Distrohopping kills laptops

I have had 3 laptops die on me, last time a gpu, right aftet a distro install. This time the BIOS got corrupted after I installed Debian Sid, alongside Arch and Ubuntu. Laptop started to act slow… Wouldn’t boot into Ubuntu,or Arch, then wouldn’t boot at all, and finally wouldnt access the BIOS Setup screen. This time it was a Dell Latitude refurbished, only lasted 6 months! Crap!!

I’m sorry to hear the list of problems you’re having, that sounds like quite a ride.

Linux OS’s don’t modify or in any other way impact the BIOS. Did you enter the BIOS to make any adjustments such as clearing/adding new EFI keys?

Linux OS’s often need an EFI key added to the BIOS or Secure Boot won’t recognize them and they won’t boot (blame Microsoft).

If the BIOS is absolutely borked, laptops usually have a BIOS reset switch to flash it back to system default. In my experience i’ve also had to disconnect the internal battery once which you may need to do.

If there’s no driver for a GPU they often run themselves at maximum power state because they’re waiting for an OS to manage their power (silly, I know). I have a 20yr old laptop that had this problem which I had to use for several weeks in an emergency, it was putting out heat so hot it’d burn my hand if I didn’t deflect it.

At maximum power cards really cook and if the thermal paste on the GPU is allowed to dry out that will probably kill it. Paste can go dry within 0 to 4yrs of purchase, i’ve never seen a manufacturer use good paste.

That may also explain a drop in CPU performance if the heat was saturating the same cooling loop as the CPU.

1 Like

You bring up good points. Refurbished doesn’t mean fresh heat paste, and that could have been the problem. I pulled the BIOS battery hoping it would fix it. I think an autopsy and a replacement mobo is in order, if i can find a trustworthy source.