random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Jason Paul Joines jason at joines.org
Wed Nov 30 00:22:23 UTC 2016

On 11/29/2016 07:10 PM, Karl Auer wrote:
> 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
> option.
>> 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
> issues.
> 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.

        Thanks for the feedback.  I am also afraid that it is a hardware
issue that just happens to coincide with my OS migration.
Unfortunately, the machine is out of warranty.  I've been using it for
six years now.  I guess I should start searching for a replacement.

        In case it isn't hardware though, I've just installed and am
running the Ubuntu kernel from 14.04.5.  I may also try running without
acpid for a while, and restoring my 14.04.5 install.


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