Monday, October 1, 2012

Zenbook Prime and the Unexpected Shutdown Problem

Problem Description

Zenbook Prime ( UX31A) users may notice the computer occasionally turning off without warning. The shutdown is unexpected, sudden, and there is no blue screen / stop code in Windows.
Users will find an event similar to the following in the Windows event log:
Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power
Date: 9/26/2012 12:10:38 PM
Event ID: 41
Task Category: (63)
Level: Critical
Keywords: (2)
User: SYSTEM
Computer: BLAH
Description:
The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.
This is a common problem with Zenbook Primes, and it has been for months. There is no software that can bypass the Windows shutdown process. The unit is losing power suddenly. ASUS has not found a solution, and I doubt that they are trying all that hard.
This happens whether the battery is charged, and whether it is plugged in or not. It is rare (my machine did it once in two weeks).
Notably, on a previous UX31A (this is my second; I returned the first on account of this problem), it did it twice in two weeks. So I bought two separate UX31A’s, both with the problem. What are the odds? Quite good, if it is a universal, systematic problem, which I suspect that it is.

Specific Observations

I have consistently noticed that the problem (twice on the other UX31A, once on this one), happens within about 5 minutes of waking from sleep. This one happened at pretty much exactly 4 minutes after waking.
The previous system shutdown at 11:47:44 AM on ‎9/‎26/‎2012 was unexpected.
The system resumed from sleep at: 9/26/2012 11:43:45 AM
This, I think, is telling. I suspect it has to do with power regulation coming out of sleep.

Attempted Workaround

The Ubuntu guys have said this about sudden shutdowns - "RC6 on and Intel IOMMU off."
Status: Specific issue noted above may be safely ignored.
Intel RC6 causes sudden shutdowns (Solved)
Kernel developers are aware and working on an issue with DMAR+RC6.
However, Zenbboks experience sudden shutdowns with RC6 on and Intel IOMMU off.
The most stable configuration is to enable semaphores and turn off VTd in BIOS, see above.
However, this needs to be properly fixed in the kernel once RC6 gets enabled by default.
I have disabled VT-d in the BIOS, along with Intel’s shutdown power management. I have not yet seen the shutdown problem. Note that you don’t need VT-d, as it is a virtualization technology, and it is doubtful that most people will use that on an ultrabook with 4GB of RAM.
Zenbook users who have the shutdown problem – please try this, and let me know in the comments if you still see the shutdown problem.

Addendum

Honestly, ASUS should have a public statement on their website indicating that it is a known problem, and explaining that they are working to fix it. Their boast of reliability is quite questionable at this point. That, and their service is just wretched. Their website doesn’t work well, their live chat doesn’t work at all (for me), they take too long to reply, and an RMA will take your laptop away for weeks on end. It really is unacceptable. But ASUS doesn’t ‘get it’, and that’s why they keep doing this.
This expresses the issue well:
My overall conclusions with this experience are that if I need customer service, calling the telephone service line is my best bet to get adequate and prompt help. Apparently customer service representatives must go through a list of set actions (resulting in multiple callbacks) before an RMA will be issued. Any sort of online technical support (e-mail or chat) seems useless and unhelpful. Most of the phone representatives seem friendly and helpful.
The laptop RMA service is performed within an adequate time frame (2 weeks, taking into account 6-8 days total for shipping to and from the service center), although the quality control of products leaving the service center seems subpar (did they really check that my laptop was fixed before sending it back to me?).
ASUS products still have a ways to go in terms of quality check prior to product shipment to match up to Apple standards. To be honest, as much as I like the Zenbook and PC’s, I’m not sure I would buy another $1000 laptop from ASUS again after this. It seems absurd that for a brand new laptop, I have to go through numerous phone calls and a month or more of back and forth before things are back to the way they should have been when I first purchased the laptop (let’s hope it stays that way).
ttp://meieden.hubpages.com/hub/A-Zenbook-Users-Experiences-with-Asus-Laptop-Customer-Support-and-RMA-Service
Wake up, ASUS!

[Edit: Please read the comments. This approach does not seem to work.]

[Edit: It seems that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery has had some success for various Zenbook users. Note that this will void the warranty (which is nothing other than absurd, but be warned).]

[Edit: Perhaps this is an easier trick than reconnecting the battery? Asus tech recommended one commentator "disconnect the power cord and press the power button for 30 seconds, for a battery reset" and then plug it in and let it fully charge.]

144 comments:

Max said...

Hey Mike,

I'm having this problem as well - typing this on my Zenbook right now. I've disabled VT-d, but I don't see any intel shutdown management options in the BIOS. Where's this option located?

I'm glad it's not just me having this issue... though it's really unfortunate that it's happening to an otherwise excellent laptop.

Mike Jones said...

Hey... Thanks for commenting.

You might have to update the BIOS to get that other option. It should be right beside the Vt-d option. Now, I don't know if it matters. I disabled it because I believe that the shutdown issue is correlated with suspend power management. But the latest BIOS doesn't fix the issue, so there isn't any need to update until you see another shutdown.

Did you see the sudden shutdown occur after resuming from sleep?

And no, it isn't just you experiencing the problem. I suspect that every Zenbook Prime has the problem. I acquired two in a row, and both had it. What are the odds?

Bug ASUS about it. Make some noise.

Max said...

I haven't noticed the option in the time since I applied the fix (which was just before I sent you that comment), but in my experience it tends to only happen rarely (once or twice a week, but two or three times during the period when it's happening) - so I'm not quite sure yet.

I know numerous people who also have them, but none of them have mentioned such an issue to me... that doesn't mean it doesn't happen though. Since it's so sporadic, it's easy to chalk an accidental shutdown up to something else. For the longest time, I thought I was just hitting the shutdown key by accident.

If it keeps going, I'll irritate ASUS. Their products are great but their support is lacking to say the least.

Max said...

Oh, and yes - now that I think about it it always occurs after I've woken from sleep, though I think there have sometimes been delays of ~20 minutes before it happens.

Scarftech said...

Thanks for you post.

Having the same issue with my zenbook prime. I disabled VT-d in the bios last week and today had a random shutdown happen again. I believe the machine was sleeping a few minutes before the shutdown. So just disabling VT-d isn't working, for me at least.

I don't see anything in the bios labeled Intel shutdown power management. However, there is something called 'Power Off Energy Saving", which is currently enabled--is that what you refer to?

I don't have the most recent BIOS version of 212, still on 206....oddly, Asus' Live Update utility isn't prompting me to update to 212, and I'm avoiding flashing it myself for now if possible.

I'm hesitant to contact Asus just yet, until it is clear that they know the cause of the issue and how to fix it, instead of replacing components blindly and crossing fingers.

Igal Arav said...

