Why does my iBook intermittently suddenly shut off?

My iBook suddenly turns off without warning. It happens whether it's unplugged and running on a charged battery or if it's plugged in. It never feels unusually hot.

I originally thought it was a hard drive failure, but installing a new hard drive hasn't fixed the issue.

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Does this happen while you're actively doing something? Any particular program running when this happens? Did you clone the old hard drive or install a new system?

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It's only shut off while browsing the internet (Firefox), but I wouldn't be surprised if it shuts off if I use any other program like Word or Excel - I just haven't used the iBook for much outside of browsing since it's had this issue. I cloned the hard drive from an external FireWire drive using Carbon Copy Cloner (which itself was a clone of the iBook's original internal HD - before the shutoff issue manifested). It's happened when sitting directly on a bed, on a laptop stand, and on a beaded placemat on a dining room table.

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I should also note that sometimes I either can't power it back on immediately, or if it does come on, it shuts off again soon afterwards (<5 minutes). If I start from cold, it usually runs uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes.

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With all the hard drive cloning there's no telling what you may have brought forward. First I would download and reinstall FireFox, Next see if you get the same thing using Safari.

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I'll try it tonight, and let you know how it goes.

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Should I delete just the Firefox app, or should I also delete the .plist and Firefox user data and settings?

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I'd delete it all.

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I uninstalled Firefox and all of the related files mentioned above. After about 40 minutes of use, the iBook suddenly shut off. I was on Safari, browsing the IRS website and had a couple of google search tabs open looking for tax advice, and had pdfs of the 1040 form and instructions open in Adobe Reader.

I was running on battery, which showed about 37% charge remaining when it shut off. I checked the external meter on the battery itself (Apple battery, not third-party), and the first two of four lights turned on.

I turned the iBook back on less than two minutes later. I attempted to run Safari about two minutes after login, and the computer shut off again. I checked the battery meter, which now shows one. Please note that though this current session was conducted solely on battery, the same issue occurs when the computer is plugged in (with the battery fully charged, or the battery partially charged, or with the battery completely removed).

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Test it again without the battery installed and time it.

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