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Laptop Blue Screen Of Death Thermal Shut down

By on April 6, 2016
laptop repair blue screen of death











Laptop Blue Screen Of Death Thermal Shut down

My wife’s laptop was occasionally showing the Blue Screen of Death. There are several reasons for this to appear, but after investigation I was able to determine the cause.

I installed the free program ‘Core Temp’ which was easily able to provide the CPU temperature. After checking the temperature, it reached peaks of 85°C. No wonder she would complain that her laptop would burn her leg. Maybe I should have listened sooner…….

I decided to disassemble the laptop to inspect the reason for the high temperature.

laptop thermal shutdown

After carefully removing the cooling heat sink and fan, the answer became obvious!

Dust bunnies!


So much dust had accumulated that it had completely blocked the fan vent outlet. No wonder it was overheating and shutting down to protect the system!

cleaning dust in laptop

After a thorough clean with a vacuum cleaner of the whole area, cooling fan & heat sink, it was ready for reassembly. Cleaning the CPU & GPU with Isopropyl Alcohol removed any remnants of old thermal paste. New thermal paste was applied and evenly spread with an old plastic card.

After reassembling the laptop I ran the ‘Core Temp’ program and found that the processor was now running at about 46° – a great improvement on the original 85°!

laptop shutdown repair

To see the full process, see the video link below.

I just noticed that Humberto (thanks for your article Humberto) entered an article with a similar problem. This highlights to me the importance of electronic appliance maintenance. Dust is one of the major contributors to failure due to overheating. Maintenance is something that we should encourage customers to be involved with. Not only will it help preserve their electronics for trouble free use, but also supply us with regular work. However, if people are anything like my automotive customers, they only usually get work done on their car only when it has broken down on the side of the road!

Never mind, all we can do is make useful suggestions and hopefully it will keep these electronics out of landfill.


This article was prepared for you by Mark Rabone from Australia.

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Note: You can check out his previous repair article below:




  1. George Greenfield

    April 6, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Yearly I take my tower computer out to the front porch and wash it out with the garden hose. Lots of crud accumulates over a year. Then it runs cool like it should.
    I've seen seen this many times...
    Great job Mark !


    • Mark

      April 7, 2016 at 6:24 am

      Hey George,
      I hope you turn the power off before you do that!!

  2. Robert Calk

    April 6, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Good job, Mark. Thanks for the article. I have a laptop pad under my laptop that has 2 fans in it that blow on the back of it. It uses a single USB to power both fans. It helps keep my laptop and my lap cool. It is probably why my laptop is still working great after 3 years of using it probably 8 - 12 hours a day watching videos and reading stuff. The headphone jack is getting worn out though.

    • Mark

      April 7, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Hey Robert,

      Yes, I do something similar with my tower with an industrial fan, but at that point I am just avoiding the real issue, which is the accumulation of dust. As soon as the dust is removed the temp drops 40 odd degrees and extra cooling is not needed in many cases. I just get a bit lazy with the cleaning, but suddenly get inspired when it shuts down half way thru a document I am writing and loose my information. Then for some reason it seems more of a priority!

  3. Parasuraman S

    April 6, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Great job! Thanks for sharing!

  4. albert van bemmelen

    April 6, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Nice cleaning job Mark. Yesterday I had a simular Blue Screen Of Death
    (BSOD) on my Compaq Presario C700 laptop. But it had nothing to do with overheating because it occurred after I updated my Avast Free Viruskiller.
    And after the usual Reboot and the Windows HDD testrun, I couldn't get
    through the BSOD screens until I chose to select the event: "The last
    time that the Laptop still run without any errors". (Before this Even
    the Windows7 Safe Mode didn't help getting rid of the Blue screens).
    After that I only had to remove 3GB Garbage files on my C:\ HDD Drive
    and everything still works fine a day later.
    Cleaning the CPU & GPU with Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any remnants of
    old thermal paste is probably not the best way to do it I think.
    Because I cleaned a lot of XBOX360 cpu/gpu's with White Spirit or
    (Dutch:) Terpentine, because plain Alcohol just didn't work at all!

    • Mark

      April 7, 2016 at 8:25 am

      I agree. There are so many different reasons for the BSOD. In my case it was a simple temperature fault. Easy Fix! Glad you were able to sort out yours and thanks for sharing the information.
      I must admit, I have never had any problem removing thermal paste with the Alcohol and a plastic scraper. I guess the main thing is to get rid of the old stuff and add new paste when removing any CPU or GPU's heat sinks.

  5. Humberto

    April 7, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Hi Mark, thanks for mention my name in your article. Anyway your repair was great, you acted correctly. Congratulations and keep up.

    • Mark

      April 7, 2016 at 9:20 am

      Hey Humberto,

      It was funny to see your article when Jestine sent it through as I was busy typing up mine! I always enjoy your articles and obviously 'great minds think alike'! It's good to have such a great knowledge base that we can use in our repairs and then share with others. It is a real privilege to be named on a site with such masters. Many times I do not feel worthy. But hey - you have to start somewhere!

  6. corriete

    April 7, 2016 at 9:58 am

    great job. No more is best

  7. Yogesh Panchal

    April 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm


    Good job!
    In Desktop and laptop 50% problems are due to dust.

  8. Gerald

    April 7, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Good topic, thanks for sharing. My laptop tends to overheat but just the idea of opening it turns me down. There are a few videos on YouTube on how to do it and it is a bit scary... I have done it once and dread to do it again. I don't know why manufacturers cannot build a laptop where the filters and cooling system would be easily accessible without having to disconnect a lot of fragile connectors, remove modules and risk to damage something.
    By the way, I downloaded and installed the "Core Temp" software. Unfortunately it hangs up my laptop (Win 7). Any other alternative?


    • Mark

      April 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Hey Gerald,

      Another option for CPU temperature checks could be CPUID HWMonitor, which provides temperature and fan speeds right across the range. I just entered CPU temperature program in the search engine.
      As for YouTube videos, I have provided the link to my channel which shows the whole process. In my case, the fan, heat sink and processors were fairly easy to access.

      • Gerald

        April 8, 2016 at 8:14 am

        Thanks Mark. Effectively I downloaded the HW Monitor and this one is working fine, thanks for the tip. My laptop is a Sony Vaio, not very repairer-friendly 🙂 Temperatures now run around 60 Degrees C but with a cooling pad underneath. Must say that the ambient temperature here in Malaysia is around 30 C and I don't use the air conditioning much. Other problem is the hairy cats but we love them...



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