Librem 13v3 bricked?


#1

Went on international travel. Librem 13 v 3 was working on the plane.

On arrival at my hotel, it seems dead. Powering it on, the two white LEDs above the keyboard light up (the WiFi is switched off with the kill switch yet the LED appears to indicate the WiFi is active–maybe that is normal and I never noticed). Nothing whatsoever on the display.

Experimenting with the Fn + F keys, I can toggle the keyboard lighting on and off, but nothing else seems to work. I tried cycling through all the values of enabling display and display brightness via the Fn keys–nothing.

I opened the case to see if perhaps the SDD had come loose, but it appears to be firmly in place.

Any ideas?


#2

hi there! :slight_smile:

(note that i dont have any librem stuff, just planning to get them once upon the time, and im just braindumping here…)

mayb u could try to plug in a monitor, and/or try to move all the connections inside it, however ive got no idea what can be the case. the mobo gets charge if i got u right, i think u hear the blower and it can be turned on/off, just cuz ur talking about leds and stuff like that. so in this case the basics are fine, if it wont turn off by itself, then probably there is no critical error in the hw init as far as it can go. if u can see that it does something just not displaying anything, then hope for an external monitor that it will work, cuz if not, then there can be nasty errors like bad soldering and whatever, but i dont wanna paint the devil on the wall.

otherwise u can contact with the support, even if it will be resolved on the go, just cuz the fastest solution…

good luck, i hope the cure will be found soon! :slight_smile:


#3

Duh!! Yeah, maybe it’s just that the display is dead, somehow.

OK, will check with a monitor…somehow. The ones I have access to don’t seem to do HDMI, somehow.


#4

then the 1st that i’d try is to unplug and replug the display cable inside, and the ram as well, just cuz thats an easy one :smiley: and check the solderings cables and whatever u can find inside that they looks healthy. but even if it works magically and u cant reproduce the error, a weak problem can grow by the time if the case is like so, so i’d recommend to contact with purism (im not an employee). i had a friend who told me that he is repairing seemingly dead machines that he choose mostly with display errors and he said that the gpu can desolder itself under heat and he is using flux to fix that, cuz most ppl dont know this simple technique and/or dont have the equipments - i really hope that u dont have that kinda issue. otherwise if it would be an os related issue, then u would see coreboot/heads to start something and fail. so therefore i think that the issue is somewhere around the display. i dont even know if these machines have bells, but that says if the hw initialization fails, even for the graphics, however not in the case if the monitor is unplugged, cuz thats not important from the point of view of the initialization.


#5

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the OS. I’m not even seeing the prompt to decrypt the “hard” drive (actually an SSD). At that point the OS hasn’t even begun to load.


#6

sure, i was thinking only out loud about the other end of possibilities. btw is there anything else that you can observe?


#7

Nothing, really. Those two LEDs come on and nothing else happens; I don’t hear the fans (they wouldn’t come on immediately in any case). And (to repeat) I can change the keyboard backlighting with the Fn key combo.

The wifi Fn key combo does NOT cause the WiFi LED to toggle on and off. I don’t know if it should or not.


#8

and in case of an ordinary boot? (just cuz i dont have a librem machine…) btw if the fans wont turn on, but other signs say that its turned on, then there is still a strong chance that its not a display issue. and just for being sure, was i right about that it wont turn itself off, just stuck in an early boot stage?


#9

It stays with the two LEDs on…which is about what it would do, probably, if it were waiting for me to enter the decryption password, right?

I never really hear fans until whatever system I am on revs them up (I am hard of hearing), so my not hearing them in this case isn’t an indication.

I’m going to pursue the “bad display” theory for now; at least it’s something I know I can test once I get to a monitor with an HDMI input.


#10

you could do things blindly, like write ur password and try to get any sign after it of ur os running, like get a terminal (im using ubuntu mate, where its a matter of pressing ctrl+alt+t, but i think its not enabled by default on debian, but there should be a shorthand for it i think) and then play a sound or write on any media or whatever… or even, you can play with ctrl+alt+1 for tty1 and ctrl+alt+7 for switching back to “graphical mode”. (maybe its easier to just obtain a hdmi monitor for testing, or messing with the hw :smiley: )

now i gotta go, maybe ill b back like after a hour for a few mins, but after that ill disappear for some hours. good luck buddy! :slight_smile:


#11

I would try this first. Working to the theory that the display is not working, type the FDE password blind (if you have one) and then let it complete the boot and then try to ping the laptop - if another device is available to try that (evidently there is) and the IP address is known (which could be very difficult in a hotel!).


#12

I’m home now, after lugging the brick all over the world. When I get home from work I’ll just plug it into a monitor and see what happens.

I do have a decrypt password, but it’s long and messy enough I’d not be sure I had typed it in properly.


#13

Might not work. Does the early boot phase recognise and use the external monitor? sometimes? never? always? Worth a try though.


#14

i think vga mode for the hdmi should most likely work with kinda much any hw, but im not sure.


#15

@SteveC try hitting the reset button (next to headphone jack) with a paperclip or sim tool?


#16

Good thought, thanks!

No joy, however; it didn’t have any effect other than to shut it off. Powering it back on put me in the same bricklike state.


#17

I did try the monitor; and I made sure to cycle through the Fn key states for external monitor setup.

Nothing, other than the monitor going to power saving mode in about three seconds, as it is wont to do. (Kind of annoying, actually, since it’s hard to debug issues like this when the monitor won’t stay on.)


#18

so it have no signal, thats sad. if u still wanna fix it urself, then the best is still to mess around with the internal connections, i think if it was already good, then its just an erroneous connection somewhere.

on irc, currently someone have a similar issue with a brand new machine, maybe u could join to it if anything valuable comes up there in the meantime. (freenode -> #purism) btw the symptoms that the other person have is this: " disturbingly, the wifi LED comes up even if the kill switch says its off"


#19

that would be me.

It’s brand new device, no boot at all. i think this is a DOA in my case, because the device never booted at all. here’s what I sent support@.

  1. fiddled with the screen keys to toggle the external/internal screen settings (Fn+F7/F8), no change

  2. depressed the “Reset” button next to the headphones jack: turns off the LED, but otherwise has no effect

  3. leave the power plugged in in the hope this is a battery problem (orange led turns on, no other change)

  4. connect to an external, known working, HDMI display in the hope this is a screen problem (no display there either)

  5. fiddle with the backlight settings (Fn+F10): they change the backlight, but otherwise do not affect the boot sequence, naturally.

  6. shutdown, unplug, and press the reset button for more than 7 seconds

  7. open the back cover of your device and re-seat the RAM module

  8. unplug the AC, the main battery and the CMOS battery, press and hold the power for 10 seconds

  9. (bonus) try another, known working, memory module

  10. boot without a memory module (no change)

(I wish those troubleshooting steps were documented somewhere, but I’m not sure where to do that between the three wikis… )

I don’t buy the “display problem” theory: in that case the external HDMI would work and stuff like “caps lock” or control-alt-delete would do something as well.

and my case is different, as mentioned on IRC: for me the device never worked, although it could be argued it did work at some point because surely it was tested before being shipped…


#20

Yes, that matches my situation precisely–except that I know mine worked, because I had it for several months before this happened.

Did you send yours back? If so, they may have figured out what happened, and that information could be useful for my situation.