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2 Bronze

XPS 13 / Ubuntu 15.04 Freezes with Caps Lock Blnking

I have an XPS 13 (2015) Developer's Edition.  The initial Ubuntu 14.04 install from Dell suffered all kinds of issues with the trackpad and with Wifi.  Dell recommended upgrading to Ubuntu 15.04 which I did.  The trackpad and wifi function much better under 15.04 however, I started getting random system freezes where everything hangs and the caps lock continuously blinks.    

After many weeks of trial and error, I finally found kernel 3.19.0-16 works well.  Today after an upgrade to kernel version, the freezes with Caps Lock blinking.  One final data point is that even with the 3.19.0-16 kernel, the system freezes with blinking caps lock when the command "sudo reboot" is issued.

Can anyone offer any insight as to the source of the issue here.

Thank you,


Replies (57)
3 Silver

My XPS-13 does the same thing. I've had it for about 24 hours now and it's done this about 3 times. Complete system hang, with caps lock light blinking. Totally unresponsive - can't use ctrl-alt-Fn to go to a different terminal, nothing. The only thing to do is hold down the power button for several seconds to force a shutdown, then reboot it.

Dunno why it's doing this, but it is frustrating. I run Linux to get away from this kind of system crashes.

My system is  Ubuntu 14.04 with kernel 3.19. Even on this kernel the keyboard still occasionally repeats keys. The trackpad & keyboard are better than 3.13, but far from perfect.

After using this laptop extensively for the past 24 hours I suspect these hangs are related to the touchpad. These hangs happen only when I'm using the touchpad - they have not happened while I'm connected to my big monitor & external keyboard & mouse.

2 Bronze

Is there an update on this issue or a known work around? I saw someone mention changing to hibernate on lid close instead of sleep, but was unable to figure out how to do that. Tweak tool didn't have the option, or I couldn't find it. Currently running 15.04 on a XPS13 2015 with A03 BIOS.

2 Bronze

Same problem here (XPS 13 DE, BIOS A.03). I wanted to upgrade from 14.04 to 15.04 via 14.10 and during dist-upgrade I got a message that the system couldn't install the newer Kernel version and a little bit later in the process I received the message that my system now might be in a corrupted state and that a rollback of dist-upgrade is now conducted. After that I rebooted only to get a blinking Caps-Lock key and a dark screen. After some reboots the Grub menu was shown and I could select (under 'Advanced options for Ubuntu') the hitherto Kernel which initially came with 14.04. With this selection I was at least able to boot into Ubuntu again.

My original plan was to freshly install 15.04 via a USB pendrive (15.04 64bit ISO downloaded and installed on pendrive via startup disk creator) but shortly after booting from this pendrive I received and "Installation failed" window with the message: "The installation encountered an unrecoverable error. A desktop session will now be run so that you may investigate the problem."

However, the desktop session never showed up but instead I received a blank screen. So how do I install 15.04? I'm not getting it all. Installed Ubuntu any many machines in recent time and I never encountered these problems.

I'm feeling so disappointed right now ... :(

3 Silver

Mine has had no problems with suspend & wake. Correction: I am seeing it with suspend.

This complete system hang happens intermittently, mainly under 2 conditions:

1. Changing / selecting wireless. Sometimes when I change from one wireless to another by selecting it on the notification bar, the entire system hangs.

2. Suspending or waking from suspend. The hang can happen in either case.

In both cases, it happens intermittently - not every time, but frequently - about 25% of the time.

Itt's a hard hang - Ctrl-Alt-F1 etc. does not bring up terminals. The only option is to force shut down with the power key.

My system is Ubuntu 14.04 with kernel 3.19.0-18

2 Bronze

I am seeing most of my problems associated with logging out of X and not so much wireless or trackpad.  Hangs are 100% recreated by doing a sudo reboot and can be often created by logging out of X.

2 Bronze

Bionicman303 - Follow online instructions on how to create a bootable Ubuntu/Kubunutu/Xubuntu 15.04 USB live disk.  Boot to it and select install option and follow the process.

2 Bronze

BTW - Where is Dell on these issues?  Why doesn't Dell respond and resolve an issue that seems to be common to all  XPS 13 DEs sold.

The silence is disheartening!!!

2 Iron

Having this issue as well. It seems to happen when the laptop is asleep too. I had put it to sleep and put it in my bag, but sometime over the next hour it woke up in my bag. When I took it out it was blazing hot and had a blank screen and blinking caps lock key. 

2 Bronze

I'm on 15.04 and kernel 3.19.0-15 after much customizing and no real problems ... except for this issue (Caps lock blinking -- kernel panic).

It occurs occasionally when waking from sleep (perhaps 10%), and more frequently when changing to a different WiFi SSID.

I usually install TLP power management on Ubuntu laptops by default.  Removing TLP made the kernel panic issue A LOT better -- I was getting it 2 or 3 times a day while it was installed. Even after removing TLP, I still have the occasional freeze with blinking caps, screen on, laptop running hot with fan.

There is a way to reboot from a kernel panic on Linux without shutting down, and it works sometimes (but not always) on my XPS 13:


Hold all of these keys in order, and press them slowly, and the computer should do a soft reboot.

More info here.

Hopefully Dell will address this issue soon!


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