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So I'm trying to make the switch from Windows to Linux on my main workstation and this is my only major problem so far. I'll be using the system as I normally would, and at random points the system will freeze. Complete lockup, the keyboard won't even toggle num lock. After a lot of testing I've narrowed it down to something to do with ALSA. I did this by unloading ALSA from the kernel altogether and trying to get it to freeze without luck. As soon as I loaded ALSA again it froze.
Tests performed and still resulted in a freeze:
Different kernel (gentoo-dev-sources-2.6.1)
Different ALSA version (1.0.0)
Stopping the "alsasound" service
Setting hardware to "None" in KDE Sound System configuration
Disabling KDE Sound System altogether
Different Window Manager (XFCE4)
Different nvidia kernel module (1.0-5336)
Using "nv" driver instead of nvidia
Tests performed that resulted in the system not freezing
Unloading ALSA from the Kernel
Various information that may or may not be helpful
KDE 3.1 was compiled on gentoo-sources-2.4.x WITHOUT alsa use flag
KDE 3.2 was compiled on gentoo-sources-2.4.x WITH alsa use flag
XFCE4 was compiled on mm-sources-2.6.3_rc1 WITH alsa use flag
If I can't use sound then the whole thing is pointless.
If you are using a usb keybord and mouse, maybe the system isn't crashing, it's just some usb(driver?) problem. After a crash does the screen go blank or just freezes? if so check if the clock is updating. serial login might also be useful.
provide us some more HW details.
Freezes, doesn't go blank. I never let it sit long enough to see if the clock updates, so I'll check that next time. But I think it's completely frozen, since I can't CTRL+ALT+Fx to another terminal. Nor can I kill X.
Motherboard: Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Platinum
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2200+ @ 1.8GHz
HD: 1x Seagate Baracuda IV 40GB, 3x Seagate Baracuda IV 80GB
CD: Lite-On CD-RW, Lite-On DVD-ROM
IDE Configuration: 1x 40GB and 1x 80GB on IDE0, CD Drives on IDE1, 2x 80GB on IDE2 (HighPoint 370 RAID controller, built into Kernel, but not in a RAID configuration)
Keyboard: Generic Dell (PS2)
Mouse: Logitech MX700 (USB)
Video: GeForce4 Ti4400
Sound: Creative Labs Extigy (USB) and C-Media 8xxx (on-board)
Network: Intel PRO/1000 (PCI, e1000 module from 2.6.x Kernel)
Misc: IEEE1394 Firewire card (PCI, for iPod)
My iPod was plugged into the dock during all this, and I know that's caused problems for me before when booting Windows after a re-install, so I'll have to try for a while without it and see if that makes a difference.
I can post a dmesg and anything else that might be helpful in a few hours, when I'm done in Windows.
I was hoping someone out there could help, but there have been already 71 views and no answer.
perhaps you could try asking the ALSA people for help?
you can always use the onboard sound in the meantime, I guess it's better than nothing :\
When I compiled a new version of ALSA with older gcc compiler (2.96), it did freeze and both the cap lock and scroll lock leds was blinking. I then re-compiled ALSA using the same gcc compiler version (3.2) that was used with the kernel and it stopped freezing. I put a note to myself, when I'm compiling modules I have to use the same gcc compiler version or else bad things will happen. I was upgrading ALSA to 1.0.3 from 1.0.1.
Ok. My problem was solved by simply restarting alsa each time the system comes up. I dont know what it is, but right after boot, sound will lock the system. If i go sudo /etc/init.d/alsa restart then sound will work. A quick hack, but it works.
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.2: Who needs exmmpkg when you have emerge?
are you using the kernels alsa, or are you compiling and installing it yourself? try enabling sound support in the kernel, but disabling alsa or oss. then, when you boot up again, compile and install the tarballs from http://alsa-project.org
and see if it still freezes.