Recent Ubuntu kernels do not boot under battery on my Dell Mini 9
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Just for grins and giggles, I burned a CD of the latest Ubuntu ISO (12.04 with kernel 3.something I forget exactly what), jacked in an external optical drive, and booted to the live CD while under battery power. My Dell Mini9 booted just fine.
(I know it's not quite the same as installing Ubuntu, but I'm not going to do that. I'm fed up with Ubuntu's antics.)
That does not solve your problem, but it does indicate that a Dell Mini9 should be able to boot that kernel under battery power. Hopefully, this will help a little bit by ruling out the possibility of some global version incompatibility with the Dell.
Additional testing shows that booting with the charger attached is successful and,
moreover, I can unplug the charger and get a "init 6" reboot OK.
After a while I noted that the "power" LED remained lit, even though the screen was
dark. So I looked at the file /var/log/dmesg.0 and found that booting
had succeeded. I attach the file, which shows a few oddities, like the
ACPI: Deprecated procfs I/F for battery is loaded, please retry with CONFIG_ACPI_PROCFS_POWER cleared
apm: BIOS not found.
Otherwise I see no reason for no raster on the display.
But perhaps I am missing something.