Hi guys,

I had the same issue as well with this model.
It started about 2 weeks after I purchased it (too late to return or exchange at that point). After it happened 5 times, I sent the laptop to a lab that repairs ASUS laptops in my country as part of the warranty, and they replaced the motherboard (not sure why).
About 2 weeks after I got it back it shut down unexpectedly again. I sent it back to the lab, but they couldn't reproduce the issue and sent it back to me. I then gave up on trying to get it repaired.
BTW, I also noticed that the shutdowns always occur about 5 minutes after waking up from sleep.
I even told the lab people about this, and got them to perform 5 minutes wake-sleep cycles trying to reproduce the issue, but it didn't work in the period of time they had it for.
It's been over a month since then, and during this time the random shutdowns happened several more times.
I tried disabling the Vt-d option in the BIOS as you suggested (I have the latest BIOS 212) but the sudden shutdown just happened again today. I also couldn't find an "Intel shutdown power management" option in the BIOS.
I've been saving up for this laptop for almost a year, and now I just feel cheated and defeated.

Mike Jones said...

Hey guys,

@Scarftech: " 'Power Off Energy Saving" - yes, that's it. I disabled it some time before I wrote the post, so I was just going off the top of my head. I have not seen a shutdown since on my machine, and it has been a few weeks. I'd suggest you try it and see how it goes. Let me know.

I'm at least somewhat hopeful in that it is correlated with sleep. I've seen it reported that if you disable ASUS's power management, the laptop will bluescreen. So clearly their suspend stuff isn't great.

My suggestion is to relentlessly bug ASUS about it. They really aren't putting effort into this, because if they were, it would be corrected. They could reproduce this. It is widespread. They just are incapable or don't care enough.

Igal Arav -- copy the entries out of the Windows log for the shutdowns. I would suggest you open a consumer complaint against ASUS with whatever folks formally handle that in your country. Don't let it go. They need to be held accountable so that they will fix this problem.

Note that Intel VT-d may make it MORE stable -- that's what the Linux devs said about their unexpected shutdown problems.

Mike Jones said...

One more comment - for those of you who are really running into this - try disabling sleep, and just use hibernation. Your SSD will mean that hibernation is pretty quick anyway. Let me know how it goes, and whether you see an improvement.

Mike Jones said...

I had another thought. I have never seen the shutdown with the backlit keyboard turned off.

If anyone else notices a correlation, please post it here.

Lucas Nguyen said...

Dear Mike,

Thank you for posting your experience, I know that I and perhaps many others are facing the same problem with our Zenbook UX31a's. I recently purchased one from Best Buy for my sister and after three weeks of using the ultrabook, my sister noticed that it would randomly shutdown. This would happen a few times in the span of a week. We decided to exchange the product for another UX31a under Best Buy's 30 return and exchange policy. The new notebook seemed to be fine for another one or two weeks until she encountered the same problem. In some ways this is not a big deal - but in some ways it is a big deal such as in the event that she is working on an important document for school. I am currently trying the solution of disabling Intel's Vt-d option, and I hope it may alleviate this problem. I have to agree with you, this really calls into question Asus's reliability, and I really can not recommend this product based on the issues that I have experienced. Thanks for your time!

Sincerely,
Lucas

popping.candy said...

Aloha, We have the same problem on my boyfriend's laptop. I disabled both VT and the Energy saving power off. I'll let you know how we get on. Fingers crossed!

PS. Thanks Lucas for the post I'm glad to know this before taking the computer to some expensive service. Although greatly dissapointed in ASUS.

Max said...

Quick note for everyone - I'm the first commetor way up there.

The options I switched (VT-D and Intel management) fixed the problem.

But then I updated my BIOS to fix an unrelated issue, and the problem returned! I had to go and re-disable the two settings I switched.

So if you are looking to fix this, and have recently upgraded your BIOS, make sure you check that your settings are still correct.

Vagelis said...

My zenbook does the random shutdown about once a week.

I disabled VT-d in the BIOS, along with Intel’s shutdown power management, as mentioned above, and it was fine for a week, but yesterday the shutdown happened again.

Vagelis said...

My zenbook does the random shutdown about once a week.

I disabled VT-d in the BIOS, along with Intel’s shutdown power management, as mentioned above, and it was fine for a week, but yesterday the shutdown happened again.

Cedrock said...

Thanks for the info. My shutdowns have been extremely rare, but interested in avoiding.

Cedrock said...

Thanks for the info... my shutdowns on a UX31e are extremely rare, but interested in avoiding if possible.

historyjen said...

Same problem: random suddent shutdowns. It doesn't happen soon after a wakeup, it happens when the keyboard backlight is off. Not sure what to do about this, if it's even possible to do anything about it! I'll keep this page bookmarked and try a couple of the fixes over time.
Thanks!

Jens Habegger said...

Hey everyone,

is anyone able to reliably reproduce this? I've run into it a couple of times and just recently sent it in for RMA (ASUS Germany).

At first, they blamed my "Custom OS" (I reinstalled W7 when I first got it because of their ginormous amount of Bloatware) and said missing and/or wrong drivers caused this error.

After some back and forth they admitted they couldn't even reproduce the error, said the computer is fine and sent it back unrepaired (but with their bloated windows image restored).

It would greatly help if we found a way to reliably reproduce this fault and capture it on video.

Mike Jones said...

Hey Jens,

That is just ASUS nonsense. I think you will need the ASUS power management stuff for sleep mode, but you would get bluescreens, I believe, not just this spontaneous shutdown.

Here's a comment from an ASUS customer retention agent: "Give it a try in safe mode and see if the issues persist. The weird thing is I have come across a few cases like this and most of the time, in my experience, it has been hardware so I can say from first hand experience. However, one time, an Adobe Updater was causing the shut down, so it is certainly kind of hard to pin point."

So you should really put the pressure on them to own up to their responsibility. Take it to whatever consumer advocacy board is in your area, if need be.

Mike Jones said...

By the way, I think it is more common if the computer is suspended shortly after coming out of sleep, and then resumed again. The shutdown seems to happen consistently at 5 minutes after resuming from sleep.

erik said...

I just got the laptop literally two days ago and i grt his problem like 3 times a day!has anyone found a fix to this yet?

J Andrew said...

I came across this blog while googling this issue. It's not just zenbooks anymore. I've been experiencing it on an Asus Vivobook x202e, running Windows 8. It's generally pretty rare, happening on average once every 2-3 weeks. If I'm reading my event logs correctly, I've awaken my computer from sleep nearly 600 times, and the random shutdown has happened 8 times, always about 5 minutes after waking from sleep. Other than that, I've noticed no pattern.

It seems pointless to send it in to Asus. Since it happens so infrequently and no one seems to know how to reproduce it at will, the Asus tech people probably would keep my computer for weeks and say it's fine.

