Received Librem13V2 - quite happy, except for electronic 'chirping'

Hi there,

I received my Purism Librem 13v2 after a few months of waiting (November to Februari) but it arrived, and it is intact. Hurray for that! I have been lightly using it sofar to break it in and it seems all components are working fine. Quite happy with the keyboard and the mousepad. Hurray again.

Except for one thing; I have experienced electronic trouble during and after installing Qubes4.0 RC4.
While installing Qubes on a nvme disk I added myself (Samsung 960 pro, 512MB) with luks encryption, the battery got drained FAST and this interrupted the installation. Lesson learned; power supply added, but I had to reinstall it a few more times before I could finally boot into it. Ehm… stability not looking good yet. Fan blaring, usb install stick hot to the touch, what is going on inside?

While using Qubes, I continuously heard a soft chirping sound coming from basically behind the backspace key. (ear flat on the keyboard to be able to locate it)
When starting or stopping a vm, the sound would sometimes stop for a second. Two times I heard a soft but sharp >tick< and my laptop was immediately turned off.

Fearing a DOA unit still, I removed the backplate again but could not find any visible component causing the power downs or the chirping noise.
Thinking it might be a software issue still, I installed KDE Neon on the nvme disk next to Qubes, but without LUKS this time. While using KDE Neon, I do not hear the chirping noise and the system has remained stable for days now.
However, when downloading rather large files (several gigabytes over a period of 20 minutes) I can hear the sound again. My guess is that the sound is created because of the power draw necessary for the io; either luks or large files, extra usb stick, etcetera. Especially when without AC, this seems an achilles heel, for my unit.

I did get this laptop to use it with Qubes and I do prefer being able to run it with an encrypted drive.
Any other users with encrypted drives experiencing this?
(I will contact about this as well).

Otherwise quite happy with it; the battery lasts really long, the bottom doesn’t heat up on my lap as my macbook pro tends to and it is quite light to carry around as well.


This might be related to this issue discussed over in the Coreboot thread: Building coreboot from source (official script)

A fix for this issue can also be found in this thread: Building coreboot from source (official script)

Oh indeed. That reads just like a possible cause.
Thanks for that.

I think it is not related purely to the latest coreboot issue, given that I’ve experienced the same whining noise on several occasions. I assumed it was due to a bad charger, but its sound might have gotten worse with the updated coreboot, given that I now hear it more loudly when charging.

Warrenhead, assuming you don’t experience the noise on start up, do you experience the noise (with charger and all being disconnected) after waking up the device after having it in sleep mode for a while?

No, I don’t hear it during startup or wake up.
The sound is only audible when the laptop needs to rev the fan.
During the rebuild of the coreboot code (with the turbo disabled) I could sometimes hear the noise but only while really putting my ear flat on the keyboard near the backpace key. It sort of sounds like headphone crackling.

I can hear a similar noise during higher workload of the CPU (more exactly: when the workload is changing).

I don’t know the reason, but I remember a similar issue on another (non-purism) desktop computer where a specialist told me that
this can be cause by the (voltage) converter and is non-critical (the desktop computer worked for many years
until disposal).

I can also imagine that the motherboard could induce the noise to the speakers due to non-optimal circuit tracks but
I have no idea how to check this since disabling the speakers via PureOS does not silence the computer.

I’ve recently installed Qubes too, and noticed a repeating whining noise different from other installations. Is it a reliable beep-beep-like chirp? Other installs (Arch) make different noises, but the noises are vastly more pronounced when using the Evo 960 (instead of booting the regular SSD with PureOS installed on it).

I personally have experienced the noise more explicitly when charging, and more noticeably since the previous (today, a new version of Coreboot was released) update. Applying the update seems to have reduced the whining noise, so you might see an improvement when doing so.

I’m guessing that the noise simply comes from discharging capacitors (multi-layer types can vibrate), and that differing power management settings (and thereby capacitor discharge rates/cycles) in the systems will result in the different sounds. The interaction between the capacitors and your NVME-SSD would then account for the rest.

The shutdown would’ve probably be due to the processor overheating (as described in the Coreboot-thread).

I’ll keep y’all updated if I find any unexpected behaviour. Until then: try the latest Coreboot and see if it helps.

Edit: Do you hear the sound when booting and charging? Or does it start after the OS is started?

I’ve recognized the same issue with Qubes RC5 and Evo 960. Firmware Version 3 was kind of awful. Version 4 has reduced the whining noise, but I unsure about performance. The main problem is the fan noise. It’s horrible between 80 or 90°C. There is a (beep-beep-like chirp) noise, when booting, but not when charging.