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Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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I recently got a new Precision 7540 laptop for work. The first thing I did was wipe the SSD and install the latest Linux Mint. It runs great, with one caveat. It will only boot if the AC adapter is plugged in. On battery, 9 times out of 10, it won't cold boot. I see the Dell splash screen come and go. I see a message about booting in insecure mode because secure boot is disabled, and that's it. I never get prompted for my disk decryption key, although the keyboard backlight activates if I touch the keyboard. I have to poweroff by holding the power button to get out of this state. If I plug the charger back in and power on again, it comes right back up. Once I've made it to the login screen, I can unplug the charger and everything keeps working normally from there. I've reinstalled without full disk encryption and it doesn't seem to make a difference. I've tried the latest Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Fedora, as well as Ubuntu 18.04.3, all with the same startup issue. The issue is there before I install Nvidia drivers and afterwards, so that seems to have no effect. Ubuntu 18.04 seems to get farther; I actually see the Ubuntu logo with the 5 white dots that turn orange, and then back to white, and then back to orange... for 20 minutes until I hold down the power button, plug in the charger, and power on again. And then it comes right back up!

I spoke with Dell technical support and their stance was that since the laptop shipped with Windows, they can't provide support. So I reinstalled Windows 10, and frustratingly, the problem isn't there. I was hoping it was an obvious hardware problem that could be repaired.

I know Dell ships this model with Ubuntu 18.04 installed, so I know the hardware 'should' be able to work in that configuration. However, Dell has their own customized Ubuntu image. Because my system shipped with Windows, I don't have access to an official Dell Ubuntu image that would likely contain any needed patches/fixes, if the issue truly is limited to software.

My main concern is that I'm coming up on 30 days with this laptop. If I can't gain confidence that it's going to work in the long term, I'd rather send it back and eat the cost of restocking rather than risk being stuck with a laptop that's not fit for purpose. Is anyone out there running a stock (non Dell customized) version of the latest Ubuntu on the Precision 7540? If so, do you see this same issue?

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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You have to do it with root privileges. For example, from terminal

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

View solution in original post

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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Hi, I have Precision 7530 and I have the exact same problem 😞

 

I hadn't tried dell support yet.

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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This is my bios version: DMI: Dell Inc. Precision 7530/0425K7, BIOS 1.12.1 11/11/2019

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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I found out that the problem disappears if I downgrade BIOS to version 1.7.0

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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@pgregy,

 

We appreciate your efforts in running the trouble shooting steps. 

 

Dell has tested Ubuntu 16:04 and Ubuntu 18:04 operating system on your system model so we recommend installing these to versions. As per the order details system is shipped with Ubuntu 16:04.

 

Were you having the same issue when you were using Ubuntu 16:04 that was factory shipped? ^KR


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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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Hi,

I came to this thread looking for the solution to a similar problem that I am currently facing with my Dell Precision 7530 with Ubuntu 18.04. It does not boot unless the laptop is connected to AC power. This was not always the case. A few days back, I accepted the system updates and got them installed (I did not check what these updates were). The problem has started since then.

Could you please have a look into it?

Thanks 🙂

[In case you need to know about the default OS that was shipped with the laptop, it was an invalid/inactivated Windows OS.  I specifically requested for Ubuntu 18.04, but the vendor had only 16.04. So we had agreed that I would install Ubuntu 18.04 on the laptop after I received it.]

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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I suppose I have the same problem.

  • Windows boots up normally, Ubuntu does not.
  • I am not exactly sure when the problem first arose but it was sometime in late december. I did a Dell-update in Windows (I use both OS daily) back then.
  • I use a Latitude 7300

Hope this helps the support-team fixing the problem. Thanks 🙂

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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It's interesting that this issue is affecting different models. I'm still inside the return window for my laptop, but if it's clearly a BIOS issue, that at least makes me more confident in the actual hardware. And it's more likely that Dell will fix the issue.

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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Please try booting with the kernel param "dis_ucode_ldr". I believe there was a CPU microcode update in the newer bios which is causing issues with the newer kernels. The stock 18.04LTS image actually ships with a customized 4.15 kernel, which doesn't have this issue with the newer bios versions.

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Re: Precision 7540 will only boot Linux if charger is connected

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I've just installed the stock LTS version and the problem still exists.

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