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I have a Lenovo T410 laptop running Ubuntu 11.10. At the office, I have it on a (Lenovo) docking station to which is attached an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, and external hard drive. I don't have a wired internet connection, so I connect wirelessly.

On occasion (about twice in three days) the entire computer will randomly lock up. The only way to proceed is to do a hard shutdown and reboot. My computer doesn't lock up like this anywhere else.

I don't know where to begin to troubleshoot this problem. I suspect it has something to do with the hardware configuration (involving the docking station) and the fact that my only network connection is via wireless. The reason I think this is that my computer has real difficulty maintaining the wireless connection at the office (I've pulled many hairs trying to troubleshoot this problem as well, since it doesn't have any trouble maintaining wireless connections anywhere else) and I've noticed that some software doesn't play nice when it doesn't have a connection to the internet (e.g., banshee).

I know this isn't much to go on. If someone could help me solve the problem, that would be great, but I'm really just looking for some suggestions as to how to go about troubleshooting it.

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! We need more hardware information to help you, can you look at this question and then edit your question adding the information? –  Jorge Castro Jan 3 '12 at 17:23
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closed as off topic by Marco Ceppi Feb 3 '12 at 0:46

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2 Answers

I have the same with Lenovo T60.

My guess is that is related to ACPI.

Anyhow, the workaround (working 100% for me) is to switch display (Fn + F7) to laptop only before attach/detach to/from docking station.

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If I understand correctly, you attach and detach while your laptop is running. My practice with this laptop and docking station has been to always shut it down before removing from the docking station and to only boot it after attaching to the docking station. Is it better to do hot attaches and detaches? –  lfreeze Jan 3 '12 at 16:47
    
I don't know what is better, but I usually do "hot" detach/attach –  Michał Šrajer Jan 3 '12 at 16:50
    
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll see if that makes a difference. –  lfreeze Jan 3 '12 at 16:54
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This may not be an Ubuntu issue per se. We have similar issues with a fleet of T410/420 ThinkPads running Win XP Pro and Win 7. Apparently, Lenovo improved the physical matchup between the laptop and the docking station with this generation to the point that it barely functions. I can close my desk drawer a little too hard and cause my peripherals, input devices, and network connection to go dead. The laptop re-acquires without a hard restart (most of the time) but it's an aggravating issue we never had with the T6x series or T400 machines.

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