a librem 14 i have here has recently had an issue where the battery “disappears” during suspend-resume cycles. it worked fine for a few weeks without this problem, but in the past several days i have experienced the problem twice.
i was able to fix the problem yesterday morning using the hack of opening the bottom lid, disconnecting the battery, and then reconnecting the battery, but it has returned the very next day.
the battery is not detected by qubes dom0, so i don’t have any indicator on the battery charge. however, the machine keeps running just fine, so the battery can be charged and discharged without event, despite the lack of charge level data.
i have not updated the embedded controller on this machine, but i will do that and see if it helps. if this does not work, should i try swapping in a new battery?
it is not a visual bug, the battery device actually disappears from dom0 per the thread i referenced, but it keeps working fine. the next day after i posted this, the machine went from not detecting a battery device to detecting it again, so i see the battery device and the corresponding battery indicator appears in the tray now.
avoiding suspend-resume cycles does not work for my workflow. by suspending, i reduce wear and tear on the machine - the heatsink fans in particular - and i avoid repeatedly fully unlocking the machine. while you’re protected from cold boot attacks when the machine is fully switched off, it means there are that many more opportunities for your disk encryption passphrase to be captured when you enter it. it depends on which threat you consider more substantive: adversary gaining overt physical access to your machine and peeling your disk encryption keys out of memory or adversary covertly recording the EM leaked by your keyboard while you enter a disk passphrase.
i continue to have intermittent battery problems and the problems seem to be increasing as a function of time. the battery device will appear and disappear between suspend-resume cycles and power cycles.
since i have a currently out-of-commission librem 14 that has a battery that did not have issues, i will experiment with updating the ec and transplanting the battery. i will report my findings here in the next few days.
if an ec update does not improve the situation, but transplanting the battery does, i think it would be relatively safe to conclude this battery is bad.
as a function of (hopefully temporarily) bricking my “new” librem 14, i rotated back to the old librem 14 i was running, where i swapped in the screen assembly from the new one. both machines had the same version of qubes 4.1.2 running on it, without any dom0 updates. the old librem 14 is now experiencing the same battery problems as the new librem 14, which indicates this is almost certainly a qubes (dom0) issue and not a librem 14 hardware issue. both librem 14s now have updated EC firmware, so that can be ruled out as a cause as well.
i am updating qubes dom0 and will update if/when the problem goes away.