Someone needs to figure out the exact cause.

J Andrew said...

I came across this blog while googling this issue. It's not just zenbooks anymore. I've been experiencing it on an Asus Vivobook x202e, running Windows 8. It's generally pretty rare, happening on average once every 2-3 weeks. If I'm reading my event logs correctly, I've awaken my computer from sleep nearly 600 times, and the random shutdown has happened 8 times, always about 5 minutes after waking from sleep. Other than that, I've noticed no pattern.

It seems pointless to send it in to Asus. Since it happens so infrequently and no one seems to know how to reproduce it at will, the Asus tech people probably would keep my computer for weeks and say it's fine.

Someone needs to figure out the exact cause.

Mike Jones said...

Thanks for the comments. I feel your frustration.

@erik - return the unit. If it is that bad, just get another one.

I would suggest repeatedly contacting ASUS about the problem, and publishing it wherever you can. This will compel them to try a little harder.

I find it impossible to believe that they couldn't reproduce this in a lab. I've had two different Zenbook primes, and I found it within a week.

J Andrew said...

I was wondering, has anyone encountered the problem when waking their computer from hibernate rather than sleep? If not, this could be a workaround until a definite fix is found. Even on my vivobook which has an HDD rather than an SSD, resuming from hibernate is still pretty fast.

Hristofor Enchev said...

Hi all! Sorry for my english!

I have Asus Zenbook ux32vd win 8 from January this year. Like all of you i experienced shut downs without any warning around two times a week.

I uninstalled more of the asus software (also P4G). I updated my bios to the last version and disabled the two things mentioned in this blog. And i still had shut downs.

I was thinking to start using hibernation instead of sleeping mode. And then i uninstalled ASUS INSTANT ON and now two weeks after i have the longest period without shut down. If i have i will notice you.

Hristofor Enchev said...

Hi all! Sorry for my english!

I have Asus Zenbook ux32vd win 8 from January this year. Like all of you i experienced shut downs without any warning around two times a week.

I uninstalled more of the asus software (also P4G). I updated my bios to the last version and disabled the two things mentioned in this blog. And i still had shut downs.

I was thinking to start using hibernation instead of sleeping mode. And then i uninstalled ASUS INSTANT ON and now two weeks after i have the longest period without shut down. If i have i will notice you.

Mike Jones said...

That's good to hear. Keep me posted; if that works for you for a while it would be great to know.

J Andrew said...

Maybe the instant on does have something to do with it. The most telling thing about this is that it ONLY happens shortly after resuming from sleep, so it has to have something to do with some process that only occurs at that time.

J Andrew said...

I posted about this problem on the notebookreview.com forum and someone replied with the following:

"I had a q200e [Asus vivobook] purchased at best buy having the same issue. I took it in because it was still in the return policy. They said it was due to a bad battery and was a known issue. They were going to send it out to have a new battery put in at one of their geek squad warehouses. However, since I was still within the return policy I just returned it and purchased another one."

Mike Jones said...

Since it happens on A/C power, that is a little strange, although not inconceivable.

4ndY said...

Same issue on UX32VD but it occurs very rarely (once a month) after waking from suspend. OS is Fedora 18 (GNU/Linux) so it's hardware issue for sure.

4ndY said...

Same issue on UX32VD but it occurs very rarely (once a month) after waking from suspend. OS is Fedora 18 (GNU/Linux) so it's hardware issue for sure.

Melissa said...

Hello!

I live in Japan and have an ASUS U37VC. I have the exact same problem. It became so irritating with my computer that I returned it to the store, which replaced it for the same model. I had no problems for an entire month, but today, suddenly, the sudden death occurred. I did a system restore to yesterday (as I had installed a bunch of software yesterday, and figured I should just in case) but I will keep my eye on this. I'm really bummed out about this, as it's otherwise a fantastic laptop.

Mike Jones said...

Hey 4ndy - are you seeing the shutdown at about 5 minutes after resume?

david ånesjö said...

Hi,
I've the exact same problem with my UX32VD. Bought it about 10 days ago and since then it has shut down on me twice. Not sure what to do now, I just got this laptop after after having my last one at ASUS repair for over 2 months. I really don't feel like beeing without a laptop again for this long.

J Andrew said...

Hey, we know that that the problem occurs when resuming from sleep but apparently not when resuming from hibernation. Has anyone tried activating "hybrid sleep"? This mode is deactivated by default on most notebooks, but it allows for the same quick resume as sleep by continuing to power the RAM, while also saving active files to main storage like hibernation. I have no idea how or if this will affect the likelihood of random shutdowns, but I'll give it a try.

But as I've sometimes gone weeks without an incident it could be a while before I can tell if it's helping, so I'd encourage someone who experiences more frequent random shutdowns to try it as well.

Hristofor Enchev said...

More than a month without a shut down. For me the problem is in the asus software.

Simon said...

Same issue here, my new Zenbook ux32a just shut down for no reason. :( I've owned this laptop less than a day and it has already happened.

I've already updated the bios so the latest version as of today (214) and it doesn't help obviously.

historyjen said...

I made it so that my laptop doesn't sleep, but hibernates instead. And no issue for the past few weeks. So perhaps this is one fix to the problem.

Zoran Jager said...

Hi everybody,

I experienced a few sudden shutdowns on my new UX32A. It arrived about a month ago, and this happens approx once a week. It just simply powers off, like when you unplug the battery. No warnings, no shutdown process. Just a simple power off. When it happened today, I decided to google for the solution righ after the shutdown and that's how I found this page.
I can confirm that the poweroff happened approx 5 minutes after returning from sleep mode.
So, it looks like many ASUS products have the same issue. I will try to use hibernate instead of sleep, and will post here later my observations.

Fred said...

I had two crashs on my new UX31A-R4002V.

The previous system shutdown at 13:57:15 on ‎29-‎03-‎2013 was unexpected.
The previous system shutdown at 11:54:03 on ‎31-‎03-‎2013 was unexpected.

After updating all drivers (asus and intel) it is being running smooth for a month.

Give it a try

http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_ZENBOOK_UX31A/#support_Download_30

http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect

Simon said...

FYI if you have the problem that the computer shuts down when you unplug the charger you should try the latest driver for the Intel GPU. It has a crash fix for exactly that.

Mike Jones said...

It isn't only when the charger is unplugged, but it is worth looking into.

Mike Jones said...

Fred; I'm glad to hear it. Mine can go for two months between shutdowns.

I think it might get worse when I re-suspend it immediately.

Simon said...

I got my UX32A back from service yesterday. They changed the motherboard. And today it shut down again when I was writing a document in LibreOffice. So I'm sending it back one more time. :(

Mimi said...

