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Unexpected Shutdowns: 5 Ways to Fix in Windows 10 Laptops

One of the most annoying things to happen when typing a blog post, commenting on a Facebook post, or watching a YouTube video is the unexpected shut-down of the computer (either a desktop or laptop). In this next troubleshooting article, we’ll look at the causes of why unexpected shutdowns happen and how to fix it from happening again.

Causes of Unexpected Shutdowns

Unexpected shutdowns that are not tasked within Windows 10 can be both hardware and software-issue related in HP and other manufacturer labeled laptops on the market.

For hardware issues, a majority of unexpected shutdowns in laptop PC’s is contributed to a defective, degrading battery pack not holding a charge to maintain efficient voltage to work.

The other end of hardware issues leading to unexpected shutdowns can be a case of overheating due to dust and debris buildup on the CPU fan or the CPU fan itself is going bad due to bad bearing(s) preventing the fan from moving efficiently to provide proper cooling to the CPU.

For software issues, unexpected shutdowns in Windows 10 can be contributed due to the notorious bug found within the systems hibernate function where it uses the “fast startup” features to boot-up quicker from shutdown. This feature alone may malfunction to cause the unexpected shutdown without throwing an error message or BSoD.

5 Ways to Fix Unexpected Shutdowns

Going into ways of fixing unexpected shutdowns, the 5 most recommended ways to list combine working within Windows settings, the device manager, and performing hardware maintenance within an HP laptop or non-HP manufactured laptop.

Uninstall/Reinstall Battery Driver

uninstall battery driver windows 10

In such a case where a new battery is installed to a newly configured laptop or upgrading the battery, the battery driver would normally automatically be installed either as a specific model from the Windows Update catalog or as a generic “Microsoft ACPI-compliant” battery when the laptop is booted and the user logs into their local Windows profile.

On a rare occasion, there could be a possibility of Windows not recognizing the battery driver to detect the laptop battery.

Even if the charging adapter is plugged into the laptop, the laptop may not charge the battery even Windows does not detect the charging percentage on the battery.

So when unplugging the charging adapter, the HP laptop will automatically shutdown not just because of a supposed “dead battery” but because of the battery not being detected.

To uninstall and reinstall the battery driver in Windows 10, use the following steps below to successfully perform this troubleshooting method:

  1. Right-click Start Button
  2. Click “Device Manager
  3. Under “Battery” device type, right-click “Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery” (this could be named something else depending on the manufacturer of the battery and whether or not Windows already recognizes the battery to give it a different name)
  4. Click “Properties
  5. Navigate to “Driver” tab in properties window
  6. Click “Uninstall” to uninstall the battery driver
  7. After uninstalling battery driver, shutdown Windows and unplug the power adapter. Make sure to leave the power adapter unplugged between 5-10 minutes
  8. Plug power adapter/charger back into the computer and power on the computer. The battery driver may reinstall once logging back in the local profile
  9. Go back into the device manager to make sure the battery driver has been reinstalled. If not, go back into the properties window and click “Update Driver” to install the battery driver.

Replace Laptop Battery

ninjabattery hp 15-305dx

If uninstalling and reinstalling the battery driver does not solve the unexpected shutdown issue, the problem is more than likely the battery itself if it does not hold a charge.

Let’s face it, Lithium Ion batteries do not last forever…

Most Li-Ion laptop batteries lifespans depend on the number of cycles put in and where the battery is mostly stored away when not in use.

Either way, storing preference of the laptop is crucial to preserving the lifespan of the battery. This means the laptop should not be stored next to a air vent in your home or out in the car in the driveway on a cold or hot weather day/night.

Related Article: Event Tracing Fatal Error: Causes and How to Fix in Windows 10

Disable Hibernate Power Option

disable hibernate command windows 10

Everybody knows the hibernate power function on the computer benefits in conserving power by saving data to the hard disk drive and fully powering down the laptop altogether.

However, the problem with putting most HP laptops into hibernate mode is the laptop will not restore back to the previous point when pressing the power button down to power the laptop back on.

The hibernate processes and the feature in Windows 10 is somewhat faulty that does not register the current power state the laptop is in.

To disable hibernate function in Windows 10, use the following steps below to complete this troubleshooting method with the command prompt (this is if the hibernate function is not available or hidden):

  1. Type in “CMD” in the search box (magnifying glass icon) on the task bar
  2. Click “Run as administrator
  3. Type in “powercfg.exe /hibernate off” command and press enter to disable hibernate mode completely

Update BIOS

hp 15 f305dx bios example

The BIOS or “Basic Input-Output System” in Windows 10 serves as the firmware and part of the brains in the laptop that controls the hardware from the keyboard, monitor, hard-drive, and other embedded devices.

In today’s modern laptops including HP laptops, they would use an UEFI BIOS where the PC’s setup information is stored on both a BIOS chip on the motherboard and copied onto the hard drive.

The problem within the BIOS if it is not updated is due to Windows 10 not properly sending instructions or tasking from the device drivers to communicate with hardware devices which can cause error codes even unexpected shutdowns.

Simple solution…go to your manufacturer’s website and download a new BIOS updates to either a USB thumb drive (if the laptop is still on the legacy BIOS) or install directly to the PC (if the laptop motherboard is UEFI).

For HP laptop owners, the BIOS updates can be found by going to the HP Customer Support site to download the update or any driver needed.

Clean CPU Fan & Heat Pipe

clogged cpu unexpected shutdowns

Dust buildup is one of the top enemies that contributes up to 45% hardware failures due to overheating with the only factor it doesn’t beat out is device dropping.

For HP laptops, this is a nightmare since dust and debris building (hair, toenails, dirt, etc.) easily clogs up the single CPU fan and single heat pipes running to the CPU and the heatsink.

Before anyone knows it, the fan will either work twice as hard to get cool air to the CPU (a tell-tale sign would be the fan would be noisier) through the clogged up heat pipe or the fan will not work at all due to the interference in the fins.

For doing maintenance in the guts of an HP laptop, a few cans of canned air is needed to blow out the fan and heat pipe…and it wouldn’t hurt to re-apply new thermal past between the heat sink and CPU since after say a couple years of use would add a bonus of cooling benefit when the overheating issue is put to bed.

For monitoring CPU core temperatures, it would be advisable to use a free real-time monitoring application like NZXT Cam or Core Temp to determine symptoms of rising CPU core temperatures from the processes running to load percentages that could also contribute to overheating.

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