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I have used my laptop for 1.5 year, which is Dell Inspiron 1320.

Recently, I just installed Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop to my laptop. However, I'm facing very strange problem that I did not face before.

  1. If the laptop is booted to Ubuntu, it will automatically shutdown after a while ** randomly**. ( I believe the shutdown is not triggered by events)
  2. If the laptop is booted to Windows 7, there is no such problem. Windows 7 runs very stable and good.
  3. If the laptop is booted to BIOS setup menu, the problem is as same as that boot to Ubuntu.

I also tried turning on the laptop without battery but with AC power directly. But the problem still exists. So the battery problem has been eliminated.

I suspected dust blocked my laptop's fan/cooler/head detector... So I cleaned every parts in my laptop yesterday. However the problem still exists.

Anyone has any idea about solving the problem?

Update 18 May 2011

I highly suspect that Ubuntu changed my "Overheat protection" settings in BIOS and Ubuntu did not set it correctly. Why I suspect that? Because I tried that:


  1. Start Ubuntu and log in to Ubuntu.
  2. Shutdown the laptop in Ubuntu with normal way
  3. Start the laptop and enter BIOS setting menu
  4. wait....
  5. Auto shutdown after a while (maybe 1~2 min)
  6. Start Windows 7 and log in to Windows 7
  7. Shutdown the laptop in Windows 7 with normal way
  8. Start the laptop
  9. During laptop starting, there is a message "System updated" (something like that. I am not sure the exact word, but I can sure the meaning. It just showed up for maybe 0.2 sec)
  10. Enter BIOS setting menu
  11. wait....
  12. The computer does not have problem!!!
share|improve this question
I'm guessing the system gets overheating - perhaps power management is not kicking-in in Ubuntu – Sathya May 16 '11 at 6:08
I suspected that too. That's why I cleaned dusts. Moreover I tried to open my laptop so that I can touch my cooler device directly and run Ubuntu. However, after the laptop was automatically shotdown, the cooler device is not that hot. – Alex Yeung May 16 '11 at 6:22

Should be able to boot into Dell's Hardware Diagnostics by hitting F12 at the bios screen. From there you can run all sorts of hardware tests. If you spits out an error with one of the tests and your laptop is still under warrenty, should be able to call Dell and get it replaced.

More info

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer. I will try tonight because my laptop is at home. – Alex Yeung May 16 '11 at 6:19
@Nixphoe: I run the test yesterday. But I cannot complete the test because my computer is auto shutdown. I tried the test for few times. – Alex Yeung May 17 '11 at 23:33
I would put my money down that it's a hardware issue. Grab your Dell Service tag. Should be able to check here to find out if your warrenty is still good. Call Dell if it still is and let them know what the issue is and what you've already done.… – Nixphoe May 17 '11 at 23:58
I don't believe that is a hardware issue. Because it works fine under Windows 7. – Alex Yeung May 18 '11 at 4:05
I have a feeling that it is more of a fluke that it is working under Windows 7. If it is rebooting when only running a hardware check, Dell will tell you that it is hardware. I've been through that a few times with them on workstations. – Nixphoe May 18 '11 at 14:52

An Ubuntu install is not going to change any thermal variables in your BIOS... if you think that it's something in the BIOS settings... restore to default and test things out.

I would suspect that you have an issue with the cooling system, either a fan is out or the thermal compound needs to be re-applied.

If you're sitting in the BIOS, your CPU isn't really doing much and may not shutdown after 1-2 minutes...

share|improve this answer
Hi, thanks you for your response. I am not sure if ubuntu change my BIOS setting or not. But last night, i tried openSUSE, it works fine as well. – Alex Yeung May 21 '11 at 2:44

Sorry all. I did not update this post for a while. My problem has been gone and now ubuntu run quite good.

What I did is

  1. Open the laptop case
  2. Use a strong fan to cool down all hardware although it is not hot
  3. Connect to the internet and install the display driver
  4. And install all other drivers.

After that, Ubuntu would become stable. So if some face the same problem, you can try. I cannot sure those steps could solve the problem. But at least it works in my laptop.

share|improve this answer

Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop is still BETAWARE. Wait a wee or two, & the debugged version should be released.

Very few of the Ubuntu derivatives dare use Ubuntu 11.04 yet. Pinguy has ... but I've yet to install it. Generally I use Super OS, which tries to prompt me to 'upgrade' to the buggy 11.04. I did try the UNITY stuff on 10.10 - not impressed. Also COMPRIZ (?) and other GPU demanding stuff won't work with my notebook's Intel I3 CPU.

In Win7-32 bit, so very happy. Unbuntu is for bypassing Win7 faults (crashes, undeletable files, folders), removing anti-virus or malware stuff.

share|improve this answer
Betaware? But it is not mentioned in Ubuntu web site, isn't it? – Alex Yeung May 16 '11 at 4:33
11.04 is now released, and has been for a bit – Simon Sheehan May 17 '11 at 23:44

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