Battery related freezes

My beloved Asus M2400N has started to freeze rather unpredictably.

The only thing I have managed to figure out, is that it is related to running on battery power. It never happens on AC power, but when running on the battery it will almost inevitably freeze well before the battery runs out. It can be anything between 2 minutes and an hour before it happens. The last time the battery was at 97% charged, and it froze within minutes. I can move the computer about, but if I get to work while on battery power it freezes.

The weird thing is that I really haven’t changed anything, nothing besides the regular dist-upgrades to keep the system current.

The kernel is the same 2.6.9 I’ve been using on the laptop for a year now.

The only explanation I can think of is a broken battery, but I get no error messages, the battery charges and recharges normally.

One thing I have noticed is that the disk activity led turns on permanently when it happens, but there is no audible disk activity.

I have changed one thing on the system recently. The harddisk started to sound funny and gave sporadic errors via S.M.A.R.T., so I replaced it. The new disk doesn’t make noises or give errors, and it is a completely normal 2.5″ disk, running on 5V and 1A like most other laptop harddisks, and like the previous disk on the system (and the one before that :-).

Update 2006-01-30: I’m begining to suspect a battery problem. Maybe the battery cannot supply enough power for the harddisk at peak activity, causing the disk to not respond. I don’t know why this should freeze the system instead of giving I/O Errors, but its just about the only reasonable explanation I can find. At least it would explain the disk activity led being on each time.

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