Experience report regarding a laptop while moving

Hi all, :wave:

a friend and neighbour of mine is just about to move. She already has her new flat available and currently I´m helping her with various things.
My domains among others are TV and IT. :wink:

Last Thursday when I was out and about I went to her new location as she wanted me to setup her laptop (HP 15-db0400ng 4PP01EA ) there. Well, I was
thinking there shouldn´t be many problems as the device ran well in her old domicile.

As it turned out there were quite a few few things to attend to. :smirk:

Her router had already been set up at that point and the WLAN-LED was continuously on. Plus: nothing had changed in the settings.

However when I tried to boot the OS (BodhiLinux) some message said the respective kernel couldn´t be found and therefore no booting was possible…
What :question: How could that happen, I thought… :thinking:

I finally managed to boot the system by selecting the right boot device with the help of the “F9” button. Now Bodhi booted but there was no internet connection
available :exclamation:

How could that happen, I thought for the second time… :thinking:

When I set up her laptop for the first time in November 2019 I had to manually install the driver rtl8821ce for her built-in WIFI device as it was not natively supported by in the respective Linux-kernel then.

Before doing that I rememeber I had to de-activate SecureBoot in the BIOS (or rather: UEFI) as otherwise the (I guess: unsigned) driver wouldn´t be loaded.

Yes, I know… that was due to the fact that I left WIN10 installed as the laptop came with it per default. But the machine was virtually unusable as WIN10 overwhelmed it in many respects. :frowning_face:

So Bodhi to the rescue. As her internal HDD is 1TB in size we opted for dual-boot assigning 500GB to each OS.
As she has never used WIN but only BodhiLinux we could´ve nuked WIN in the first place. :wink:

Well, that´s the background.

As it turned out my friend left her laptop quite a while without any connection to a mains outlet, for perhaps a day (or even more?).
I guess the battery should´ve bridged this period of time, but perhaps it´s a bit weak…, I don´t know.
After all the laptop costed “just” 299 euros brand-new. I guess one would have
to accept some compromises at some point… :wink:

It turned out that - given the lack of power supply / insufficient power supply- this thing tried to boot from WIN…
… as a consequence even trying to do so (I aborted in due time) set the BIOS settings back as far as SecureBoot is concerned. So suddenly it was “enabled again”, which
of course wouldn´t let the driver for WLAN be integrated at boot. :angry:

I finally managed to get everything working again by:

  • setting SecureBoot in UEFI to “disabled” again
  • manually booting BodhiLinux (pressing “F9” and selecting it) # important to do this manually
  • no WIFI by that time of course
  • within BodhiLinux: running efibootmngr which gave me the info I needed
  • Here I saw the settings regarding boot-order. Of course WIN was first
  • I changed the boot order with the command efibootmgr -o [...] so that BodhiLinux was first
  • reboot without any interference on my part

Now everything was in working order again: :+1:

  • laptop booted “normally”, i.e. BodhiLinux
  • internet connection via WiFi automatically established

Actually I´ve got no particular question to ask as I´m glad I finally could get everything working again.
But it took quite a while as didn´t know all those steps by heart any more. It´s been quite a while since I initially set the laptop up. :blush:

I just wanted to let those of you know who might encounter a similar scenario. Perhaps it may be of some help to someone.

Well, one question perhaps, after all:

The only thing out of the ordinary regarding usage of the laptop was that it hadn´t been plugged in to a power outlet for a certain period of time.

Can it really be that this circumstance would trigger off some sort reset and result in the unwanted behaviour we´ve experienced :question:
I just want to know your opinion about that in case it might happen in the future again…

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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I agree with your conclusion at this point. Without power some defaults were restored. Maybe you should leave yourself some notes on a piece of paper taped to the laptop lid in case it happens again. :slight_smile:

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Hi Rosika,
That is the only bit that I do not understand. You say the boot order was changed, it booted from Win, and that changed the Secureboot setting.
What happens normally when you boot Win? I dont think it would change any BIOS setting.?
The rest is a marvellous piece of diagnosis, and all your steps make sense.
Well done

I have a laptop that has a completely dead battery. It boots OK, but it is legacy boot, and there is no Win. I can even take the battery out. It still boots.

Another possibilify is there may be problems with power supply instability. Watch out for further issues. I hope not for your friends sake.

Hi @nevj,

Just a thought, but what if the cmos battery also was dead and the PC did not keep the BIOS setting. Then when it was powered on the defaults setting were loaded into BIOS.

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That sounds like the most likely explanation so far.

I am a great believer in notes, but not on scraps of paper. I keep an exercise book.

That happened to me on one of my desktop pc’s!!!

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Hi all, :wave:

thanks to all of your for your comments. :heart:


Thank you.

Yes, the idea with the notes is good.

However I´d have to take care of them myself as my neighbour-friend - I´m sorry to say - cannot be trusted with things like that.
She would throw them away as soon as I´m out of sight.
She´s a great believer in rapidly throwing things away like remote controls, cables and other important stuff… :frowning_face:


Thanks for the compliment, Neville. :heart:

Well, the laptop tried to boot from WIN but I didn´t let it go on with it. I aborted.
First it initiated some sort of “repair” procedure. That would´ve taken quite a while and of course the “repair” referred to WIN and not BodhiLinux.

Yet the mere initialization of this sequence was enough to mess things up the way I described… :frowning_face: .

Oh, that´s good to know. Thanks for the info, Neville.

Under normal circumstances the power supply seems stable. In this case however - while moving - the device seems to have lost power for such a considerable amount of time that the issues presented themselves.


Thanks, Howard, for mentioning this possibility.
Well, that could´ve been the case. As I mentioned in my first post the HP laptop was quite a bargain.
Who knows … perhaps the manufacturer thought he could save a bundle by not putting in the best parts (quality-wise) available on the market… :question: Just a thought…:thinking: .


Thanks, Daniel. for letting us know.
Could you replace the CMOS battery without difficulty?
Did you employ special tools for that?

Many greetings to you all.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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You can tell if CMOS battery is dead. The system clock gets out of time sync.
Last time I replaced one was in an i386 tower. A modern laptop may be more difficult.


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Thanks for the info, Neville. :heart:

I see.
Did you need any special tools for that?
Like watchmaker screwdrivers or the like?
What about anti-static wristbands :question:

Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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With a desktop, you open the case and the CMOS battery just pops right out. I have never changed a CMOS laptop battery.


Always use antistatic precautions when you open a computer.
Yes a small screwdriver .
It is about as difficult as replacing the battery in a digital watch.
The problem in a laptop may be access.


Thanks for your replies :heart:.


I see. Looks convenient then. Thanks. :+1:


That´s what I was thinking as well. Thanks for the confirmation.

Should be doable then. I replace wristwatch-batteries all the time. :wink:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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All you really have to do is too touch a metal part of that PC to discharge any static, before touching the MOBO.


Exactly. Just earth yourself, that is all the wristband does.
Some people use a static mat.

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Thanks @4dandl4 and @nevj for your suggestions :heart:.

That´s really good to know :+1: .

O.K. I guess a wristband wouldn´t be bad to have.

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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You can get little computer tookits, with a wristband, set of screwdrivers, tweezers, etc.

Thanks for the suggestion, Neville.
I´ll issue a search on the web. :wink:

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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