Ubuntu: Laptop powers down for no apparent reason


Over the past day, my laptop which is running Ubuntu 12.04 has been abruptly powering down for no apparent reason. It has a full battery charge, so there are no issues there.

I can't think of any reason why this is happening. Any help would be appreciated because this is leading to a lot of unsaved work being lost.


Your laptop's crashes could be caused by several possible reasons. I will discuss one possible reason, overheating, in this answer. Overheating is an easy problem to detect. You can continually monitor your computer's hardware temperatures using an application from the Ubuntu Software Center called Psensor.

Install Psensor. Also install lm-sensors to detect your computer's hardware sensors. Then detect your computer's hardware sensors by opening the terminal and running the command:

sudo sensors-detect  

Then you will get asked a lot of questions about what hardware you want the program to detect. It is generally safe and recommended to accept the default answers to all questions, unless you know what you're doing.

In Ubuntu 16.04 Psensor detect your computer's hardware sensors automatically without running sudo sensors-detect

Psensor displays itself on the desktop as a little thermometer icon in the notification area in the upper right-hand corner of the desktop next to the clock. You can right-click the thermometer icon at any time to display the hardware temperatures. As a general guideline, a hardware temperature of 60o C is hot. A hardware temperature of 70o C and above is too hot, and could cause your system to crash.

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