I used to have Ubuntu on my Dell laptop. 2 days before, it suddenly shut down after watching some Youtube videos. Then it simply and always shuts down during booting, some time after logo screen. I decided to install new and most up-to-date version, both install and LIVE shut down laptop. Then I tried Linux Mint, lubuntu, Linux Lite, Peppermint, Arch, Puppy, ... All of them failed, install or LIVE.

I know it's not hardware, cuz Windows on this same laptop still works.

I recently upgraded from 4GB RAM to 8GB RAM. I've also removed the new memory stick, and the situation is the same.

What is the most likely cause of this issue?

  • 1
    can you paste content of /var/log/erros?
    – vfbsilva
    Apr 28, 2018 at 2:03
  • 3
    Blindly installing stuff in the hope that it fixes problems isn't how you debug problems. You debug problems by narrow down the cause, form theories, and testing them. Auto-shutdown may come from overheating, so make sure the fans work. Or let it cool and obvserver if it takes longer to shut down. Also observer the startup screen, and see if it shuts down when trying to initialize a particular device. Etc. "It worked before, but now it doesn't work" usually does mean a hardware problem if you didn't upgrade software.
    – dirkt
    Apr 28, 2018 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


If you use drivers from the graphics card vendor, they may have a bug in their driver that causes the card to overheat when watching video.

If you use the proprietary driver for the graphics card, try the open source one, and visa versa.

Grahics card vendors supporting Windows or Linux in a better or worse way is not the fault of neither OS.

  • I don't have any chance to install any driver. The existing Ubuntu shuts down; any new Linux distro, be installing or running alive, also shuts down. Any idea?
    – Nick Chen
    May 16, 2018 at 3:01
  • There's too little info to be able to pinpoint the issue. The first part of the boot is the BIOS, then the bootloader kicks in, then the kernel starts booting. Does any text appear? Any graphics? Any messages? Is it an unusual hardware setup? Are you in a warm country with >40°C temperatures? Have you run the memory disagnostic program in the BIOS? There's just too little info. I think it is likely to be a hardware issue, despite Windows booting.
    – Alexander
    May 16, 2018 at 8:34
  • BIOS is good, then OS selection is good, then crazy text flowing. Sometime during that text flowing, it shuts down itself, no warning, no error message. One beep and power off.
    – Nick Chen
    Jul 2, 2018 at 15:27
  • Typical memory/mainboard or graphcis card/overheating issue. Try cleaning the memory contacts with isopropyl alcohol, make sure the cooling works and a differerent graphics card driver, perhaps.
    – Alexander
    Jul 2, 2018 at 17:40

I had a problem where running OpenCL on my graphics card would cause the laptop to shut down when my laptop was running on battery (the logs showed something about overvoltage, but I have never tried overclocking my laptop — my theory is that the battery simply isn't powerful enough). So one thing to check is that the same thing happens whether you're on battery or plugged in. If the behavior differs, it probably has to do with something regarding how much power the battery can put out. If it's the same, the culprit is most likely the graphics driver (as mentioned above).

  • Nothing different, plugged in as always. The same Ubuntu or any other Linux distro I tried to install or run alive simply shuts down some time after logo screen while Windows 7 on this same laptop has no problem. Can't even get into safe mode, so I can't check on logs. Any idea?
    – Nick Chen
    May 16, 2018 at 2:59

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