random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

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random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Jason Paul Joines
       I'm running Ubuntu 16.04.1 with KDE neon User edition 5.8, having
recently switched from Kubuntu 14.04.5.  My hardware is:

Lenovo ThinkPad T510
latest BIOS, version 1.52
quad core i7 CPU, M 620  @ 2.67GHz
Intel integrated graphics using i915 module
8 GB SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1334 MHz RAM
500 GB Hitachi SATA drive
Intel 82577LM gigabit ethernet
Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 wireless

        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.  Power loss
seems to occur only during interactive use.  If I leave the machine
running all night, it is still running in the morning.  After a couple
of hours of use the problem occurs, and it seems to be getting more
frequent, beginning with once a day or so, then occurring three times
today within 5 hours of use.

        I think that I have been typing each time the machine has
powered off.  I typically have had Kate, Konsle, SeaMonkey, and
Thunderbird running.  Sometimes LibreOffice and VirtualBox too.

        The problem has happened while running on battery, with the
power plugged in, and running with the power plugged in and the battery
removed from the machine.

        It has happened using the built-in keyboard and when using an
external USB keyboard, with a external USB drive attached and without,
connected to the internet via wireless and via ethernet with wireless
disabled, as well as with and without KDE power management running.

        I have reviewed syslog, kern.log, and X.org.log around the time
of each power loss but can find nothing in common.

        Today, I ran the extensive Lenovo diagnostics at least twice,
including a memory test.  Everything passed.

        I am at a loss as to what is causing this problem.  Hardware,
kernel bug, power management, X or KDE, etc.  Any ideas or suggestions?


Jason
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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Karl Auer
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.

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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Jason Paul Joines
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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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Gilles Gravier-2
Hi!

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.

Gilles.


On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:22 AM, Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]> 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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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Colin Law
In reply to this post by Jason Paul Joines
On 29 November 2016 at 22:37, Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]> 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.
> ...
>         I have reviewed syslog, kern.log, and X.org.log around the time
> of each power loss but can find nothing in common.

Do the logs just suddenly stop? If so then it is most likely (though
not absolutely certain) a hardware issue.
+1 to suggestions that you vacuum it out in case it is overheating for
that reason. Also open it up and reseat all the connections you can
find (take them off and put them back again) and remove and replace
the RAM. Then run the memory test accessible from the grub boot menu
and leave it running overnight (for example).

Colin

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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Jason Paul Joines
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1
From: Colin Law <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Date: 2016.11.30.Wed.04:16:03

> On 29 November 2016 at 22:37, Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]> 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.
>> ...
>>         I have reviewed syslog, kern.log, and X.org.log around the time
>> of each power loss but can find nothing in common.
>
> Do the logs just suddenly stop? If so then it is most likely (though
> not absolutely certain) a hardware issue.
> +1 to suggestions that you vacuum it out in case it is overheating for
> that reason. Also open it up and reseat all the connections you can
> find (take them off and put them back again) and remove and replace
> the RAM. Then run the memory test accessible from the grub boot menu
> and leave it running overnight (for example).
>
> Colin
>


        Yes, unfortunately the logs do just seem to stop.  The last
message in the logs seems to be different every time.

        When it last crashed I was watching the temperature via
xsensors.  Both cores were around 38 °C.  Periodically one would jump up
to 56 °C for just a second, but then drop back down.  That seems to be
too cool to be an overheating issue.

        Although, I left it running Memtest86+ 5.01 last night.  When I
came in this morning, the machine was locked up.  It seems like it did
not find any errors, but also did not complete a pass:

Pass 21%
Test 81%
Test #7 [BLock_move]
Testing:  4096 M - 6144 M    2048 M of 7988 M
Pattern:                    | Time: 0:03:34
Pass: 0        Errors: 0

        It also showed the CPU Temp at 72 °C, much hotter than when it
powered off with the OS running.

        I'll try your suggestions and those of Gilles about vacuuming
and checking connections and such before I decide it's a lost cause.



Jason
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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Liam Proven
On 30 November 2016 at 19:29, Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]> wrote:
>         When it last crashed I was watching the temperature via
> xsensors.  Both cores were around 38 °C.  Periodically one would jump up
> to 56 °C for just a second, but then drop back down.  That seems to be
> too cool to be an overheating issue.

You're right, it does.

