[coreboot] Random Shutdown on Thinkpad X220

tomli at tomli.me tomli at tomli.me
Sun Oct 29 16:28:55 CET 2017

Hello everyone.

I recently purchased a used Thinkpad X220 with Intel i7-2620M (SandyBridge) CPU,
and have installed coreboot since day one. Everything seemed to work well, but
since then this laptop suffered from shutting down randomly.

The random shutdown appears to be completely random, the machine just simply lost
power as if someone pulls the plug, without any possible precautions. It occurs
with or without battery installed, or the source of power, and determinated
to be irrelevant to CPU temperature. In fact, the system is less likely to shutdown
if it was performing computation-intensive tasks. It occurs on multiple versions
of Linux kernel, stable and master branch of coreboot.

On my system, it also has some random hangs as described in Ticket #121 [1], but I
believe it's a independent issue not related these mysterious shutting downs.

A quick search on the Internet showed many similar reported cases.


And lots of possible reasons were purposed, from bad battery, bad RAM, to bad
keyboard. The most interesting suggestion was one source (Reddit) claiming a bad
keyboard connection may trigger a poweroff signal and another source also stated
a bended PCB under Trackpoint may short the power button cable and shut the machine
down randomly. I haven't check it on my machine so far...

But it looks like most of the problems were caused by the somewhat defective
motherboard. I'm going to purchase another X220 motherboard with Core i5 next
week, and possiblely to pay someone to rework the board, transplating the Core
i7 to the other motherboard.

Do you ever encountered a problem like this? What is your suggestion for me
to try before replacing the motherboard?

Tom Li

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