Lubuntu 20.04 LTS does not boot on Sony Vaio laptop

Dear All,

I recently installed Lubuntu 20.04 LTS on my old (> 10 years) Sony Vaio VGN-CS320J laptop. It installed and started working without a hitch. However I faced a problem when I shutdown my machine. When I powered it up next, the computer started the bootup process, the lubuntu splash screen came up, but a little bit after that, the computer shut down of its own accord. I powered it on again and it booted up as normal (with a slight change – the first time it went directly to the splash screen, the second time it displayed the grub bootloader screen where I chose ubuntu).

This happened twice again. The fourth time, the computer shut down while booting up 3 times in a row (even the second time after I chose ubuntu on the grub bootloader screen) and only on the fourth try did it boot up normally.

Can anyone help me troubleshoot? I have only Lubuntu installed as the OS. Please let me know what other relevant details are needed.


Have you tried applying all updates? Though unlike but have you done a memory test? Maybe the hard disk is just failing?

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I have applied all the updates as prompted by the system. I will conduct the memory test as advise. Is this the memtest option shown by the grub bootloader? How can I determine of the hard drive is failing?

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, the memtest from the bootloader. For hard disk testing I only know the proprietary SpinRite, but sometimes the S.M.A.R.T. data can give a clue, some info can be found here on how to do that:

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Personally speaking, I’d disable the splash screen (edit GRUB to remove quiet splash) and then watch the boot process to see where it stops and if it stops in the same place each time. Your favorite search engine will show you how to do so - just make sure that you finish with ‘sudo update-grub’.


Also asked at

I personally wouldn’t try altering the installed Lubuntu system, I’d return & re-test the hardware (assuming you’ve done that recently) to ensure it’s reliable. I’d test it using something different (that’s just me, we know Lubuntu is having issues already), probably live media, including the normal ram tests, usually if it’s a desktop open it up & do a cap-scan (looking for swollen capacitors, fans are working, system clean etc), though that would be less easy on the sony vaio I use in testing Lubuntu.

It reads like hardware issues to me, and I’d want to rule that out first. You maybe trust your machine, but I don’t see any indication of that sorry.


LOL I thought it looked familiar!

That’s correct. I asked the question first on stackexchange. Then I figured that the chances of getting a useful reply would be higher on the dedicated lubuntu forum.

Thanks for the tips. I just wanted to find out how to troubleshoot the problem because right now it is taking place randomly.

The most likely causes for random issues, at least to me, are

  • motherboard issues (ie. cap-check is required)
  • PSU (power supply) issues; test for reliable power
  • faulty ram (RAM issues are usually somewhat predictable. As bad RAM doesn’t move (with good power anyway), knowing how the OS allocates/frees up RAM, you keep track of how ram will get used mentally, but yeah its easy to loose track, and most ram issues will result in corrupted data which isn’t always easy to detect, a wrong colored pixel? mis-spelt word etc)

All three issues that come to mind are hardware related.


I agree with @guiverc that this sounds like a hardware issue.

Computers are good at doing one thing: exactly what they’re told to do. And since there’s no randomness built into the computing circuitry or into the booting software, and since the installation process involves confirming the integrity of the software before installing, random behavior in booting is most certainly going to be related to some sort of failure in hardware. And when it comes to hardware failures, Linux can do a lot, but it can’t fix broken.

I once had a computer that had the capacitor plague and what you’ve got sounds a lot like the experience I had with it. I’m not sure that your particular machine is quite old enough for that, but if it were me, I’d pop open the top and take a look at the caps.

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Thank you for your suggestion. While I did not disable the splash screen, I serendipitously discovered that by pressing an arrow key (right?) while the splash screen is displaying removes it and lets me the view the boot process. I saw the following message:

[18.455108] thermal thermal_zone0: critical temperature reached (94 C), shutting down

following this message I saw a bunch of shutdown messages and the power turned off.

I saw this behaviour a number of times with the critical temperature being reported variously as 90 C, 92 C and 94 C.

However, after I turned on the laptop again, it booted and I was able to login. I installed lm-sensors and after running the sensors command i saw the following:

Adapter: ACPI interface
in0: 3.89 V

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0: +39.0°C (high = +90.0°C, crit = +90.0°C)
Core 1: +39.0°C (high = +90.0°C, crit = +90.0°C)

Adapter: ACPI interface
temp1: +57.0°C (crit = +88.0°C)

The core temperatures fluctuated and over a period of time they varied from 35 C to 50 C while the ACPI temperature fluctuated between 50 C to 60 C

Can anyone help me understand what could be the reason for the critical temperature being reached during the boot process and how I could address that problem.

Thank you all for your suggestions.

I’ve already suggested scanning the motherboard looking for clues

if the system isn’t clean, heat can get trapped in, likewise fans may not be working…

I’ve had issues with heat on old thinkpads, using lm-sensors (I think) I watched the fan spin rate & concluded they weren’t spinning correctly, replaced the fan & systems are still running today (two different laptops). A clean I suspect helped too.

This may not be your issue… I’m heavily influenced by my own experiences of course…


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