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computer freezes [solved]


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Your Linux knowledge level is going up here.

The next time your system freezes make a note of the time.

After rebooting, start up your Konsole and type in

su root

when prompted enter your root password.

As I'm not sure of your level of confidence stick to these instructions as once logged in as root you can quite easily trash your system.

Type in your Konsole

less /var/log/messages

this will bring up the contents of another logfile. I use this method for displaying logfiles because it is easier to search through the file by using the page up and down keys.

Now look through this very large file for the time when your system froze and you restarted. Around this point in your logfile before you crashed it should tell you what the system was doing and maybe tell you of an instruction that could not be handled. Cut and paste into your next reply about 20 lines of the contents of your logfile before and including the time of the crash, then we can have a look and maybe spot the problem. Close the konsole after doing this.

If you have the confidence and see what is causing the problem by all means fix it.

As ever in Linux there is more than one way to do some things so don't be surprised if someone else comes up with another solution for you.

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Have to add a "me too!" to what crashdamage said...For quite a while, our family computer (Athlon XP 2600+) would just randomly lock up solid. It happened more in WinXP than in Linux, but the fact that it did happen under both OS'es pointed at a hardware problem.


I changed out virtually every single component *except* the CPU over the course of a 2 year period. Sometimes the problem would appear to go away for a while after a component swap, but would eventually come back again. You would not believe the number of bootable diagnostics CDs I now own!


I finally got sick of the whole thing, ripped the mobo and CPU out of the case and literally threw it out into the back yard, replacing it with a MSI board running an Athlon64 chip. As I'd kept almost all of my previous components, I had enough left over to build a whole new computer. After adding a second hand CPU, I gave the machine to my wifes mum, and she's been using it with no problems at all for almost 9 months.


I was absolutely *convinced* that no way could the CPU be faulty, but it was. Mine wasn't even running hot, either, so I'd suggest you try swapping your processor out first - maybe my experience can save you some frustration.


Good luck!

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Sep 19 18:30:01 localhost crond[7169]: (mail) CMD (/usr/bin/python -S /usr/lib/m


Sep 19 18:35:01 localhost crond[7252]: (mail) CMD (/usr/bin/python -S /usr/lib/m


Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost syslogd 1.4.1: restart.

Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost INIT: Loading ACPI module container: successfull

Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost INIT: Loading ACPI module fan: successfull

Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost kernel: klogd 1.4.1, log source = /proc/kmsg started.

Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost kernel: Inspecting /boot/System.map-2.6.17-13mdv

Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost INIT: Loading ACPI module hotkey: failed

Sep 19 18:42:13 localhost kernel: Loaded 21496 symbols from /boot/System.map-2.6




....It happened Sep 19 18:36

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I don't see anything unusual about what's happening with mailman. Cron ran it (twice) apparently successfully, no errors posted.


I still think this is a hardware problem. From the info provided so far I can't say for sure what hardware, but I'm 99% sure it is hardware and the CPU and memory are the prime suspects. Try running Memtest86 and any CPU or motherboard tests you can. There are several very good bootable utilities CDs available that include such stuff like Ultimate Boot Disc, etc. free for download.


I'd also try running the machine for a while off a "live" distro CD. Mandriva Live, Knoppix - whatever, it doesn't matter. The idea is to see if it will still crash while running another OS and software, just to rule software out. If it still pukes, then you know it MUST be hardware. But be aware that even if it runs a live CD fine and passes any tests you try, it could STILL be a hardware thing.

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I will agree that it could well be hardware, but my way of thinking is it's much cheaper to rule out any software glitches first. It's all well chucking new hardware at the computer and still not hit the right fault. It could be as simple as the keyboard plug rocking in it's socket that will freeze up, so would a mouse cable. Do you see where I'm coming from?

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SilverSurfer60...sure I see where you're coming from and I agree with you. Diagnosing hardware can really be tricky and throwing money and parts at the problem doesn't guarantee success. That's why I haven't suggested actually replacing anything yet, only running a series of various tests to check the hardware and try to rule out software problems.


The question still is, what's wrong? Like I said before, I don't think there's been enough information provided to make any solid recommendations. Maybe tri2kon9 will post back with some test results or other info.

Edited by Crashdamage
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I don't have the money or attention span to get all that stuff you suggested....

Aww...c'mon, a quick Google is all you needed to do...


There's at least several such utility CDs available. This is one of my favorites. Includes Memtest86 (2 versions), CPU tests, HD tests, lots more good stuff, all on a single CD, so you can get "all that stuff" in one download. No money involved, a free download. Same goes for live CDs like Mandriva LIve or Knoppix - no cost. I've been careful not to suggest anything that takes more than a little bandwidth, a blank CD or two and a few minutes of effort. I'm not tryin' to spend your money, I'm tryin' to help save you some by replacing ONLY what you need to. But you've gotta do your part. It's that or the Geek Squad and a scorched checkbook.


Oh yeah, something I forgot about, it usually freezes while I'm watching a video or playing a game. Not sure if that's helpful, but worth a shot...

That also points toward a bad CPU or memory. They will run hottest and so of course be most likely to barf when doing CPU/memory-intensive things. Like...hmmm...watching videos or playing games?


Try a few tests like I've suggested. Then post back with the results. Also give the specs for your machine. Everyone here wants to help, but we need good info to help you pin this down.

Edited by Crashdamage
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the keyboard plug rocking in it's socket that will freeze up, so would a mouse cable


Only under Windows - Linux is quite happy to have the keyboard and/or mouse removed and replaced several times with no ill effects. I work for an ISP with a huge data centre and our NOC engineers have a keyboard, mouse and TFT monitor on a trolley which they routinely plug into our hosted Linux servers to check console messages and stuff. No problems at all.


Do as CrashDamage has suggested and download a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD and run memtest86 for as long as you can bear to leave the computer switched on. In my case, after running overnight for about 8 or 9 hours, it finally failed, not with a memory error but with a 'processor exception fault' and a hex dump of some stuff which didn't mean a lot to me. The very next time the computer locked up, it ended up in the back yard...

Edited by Phil Edwards
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I beg to differ about a dodgey keyboard plug as I have one myself. Occasionally and very rarely my computer will freeze. A reset will clear the problem but it will freeze quite son after, only when I have seated the keyboard plug in its socket correctly will it perform for some time. Sorry but I have experience of this happening.

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