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Old 10-20-2017, 03:50 AM   #1
eric2233
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Mint 18 - screen suddenly black on USB removal


I've used Mint 18 for a while on my Lenovo T510 laptop, but I have a new and serious problem.

I use a Logitech M185 wireless mouse. Sometimes it stops being responsive (I move the mouse but the cursor does not move), and my solution is to remove and reinsert the USB dongle. After doing this a couple times, the mouse will usually start being responsive again.

(I have used the mouse on my other computer with Windows 10 and IIRC it's always perfectly responsive, so I'm guessing there's not a hardware issue with the mouse.)

However, a couple times recently, when I removed or inserted the USB dongle (I forget which), the screen suddenly went black. Based on the laptop indicator lights it seems the OS/applications are running smoothly, but I can't see anything on the screen so it's useless. The only way I know to get out of this state is to remove the laptop battery, forcing a reset.

1) Does anyone have a clue why this is happening or how to prevent it?

2) In the black-screen state, is there a less violent method to recover than removing the battery? Once upon a time my Linux systems had shortcuts like Ctrl-Alt-1 to drop me to a terminal, but I don't know of any that work now.

3) Less urgently - anyone know how to get the mouse working 100% of the time?

Thanks!
 
Old 10-20-2017, 06:18 AM   #2
hazel
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ctrl+alt+Fn will still get you to a terminal in any Linux.

If your keyboard still works (and what you say about the indicator lights suggests this), then you can reboot in the normal way with ctrl+alt+del.
 
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:51 AM   #3
eric2233
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Huh, you're right that ctrl+alt+Fn still exists. Somehow I was trying ctrl+alt+1 not ctrl+alt+F1. But ctrl+alt+backspace really doesn't work anymore.

Last edited by eric2233; 10-20-2017 at 07:53 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2017, 09:14 AM   #4
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric2233 View Post
Huh, you're right that ctrl+alt+Fn still exists. Somehow I was trying ctrl+alt+1 not ctrl+alt+F1. But ctrl+alt+backspace really doesn't work anymore.
ctrl-alt-backspace kills X. But if you've got a display manager running (graphical login), X will just regenerate. ctrl-alt-del is the reboot code.
 
Old 10-20-2017, 04:05 PM   #5
ondoho
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long-pressing the power button will shut down forcibly (no need to remove the battery), but of course it's better to avoid that.

all in all your problem sounds like a typical description of dying hardware. i'd guess the usb port itself, but of course it could also be the mouse itself or its cable or even another plugged in usb device.

if you think that is premature, please do some troubleshooting to narrow it down. i'd start with a different mouse.
 
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:13 PM   #6
eric2233
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Ctrl-alt-del (from the Cinnamon graphical interface/login) brings up the "Log out of this system now?" menu. Maybe from the terminal it will begin the restart procedure, I have too many windows open now to check

Ctrl-alt-backspace has no effect.
 
Old 10-21-2017, 12:14 PM   #7
eric2233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
all in all your problem sounds like a typical description of dying hardware. i'd guess the usb port itself, but of course it could also be the mouse itself or its cable or even another plugged in usb device.

if you think that is premature, please do some troubleshooting to narrow it down. i'd start with a different mouse.
Sounds reasonable
 
  


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