Windows 7 shutdown randomly?

I have a Dell Vostro 3500 laptop with Windows 7. I’m a computer professional with decades of experience but I don’t know the answer to this question. I left my laptop running when I left the house, Firefox was open. I came back <2 hours later and all the tiny light were off. It was still plugged into power. I’m sure of these facts. When I booted it booted normally without any error messages. I have had a dog unplug the power more than once, it is configured to sleep or hibernate within minutes. If Gotradio is playing it will run the battery dead first, then hibernate. Neither happened today. The battery was 100%. I checked the event view, nothing. There is a 5 minute time to Lock the screen. I left it unlocked. Could it have crashed? Keep in mind it booted normally.

My question is this: Was it a computer error or crash? Or did a human shut it down after I left? This issue here is Lying.

Let me know if you have any questions?

have you checked your event logs?

What ever happened will be recorded there. The logs are date/time stamped. look for events around the time the pc shutdown.

First thing to check always: heat. Install a motherboard monitor. Manufacturer’s website might have one or there are plenty 3rd party ones. Check that the temperatures, most likely CPU, aren’t too high. Numbers may be in Celsius.

Double check those power management options. A crash usually causes a reset. I wouldn’t worry too much if it doesn’t happen again, but look into it.

Obviously may possibilities but the first that springs to mind is - Overheating.

It was sitting in the same position as always on the bed. It gets slightly warm. It has never shutdown in 15 months. If it had there would be an event. If it had it would say something like this?

Error (event ID 6008): The previous system shutdown at 7:45:21 PM on ‎27/‎10/‎2012 was unexpected.

Critical (kernel power, event ID 41): The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

Where exactly do I look in the event log? I will click on your link. I know the hour it was off, during which time I can find nothing in the log. Should it show if it was shutdown normally by a younger user without my permission? I left it unlocked.

My goal is not to fix any errors. There are none. Everything is good. I only lost a little of unsaved work. My goal is to figure out if she’s lying.

The previous system shutdown at 4:02:08 PM on ‎1/‎14/‎2014 was unexpected.

There was nothing in any of the 5 “Windows Logs” during that hour 4:02. What would cause Windows 7 to shutdown without any logs? Removal of battery and power plug? Is there any other possibility? I want to be sure.

The symptoms you are describing are almost always an overheating issue. The fact that it happened while your laptop was sitting on the bed (a soft surface) when it happened reinforces that theory. And in the event of an overheating issue, there will typically be no error messages prior to the shutdown.

It’s possible that the cooling fan is clogged with lint, or that it’s partially or completely failed. Whether or not that’s something you can check yourself, or need to have the Geek Squad look at it for you, depends on your level of comfort in disassembling your laptop (actually, the disassembly part is pretty easy…it’s the reassembly that trips most people up :slight_smile: )

I hear you. I leave it in the exact same place every day for 15 months. The room is very cold. The CPU was idling according to the log. This makes it cool to the touch, even if the fan was blowing, which it is not, when it’s cool. Is there any other possibility besides overheating and a user removing the battery and PS?

Yesterday was Patch Tuesday. MS could have installed some patches that shut down your computer. Usually it does a reboot, but sometimes…

Other than that, maybe it’s a heat problem. However you should have seen message about wanting to boot up in safe or normal mode.

There are many possible causes, but a few months ago I had that problem and it was really stupid… I checked all common causes, overheating etc… and even sent it to a repair shop to see if they could diagnose it. In the end it was the silliest thing ever… the wall plug, it was all fucked up and causing power surges… repaired it and voilá…

If you hold down the power key it will shut down.

There are some nasty root-sector viruses that cause unpredictable shutdowns. Do a deep scan with whatever your standard product is, and one of the more specific malware scanners.

Holding down the power key would do exactly that. Shut down without any log in the Event Viewer. It is the most likely cause. Just wish I could prove it???

Just don’t do a Tommy and start shooting your laptop