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I've installed Ubuntu on a USB thumbdrive, to be used to backup (image) and partition a harddisk. I'm currently stuck at the backup-phase of my plan, because Ubuntu keeps shutting down.

From my perspective, it seems that it just shuts down, almost as if I had asked it to. I don't have any good messages in the logs, as far as I can tell, so I'm really looking for a place to start debugging. I've also been playing Minecraft off this installation, and it seems to not like that either: the same sort of shutdowns occur, but it isn't limited to Minecraft. It reminds me of a machine I saw with thermal issues, but I have no proof for this. (That machine would shutdown within two minutes if you simply ran a while True: pass loop in Python.)

First, the hardware:

The machine is a Lenovo T500, running 32-bit Ubuntu 11.10.

uname -a:

Linux roy-linux-usb 3.0.0-12-generic #20-Ubuntu SMP Fri Oct 7 14:50:42 UTC 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Last messages in /var/log/Xorg.0.log:

[  9861.576] (II) Power Button: Close
[  9861.594] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9861.594] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9861.620] (II) Video Bus: Close
[  9861.620] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9861.620] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9861.656] (II) Sleep Button: Close
[  9861.656] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9861.656] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9861.688] (II) UVC Camera (17ef:4807): Close
[  9861.688] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9861.688] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9861.708] (II) AT Translated Set 2 keyboard: Close
[  9861.708] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9861.708] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9861.760] (II) UnloadModule: "synaptics"
[  9863.434] (II) Unloading synaptics
[  9863.440] (II) TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint: Close
[  9863.440] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9863.440] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9863.448] (II) ThinkPad Extra Buttons: Close
[  9863.448] (II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
[  9863.448] (II) Unloading evdev
[  9864.598] (II) fglrx(0): Shutdown CMMQS
[  9864.599] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] removed 1 reserved context for kernel
[  9865.075] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] unmapping 8192 bytes of SAREA 0x2000 at 0xb7795000
[  9866.600] (II) fglrx(0): Interrupt handler Shutdown.
[  9872.550]  ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log

Last messages /var/log/messages:

[ 9855.198401] thinkpad_acpi: temperatures (Celsius): 85 43 35 62 27 N/A 28 N/A 35 44 60 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
[ 9855.315474] init: tty4 main process (964) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.317930] init: tty5 main process (967) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.319500] init: tty2 main process (981) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.321669] init: tty3 main process (983) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.322777] init: tty6 main process (985) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.346869] init: irqbalance main process (1001) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.348362] init: cron main process (1004) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.351377] init: tty1 main process (1292) killed by TERM signal
[ 9855.363890] init: plymouth-upstart-bridge main process (2103) terminated with status 1
kernel: Kernel logging (proc) stopped.
rsyslogd: [origin software="rsyslogd" swVersion="5.8.1" x-pid="821" x-info=""] exiting on signal 15.

That first line makes me think my temperature suspicion is right. I downloaded lm-sensors, and the output from sensors (under CPU load of two Python threads looping infinitely):

$ sensors
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +85.0°C  (crit = +127.0°C)
temp2:        +96.0°C  (crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
fan1:        3025 RPM
temp1:        +85.0°C  
temp2:        +45.0°C  
temp3:        +36.0°C  
temp4:        +61.0°C  
temp5:        +27.0°C  
temp6:            N/A  
temp7:        +27.0°C  
temp8:            N/A  
temp9:        +37.0°C  
temp10:       +46.0°C  
temp11:       +58.0°C  
temp12:           N/A  
temp13:           N/A  
temp14:           N/A  
temp15:           N/A  
temp16:           N/A  

The machine is warm, but I would not describe it as hot. The fans are spinning, and audibly changing speed.

I just purchased the laptop, and it is used.

share|improve this question
The laptop was overheating. Unfortunately, I can't give the exact log file, as it's been awhile (and I forgot about the question…). The log was in /var/log, where you'd expect it to be, and had a nice glaring note about a thermal trip point (the 100°C one in the question) had been tripped. (Frankly, once I found it, I remember wondering how I missed it. That said, as I write, I can't remember where I found it.) Additionally, I could reproduce the shutdowns on Windows, though I could not find that Windows made a log entry beyond "unexpected shutdown". – Thanatos Apr 3 '12 at 22:27

Just to make sure the temperature is not the problem, because the temp readings are pretty high and it wouldn't surprise if the laptop shutdown because of overheating. Normally a PC shuts down at around 90°C Open the Laptop and clean it out. I had similar issues and after cleaning the laptop all was fine.

Problem is, there might be hidden dust in the fan, so if everything seems clean take out the fan(s) and clean them too

How old is the machine? how long was it in use?

also... you could try to open the laptop and run it like that, sometimes it improves cooling, not always thought.

share|improve this answer

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