Help! Fan kicks in and shuts down PC

Hi there - Struggling person seeking assistance from you lovely people please :slight_smile:

Every time I use Cubase 6 lately, the fan on my laptop has been kicking in and then after about 2 minutes of the fan going on and off, the PC just shuts down - black screen, power off. So I’m presuming that my PC has an issue with over heating - I’ve tried cleaning / gently vaccuming the fan and messed around with the power settings on windows etc but still no joy.

Could it be that the last few updates of Cubase are causing these problems? In the last few weeks it has been stuttering a bit and sounding like metal mickey (early 1980s British TV reference there - haha!)

I’m got a Samsung SF310, with Quad core i5 processor, 4 Gb RAM - running Windows 7 - using Cubase 6

Many thanks for any help that anyone can offer.

Cheers, Neil

Maybe a hardware guy can chime in, but this doesn’t sound to me like Cubase… to find out for sure, you might try some other CPU-intensive application, something that stresses your laptop, to see if it produces the same results.

I wonder if the CPU is overheating and shutting down to prevent damage. It could be that heatsink isn’t properly seated on the CPU. Is the laptop under warranty?

You might also click the Windows button (lower left corner, AKA the Start Menu), right-click My Computer, choose Manage, then choose Event Viewer and see if you notice any suspicious errors.

Yep - I agree, I think it could be a hardware issue. Not that I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination. The laptop is just out of warranty…sadly. It’s normally so robust and nothing ever bothers it…

I’ve ready that about the heatsink when I’ve googled this problem but I’ve also read that is should only done by experts.

Serious question - do you think its time to abandon the laptop (I need it for work as I travel all the time) and get myself a decent desktop instead?

Thanks for your help - much appreciated.


I’ve found desktops to be far more stable and performant for the money, but I suggest you will need to fix your laptop one way or another. As the CPU heats and cools the heatsink problem will get worse. If before this issue you were happy with your laptop, hold off on the new PC.

Heat is definitely a challenge for all PCs, especially laptops.

There are cooler fans you can purchase that your laptop sits on top of that help keep it cool. I just searched on ‘laptop cooler’ on Amazon and got a few zillion hits. ($20-$30-ish?)

Also, depending on how long you’ve had your laptop, it may have accumulated dust bunnies inside, and dust acts like a blanket to keep the heat in. Your friendly neighborhood laptop tech may be able to give your laptop a ‘blow job’ (sorry!) to blow out all the crud, and that can make all the difference. Alas, opening up laptops can be very non-trivial… strongly consider letting the pro do it. It will benefit your computer in general, not just Cubase.

For my Lenovo I could find the schematics and walkthrough to take the thing apart for cleaning and replacement jobs.I have cleaned the inside/ heatsink/ fan with great success and results (better cooling/ less fan noise/ fan running les frequently/ pc slowing downn less…

Maybe you can find a “how to” for cleaning your model too…


download and run , prime 95

this softwear will stress your laptop out and drive your cpu

run just prime 95 and see if your laptop shuts down when under stress

If you have the use Steinberg power scheme checked in device setup,/vst audio system try turning it off.
Having it on improves performance but at the cost of using more power.

I doubt your solution will be this simple but it’s an easy one to try!

I think this is a very likely cause. If it is then you should proceed with the cleaning tips and then turn it back on, because the Steinberg power scheme really can be the difference between a usable Cubase and total disaster, especially for laptops.


Good catch–yes the Steinberg Auto Power scheme pegs the CPU at 100% all the time.

However, if this reilieves the problem, it points to a hardware problem. Maybe cleaning will help, but it could be that the CPU or heatsink isn’t seated properly and the heat expansion is exposing the problem. It might be an inexpensive fix.

You know what - you guys are the best!!!

For some reason the Steinberg Power Scheme was on…I deactivated it and it seems to be ok for now (he says nervously!!)…but I’m not convinced that it is the total cure as the fans seems to kick in now and then when I start programmes etc. Trouble is, I’m hyper sensitive listening for it now so I don’t know what was ‘normal’ fan useage before.

I’m also going to see if I can take it to a technician and get them to clean out the fan. I’ve had a quick look at how difficult it might be to do it myself and I don’t think I want to go there!!

But thanks you so much for coming to my rescue…much appreciated :slight_smile:


If you’re interested in the CPU temp, you can use this application called RealTemp.
It will display the core temps in the task bar. It’s easy to use if you just want to see the temperatures.
The CPU should idle (varies on lots of factors and you can find plenty of discussion about it on the net) below 50C or so. If it idles much higher than that (60C +), you may need a cleaning or new heat sink. If you feel up to some diagnostics with RealTemp, you may be able to rule the need for any repairs or cleaning. Make sure your laptop is getting airflow underneath it (keep it on a hard surface and possibly even prop it up).