[LAU] random system lockups, memtest clean, no idea... Magic sysrq?

Kevin Cosgrove kevinc at cosgroves.us
Tue Nov 18 17:02:07 EST 2008

On 18 November 2008 at 15:26, "Christopher Stamper" <christopherstamper at gmail.com> wrote:

> > Look for errors in your /var/log/ files?  Make sure you have a look
> > at the X log files.  I've had troubles there from time to time.
> >
> > I hated it when I had this trouble, which turned out to be the wrong
> > type of RAM for my mobo.  Good luck!
> >
> I have the same problem. I couldn't find any errors in the logs...
> I'd be interested to know what kind of system you have. I have an intel
> mobo, 1GB DDR2 RAM at 800mhz, Intel Pentium D @ 3.2ghz, Intel embedded
> graphics, and a WD SATA HD @ 16GB/3gbps.
> I'm suspecting a graphics problem, but a fix doesn't seem to be coming
> easily...

My 1st experience was with a Pentium I system.  I put 4 sticks of
64MB EDD RAM in it.  The early generation of my mobo had timing
trouble with such huge server RAM, and I had to go back to 4
sticks of 32MB EDO RAM.  After that it never had troubles again.
I had done all of the memtest86 stuff, and done it for days on
end without error.  I'd swapped individual 64MB sticks out for
weeks on end, and never found the problem until I stumbled on an
old app note about the board indicating its limitations.

My 2nd experience like this was after upgrading my distribution
and getting new drivers for my ATI Radeon card.  Eventually I
found out that I needed to run it in "stupid" mode, meaning
no hardware acceleration, not Xorg, nor ATI native.  Running
hardware acceleration would cause it to freeze.

Both problems involved a lot of very deliberate, change only one
thing at a time, troubleshooting.  In the 1st case, the error
would only occur about every 2 weeks, but it would take down the
system and corrupt the disks sometimes.  Eventually I found a
kernel oops message that would occur about 1-2 days in advance,
and I'd grep'd the log files with cron to detect the trouble and
reboot preemptively.  I knew I'd nailed that problem when the
system stayed up for 6 weeks.

I wonder if the original poster's problem would go away if the system 
was booted into console mode only, no graphical interface.  That 
could point at X and/or the video card/driver.

Good luck....


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