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I have a six year old Toshiba Satellite with a big 18" monitor - it's a desktop replacement really. I bought it loaded with lots of VRAM in order to help with the successful presentation of video clips using Trial Director. See the Tip of the Night for April 12, 2015. Lately my laptop has been shutting down without warning - ostensibly it's overheating and needs to power down to protect the motherboard. The problem may stem from the cooling fans (located at the bottom of the laptop) being clogged with dust. While I did try blowing air through van ducts and out the vents on the side of the laptop, I think I have had better luck keeping it running simply by placing at a lengthwise on top of a coffee table book. This keeps the fans elevated and clear.
SpeedFan is available for download here . While it's not able to access the fan speed settings from my particular laptop it can apparently do so on other hardware. It's a good little utility to see how hot your machine is running. See the temperatures listed below for the Graphics Processing Unit, Hard Drives, and Core Processors.