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I am running Ubuntu 12.04 (32-bit) on a Dell Vostro 1700 laptop. When I click 'shut down' option on top bar far right button, it closes Ubuntu but won't shut down. It just goes to a low-power state, from which I have to long-press the physical power button until I hear the hard drive spin down and lock.

Same thing happens if I tell it to restart. I can provide any system information needed to help troubleshoot this problem, but I have no idea where to begin.

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when you poweroff, and while the splash screen is showing, press esc, it will remove the splash screen and show you the poweroff sequence (and maybe what the problem is). If you could quote what you see there it would be helpful. –  Ken Jan 27 '13 at 10:45
    
Please update your Dell Vostro 1700 bios. You can do it by creating a Freedos pendrive and placing the bios executable downloaded from Dell website. If you find difficulties feel free to ask. –  Jorge Suárez de Lis Jan 27 '13 at 11:28

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