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When I tell Ubuntu to shutdown it appears to follow the normal procedure but after the screen goes blank the process seems to stop. The bluetooth and wifi LEDs are lit up as well as the batter and wall power. Also the usb ports still have power.

This is on a thinkpad x61.

Is there a way to diagnose this problem?

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This looks just like a bug in Linux's handling of ACPI events for your computer's motherboard; as such, it should be reported in Launchpad and not on Ask Ubuntu. Thanks! – InkBlend Mar 31 '13 at 23:26

Hmmm there are a lot reasons it might not work. Often, it's because of a quite complex reason.

What you can try:

  • Press the 'off' button on the laptop. Maybe it only works after pressing Ctrl+alt+F2.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 and then Ctrl+Alt+Del (this will reboot, but you can press the 'off' button while in the bios/boot screen, when it displays the Thinkpad logo). Sometimes, I have to do this more than once before rebooting actually happens.
  • If all else fails, you can press the 'off' button for ~5 seconds until the system goes down. This is basically the same as switching off the power, so not recommended, but sometimes it's the only thing that's left.

Note, Ctrl+Alt+Fx switches virtual terminals. You can go back to the graphical screen with Ctrl+Alt+F7.

This is probably too late, but I thought in case it happens again.

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Seems like there's a problem with the wifi:

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Eliah Kagan Mar 31 '13 at 23:55

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