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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fix the Linux freezing problem on dell

Recently I did get Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567 laptop, After using it for a while I guess this will be the last time I will consider getting a Dell laptop, the laptop do have a good performance I admit it but if you are a Linux user like me, you will differently hate it! there is no support for Linux for this laptop or for dell  in general, it took me a while to fix my problem and this is some kind of problem that took me months to figure it ou.

I did install different Linux distribution on this pc from parrot OS / Linux Mint / Ubuntu / Arch Linux ... and I always have this freezing problem, the PC freeze randomly and all I can do is forcing it to shut down. At first, I thought it's an NVIDIA driver problem I did install a different version of the driver I did mess the pc many times, I had the black screen a lot and I did format the computer many times too.

By time I did figure out something, the PC freeze randomly but there are few things that can cause the freezing, for example if I put a video from Youtube on full screen it freezes, if the laptop is on the charger it freezes less...

I did update the BIOS from 1.0 to 1.7 the laptop stopped freezing when I put a Youtube video but it still freezes randomly.

# This paragraph bellow didn't solve the problem (but it's still an interesting one). Check below for the Freezing solution problem.

I did figure out that the CPU temperature is suspicious, like in windows it's like 40C but in Linux, it's more than 50C! I did search more about it and I found that the CPU fan work for a period of time, it stops after a while and it keeps repeating that, It turned out that the BIOS is doing this to cool the CPU and save power but letting the CPU get to 55C and the fan is off is something sound bad so I had to find a way to take control of the fans.
I found some tools like "i8kmon" and "fan control" and while looking I started seeing lot of dell users having problems with the fan too! Some people did have the fan work in the full performance which cause lot of noise, some people had the same problem I have...
Anyway, this tool i8kutils can take control of the dell fan but it wasn't easy to get it work, the BIOS always override the changes I do each time.

So I found this solution to disable the BIOS fan control thanks to cazacugmihai (Github post)

This post was helpful too.

I guess this fix the problem I've been using Linux  for 2 hours now and no freeze happened yet (the laptop did freeze while writing this sentence wow xD) anyway no freeze for 2 hours is something I will keep changing the parameters and look more into the problem I will keep this post updated in case I find something :D

#This didn't totally fix the problem I submitted a question here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1057995/ubuntu-18-04-freezes-randomly

No solution yet, I went back to windows and I installed Linux as a Virtual Machine.

# 18/08/2018 update: Finally I did find a solution to the problem

Since last time I wrote this post I have tried many solutions, I tried to install other Linux kernels, old NVIDIA drivers, many other distribution even old ones like Ubuntu 16.04 I even Installed Hackintosh :3 I gave up lot of times but I always wanted to make this Linux thing work so here the last thing I did apparently it solved the problem !
I had to disable Intel SpeedStep and Intel TurboBoost from the BIOS! I am not sure why I started having freezes in windows too but disabling those did stop the problem in windows!
So I did search in Google about SpeedStep and Linux and I found this post: https://superuser.com/questions/454101/is-there-a-way-to-disable-intel-speedstep-steppings-on-an-ubuntu-server-using-a

It looks like if I make cpu0 work in full performance and not in power save mode the freezes stop! so Yeah this problem has nothing related to the GPU but to the CPU -_-

So all I did was check if the CPU has the performance option :
sudo cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_governors
and then change it from power save to performance:
sudo echo performance > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
To make sure the change is done :
sudo cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor

I also need to add the command to system startup, because it goes back to power save after each reboot, so yeah finally this problem is solved, I will keep testing the PC for the next upcoming hours and if this didn't solve the problem I will update this post ;).

# 20/01/2019

Changing CPU0 from "power save" to "performance" solved the problem, I did use many distribution after this and I had to make this changes always to avoid the freezing problem, Anyway here a way to lanch the command in startup : 

# Run the command after restart PC
sudo visudo
Add this line in the end :
xochn ALL = (root)  NOPASSWD: /opt/startup.sh
Add this command in startup:
sudo ./startup.sh 


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