^ Same, Simon! I also had the random shutdown problem on my Asus UX31A but then one day it shut down and wouldn't start back up. I sent it in for repairs.
They sent it back to me and within two weeks it is doing the shutdowns again.
I will be sending it back again at the soonest that I can.
This is so frustrating...

I can't believe Asus hasn't acknowledged this yet. This is ridiculous.

T.K. said...

I just got an Ultrabook and am experiencing the same issue when I close my laptop.

It's both comforting and discouraging that this issue is established and common.

Mike Jones said...

If it is frequent, return the unit, and buy another, while you can.

There are other options now, as ASUS isn't the only one to make an FHD display.

The Lenovo X1 Carbon, although it has a weaker screen, is an excellent machine.

You could forego using sleep. Just hibernate; some have reported success with this.

ads said...

hey,
I am also having the random shutdown on my asus laptop. My vivobook shutdown usually when I'm playing HD video and high graphic games. I suppose it got to do with the GPU being overheat easily because there's not enough cooling. I usually cool my laptop by placing it close to a table fan and it helps. also i notice the laptop vent and the surrounding aluminium body surface are hotter than the usual temperature when the shutdown happen.

Mike Jones said...

You should double-check the CPU temperature. There are a number of free utilities for doing so. Your i5/i7 should be able to get up to 90 C without a problem.

Alexandre Brandão said...

Hey, I don't have a Zenbook or a VivoBook but an N56V series instead for about two months and it has exactly the same problem as you describe. And it started occuring only a week after I bought it. The thing is, mine doesn't shut down 5 minutes after waking from suspend... It happens usually more than an hour or two after that, twice a day or once a week, what makes me think ther's not any sort of pattern when this happens with mine no matter if it has the AC adapter plugged in or not... Its just sad to spend more than 1000€ of hard-earned money on a pc which is supposed to be premium with its B&O sound card, and all that alluminium finnish (which is one of the reasons why I bought it instead of the cheap-feeling top of the range Toshiba) konowing that I'll have to deal with this situation as long as I have this PC... And by the way, demanding for a new one from Asus is a simple waste of time because if you somehow manage to make'em do it, you will just end up with a new one with the same chronical issue. And I'm finding all my reserches on this quite useless as you can imagine.
Bad mark for ASUS there.
(and sorry for my English, Im a Portuguese student so you can imagine that their problem is widespreaded no matter where you buy it)

CHli said...

Well count me in, I had the spontaneous shutdown since the beginning (nearly a year now) on my UX32VD. I can't afford to disable Vt-D since I do use my laptop for visualization (I replaced the 2GB DDR3 stick with a 8GB one) and it seems it doesn't really solve the problem anyway.

I also notice the 5 minutes delay between getting out of sleep and the power-loss.

I would hate having to wait for the laptop to come out of hibernation everytime.

All-in-all it's a rare event, it probably happened less than 10 times over the span of a year but every time it happened it made me feel bad for having spent more than 1000$ on that laptop and I HATE that feeling.

KMehl said...

My UX31a will spontaneously shut down after coming out of sleep. Then when I hit Power to try to turn it back on, usually nothing happens even if I plug it back in. Any suggestions on how to turn the laptop back on???

Mike Jones said...

Sorry. It sounds like it needs a new motherboard. I have never seen that on mine.

Kyle Orange said...

I have the same problem on my ux32a, it's only occyred twice in a few months however I think mine does this returning from sleep too!

Michael said...

I have found this problem with my Zenbook to be about the computer getting confused about the state of the Lid being open vs closed. It spontaneously decides with the lid open that it is closed. With the lid open, the power button is ignored. Closing the lid turns it back on. I've been able to get it out of this state by shutting it down with the lid nearly closed and re-booting.

This has to be a bug in whatever driver detects the state of the lid on the laptop. Love this computer, but this problem is getting a bit annoying.

Michael said...

My Zenbook has the problem of shutting off spontaneously. It is caused by the computer suddenly determining that the lid is shut, causing the computer to suspend. The power button is ignored unless you close the lid nearly shut.

I've been able to close the lid sufficiently to make it turn back on and power the computer off and back on. This resets the problem.

With that said, at least in my case, the computer is somehow getting confused about the state of the lid being closed, when it is actually open.

There must be a software fix for this.

Lucas Nguyen said...

Hey Everyone,

I posted about a year ago, and I thought I would provide an update. After disabling the VT-d in the BIOS, the problem still persisted, so I decided to RMA the product after BestBuy's 30day return warranty was over (I bought the laptop at BestBuy.) Luckily, the people at BB were more than happy to take care of the situation, and send the laptop back to ASUS for repairs. I received the laptop back from the manufacturer stating that they replaced the mobo/cpu. The laptop worked trouble free for a month or two before the problem reoccurred, shutting down not too frequently. I decided to bring the laptop back to BestBuy yet again to have it RMA'd. Within a few weeks, I received my laptop back with a note saying the mobo/cpu was replaced again. This time the product was trouble free for at least 4-5 months. Recently, the unexpected shut down popped up again, with more frequency over time (about 1 week). I am currently deciding whether to RMA the laptop again while the laptop is still under the 1year warranty. Just thought I would share with everyone.

Lucas

n1hMrDeath said...

someone asked if it ever been captured on video i was doing a review of it and I Have captured it on video will post to youtube will post the link here if anyone is interested

Mike Jones said...

Sure!

n1hMrDeath said...

http://youtu.be/bWh9gt6sVFo as requested here is a video of the extremely rare n annoying random shutdown bug

Mike Jones said...

Thanks. That's great. ASUS really needs to do something about this.

n1hMrDeath said...

been looking around just thought i would mention there is a third workaround for this bug it seems if you time it right and keep the lid almost closed at around 4mins ie just before it shutdown ,it will go into sleep mode,it could be this issue is in fact related to the lid not being detected open after sleep mode ,correctly and the machine messes/confused thinking it is still closed so shuts system off resulting in a full shutdown

Mike Jones said...

I wonder if that has anything to do with the touchpad ceasing to respond (even though the tray shows it is detecting touch) when the lid has been closed.

Thanks. Please pass along anything else.

Angry said...

...I just bought this and am having the same issue. Turned off virtualization and power options. Will see if that helps. But, damn. I am so angry, and my mother will only be more angry at me for telling her to buy this laptop.

Mike Jones said...

Contact Asus and let them know.

Angry said...

I might - but it still might not work, and that means two weeks without a PC.

I adjusted the BIOS settings and updated the BIOS to rev. 214. Hopefully everything is all okay. Actually, the setting for Intel Power Management (or something along those lines) has a description that states "wake up may not function properly."

Is that acknowledgement?

Claude Stocklin said...

Asus UX52VS
The Asus support has changed the mother board, since 2 months the issue (shutdown randomly ) never append.

Thanks to Asus Switzerland support for the fast repair.

