Laptop acting wonky. Should I be worried?

My laptop has suddenly shut itself down a couple of times in recent weeks. This morning, in fact. I normally have it plugged into shore power during the day and unplug it at night. This morning when I plugged it in, it had shut itself off during the night sometime. It started right up when I hit the power button, but then when I was browsing, shut itself off again. Hit the power button and it started up without issue.

Any ideas what might be causing this behavior? And should I be shopping for a new one? This is an HP Envy, isn’t very old and certainly is nowhere near capacity.

Overheating CPU?
Check that the fans are working, and not clogged with dust.

Unfortunately, yes you should probably be worried. These things don’t usually fix themselves over time.

There are quite a few things that could be causing it from a connection that’s become loose somewhere to a software update that causes random shutdowns. I’m guessing it’s not under warranty any longer?

Windows? Check the event logs. There might be a clue there. Does it just die or go through the shutdown sequence?

One of our fellow dopers runs a computer repair shop and could probably provide better troubleshooting though his name escapes me at the moment.

It just dies, no shutdown procedure. Warranty is long gone. Come to think of it, the fan has been running a lot lately, so perhaps it’s just a simple matter of cleaning, like beowulf said. I’m going to shut it down and see if I can blow some dust out of it. Thanks.

Yes, that’s typical behavior of an overheating CPU. There’s a threshold for the CPU temp; if the temp gets over this threshold, the BIOS (I think it’s the BIOS, please correct me if it’s another component) automatically shuts down the machine to prevent the CPU from burn damages. It cools down, you’re able to reboot, but after some time the temperature will again reach that threshold, rinse and repeat. A good dose of compressed air should help.