[LAU] Hard lock-ups -- Trying to narrow the cause

Darren Landrum darren.landrum at sbcglobal.net
Thu May 21 23:58:53 EDT 2009

For the past 6-8 months, I've been having issues with hard lock-ups on
my computer. Strangely enough, they occur the most, and are predictable,
when I'm playing back longer Flash videos in a browser (watching Leo
Laporte's live TV stream is a guaranteed show-stopper).

It all started when I got my new Echo MiaMIDI card. At first I thought
it was a bad card, but it ran just fine in another machine for about a
week or so, no issues. Now I'm trying to determine if there is some kind
of driver issue or maybe a driver conflict.

First off, I'd like to mention that every time I install a new Linux
distro, it's a major chore getting this card working, as it involves
compiling ALSA from source. I'm running the latest Ubuntu Studio at the
moment, and even though they included a driver for the Mia, it didn't
seem to load right, even though modprobe didn't complain, and restarting
the computer caused yet another lock-up. At the moment, I went ahead and
compiled the driver from 1.0.18a sources myself, along with the
firmware, installed that, and even though I've run into a few hiccups (a
lock-up during boot being one), the card is functioning at the moment.

I'm also skipping the proprietary NVidia driver for a period of time,
just to see if that (or a conflict with it) might be the cause.

I seem to remember a number of people having some interesting issues
using higher-end cards with PulseAudio. I'm beginning to wonder now if
Pulse might be my primary culprit. If that be the case, since I don't
really want it around anyway, does anyone have a pointer to any
instructions on how it might be removed from Ubuntu Studio 9.04?

If I do end up removing Pulse, that does leave me with a bit of an
issue, as the Echo drivers don't do any sound mixing from different
applications asking for the driver. So, I'll need a sound daemon of some
sort in order for the computer to continue to be usable.

Thank you very much for any help.

Darren Landrum

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