Mateusz Domagała said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mateusz Domagała said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claude Stocklin said...

Asus UX52VS
The Asus support has changed the mother board, since 2 months the issue (shutdown randomly )

unfortunately the computer crash randomly twice again !!!

Mikle Metelev said...

Thank everyone for posting your comments. It was important for me to find, that my problem was not unique. I have the same with my Asus ux32a, but at first glance on russian web (I am from Russia). I didn't find any information. Yesterday my girlfriend bought asus ux32vd and faced with the problem after 30 minutes after buying laptop. So I understood that it was a common problem and found this page.
I sent my laptop to asus technical support, after a week they said that they didn't find anything, but in Windows logs I see that something was done with the kernel. So in my case they denied the problem despite the fact that they know about it. Nastily.
Sorry for my English.

Mikhail

Mikle Metelev said...

Thank everyone for posting your comments. It was important for me to find, that my problem was not unique. I have the same with my Asus ux32a, but at first glance on russian web (I am from Russia). I didn't find any information. Yesterday my girlfriend bought asus ux32vd and faced with the problem after 30 minutes after buying laptop. So I understood that it was a common problem and found this page.
I sent my laptop to asus technical support, after a week they said that they didn't find anything, but in Windows logs I see that something was done with the kernel. So in my case they denied the problem despite the fact that they know about it. Nastily.
Sorry for my English.

Mikhail

Simon said...

As I previously wrote in this thread my laptop has already had the motherboard changed twice. And the problem is still there. It has shut down about 4-5 times during the summer so I'm sending it back once again. If this really is a problem with a faulty motherboard then I must have gotten 3 faulty boards in a row. :(

Mike Jones said...

Hey Simon,

If you cannot return the computer, you can try to just use hibernation instead. I do not believe that it suffers from the problem, and it isn't too slow.

Not ideal, I know...

Estebahn said...

I've got a Vivobook S550cm, same thing just happened to me today, same error in the windows logs. Asus needs to address this, because this isn't just some tiny issue

Bev's Blog said...

Vivobook W200E, using hibernate instead of sleep solves the problem, but wakeup is 10s instead of 2s.

Ivan Katanić said...

Asus UX31A, shutting down every 20-60 minutes. So annoying..how can Asus do that? Wtf?

Mike Jones said...

@Ivan Katanić:

That seems like a different problem than the 5 minute shutdown problem.

You should check the windows logs for any issues. Your laptop probably needs new RAM or a mobo.

Try contacting this guy:

cl-tien AT asus DOT com

Kostanos said...

Hi, just bought the UX51VZ Touch, and it has the same problem.
I wrote to the Asus support, will see if I'll have some lucky with that.

Claude Stocklin said...

Asus support has changed the fan & the thermal regulation, since 2 weeks the issue (shutdown randomly ) never append.

Mike Jones said...

Was that for a shutdown about 5 minutes after coming out of suspend?

Bev's Blog said...

Vivobook 200 here. Using hibernate instead of sleep solved the problem in my case.

Mike Jones said...

I have been using hibernate as well, without any shutdown issue.

Claude Stocklin said...

please could do post a print screen of the setting : hibernate


thanks

Mike Jones said...

Assuming Windows 7:

If you hold down the power button, it will bring up a black ASUS power menu; one of the options is Hibernate.

Alternatively, menu beside the shutdown button on the start menu should have it as well.

If you cannot find it, just type 'hibernate' into the start menu search.

Shariq M said...

I was having the same issue, and disabling sleep and using hibernate instead did not help. I found another solution that works.
I reduced the CPU max load in battery mode, and no sudden shutdowns in last 1 month. I got this idea after reading on MS site that this issue is related to overclocking, so reducing max CPU freq limits the thermal heatup during overclocking.

the path to change the setting is: Power Options -> Change Plan Settings -> Change advanced power settings -> Processor power management -> Maximum processor state -> On Battery (I changed to 50%)
I use the laptop for email/browsing/video/word processing and 50% does not slow down the response.

while I was doing this change I also increased the Minimum processor state to 10%, and I find the keyboard more responsive after that. keyboard responsiveness is the second most annoying issue with these laptops.

I am using Win8 so the settings are for that OS, bit other OSs should have equivalent settings as well.

Mike Jones said...

Thanks Shariq.

I have monitored the system temperature up to the shutdown, and it was nowhere near the limit for the i7 (which is about 105 degrees).

Skrubmigør said...

Hello,

I have the problem as well. I want to disable the VT-d, but I have no idea how. I have tried googleing it, but I could´nt find any guides. Could you explain how? Would be a great help :)

Skrubmigør said...

Hi,

I experience this problem as well. I want to disable the VT-d like you suggest, but I have no idea how. I have tried googleing, but I could´nt find any guides. Could you explain how I disable the VT-d? I´m running Windows 8. It would be a great help :)

Mike Jones said...

In a Win 7 setup, it is in the BIOS options. You probably have a UEFI equipped machine, so you'll have to do things a bit differently.

This article should help you out:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-access-the-bios-on-a-windows-8-computer/

Here's a relevant excerpt:

"In the PC Settings application, select the General category and click the Restart now button under Advanced startup. Your computer will restart and you’ll enter the Windows 8s boot options menu, where you can access the UEFI BIOS and change other settings.
access bios
You can also hold Shift while clicking Restart in the Shut Down menu to restart your computer into the boot options menu. This is a quick way to restart into the boot options menu, as you can access the Shut Down button from the Charms anywhere on your system.
access bios
Command-line geeks will be happy to know they can run a special shutdown.exe command in a Command Prompt window to restart their computer directly into the boot options menu:
Shutdown.exe /r /o"

You might be able to type "UEFI" at the start screen to search for the firmware options, and find it there. If you have a BIOS, it would just be F2/deleter.

Also, keep in mind the the Intel Vt-d settings have not worked for this particular shutdown problem. That idea was an experiment that came from the Ubuntu linux developers comments on shutdown issues.

Jerker Buud said...

Unplug the battery should solve the problem..

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/989191/comments/29

Mike Jones said...

From your bug report -- are you saying that unplugging and plugging it back in appears to resolve an unexpected shutdown issue?

"Hi guys, here's my final report:

I managed to reproduce the problem even after installing ASUS Live update, even with smaller CPU usage. Key thing was to put more files to SSD (the problem came back, when SSD usage reached about 50 GB). So it seems both the CPU and SSD usage affect the stability. This was 3 weeks ago. I didn't post this earlier because I wanted to try to unplug the battery first, as Oleksij suggested. The most difficult part of this testing was to find a torx T5 screwdriver - seriously, the smallest I was able to find in Turku was T7! Fortunately my brother had one so when I visited him two weeks ago I was finally able to open my laptop and try this one last thing.

