious to me, is that sometimes I can HEAR the power when I plug it in, a very faint high pitch ringing noise…. so then I figured well if its the plug technically it should still run fine off the battery, but it does the exact same thing. I’m also suspecting that maybe my fans aren’t running fast enough?? Or maybe I need some new thermal grease on the CPU??? HELP!!
Yeah, looks like an overheating problem. By the way, have you checked if the fan spins at all? May be it stuck and causing this high pitch noise?
I would probably remove the hard drive and boot the laptop from a Knoppix CD. Knoppix is a live Linux CD and it will boot your laptop to a Windows like environment. You don’t need the hard drive to boot the laptop with Knoppix, only the DVD/CD drive. If the laptop boots fine and doesn’t shutdown, then something is wrong with the hard drive or with the operating system on it.
Also I would test the memory module. You can run Memtest 86+ and see if the memory fails the test. It’s possible, that the memory works fine for a while when it’s cold, as soon as it warm up it fails. That’s why your laptop works fine for some time, and then just shuts down when you restart it. If the laptop doesn’t run long enough to finish up the memory test, then try to replace the memory if you can find any test module.
Of course, I would try to reseat all connectors inside the laptop. Any loose connection might cause this problem.