Latitude E6500 Freezes (Locks Up) in Dell Ubuntu Linux 9.04

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Latitude E6500 Freezes (Locks Up) in Dell Ubuntu Linux 9.04

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Shortly after a recent successful update to BIOS ver. A18 (which also included a keyboard firmware upgrade), my E6500 began freezing (locking up) in Ubuntu Linux 9.04.   I was running the Dell version of Ubuntu (w/ Dell drivers).  It has been quite stable for at least 7 months, until this recent catastrophic failure mode began.

Notes: 

  • Ubuntu boots OK; but becomes unresponsive after a few minutes.
  • Hardware tests come up clean.  No problems running Windows XP and Vista. 
  • I have tried Linux Mint 7, Ubuntu 9.10 and Ubuntu 9.04.  All freeze the same way.
  • I was able to install Linux Mint 7 on the E6500 after booting into Compatibility Mode.
  • After installing Mint Updates, the system froze as it had before.
  • I have reset BIOS ver. A18 to default settings.
  • Freezing began just after BIOS update (A18)

Has anyone else experienced this failure mode?  Were you able to fix it?

Thanks in advance for any help.

B. Sanders

 

 

All Replies
  • A tech support call to Dell yielded nothing helpful.  I was told that Ubuntu isn't supported on my E6500 - even if I installed it using a Dell Ubuntu disc. That's news to me.

    Good news:  Ubuntu now runs on my E6500; but only in ATA mode.  AHCI and IRRT modes still lock up shortly after booting.

    EDIT: Linux locks up in all SATA modes.

    I would like to point out, once again, that I had been running Ubuntu Linux on this very same computer - in IRRT mode - for many months prior to updating the BIOS  to A18. I was able to use E-SATA drives under Ubuntu with no problems.  Now, I cannot.  It certainly appears that something was broken by the BIOS A18 update.

    I also note that Dell has recently issued BIOS A19, which I have not installed.  I'm afraid it will break something else.

    Since I regularly use E-SATA drives with my Linux laptop, I am considering dumping this semi-broken E6500 and buying one that will support Linux in AHCI mode without locking up.  

    Any insights or help appreciated.

    B. Sanders

     

  • I am running an  e6500 with ubuntu 9.04 with bios a06. The system is dual boot and everything works fine. I have not tried changing modes. My response was simply to let you know that indeed it does work. Please post if a19 works, it would be good to know in case I ever upgrade the bios.

     

    thanks,

    Simon

  • sjhook

    I am running an  e6500 with ubuntu 9.04 with bios a06. The system is dual boot and everything works fine. I have not tried changing modes. My response was simply to let you know that indeed it does work. Please post if a19 works, it would be good to know in case I ever upgrade the bios.

    Thanks for the confirmation, Simon.  I am now convinced that the A18 BIOS was the culprit.  I did install A19, and the Linux freezing problem persists.  Also, I tried switching SATA modes in the BIOS; but it had no effect.

    I suggest strongly that you avoid BIOS updates on your Linux dual-boot E6500 until this problem is resolved.  I would really like to get some confirmation from Dell on this. So far, nothing.  I am considering attempting a BIOS downgrade as a last-ditch effort.  I supposed it might be time to request warranty service, except Dell tech support tells me they don't support Linux.  (Yeah, that surprised me, too, since I used a Dell-branded disc to install Ubuntu.)

    To recap: BIOS A06 worked fine on my Dell E6500 Linux/Windows dual-boot laptop.  Immediately after updating to BIOS A18, Linux became unusable due to freezing (locked up, no response to input).  I did try installing several different Linux distros (Mint, Fedora, UNR, Knoppix); but all distros exhibited the same freezing problem.

    Hoping to get this problem solved.  Thanks again.

    Barry

     

  • In an effort to see if anything might be visibly broken or loose inside the E6500, I pulled off the [nicely designed magnesium] bottom cover and checked to make sure all of the mounting screws were tight, and everything was seated properly.  I didn't find anything wrong. No dust in the fan, either.  Very clean inside, as it should be.

    Despite finding nothing wrong, inexplicably, my E6500 now runs Linux Mint 8 perfectly.  I installed it the same as before.  All components and the installer were the same as before.  Same operating environment.   But this time, Linux works, with no freezes.  I've been running it for about 7 hours straight so far, using GKrellm to keep an eye on the CPU temperature. Not a single hiccup.