All crashing stopped completely after I opened my laptop and ***unplugged the battery***. I have so far tested this with Windows 7, Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10, forced CPU usage to stay at 100% and filled my SSD up to 80% with 3 partitions (FAT32, NTFS and Ext4). Not a single crash in 2 weeks!

I believe mine was actually a memory controller related problem that was originally caused by a bug in Ubuntu 11.10:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AsusZenbook#Suspend

Feels pretty stupid that I didn't try this 1½ years ago... maybe I was just too afraid of losing warranty (and I didn't find a suitable screwdriver) or something. But now everything works fine.

I hope this helps."

L.K. Donovan said...

Asus UX31A

For nearly a year, my laptop would randomly shut down every 2 - 6 weeks. This corrupted my OS twice, and I had to reinstall everything from scratch. (Thank goodness for CrashPlan!)

I sent my laptop in for an RMA once, and when that didn't fix it, I didn't see the point in sending it in again. I'd been following this post for awhile (great post & comments, by the way!), and tried the various suggestions, such as tweaking the BIOS.

The suggestion that finally worked was switching from sleep to hibernate. I made the change back in July, and haven't had an unexpected shutdown since.

For anyone who's interested, here are the instructions for making the change in Windows 7:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/change-what-happens-when-you-close-your-laptop

The one drawback is that it takes significantly longer to resume from hibernation than sleep. But for me, that's better than spending another weekend rebuilding my laptop :)

hosselompan said...

Dear all

I can, withuot no doubt, state that this issue is a hardware problem.
In my family we have two zenbooks, one ux31a and one ux21a, showing the same symptoms.
The problem is the battery connector, nothing else.
Procedure:
Get a mini torx screwdriver kit.
Remove the back side aluminium coveer, ten screws in all, and locate the battery terminal, i. e. the plastic piece joining the battery and the flat cable.
Fiddle around with the connector until the flat cable comes loose.
From this point reassemble the parts in reverse order.
This solved the issue on both machines.

Excuse the language, I'm Swedish.
Good luck.

Mike Jones said...

Thanks hossel. Is this referring specifically to the problem of spontaneous shutdowns shortly after resuming from sleep?

JF said...

Experiencing a similar problem with UX31A. Removing external power or moving the power connector often (50%?) causes immediate power loss to off state. Started happening after about a year (early 2013?). Currently in for warranty repair.
I don't think I've seen spontaneous power off after resume, this always relates to the physical power connection.
Battery has deteriorated and I've bought a new one, but wanted to RMA before replacing battery as this (bizarrely) invalidates warranty. Power problem seemed to start before battery life got really poor.
Lots of other reports of power connection problem across web.

Daniel Korcz said...

I was experiencing a similar problem with UX31a.
I've read somewhere that setting (in windows) power critial level at 1% will help and laptop won't turn off suddenly any more.
It helped me (3 months without an issue of sudden shutdown), maybe it will help others.

Daniel Korcz said...

I was experiencing a similar problem with UX31a.
I've read somewhere that setting (in windows) power critial level at 1% will help and laptop won't turn off suddenly any more.
It helped me (3 months without an issue of sudden shutdown), maybe it will help others.

Mike Jones said...

My suspicion is that because the shutdown doesn't show up in the event log, it isn't a windows triggered event (i.e. power event).

pikali said...

Hi all,
The solution provided by hosselompan works! Just open the laptop,disconnect battery cable from motherboard and connect it again.
Instructions for (dis)assembly http://tinyurl.com/fixzenbook

Also, for those experiencing keyboard issues (quite common), check out
http://tinyurl.com/fixzenkeyboard
Can also confirm, works!


PS. I have UX31E

pikali said...

Will have to unfortunately announce, that the crash-fix only worked for about a week. It will happen again sometime, after disconnecting/connecting the battery cable.

That is, fiddling with the power cable which causes it to plug/unplug will cause the restart of the laptop quite often.

Asus is becoming quite a disappointing product.

Eddie Hui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie Hui said...

I am having the same problem and its driving me nuts having to save my work every 30 seconds. I can't take it back to the shop now since its been more than a month since I got it. I'm not sure if I should send the laptop back to ASUS since I cant live without my laptop for like 2 months or something please give me some advice guys

Mike Jones said...

When you say you're having the same problem, is it shutting off spontaneously about 5 minutes after resuming from sleep?

If not, something else is wrong.

If so, you can use hibernation and avoid the problem.

Pasi Typpö said...

Hi, i was having these issues with my UX31E regarding the "sudden death" etc. When I replaced the battery the problem was solved. Full stop.

Mike Jones said...

Pasi: Is that the issue where it shuts off coming out of suspend?

Eddie Hui said...

Yes its the shut down problem and also it suddenly goes in to hibernation when the battery level is on 6% for some reason and its driving me nuts

FabioZOO said...

I have the same problem on a asus notebook S46-ca (purchased in Brazil), and after some tests with other operating systems found that in fedora 19, the problem does not occur with 3.9.5.301.fc19.x86_64 kernel, but after upgrade to 3.12.5-200.fc19.x86_64 the problem returns.! The same happens with most linux distro, including the fedora 20 .! Sorry for my english..!! Google Translator rulesss :)

giopx said...

Same problem with UX32VD. Seems to be gone after bios update to last release 214.

MaxMag71 said...

Hi everybody,
UX31E affected of both:
Unplug power, freeze.
In battery mode ... after 5 minutes shutdown.

I tried ll your suggestions.

The one at the moment is working is to disconnect and reconnect the internal battery connection.

It solved both the problem.

Thanks to all!!!

If I have a little bit of time I will create a web page like this with the resume of your work.

Now my Zenbook return to life and to work properly.

MaxMag71 said...

Hi everybody,
UX31E affected of both:
Unplug power, freeze.
In battery mode ... after 5 minutes shutdown.

I tried ll your suggestions.

The one at the moment is working is to disconnect and reconnect the internal battery connection.

It solved both the problem.

Thanks to all!!!

If I have a little bit of time I will create a web page like this with the resume of your work.

Now my Zenbook return to life and to work properly.

giopx said...

Bad news. My ux32vd did unexpected shutdown again few minutes ago. Bios upgrade didn't solve anything.

Mateusz Domagała said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vitaliy Gorbenko said...

I've uninstalled Asus Instant On and I have no problems for a month.

Mateusz Domagała said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jyntran said...

I changed my shutdown settings to hibernate and updated BIOS to 214 - nothing. I found a Torx T5 screwdriver and finally opened up my UX21e Zenbook. I unplugged and replugged the battery, as well as cleaned some dust off the fan. Since then my Zenbook hasn't shut down prematurely. I'll update if I see another crash.

Unknown said...

Just jumping in because I have this problem. I may soon report what happens if I turn off Intel Power Management (in the BIOS?).

