Question Laptop shuts off while under heavy/light load

Mar 12, 2021

For many months now I have had issues with my laptop turning off without notice whenever it is under relatively heavy load (lately, having several internet tabs and Photoshop has been enough). As if somebody pulled out the battery, without any warning or crash message/log.

After it has crashed like this, it does not immediately turn on if I press the power button. Rather, I have to take out the charger (for some reason it won’t properly start while connected) and press the power button a few times over the period of 5-15 minutes or so. Might be that it needs some time to cool off, discharge or whatever, but I usually need to press the button 2-4 times. The power button lights up for a few seconds, then shuts off. After a few times of this, the keyboard will light up, then turn off, turn on, turn off, etc, 2-4 times. Eventually, the computer properly starts and I’m at the login screen.

About the charger issue, I once put the charger back in while the computer was just about to properly start and it suddenly shut down again. Another detail is that every time it turns off like this, the setting for how the function (Fn) key works is changed in the bios. The clock on the computer is also not active during this time, meaning it falls behind and I have to correct it.

I have managed to keep the computer running and playing an intensive game while keeping it upside-down with its underside removed (so fans etc were visible). Despite the CPU and GPU getting somewhat hot (60 °C), it did not crash for the ~30 minutes I had it running. Putting the underside back, setting down the laptop on the desk and playing the game, resulted in it shutting off within 5 minutes.

The issue clearly seems to be hardware related, as the computer suddenly shuts off without any real information log about how it crashed. I believe it to be temperature related due the above test and it lasting extra long after it's been cooled down by cold weather. Given the low CPU & GPU temperatures, it is as if the temperature affects something else within the laptop, a circuit or something. Or maybe damage from previous overheatings? However, at the same time it has crashed at lower temperatures (at least according to the sensors and me touching the heat sink) when using the browser + Photoshop and while trying to run memtest86 (I had not even started any tests yet).

I have looked through not only this forum but plenty others and despite finding some similar issues, not found any solution to my problem. Most similar issues point towards GPU/CPU temperature or PSU issues. I have tried:
  • cleaning out the fans etc. with compressed air
  • putting on new thermal paste on the CPU & GPU
  • turning off the GPU via the NVIDIA control panel (this worked for a few longer Minecraft gaming sessions, but one day stopped working)
  • switching and removing ram sticks (the issue might still be that they are overheating since they’re close to the CPU? or that both ram sticks are faulty?)
  • disconnecting the battery, only using the charger for power
  • undervolt the processor, to make it run cooler
If anybody has any ideas what could be causing this I’d be very grateful for a response. If you have any stress tests etc. that might be useful to pin down the issue I’m all ears for those as well. At this point, I have lost most hope that my laptop can be saved but the alternative is finding the money for a new one. I have been thinking of handing it in to a repair shop, but I don't have any nearby that seem capable enough to sort this out.

Acer Aspire A715-72G
Intel Core i7 8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti mobile
2x8 GB DDR4 RAM (I added a HyperX stick)
512 GB SSD
CFL Charmeleon_CFS Motherboard v 1.19

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