Auto Shut Down Problem With The Dell Inspiron 14R (N4110) Notebook

Discussion in 'Notebooks & Mobile Devices' started by Adrian Wong, May 6, 2012.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss

    Guys, ever since I purchased the Dell Inspiron 14R (N4110) notebook, I've been experiencing auto-shut down problems. I need to find out from you guys if any of you have experienced the same thing?

    I recently heard that this is quite a common problem with certain batches of the N4110. But when I questioned a Dell Support guy recently, he got all defensive about it and very strongly and loudly asserted that it is completely untrue, and that my case was a one-off issue. That's why I'm here today.. I want to find out if anyone else is experiencing this same problem with this notebook.

    The notebook will be running normally.. and suddenly, it's completely turned off, as if power has been turned off for a desktop PC. There's no BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), no warning, nothing. One second it's running normally, the next second, it's dead.

    Initially, when it happened, I thought maybe the RAM is faulty, so I tested the RAM. No problem. Then I tried the battery - turning off power while the notebook was still running. No problem - it continued running, using battery power. After that, I installing a new hard disk drive so I can reinstall everything again, just in case it's a software issue. Well, guess what - no difference - it still continued to shut down randomly and automatically.

    I began to suspect it was a heat problem and so called Dell Support up. They duly sent their technicians to replace the fan and heatsink. Didn't work. In fact, it got worse... They ultimately replaced the fan and heatsink 2-3 times, and practically every other part of the notebook - motherboard, power circuitry board, etc. The only part they didn't replace was the LCD monitor. But guess what - the stupid notebook continued to shut down by itself!

    Ultimately, Dell very nicely gave me a replacement notebook. Kudos to them!

    Everything was hunky-dory for the first 2-3 months, and then the dreaded auto-shutdown problem happened again!!!!

    Initially, I decided to live with it.. since it seemed to do it once every 3-4 weeks. But recently, it got really frequent. It started shutting down 3 times a week.. and now almost every day! Sometimes, it would shut down twice a day! Bloody frustrating. Every time it shuts down, I lose my work (Arggh!!!!!) and have to spend time checking the HDD for soft errors.

    So, please let me know if you are experiencing the same thing with your Dell Inspiron 14R (N4110) notebook. If you are not using one, please spread the word so we can find out if such an issue is due to a design flaw in this model. Thanks!
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  3. aayjay

    aayjay Newbie



    I faced the same issue for 3 days. I could not understand, why? So I approached a hardware vendor, he told me the issue is with RAM. The RAM is not working properly and suddenly the system shuts down. I tried removing one RAM at a time but no help. I was told that both the RAMs aint working.
    Gossp! then I thought of calling DELL, I spoke to CC of DELL and they told me there is a problem with Motherboard. I need to change the motherboard for a cost of 8500 bucks INR.
    One morning I noticed the fan was not revolving. I felt the system gets heated up and then it shuts down. I opened the laptop and cleaned the fan and made sure it revolves. Wallah! its working now, absolutely no issues at no cost... please try this.
  4. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss

    aayjay, I'm glad cleaning the fan worked for you... but in my case, it's none of the above.

    1. In the first notebook alone, they changed the fan and heatsink 3 times. Didn't help.

    2. They also changed the motherboard twice, and the other daughterboards at least once. Didn't help.

    3. They changed the RAM once.. and I changed the RAM myself too. Didn't help.

    4. Finally, they gave me a COMPLETELY NEW notebook as replacement. It started malfunctioning the same way after 2-3 months.
  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss

    Just an update on this notebook - it's still shutting down by itself! :wall:

    I replaced the previous 7200 RPM hard disk drive with a slower and cooler 5400 RPM hard disk drive and reinstalled everything. Still, it continues to shut off once in a while.

    :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall:
  6. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    adrian, how about replacing it with a macbook?

    PC manufacturers have been shooting their own feet for a while. Dell, HP, Acer, AMD.. they then blame the economy and the weather :wall: they are still offering 1366 x 768 display on 13-15" notebooks.

    An ex dell employee once told me that notebook is meant to be replaced every 2 years, so why invested so much effort into build quality? :wall: :wall: :wall:
  7. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss

    Cost is one thing. I have to cut down on everything because of Ryan, the coming baby and of course, the house renovation. :wall: :wall:

    The other thing is the warranty and service offered by Dell. It's hard to beat.

    Of course, I also happened to witness something quite troubling at an Apple authorized service centre, where a MacBook was apparently sent in for a look-see and they promptly formatted it without informing the owner.

    He was not there (apparently he's some kind of big boss?) but he sent his worker to deliver the MacBook and collect it for him. The poor guy looked so white when he checked the MacBook to find it completely "brand new".

    The same situation happened to me before (with a desktop though)... with ComputerWar, the computer shop at SS2. LOL!