I won't turn off VT-d because I DO virtualize. I run the factory-installed Windewz with a VirtualBox 64-bit Ubuntu to do all my (cough) real programming in.

The limited memory is harmless when virtualizing due to the magic of a solid-state hard "drive".

Claude Stocklin said...

The Shutdown randomly issue append 3-5 minutes after the Asus came out from the sleep mode (open the screen)
Never append when the Asus came from the hibernate mode. I guess is a SSD Driver bug.

Mike Jones said...

"Unknown": Vt-D was a suggestion because it by some was noted that instability occurred with this enabled. Also, I ask that you speak courteously and respectfully. I will just delete any more elitist comments about 'real' programming. I am a professional software engineer, and I have no time for a superiority complex among my devs. And I have no reason to tolerate it on my blog, either.

Tom Phillpotts said...

UX21E -Had problem initially of unplugging ac-power causing shutdown, then after some Asus updates battery worked but random shutdowns as described above.
Now have replaced the battery under warranty, and after a number of Asus software updates and a bios update (to 214) the problem seems to be gone in Windows 7.
However it persists with Linux (Crunchbang and Archbang). Working on finding a solution, some ideas from Ubuntu community.

Tom Phillpotts said...

I have a UX21E.
I installed all the Asus software updates and the BIOS update (214), which solved the problem for me in Windows 7.

But I still had the problem in Crunchbang (built on Debian). It would shut down somewhere between 60-65% battery power when ac is unplugged. I couldn't find a solution for this. The Ubuntu forums solutions (VT-D and semaphores) didn't work.

Today I installed Linux Mint 16 Petra XFCE. Running this distro the problem seems to be solved. Mint is built on Ubuntu so perhaps the problem has been solved in Ubuntu also?
So may be worth trying Mint.

Bruce Rittgers said...

HI Mike,
Thanks for posting this as I am also having this problem with my ASUS Vivobook I bought on Amazon. I just left a review on Amazon suggesting that anyone thinking of purchasing this unit first Google "ASUS Random Shut Downs". I contacted ASUS and they wanted me to return for repair. I think I'll try the Hosselompan solution. - Thanks for posting.. Bruce

David L said...

Hey, guys!

So I've been the owner of the ASUS Zenbook UX31E (that's 1st gen) since April 2012, so that's almost 2 years now. The first few months were OK, then the laptop just started shutting down abruptly and sporadically. This made me curious at first, but as time went by it made me hate the computer I bought with (a lot of) my hard-earned money, and hate ASUS as well.

The problem appeared to have worsened when I upgraded to Windows 8, but it was still present under Windows 7 and made regular work very frustrating and scary (Ctrl+S every 5 seconds to make sure you don't lose anything after a sudden death).

I tried almost every solution proposed here and in other forums/blogs on the Internet, but nothing seemed to work. I traced it down to the battery, because it never shut down with AC. i also traced it to the graphics (Intel) drivers, since it never shutdown in safe mode or when the Basic Windows Driver was used.

As a last resort, and while compromising my Zenbook's warranty, I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. I bought a simple Torx T5 screwdriver, and the whole operation took no more than 10 minutes (most of the time was spent on opening and closing the bottom lid). It's been 3 days now and it seems the problem is solved. I hope it doesn't come back in a few days or weeks, but if it does, I'm going to try reconnecting the battery again. I recommend everyone who were desperate like me, and have a little DIY knowledge, to give it a try.

Here's to a PC that doesn't shut down randomly.

giopx said...

2 months without shutdown after Instant On removal. I'm about to think that the problem could really be ASUS Instant On software ...

Georgina Johnson said...

Hi! I wish I had read this before I spontaneously bought a zenbook for urgent work needs! 24 hours later it crashed. Fixes like safe mode are not an option as I can only get into setup - where nothing seems to make any difference. I looked up where to get service in Israel, as there is a 3 year guarantee, and it said on the website "look in another country". Can this be serious or is it a global candid camera or something?

I saw a post about opening it up and unplugging the internal battery - but then losing all guarantee. Kind of desparate!

Lee Johnson said...

I tried many of the proposed fixes listed here and elsewhere for this fault on my UX31E. One of those read was disconnecting the internal battery, but I was reluctant, especially while my laptop was within it's warranty period. However, I got so fed up with failed attempts to fix this; bios & driver updates, power management settings, restores and clean installs, etc. that I mustered the courage.
I followed a tear-down guide and youtube video instructions (which included battery removal) and removed (for a few minutes) and reconnected the battery connection (that's the multi-coloured cable terminal connection (not a ribbon type) on the UX31E, which is best teased up from the board with a fine plastic tool). So far, I have not had this problem reoccur (on Windows 8.1). I have even tested it after maxing out the CPU on a game to get the system nice and hot which seems to be one of the driving causes of this fault - i.e. a fail-safe shutdown of the CPU when changing power profiles. So, in my experience this resolves the fault - for now at least!

NB: I have all the latest ASUS drivers installed (except the Power4Gear Hybrid Software) and have set the system cooling policy to active (from passive) for battery mode.

Mike Jones said...

Thanks Lee.

Rumen Georgiev said...

Yes Lee this fix the problem on my UX31 too.

Cold Salsero said...

I bought my UX31A 2 years ago, from a recommendation by Jeff Atwood (http://blog.codinghorror.com/the-last-pc-laptop/), and I've just begun to experience this frequent sudden shutdown issue this year too. I find it very disappointing that this is a common issue, and yet Asus hasn't done anything definitive to help consumers who experience this problem.

I'm definitely going to be very cautious about buying Asus laptops again in the future. What makes this problem even worse is that the SSD that comes with this particular model is a non-standard, custom SSD, so it's not like I can just take the SSD out and stick it into another computer to recover my data, I'll need to keep **very good** backups on an external drive.

Zoran Jager said...

I almost forgot about this issue as my UX32A was working properly for a couple of months! Not a single power off after sleep.

Well, luck seems to left me, as today my ultrabook switched off after a few minutes after sleep.

I saw on Asus support that they have a new firmware available (216). Flashed OK, let's see will this help. I still think this is just some stupid software issue, as the laptop acts like long press on the power button. Or, as if the battery is removed. It cannot be physical fault, as i can turn on the laptop again, no issues with this. If it would be a battery cable problem, i would not be able to power it on immediately.
So, in short, let's see if the bios will help. Fingers firmly crossed!

Alex Gold said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative..click here Asus Support

Maruno Flippe said...

I have the same trouble with my desktop PC powered by ASUS P8Z77 motherboard and Windows 7 installed. So it is neither the OS-related bug nor ZenBook-specific!!! My desktop PC suddenly powered off after resuming from sleep state (S3). It happened within about 2 minutes of waking up. Then PC restarted automatically. But 2 minutes later it powered off again. I have decided that it is hardware issue and disconnected PC from the outlet. After connecting PC to the outlet and booting up it works normally.

