random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Gilles Gravier ggravier at fsfe.org
Wed Nov 30 07:46:50 UTC 2016


A common issue can be (I see your machine is a laptop), stuff blocking air
circulation in the cooling vents of the laptop.

So maybe before you take it to service, turn the machine upside down, take
a vacuum cleaner, and vacuum them machine from the vents under it...

If the machine can be easily disassembled, then open it, and make sure
there's not hair, lint, animal fur, and other things that might either
prevent the fans from spinning, or the air from flowing through radiator
blades and air vents. :)

Your laptop could simply be going into safety thermal shutdown when you use
it intensively.


On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:22 AM, Jason Paul Joines <jason at joines.org> wrote:

> 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.
> Jason
> ===========
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Gilles Gravier - ggravier at fsfe.org
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