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Background: I was trying to do a long SMB to SMB network transfer on a computer running xubuntu, but I've encountered a very weird problem:

My computer loses its network connection after random amount (in range of 10-40min) of inactivity, and any user activity (even moving the mouse) brings it instantly back up. The computer is connected via ethernet cable, not WLAN. When the connection drops, it stops answering and also disappears from the client list of the NAT router after a while.

I tried running a script that automaticly mimicks user behaviour with xdotool, but that does not seem to work. I also noticed that it's not just network activity that stops - the script outputs an increasing number every minute, and when the computer drops off network I noticed that the number doesn't increase! The script and network activity continues as if nothing had happened when I move the mouse, press shift or anything.

I found are no BIOS options relevant to this, and there's no such features in xubuntu power management I know of.

The computer is a Compaq Presario 6540fi.

Question: Any ideas what might be causing my computer to behave like this?

I did solve the data transfer issue by, ehm, duct-taping my mouse to a rotating tabletop fan to mimic user activity. (Yes, really.) Regardless, I'm still quite interested in what actually causes this weird issue.

(Cross-posted to Super User since this might have nothing to do with the OS...)

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closed as too localized by fossfreedom Mar 18 '12 at 9:14

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Cross-posting is bad form. If the answer shows up there, will this question be answered too? Not likely. –  Mei Feb 25 '12 at 1:45
@David It's generally bad form, but since it's unclear what's causing the issue, it can be considered justified. And yes, if an answer shows up there, this question will be answered, because I will be notified of the aswer at SU and will add here an answer containing a link to the solution at SU. And likewise other way around as well. –  Ilari Kajaste Feb 25 '12 at 10:50
OP are you still looking to find the answer –  Ringtail Feb 25 '12 at 19:19
@BlueXrider Only in the sense that this remains an unsolved mystery. I'm still quite interested in the answer, but I don't need it anymore, as I've switched away from that weird computer. I'll edit the question to reflect that. –  Ilari Kajaste Feb 25 '12 at 21:36
Ask Ubuntu Clean up time. Thank you –  Ringtail Feb 25 '12 at 21:41

2 Answers 2

I'm not sure what you mean by your comment about Xubuntu power settings, but this still sounds a lot like some sort of power sleep. Check the Power Management settings and see if you can't set it to never go to sleep.

Try setting your power settings so the system never goes to sleep.

Also, check your logs: (as root) look at the files /var/log/messages and /var/log/daemon.log for messages about what happened. Also look at output from the command dmesg to see what the kernel thinks happened.

I really think there is some sort of power-saving going on.

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I meant that there's no option for "stop all activity after X minutes idle", "deep sleep" or similar features that would point towards this in Xubuntu power management. The computer is already set for no sleep. It really does sound like power saving, but I can't find any information about it, or how to turn it off. –  Ilari Kajaste Feb 25 '12 at 10:55
I have daily access to the (work) computer in question for only a few more days, but I'll check the logs monday. This is an intriguing problem, and I'd really like to know what was going on. Luckily I've been using another computer for a months already, but that one is still around. –  Ilari Kajaste Feb 25 '12 at 10:57
Sorry, I had a bit of change in plans. Will still try this later on when I get back to the computer. –  Ilari Kajaste Mar 9 '12 at 11:54

I'd try restarting with acpi off, that may help isolate if it's a power problem:


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Thanks, I'll see if that makes any change to the issue. –  Ilari Kajaste Feb 25 '12 at 10:58
@IlariKajaste, did that fix the problem? If it did, can you accept the answer please (AskUbuntu clean up). If not, I'll defer the question. –  BrownE Feb 27 '12 at 19:14
Sorry, I had a change in plans. But I will try this later this month. –  Ilari Kajaste Mar 9 '12 at 11:55

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