Help identifying cause of random shutdowns

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Help identifying cause of random shutdowns

Postby kcbagr » 2018-03-08 05:03

I've been having a problem for years: netbook just randomly shuts down. I'll be sitting in front of the computer, sometimes not even using it, it's just on and I'm writing on paper or something and the netbook just shuts off. Sometimes it immediately tries to reboot and other times it just stays off until I press power to boot it.

I using Debian Stretch fully up to date on a ThinkPad X220. I have memtested my RAM to death. It is fine. The only "non-free" item is the Intel wi-fi firmware I installed. But I tried running "permanently" with wifi turned off at the hardware level and the crashes continue.

The random shutdowns don't seem to have any pattern. The fan isn't going crazy (laptop is quite cool actually). My best guess is a faulty motherboard? But the warranty is long past and I can't get that fixed.

But is there something I can do to try to identify the source? Stretch's "logs" app displays nothing and I don't know how to use it. But I don't know what I"m looking for anyways. Any help/guidance would be much appreciated on a method before/during/after to get to the bottom of this.
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Re: Help identifying cause of random shutdowns

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2018-03-08 05:13

Watching 'dmesg' may provide a clue, but if it's just suddenly powering off, your odds are low.
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Re: Help identifying cause of random shutdowns

Postby Dai_trying » 2018-03-08 08:16

I had a similar issue with an old Toshiba laptop and it was a hardware problem (cannot remember exact IC) but basically it happened when the laptop changed frequencies and the only way I could make it stable enough to use was to set the governor to running full speed and never change (I used cpufrequtils for this) I did run it for a while but eventually (a few months later) it started happening again and I decided it was time to stop "flogging the dead horse" and got a new one.
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Re: Help identifying cause of random shutdowns

Postby emariz » 2018-03-08 18:13

A shot in the dark:
1. The fan may not be working correctly, causing over-heating, and the system turns off automatically as a security measure.
2. A malfunctioning battery may be causing a short-circuit that turns off the system.
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