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I have a Dell 7373, with a Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8550U CPU @ 1.80GHz. I'm running a fairly stock version of xubuntu 18.04, kernel 4.15.0-33-generic. (It's the latest kernel I got from an apt upgrade)

For a few weeks now, once every few days my computer will lock up. The circumstances are always the same: it is on, plugged in, and either the lid is closed (which only turns off the screen but does not sleep or hibernate), or the screen has timed out (again, sleep and hibernate not enabled). Also it only seems to happen when I've been away from the computer for more than a half-hour or so. But it doesn't always happen.


*Edit: I now believe that this is a BIOS/firmware issue, and it seems to be temporary freezes, not permanent. Today I tried to wake my laptop from suspend. The power light came on immediately, as did the keyboard backlight. But the screen remained black. Also, the caps lock light would not respond when pressing that key.

I waited about 13.5 minutes, and the system finally came up, perfectly normal. The power light came on at about 09:13, and the system finally woke up around 09:25. journalctl showed no activity until the actual wake-up. That and the caps lock makes me think it's firmware. I haven't been able to find any "logs" in the BIOS screens.

Aug 10 21:35:17 user-Inspiron-7373 kernel: PM: suspend entry (deep)
Aug 10 21:35:17 user-Inspiron-7373 kernel: PM: Syncing filesystems ... done.
Aug 11 09:25:04 user-Inspiron-7373 kernel: Freezing user space processes ... (elapsed 0.001 seconds) done.

Things I've tried:

  • The ctrl+alt+f1 (and all other f-keys too) to see if I can switch to a terminal. No dice.
  • ssh. After the first few times I installed an ssh server, and tried connecting from another computer. Again no dice.
  • syslog, kern.log, journalctl. Nothing in any of these that seems to shed any light.

For example, it happened today. I had closed the lid several times and left the computer. The first 3 or 4 times it was fine. But the last time I closed the lid at 16:19:32. Then came back to the computer sometime around 17:45 and found it completely locked up. Here's what I found in journalctl:

Sep 09 16:19:32 user-Inspiron-7373 systemd-logind[767]: Lid closed.
-- Reboot --
Sep 09 17:46:16 user-Inspiron-7373 kernel: Linux version 4.15.0-33-generic (buildd@lcy01-amd64-024) (gcc version 7.3.
Sep 09 17:46:16 user-Inspiron-7373 kernel: Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-33-generic root=UUID=5276f0f

And that's the most information I can find anyplace. Literally nothing showing between the time I closed the lid (when everything was fine) and after I had to do a force-reboot.

What else can I check to try to diagnose this?

  • I think I may have found it! I started noticing that lockups almost always happened in the afternoon, and then i found /etc/cron.d/popularity-contest scheduled to run at 16:28. I uninstalled popularity-contest, so I'm hoping this will solve the issue. If I don't have any lockups in the next few weeks I'll make this an answer instead of a comment – David784 Sep 29 '18 at 13:46
  • No dice...I had a lockup today sometime between 13:04 and 13:35 – David784 Sep 29 '18 at 17:48
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*Edit 2: Problems kept getting progressively worse until I had the laptop serviced and they replaced the motherboard. Now the problems have completely gone away. So this was definitely a hardware problem.

*Edit: My system started freezing again even after the kernel updates and changing to the i915 driver. I also tried fedora since it uses a purer kernel, and had freezes in it as well. Not ideal, but I've disabled my screen timeouts, and now I never get freezes any more.

As noted in changes to my question, the freezes appear to be temporary, they just last a very long time and till now I never waited long enough. It also seems to be happening below the kernel level, maybe in BIOS/firmware.

  • I have similar problem on My Inspiron 7370. Does the mainline kernel solve your problem? – hrzhu Jan 16 at 13:23
  • Hi, I am getting the same problem in my 7373, but your solution has not solved my issue, this finally solved the issues for you? – Cesar Jul 2 at 22:09
  • Actually no, my system started freezing again even after the kernel updates and changing to the i915 driver. I also tried fedora since it uses a purer kernel, and had freezes in it as well. I've completely disabled my screen timeouts, and now I never get freezes any more. – David784 Jul 2 at 22:13

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