Ubuntu 16.04 freezes and becomes unresponsive

Asked by Rohan Banerjee on 2019-08-02

I have an Alienware m17 laptop set up with a dual boot between Ubuntu 16.04 and Windows 10. On my Ubuntu partition I have noticed that my system will often freeze, requiring a hard reboot (as the keyboard and mouse are unresponsive).

I originally suspected it might be a graphics issue, because the freezes often happen when my GPU is under heavy load. My computer has an NVIDIA GPU (RTX 2080 mobile edition). I tried updating my NVIDIA drivers from 410 to 418, but the freezes still occur.

I have tried stress-testing the GPU and CPU and usually it's actually difficult to get it to freeze consistently. I also checked my CPU and memory usage (32 GB RAM), but I don't think those are the causes either.

My suspicion is that this is a power/interrupt/BIOS issue, but it's difficult for me to pin it down exactly. I do always have to add the "noapic" option to the GRUB in order for my machine to boot successfully.

I've tried a couple of other approaches (including adding "acpi=off" or "intel_idle.max_cstate=1" to the GRUB) that I've found on the forums, but none have solved my problem.

Is there any information I could provide that could help resolve the freezing issue? Any suggestions on what I could try next? Thanks so much in advance.

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Last query:
2019-08-07
Last reply:
2019-08-04

Have you tried testing your RAM using Memtest86+ from GRUB?

Rohan Banerjee (rohanb2019) said : #2

Yup, I ran MemTest86 on my machine and all of the tests passed (because my BIOS is set to UEFI mode, I wasn't able to run MemTest86+ directly from GRUB, but I used MemTest86 instead, as per https://askubuntu.com/questions/917961/can-i-boot-memtest86-if-im-using-uefi).

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When the computer crashes and is subsequently re-started, it sometimes automatically launches the Dell CPU fan diagnostic, which made me think that there might be an overheating issue. I've checked /var/log/syslog and sometimes I see "CPU[X]: Package temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled", but I've noticed that there aren't any such messages right before the computer freezes. But it is certainly possible that there might be an issue with the CPU fan.

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