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I've got a problem booting. Ubuntu 16.04 on my Dell E6520 laptop boots normally when plugged in. However, when booting on battery power it shuts down entirely. Sometimes it makes it as far as the Ubuntu loading screen, but then stops and the laptop shuts off entirely.

I tried searching and found this results for a Lenovo Y560, though I'm not really knowledgeable about kernels so I'm not sure if a similar fix would be relevant for a Dell.

What can I do to boot while on battery power? Thanks.

Updates

I've also tried booting from USB and recovery mode while on battery power, both failed.

I've also noticed when I boot from AC power, then unplug the battery, sometimes the system shuts off on its own, but only after I do something.

Reproduction steps:


Shutdown at login screen issue

  1. Boot from AC power
  2. Wait for login screen
  3. At login screen, unplug AC power
  4. Type password and click login
  5. Immediately after clicking login, the laptop shuts down

I set a timer and waited 10 minutes after step 3 to see if the battery was the issue, but it only shuts down if I take an action, in this case clicking the login button.


Shutdown using Chrome on battery power

  1. Boot using AC power
  2. Wait for login screen
  3. Type password and click login (still from AC power)
  4. Wait for desktop to load, then disconnect AC power
  5. Open Chrome
  6. Type http://www.google.com in the address bar
  7. Click Go or press CTRL+Enter, and the laptop immediately shuts down

I left the laptop powered on at step 5, thinking maybe it was a battery issue. It ran for almost 3 hours until the battery was completely drained.


It seems the laptop only shuts down when on battery power after some type of user action, or during boot from battery power.

I'm stumped, any thoughts on what the cause is?

  • Does the power issue appear in Windows as well? Or only Linux? Chances are that Linux power handling isn't as efficient and your battery is old meaning it doesn't have a full charge (which could cause this) – Thomas Ward Jun 7 '16 at 23:42
  • @ThomasW. its a rebuild - so no windows. The battery is brand new, and charges fine and runs for hours as long as I've booted with it plugged in. – Adam Konieska Jun 8 '16 at 3:02
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    @Sneetsher actually the grub menu comes up on its own. If I choose Ubuntu it makes it to the loading screen then shuts off. – Adam Konieska Jun 10 '16 at 4:18
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    @Sneetsher I just tried booting from USB, which also failed. – Adam Konieska Jun 10 '16 at 4:23
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    @Sneetsher sorry for the delay, recovery mode also fails. It begins to load then shuts off. – Adam Konieska Jun 10 '16 at 20:22
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I had the same issue on a Lenovo G50-45, the fix for this was so simple it made it complicated.

Go to 'System Settings' in Ubuntu, go to 'power' and change the option below "On Battery Power" so they are the same as the options below "When plugged in".

Let me know how you get on! :)

  • Thanks, its definitely not that. The power settings are the same for both. I don't see what affect that would have on booting. – Adam Konieska Jun 10 '16 at 4:20
  • If they are the same, then I'm not sure. I will have a look round to see if I can find anything. If I remember rightly, for myself it was set to Suspend when left for 5 minutes but only on battery power and by changing it to not suspend (The same as with power cable connected) I fixed the problem. I don't know why it was doing that, it wasn't even on the loading screen for a minute before either crashing or turning off. – proprocastinator Jun 10 '16 at 15:22
  • Just thought of something actually, I used to support Dell laptops in a previous role and often used to get battery calibration issues. Normally battery calibration issues just cause problems with laptops turning off without any warning. We used to support Dell D620s and D630s, so they might not have it now. They did have a calibration tool in the BIOS. Just in case you don't know, what it does is scans the chip in the battery and gets an accurate reading of battery life and resynchronizes the system. – proprocastinator Jun 10 '16 at 15:32
  • If there is no tool to do that in the BIOS, someone here might be able to suggest a good program for the job. As I have not had to do this on linux as of yet. – proprocastinator Jun 10 '16 at 15:35

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