There are no BSOD-related messages in the event log / no mini-dump files. All temperatures are OK. I think it is the MB micro-code software problem. It loads some kind of micro-OS after connecting notebook battery / AC power plug. Presumably it changes chipset configuration before starting up and allows waking from USB devices and WOL commands. Entering S3 power mode makes this software go crazy. That is why disconnecting the battery is the best solution for ASUS notebooks to avoid this trouble.

Peter Enseleit said...

I had the same issue, but noticed that I would get a crash/shutdown when I was viewing images as well.

I rolled back the video driver to the previous version and the shutdowns stopped while viewing images at least.

Then I got the official video driver from the ASUS support site and installed it again.

I haven't had a crash/shutdown, even with laptop lid set to Sleep when closed and after waiting for more than five minutes after I open the lid and wake up Windows.

So far so good.

Bernardo Blanco said...

HI! took me a very long time to found out why I had BSOD after resuming from sleep; My PC is a zenbook UX21E and with this machine you absolutely need (win7,8 or 8.1) InstantOn, Power4Gear and PowerWiz. You won't get InstantOn and PowerWiz for win8-8.1 so use the ones for win7 with compatibility mode. I'm still wondering why Asus support guys don't talk about this issue they must be sleeping or vaporized all the time ;-)
Hopefully this handling will help someone and give a better reputation to Asus because a zenbook is really a very very nice machine.

Dan Magherusan said...

Some guy at asus tech upport suggested i disconnect the power cord and press the power button for 30 secondsfor a battery reset. the plug in the cord and fully charge it

no shut-downs since...

jyntran said...

Close to a year ago, I disconnected the battery on my UX21E and did not see any shutdown issues until now. It seems in my case the solution is not permanent, but despite that it is a good quick fix that will last for months.

Nigel Lake said...

Thanks for all these comments. I have been swearing at my otherwise good UX31A for the last few months, since this random shut-down problem appeared.

For me, crashes only occur when power cord is not connected (ok - not much of a solution). I will try the "Battery reset" option above. Failing that, it seems like the best solution is to open the case and reattach the battery cable.

john smith said...

So I am having the same problems described in this post, with a twist. My UX31A was geekSquad repaired twice under accidental warranty (sticky keyboard, cracked screen). During one of the repairs they put on this black adhesive on all removable connectors inside the laptop, including the battery to motherboard connection. I am no longer able to disconnect the battery so I am hoping this "hold power for 30 sec" does the same thing. If anyone has any more information please keep this thread going. Love the laptop, hate this power off problem.

Pim van Nierop said...

Hi all,

I have a zenbook prime UX31A and I run Ubuntu.

I also experienced the shutdown problem a lot and I have found a workaround after having analyzed the problem over a prolonged period of time.

I noticed that the shutdowns only occurred when NOT plugged in to external power supply, when the battery was half empty, and when the CPU was working at full load (100% of its frequency).

I installed a CPU throttling manager (indicator-cpufreq) for Linux that does not allow for the CPU to reach max frequency when the power cord is not connected ('powersave' policy). This prevents any unexpected shutdown issues for me; the laptop keeps running until the battery is empty.

My take is that there is a problem with peak strain on the electrical system that causes the unexpected shutdowns.

Nipuna Fernando said...

I have a zenbook UX31E same problem occors ,but it stops when the power is plugged in ,and as i see it happens when the battery is low as well.

john smith said...

Guys,
Adding to Pim van Nierop's comment here is a solution for those running windows 8.1. Install a program called ThrottleStop (google search and download from their website). Tinker with the settings to make your CPU run <100% when running on battery power (around 80% should be fine). You can actually create separate profiles for when a laptop is plugged in and for when its unplugged. Google the different option available in throttleStop. Im no expert and dont really know what all of them are. I used trial and error with the combination of Task Manager to see what the throttle was actually doing.

Symptoms:
1: Laptop dies only when not plugged in
2. Battery is 50 percent or lower laptop is unstable and dies multiple times. Anything below 30% it would die as soon as I power it on.
3. Running windows 8/8.1

Solution:
1: Set up a Throttle stop profile to limit your cpu power
2: Do the battery reset at boot by holding the power button when plugged in for 30 seconds.
3. If still shuts off go back and tinker with throttlestop some more.

My Results:
Its been over a week with no unexpected shutoffs. Battery has gotten to 1% no problem.

My throttlestop settings
clock modulation:81.3%
Chipset Clock Mod:75.0%
Set multiplier 25T
VID .9056 2.8W
power saver is checked
disable turbo unchecked
BD PROCHOT checked
SLFM unchecked
EIST checked
C1E checked
this is for a UX31A-BHI5T11 laptop
Good luck

Simon Lemarchand said...

In case you are running Linux, the following guide helps to do away with shutdowns once and for all.

=========================================================================================

Finally, a reliable solution for unexpected shutdowns and hangs was discovered!

This seems to be working with any Asus laptop suffering from unexpected shutdowns and / or hangs while running on battery:

1. Add the following boot arguments _both_ to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX in /etc/default/grub.cfg:

intel_pstate=disable pcie_aspm=force acpi_osi=’Windows 2009′ acpi_os_name=’Windows 2009′

Don’t forget to execute sudo update-grub afterwards!

2. Install the package tlp from ppa:linrunner/tlp an set at least the following values in /etc/default/tlp

CPU_SCALING_GOVERNOR_ON_BAT=ondemand

CPU_BOOST_ON_BAT=0

PCIE_ASPM_ON_BAT=powersave

RUNTIME_PM_ON_BAT=on

3. Shut down the device, carefully remove the bottom cover and detach the big battery (not the tiny CMOS battery) from the motherboard for five minutes. There are plenty of youtube videos showing how to safely disassemble the various Asus laptops. With certain power management settings on the OS side, the EC (Embedded Controller) goes crazy and thus needs resetting. The only way to reset it is to detach the battery for a few minutes.

4. From now on, shutdowns should be gone. Take care, however, not to _ever_ use any live USB stick or installation / recovery CDs based on Linux and using the intel_pstate driver and / or the default BIOS settings for ASPM. If you try to, you will merely reproduce the problem once again, and will subsequently have to disassemble your Zenbook once again. There are a few sad cases, like reinstalling Ubuntu itself, where you will _have_ to boot from a live USB utilizing the problematic intel_pstate driver. Only do so when running on AC, and please repeat Stage 3 (no matter how boring) of this manual once you are done.

P.S. Intel_pstate and the default ASPM bios settings eventually make the mobo’s Embedded Controller go crazy and persist in this state until the battery is detached from the motherboard. That’s basically how this problem is born.