View Full Version : [SOLVED] Dell laptop keyboard freezes with battery inserted

June 11th, 2010, 05:21 PM
Hello everyone.

I don't know if this is a Ubuntu issue or a hardware issue.

Dell Lattitude c610 (getting a little old now) running Ubuntu 9.04

If turned on with AC power (battery not inserted), runs fine. As soon as I put the battery in, the keyboard and mouse/trackpad will freeze and become not responsive. The only thing I can do is a hard shut-down. If I unplug at this point, the laptop will remain on, running off of the battery, but still frozen.

Won't turn on at all with just the battery, even though it has charge.

It's not the battery...I just replaced it with a new one, same problem.

CLUE(?): While frozen, battery LED light blinks, but.....very...........slowly.......
I'm not sure if the battery is taking a charge or not.

Had a very, very brief online chat with Dell support (warranty expired). Their suggestion is to replace the motherboard. I hope that's not it.

I would appreciate ANY help at all... anyone else with a Dell ever experienced this? Been googling for days, haven't come across anything.



June 12th, 2010, 04:19 AM
UPDATE: slight progress...

I successfully plugged the new battery into the "alternate" battery dock. (hidden behind the cd-rom tray...I was unaware this existed.)

laptop will now run off of battery.


1. keyboard and mouse are working, but there is an annoying sluggish lag time
2. still doesn't seem like the battery is charging.
3. (obviously) CD drive needs to be removed in order to run on battery.

so I guess this is a temporary half-measure...and I am still pretty much in the same boat.

I have a second dell laptop I purchased for parts due to arrive any day. Hopefully, between the two systems, I will have enough usable parts to make one complete system.

Still looking for advice, but thanks for listening to me rant.


June 12th, 2010, 02:20 PM

the battery is definitely not charging. Power manager claims it is, but the battery life never goes up. I had it plugged in all night.

the keyboard & mouse "stutter" problem is only when the battery is in AND the AC is plugged in. They behave normally when it is one power source or the other, but not both.

I think there may be more than one problem going on. Maybe I need a new charger on top of everything.

I may try to open her up and have a peek inside and check out the DC connector to the motherboard. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will be something obvious, like a loose part.

"Flashing" the BIOS is also something that I run across in my searches, but it makes me sort of nervous. I found some tutorials that are pretty straightforward, but I'm still not sure if it would help, or is even wise. For one thing, I checked and I already have the latest BIOS version for this laptop. Would "overwriting" the BIOS with the same version do anything, or would that just be reckless and silly? Does 'downgrading' the BIOS make any sense either?

June 13th, 2010, 11:44 PM

Well, issue "solved"...

here is what happened. The parts machine came in. That laptop was totally stripped and wouldn't boot at all. Got it off of Ebay for 15 bucks. BUT it did have an intact keyboard and a functioning display assembly which is what I needed it for. So I swiped those parts and replaced them on my laptop.


I wondered...what if this parts machine would charge a battery? I could use the leftover husk like an external battery charger. So I did. Put the new battery in it, plugged it in, and it charged right up.


I connected the fully charged battery to my good laptop (in the regular battery slot that I was sure didn't work) and what do you know? Everything worked like normal. No frozen keyboard, no stutter.


I wondered, maybe now the good laptop, suddenly being so obedient, would charge the battery on its own. (I had run it on battery alone for about an hour previous). Plugged it in, and viola, it starts charging.


everything seems to be working normally now, even though I have no idea what I did that fixed it...

now I have some more RAM on order, and next step will be installing 10.04, after which I'm sure I'll be back with a whole new set of issues........

viva ubuntuforums!