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Since the last couple of days my desktop PC shuts down instantly and automatically even on light system usage. I found this line in the system log just before the shut down.

localhost kernel: [14404.565480] nouveau  [  PTHERM][0000:01:00.0] temperature (126 C) hit the 'shutdown' threshold

Is this a hardware or software issue and what can be done to investigate this in more detail?

  • Looking at the temperature I would say this looks to be a hardware issue, 126C is very hot and will shut down your system. Whether software is telling your fans/cooler to not run I do not know. – Haych Jun 3 '16 at 18:11
  • I know that is too hot but I am trying to figure out what is happening. If someone knows could the driver be the problem and how to find that out? Thanks anyway for the answer. – mvidovic Jun 3 '16 at 18:14
  • Model number would be helpful... – Android Dev Jun 3 '16 at 18:14
  • My graphics card is an old NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT. – mvidovic Jun 3 '16 at 18:33
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    I had that problem on Dell laptop. Finally I found out that the fan was blocked with dust. Took it apart, cleaned it and now works fine. – NonStandardModel Jun 3 '16 at 18:45
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This is definitely a graphics card issue. "Nouveau" is the open-source nvidia driver. Check your GPU fan and cooling. Remove dust.

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Seems like heat sink on top of CPU is either not functioning well or thermal paste on top of CPU and under the heat sink fan needs refill.

Hope it solves it.

  • This is about the GPU, not CPU. – Android Dev Jun 3 '16 at 18:34
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This thread may be helpful to you:

How to use lm-sensors?

Reading up on some of these sensor apps, some can help you control the fan.

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    In that thread there is one tool, that looks at the graphics sensors as well, the thread is pretty good to read. – Christopher Angulo-Bertram Jun 3 '16 at 18:34
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I would recommend pulling out your fan first of all. I have fixed numerous computers that had junk in the fan or the heatsink, especially if it is on the floor.

After that, if you can replicate it I would run top and watch what is using the CPU the most, leading up to a shutdown.

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    I would just check all of your fans and heatsinks. You will likely find that all of them have some dust and likely your graphics card more so. – Soul Dessin Jun 3 '16 at 18:45

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