random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Wed Nov 30 00:10:06 UTC 2016

On Tue, 2016-11-29 at 17:37 -0500, Jason Paul Joines wrote:
> Periodically, and with increasing frequency, the machine just
> powers off.  The display goes black, with a small sliver of yellow or
> orange flickering along the very left edge.  This lasts only a couple
> of seconds and then the power cuts out completely.
> This problem did not start happening until about 10 days ago
> which coincided with my switch from 14.04.5 to 16.04.1.

Correlation is not causation. If you can go back to Ubuntu 14.04-5 for
a while and the problem goes away, then I will believe that this is
Ubuntu's fault.

To me, this is almost certainly a hardware issue. If your laptop is
still under warranty my recommendation would be to exercise that

> Power loss seems to occur only during interactive use.

Interactive use causes movement and vibration. Stopping and starting
programs causes the disk and fan to vary in speed and activity. If it
doesn't spontaneously reboot when running idle, but does when someone
is tapping on the keyboard, that's a strong argument for hardware

Static discharge is also a possibility, though rebooting is an unlikely
reaction to static discharge. Death of the hardware or no effect at all
are more usual.

Send the unit back to the vendor. Make very clear to the vendor that it
is an intermittent fault.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

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