If it really is related to overheating (which like Alxandro has been the case for me with those instances of sudden shutdown), you can find out quite
easily by giving your CPU (and/or GPU - videocard) something to crunch. The most fun way to do that is to play a game too heavy for your laptop (a
demo of a new game :]?). If the laptop shuts down, repeat a few times too see if it's consistent. If it doesn't, then you know what isn't the
problem ;] Basically if your laptop keeps running happily, then your case fans, cpu speed (overclocking and all), grease (yep! it's there, or should
be) and cpu fan are just fine.
Actually it wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't crash, as you mentioned playing solitaire and having it crash.. that's not exactly a situation to
expect overheating. Maybe if you've modded the laptop to use a heavier video card or if one of the case fans stopped spinning - but still, solitaire?
If it does crash consistently when running a heavy program, it might not be due to overheating; it could still be the power supply. If I'm not
mistaken, most modern videocards, CPU's and harddisks can 'power down' when not fully in use. Conversely this means that running a heavy program
would spike the voltage load (sp?gr?).
To discern between overheating and over'load'ing, you could simply check what the laptop's temperatures are (as reported through either Windows
apps before the crash, or the BIOS after rebooting). Depending on the CPU type, you may get as high as 80C / 176F, but right around that temperature
thiings tend to get dangerous (
Hope that helps you to determine what's got your puppy down. Of course if you like to tinker around with thiings, you might see if you can get a
cheapass power supply, grease and some fans from a second hand store and fix things for sure
either way, good luck to thee!
[edit: somehow I read minefield instead of solitaire.. take that, Freud! ]
[edit on 21-1-2010 by scraze]