After logging into Jaunty (9.04) everything seems to be going fine but after less than 10 minutes the screen goes blank and I'm unable to do anything. The system dual boots with Windows 7 and Windows 7 appears to have no problems.

The system was working fine for months and after being turned off over the weekend failed to start.

I have tried;

  • Pressing ALT+CTRL+F1 after the blank screen doesn't work.
  • Booting into the LiveCD - same problems
  • Selecting different versions of the kernel in Grub
  • Killing X when Ubuntu starts (so I'm only on the command prompt)

Everything so far has the same problems except windows 7. If it were not for windows 7 I would have thought a hardware problem.

UPDATE The keyboard lights remain lit up as they were but pushing captslock/numlock etc. doen't do anything. The monitor LED flashes as if its getting no signal (the same flash as when the computer is off) - fans etc. are still running

I'm not sure what logs to look in exactly. If somebody can point me to the right log I'll take a look/show them. I looked in /var/log/Xorg.... but didn't see anything there. But then I'm not sure what to look for.

UPDATE 2 memtest86 fails at about 33% completion - the screen goes blank just like when in ubuntu. I guess this suggests faulty RAM.

UPDATE 3 As it turned out its a overheating/faulty graphics card. Dell are taking away the machine to replace it.

  • 1
    You had a look at the logs? F.e. dmesg? – Bobby Oct 12 '09 at 13:10
  • 1
    do the keyboard leds flash when this happens? any network access from another machine -- ping, ssh, etc? – quack quixote Oct 12 '09 at 13:11
  • Updated the post to reflect the comments. – Orange Box Oct 12 '09 at 13:40

nVidia graphics? There are some issues with some of the nVidia drivers, but they seem to happen at random, not a regular interval.

If it's a pretty regular 10 minute interval, I'd check to see if there's a component overheating. I just went thru the same exercise, take a look at:

Ubuntu 9.04, AMD and nVidia: How to determine cause of lockup?

To monitor temperatures, try

How can I monitor the CPU temperature under linux?

  • The system has an ATI graphics card. The graphics drivers were my first port of call too but since the crash still happens when X isn't running I don't think its likely. Will check the other posts out though – Orange Box Oct 12 '09 at 14:42

I have a similar problem, where the screensaver starts to come on when watching Flash video full screen in Firefox. It happens even if I move the mouse every few minutes, but as soon as the screen starts fading mouse movement stops it.

Try try turning off all the power/screensaver options, this worked for me...


As it turns out the machine was faulty and Dell are taking it away for repairs.

I think it was the graphics card that was overheating and cutting out.

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