    That's true. Sadly, quality has taken a downturn with notebook PCs. And the screen is just so pitiful. That's why my notebook spends 99% of the time hooked up to an external LCD display! :D

    But this notebook is really damn weird. It just SHUTS DOWN instantly, like the power got pulled. Sometimes, it locks up with a scrambled screen but that's not very often.

    The temperatures aren't particularly high, and it doesn't always shut down when it's really hot. Sometimes, it shuts down even when it's idling.

    This damn notebook has had everything inside replaced at least once, if not twice or thrice, except for the LCD screen. Yet, it keeps shutting down... just like its predecessor.
  8. Chai

    Chai Administrator

    I believe there are quite a number of laptops with Full HD display. Asus Zenbook is one of them.

    Companies are not very interested in high end laptops these days. Can't blame the manufacturers.

    For normal consumers, if they are willing to spend on high end laptops, they would just get Macbook instead. So who would be interested in these non Apple laptops? They are even 'forced' to make Mac clones because that's what people wants.
  9. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    Adrian: completely understand. it was just a suggestion because I thought from quality POV, the MBA/Pro is really, really good!

    MS should have developed the surface product line years ago. i hope they will expand the surface brand to cover more product segment.

    Chai: I'm not asking for the best spec from the manufacturers. a balanced, integrated and thoughtful approach is the best. good screen, good trackpad, good keyboard, good speaker, good battery life, good form factor. you can charge a bit more but your customer will stick with you for a long time because they know it's good stuff. ask thinkpad! e.g zenbook might have better spec, but its trackpad sucks and its integration with the OS is weak. you will still need a mouse! i'm particularly disappointed with Dell, because the xps used to be a great lineup!

    i'm sure you know this segment is always about assurance, response time, legacy compatibility than spec. but one trend I've noticed, at least with the group of SMBs that Im sreving.. once the top management upgraded to MBAs, every one of them said to em that they would never go back to PCs. they love the overall package and MBA is not even highend. the troubling sign is that apple's enterprise support remains non-existent.

    im not saying everyone should make the switch to mac. my point is that if you want a quality notebook, the MBA/Pro should be in your consideration list. of course there is always a market for entry level products otherwise nokia wouldn't be able to sell 200+ million phones in 2012. but once a manufacturer plays the margin/price cutting game its brand reputation will be at stake. Look at amd, since athlon/duron times. they even set radeon on the same path after the acquisition. also, would you pay 2k dollar for an Acer notebook? MS has just done the same with Win8 retail, but at least the retail is a small market and they have the OEM/enterprise sales to make up for the damage (more expensive CALs :mrgreen: ).
  10. Chai

    Chai Administrator

    Well, even in big corporation that I work for, is very keen to look for cheaper and cheaper alternatives. Since I'm also serving other customers, the trend is exactly the same, the quest for looking at lower costs laptops.

    Just to let you know, my company is no longer exclusively using Thinkpads anymore. For the exact reason, I'm not very sure. Thinkpads are quite expensive, especially the higher end like X1 Carbon. "assurance, response time, legacy compatibility" are getting poorer and poorer including Lenovo.

    I didn't mean that everyone should switch to MB, but what I'm trying to say is, no one will pay top dollars for high end non Apple laptops, which you have mentioned already. No one would pay RM4k for a high end Acer laptop.
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss

    Unfortunately, that's where the numbers are for PC notebooks -> low cost, low margin, low spec notebooks. That's one of the reasons, I believe, why the netbook sort of died out. With full sized notebooks so cheap, why bother with a netbook?

    There's also a tendency for manufacturers to prefer cheaper notebooks -> they don't last as long -> repeat business (hopefully!).

    Selling notebooks that last for 4-5 years may be okay for Apple because they still command a relatively small part of the market. They can count on eating away at the mainstream market and fanboys who will always want to buy a new Apple MacBook no matter what.

    PC manufacturers, on the other hand, cannot afford to lose their market share, if only for bragging rights. LOL! Whatever high-end notebooks they sell are minimal, compared to the bulk of mainstream notebooks they churn out. Even "boutique" PC manufacturers like Sony do not command the kind of aura Apple does.
  12. Chai

    Chai Administrator

    Business models don't actually need to last that long, 3-4 years is more than sufficient. After that, they will scrap it anyway, or they will end up in Lowyat.
  13. lung

    lung Newbie

    Nub suggestion but if you're running Windows, have u tried turning off the "Automatically restart" option in the System Properties? This should provide a BSOD if the problem is related to Windows.

    Anyway if it is not Windows related, then it sounds like battery issue. Have you tried taking the battery out and running entirely via the power adapter? See if it still shuts down by itself?
  14. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss

    Well, there's no BSOD per se. The notebook just shuts off.. INSTANTLY. It's like pulling the power plug on a desktop. One second, it's running... the next second, it's completely off.

    Could be but they also changed the battery at least once, if I recall correctly. They also changed the power module. Didn't help either.

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