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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 02-15-2014, 06:12 PM   #1
Gullible Jones
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Thinkpad A21m shuts down by itself, usually under CPU load


I bought this old laptop very cheaply to use as a server. The seller said it was working.

However, it seems unable to keep an operating system running for more than 5 minutes. Usually it powers down a few seconds after the boot process has started; sometimes it stays on for several minutes longer, but it always shuts down of its own accord at some point. The common factor seems to be high CPU load, but reproducibility is iffy at best.

The shutdowns occur with Debian Stable, NetBSD, *and* Windows 2000... The boot CDs at any rate. So far I haven't even been able to get anything installed on the hard drive.

The laptop did not ship with a power supply. I'm using a compatible one from an older Thinkpad, a 600E. That power supply is rated at 16 volts, 4.5 amperes; the A21m needs at least 3.5 amps. I don't have any other compatible power supplies.

My suspicion is that the power supply is too weak. But before I throw more money at the thing, I'd like to know if there are any other possible hardware or firmware reasons this might happen. Any ideas?

Edit: it doesn't look like thermal shutdown. Temperature never gets close to critical even right before it turns off.

Also the PSU voltage is fine. Still not sure if the current is sufficient though.

Last edited by Gullible Jones; 02-15-2014 at 06:44 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2014, 01:37 AM   #2
trevoratxtal
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Hello
Temperature can and does strange things.
Apart from the Microprocessor the memory and graphic chips are prone to failing when over heated.
Before opening the unit try forced draft air from a hair dryer with heat turned off if the unit lasts longer before shut down or does not shut down then a full service is needed to clean inside.
Worth a try!
Trev
 
Old 02-16-2014, 12:59 PM   #3
Gullible Jones
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Thanks...

I've already opened it. The inside is almost completely free of dust, but I cleaned off the fan assembly and replaced the old thermal grease for good measure. Still doesn't work.

However, I'm not sure if the fan is working. If it is, it seems awfully slow to turn on...
 
Old 02-16-2014, 01:37 PM   #4
rokytnji
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So far I haven't even been able to get anything installed on the hard drive.
I own a couple of A22M. One is http://antix.freeforums.org/post3002...0f9b5f0#p30021
Specs in Conky in screenshot

The other is
Code:
$ inxi -z -F
System:    Host: biker Kernel: 3.3.5-antix.1-486-smp i686 (32 bit)
           Desktop: IceWM 1.3.7 Distro: antiX-full Edelwei▀piraten 26 May 2012
Machine:   Mobo: IBM model: 2628ESU Bios: IBM version: KXET36WW (1.09 ) date: 05/08/2003
CPU:       Single core Pentium III (Coppermine) (-UP-) cache: 256 KB flags: (sse) clocked at 700.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Rage Mobility P/M AGP 2x
           X.Org: 1.12.1.902 drivers: ati,mach64 (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1024x768@87.0hz
           GLX Renderer: N/A GLX Version: N/A
Audio:     Card: Cirrus Logic CS 4614/22/24/30 [CrystalClear SoundFusion Audio Accelerator] driver: snd_cs46xx
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82557/8/9/0/1 Ethernet Pro 100 driver: e100
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL8180L 802.11b MAC driver: rtl8180
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 20.0GB (12.8% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: IBM size: 20.0GB
Partition: ID: / size: 7.8G used: 2.4G (33%) fs: ext3 ID: swap-1 size: 0.88GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0C mobo: 47.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 0
Info:      Processes: 83 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 69.4/247.8MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.8.
The one above has a flaky lcd ribbon cable so I run a crt when I need it for streaming radio stations through a amplifier.

Quote:
The seller said it was working.
Yeah, technically it is. For just a few minutes. At least all I paid for the second one was shipping costs. Does it shut off if you pull the battery and just run off the adapter?

I have found that a glitchy battery can cause strange hard ware symptoms on old IBM Laptops and sometimes the problem will clear if the battery is pulled for troubleshooting purposes.
That the battery is killing/shutting down the laptop.
 
Old 02-16-2014, 01:51 PM   #5
metaschima
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How does it shut down ? Does it shutdown normally, or does it power off instantly ? If the latter, then I suspect the "compatible" power supply is not providing enough power or is not really compatible.
 
Old 02-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
Gullible Jones
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@metaschima: it powers off instantly, with a loud click.

@rokytnji: tried pulling the batter, didn't work.
 
Old 02-16-2014, 03:17 PM   #7
rokytnji
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Quote:
with a loud click.
Sounds like a breaker that resets after a time sitting.
Power adapter problem like you and metaschima think probably.
Bricks/power adapters are cheap on ebay for those from china.
 
  


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