Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Whenever I try to transcode a movie or a large video file, my laptop always switches off abruptly some time after the transcoding has begun. I initially thought that this had something to do with my DVD drive but even when I tried converting videos from a hard drive, the problem remained. I've switched from Handbrake to VLC and still the problem remains.

When I opened System Monitor when the converting was going on, the CPU usage is around 100%. Is this a hardware problem or is it something wrong with the software?

share|improve this question
Does the coding start and then it dies in the middle or does it get part way then fail? – Caleb Jul 30 '11 at 16:40
@Caleb- part way and then fail – Samrat Man Singh Jul 30 '11 at 17:05
Thanks ... you might want to edit that bit of information into the question because it makes a difference. Also, does it really "switch off" or does it die and start to boot again? The "switch off" is what makes me think it's a hardware problem, dying and rebooting is often software. – Caleb Jul 30 '11 at 17:09
It switches off and doesn't boot again. – Samrat Man Singh Jul 31 '11 at 4:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would suggest that this is probably a hardware problem, most likely a CPU overheat issue. You might be able to prove this by running some other kind of stress test or checking your BIOS for what the warning and critical levels are and making sure their is an audible warning at a lower temp than the critical shut off level.

share|improve this answer
@Caleb- can I set-up an audible warning using BIOS? – Samrat Man Singh Jul 30 '11 at 17:06
@SamratManSingh: It depends on your BIOS, but many do have the option of an audible warning. Usually this would be set a few degrees below the critical temp where the BIOS shuts it off. – Caleb Jul 30 '11 at 17:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.