>         Although, I left it running Memtest86+ 5.01 last night.  When I
> came in this morning, the machine was locked up.  It seems like it did
> not find any errors, but also did not complete a pass:
>
> Pass 21%
> Test 81%
> Test #7 [BLock_move]
> Testing:  4096 M - 6144 M    2048 M of 7988 M
> Pattern:                    | Time: 0:03:34
> Pass: 0        Errors: 0

Ouch. That _definitely_ sounds like a hardware issue. I have isolated
quite a lot of RAM faults with MemTest over the years, and it's so
tiny that as long as the few hundred kB of RAM that it fits in are OK,
it runs for days. So either the very beginning of RAM is damaged --
swapping SIMMs around is worth a try -- or the machine has serious
issues, probably terminal. :-(


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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Jason Paul Joines
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1
From: Liam Proven <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Date: 2016.11.30.Wed.13:46:50

> On 30 November 2016 at 19:29, Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>         When it last crashed I was watching the temperature via
>> xsensors.  Both cores were around 38 °C.  Periodically one would jump up
>> to 56 °C for just a second, but then drop back down.  That seems to be
>> too cool to be an overheating issue.
>
> You're right, it does.
>
>>         Although, I left it running Memtest86+ 5.01 last night.  When I
>> came in this morning, the machine was locked up.  It seems like it did
>> not find any errors, but also did not complete a pass:
>>
>> Pass 21%
>> Test 81%
>> Test #7 [BLock_move]
>> Testing:  4096 M - 6144 M    2048 M of 7988 M
>> Pattern:                    | Time: 0:03:34
>> Pass: 0        Errors: 0
>
> Ouch. That _definitely_ sounds like a hardware issue. I have isolated
> quite a lot of RAM faults with MemTest over the years, and it's so
> tiny that as long as the few hundred kB of RAM that it fits in are OK,
> it runs for days. So either the very beginning of RAM is damaged --
> swapping SIMMs around is worth a try -- or the machine has serious
> issues, probably terminal. :-(
>
>


        I re-ran Memtest86+ in FailSafe mode.  It went through one full
pass without locking up or detecting any errors.  Of course, it was only
using one in FailSafe mode.  What is suggested by locking up in SMP
mode, but not detecting any errors in FailSafe mode?  Does that suggest
a CPU issue instead of a RAM issue?


Jason
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Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1

Jason Paul Joines
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1
From: Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]>
To:
Date: 2016.11.30.Wed.16:43:22

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: random laptop power outages with Ubuntu 16.04.1
> From: Liam Proven <[hidden email]>
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: 2016.11.30.Wed.13:46:50
>
>> On 30 November 2016 at 19:29, Jason Paul Joines <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>         When it last crashed I was watching the temperature via
>>> xsensors.  Both cores were around 38 °C.  Periodically one would jump up
>>> to 56 °C for just a second, but then drop back down.  That seems to be
>>> too cool to be an overheating issue.
>>
>> You're right, it does.
>>
>>>         Although, I left it running Memtest86+ 5.01 last night.  When I
>>> came in this morning, the machine was locked up.  It seems like it did
>>> not find any errors, but also did not complete a pass:
>>>
>>> Pass 21%
>>> Test 81%
>>> Test #7 [BLock_move]
>>> Testing:  4096 M - 6144 M    2048 M of 7988 M
>>> Pattern:                    | Time: 0:03:34
>>> Pass: 0        Errors: 0
>>
>> Ouch. That _definitely_ sounds like a hardware issue. I have isolated
>> quite a lot of RAM faults with MemTest over the years, and it's so
>> tiny that as long as the few hundred kB of RAM that it fits in are OK,
>> it runs for days. So either the very beginning of RAM is damaged --
>> swapping SIMMs around is worth a try -- or the machine has serious
>> issues, probably terminal. :-(
>>
>>
>
>
>         I re-ran Memtest86+ in FailSafe mode.  It went through one full
> pass without locking up or detecting any errors.  Of course, it was only
> using one in FailSafe mode.  What is suggested by locking up in SMP
> mode, but not detecting any errors in FailSafe mode?  Does that suggest
> a CPU issue instead of a RAM issue?
>
>
> Jason
> ===========
>


        This issue seems much more like a kernel bug now.  It turns out
that Memtest86+ plus is buggy.  One bug causes many SMP systems to hang
on Test #7 in SMP/Parallel mode even when there are no hardware issues.
This machine runs all of the other tests just fine.  It will even pass
Test #7 on each core in sequence, but hangs very quickly in SMP/Parallel
mode.

        I installed kernel 3.13.0-101.148 from the Ubuntu 14.04
repositories.  Then I ran the machine hard for two weeks without any
isssue.  This included simultaneously running tons of applications,
including a VM running pretty much the same set.

        I just booted back into Ubuntu 16.04 kernel version 4.4.0-51.72
this morning.  The machine powered itself off again within two minutes.


Jason
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