    I should point out that for the past week or so, I had been experiencing intermittent system freezes; but this time in Windows 7, not Linux.  There are quite a few postings on the web complaining of E6500 freezing in Windows.  Now I've experienced it.

    Linux seems to be working fine.  For now.  We'll see how long this lasts.

    Barry

     

    sandersconsulting

    sjhook

    I am running an  e6500 with ubuntu 9.04 with bios a06. The system is dual boot and everything works fine. I have not tried changing modes. My response was simply to let you know that indeed it does work. Please post if a19 works, it would be good to know in case I ever upgrade the bios.

    Thanks for the confirmation, Simon.  I am now convinced that the A18 BIOS was the culprit.  I did install A19, and the Linux freezing problem persists.  Also, I tried switching SATA modes in the BIOS; but it had no effect.

    I suggest strongly that you avoid BIOS updates on your Linux dual-boot E6500 until this problem is resolved.  I would really like to get some confirmation from Dell on this. So far, nothing.  I am considering attempting a BIOS downgrade as a last-ditch effort.  I supposed it might be time to request warranty service, except Dell tech support tells me they don't support Linux.  (Yeah, that surprised me, too, since I used a Dell-branded disc to install Ubuntu.)

    To recap: BIOS A06 worked fine on my Dell E6500 Linux/Windows dual-boot laptop.  Immediately after updating to BIOS A18, Linux became unusable due to freezing (locked up, no response to input).  I did try installing several different Linux distros (Mint, Fedora, UNR, Knoppix); but all distros exhibited the same freezing problem.

    Hoping to get this problem solved.  Thanks again.

    Barry

     

     

  • I had the freeze issue with Fedora12 (it was not the case with F11) and A13 Bios.

    I downgraded yesterday to A06 to avoid freezes.

    Do you know wich version of BIOS start having freezes ?

  • Ok, let's make the point of the situation from BIOS >A06 to A13:

    A10:

    • Added support for BIOS that is signed
    • Updated to PSA build 4117
    • Updated thermal table
    • Fixed the issue where system is slow to boot to internal hard drive after failed PXE boot exits
    • Fixed the issue where Some BIOS Setup parameters are not accessible with only the keyboard
    • Fixed the issue where system will automatically shut down at resuming from S3
    • Fixed the issue where the time of BIOS power event log in Setup is wrong for power button event.
    • Fixed the issue where presentation mode cannot be turned on/off from the DCP.

     

    A11:

    • Fixed issue where Intel(R) vPro(TM)-configured systems may
      erroneously shutoff in some situations due to a false overtemp
      condition.

     

    A12:

    • Updated Intel(R) Active Management Technology firmware for AMT-configured systems:
      - Fixed a vulnerability in which an ME-knowledgeable malicious user with local machine access could potentially exploit boundary errors in some ME application functions to gain control over those ME applications.
      - Fixed a remote Denial of Service (DOS) vulnerability which a malicious user could potentially exploit to cause the reboot of a system running susceptible versions of Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT)
    • Added USB provision file format 2.0 support for Intel(R) vPro-configured systems.
    • Updated warning message when changing the SATA Operation field in BIOS Setup.
    • Added support to make Pre-Boot Authentication single sign on work with hard disk drive passwords.
    • Fixed the issue where Dell Diagnostics fan script test fails with a USB 2.0 scanner attached.
    • Fixed the issue where Dell Diagnostics LCD brightness test fails when ALS is enabled.

     

    A13:

    • Updated Intel(R) Active Management Technology firmware for Intel(R) vPro-configured systems.
    • Updated Intel MRC to revision 2.7
    • Updated PXE OPTROM.
    • Added BIOS option to enable/disable Camera. 
    • Added Security Erase feature support for normal security HDD.
    • Improved support for Wi-Fi Catcher.
    • Updated to 640x480 resolution for customer logo POST screen.
    • Fixed issue where BIOS setting changes not saved with Admin password set.
    • Updated BIOS setup wording of Charger Behavior item.
    • Added 65W adapter support for integrated video card system.

     

     

    I think the only changes related to suspension are in revision A10.
    You confirm this assumption?

  • I had this problem on UBUNTU 13.04 on a dell laptop (Dell latitude 5430)

    I did a simple thing - just a lucky shot - .. updated all the xserver packages that I had as follows:

    sudo apt-get install xserver

    it will correct you and show about 3 xserver packages .... install them all (they should be installed .. but whatever)

    sudo apt-get install <xserver-****>

    then upgrade them

    sudo apt-get upgrade <xserver-****>

    and it is solved now ^_^

    A.Z