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Old 07-20-2006, 12:30 AM   #1
b0uncer
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CD-drive causing crashes, or what is it?


Tried to install Kubuntu 6.06, but faced several crashes! The very same disc did install nicely on two other PCs, but on this third one all I faced was problems: it took three times to get the system up and running (before the installation): first time it rebooted just before X started (or during it), second time it only gave me console (though I selected the same Start in secure graphics mode every time) and third time let me in.

Then I tried installation. 8 tries later the shortest try was a crash right away when I clicked the "install" icon, longest took me as far as formatting root partition to ext3 and starting to format swap - crash. First idea of the reason of the crashes was that KPPP had some bug since that's what I first tried - apparently it didn't, since every program seemed to crash after some testing. And after a while X itself would die as well..

So: could it be the CD drive causing the problems? I tried both DVD read-only drive (52x?) and a CD-RW drive (48x), it didn't matter. Though I installed Windows ME after this (really got to have some OS onboard), using the same CD drive, and it didn't complain anything - so could it really be the CD drive? Or perhaps lack of memory? The PC was a 1,2GHz/384MB Fujitsu, GeForce2 (64MB? or 128? dunno) and I thought it had hardware very suitable for Linux (the memory should be sufficient too, I've installed on lower amounts too, succesfully); I've installed Ubuntu, among others, on a more rare hardware than that without problems. And I couldn't think of what was causing this..reading the error messages, logfiles etc. the crashes seemed to be just random.

The CD drive is what I can think of; it has had some reading problems (both of them) before, but could that produce a series of crashes?

I hate it, since the installer would only take less than 30 minutes to install (I've tried) and installing WindowsME takes 1-2 hours depending on how big a HD one has to format. I really wanted this to install..but on the other hand, if it wasn't the CD but some other piece of hardware, then the hardware-installed version would crash too, right?

I don't have much time left to try on this..I need a running OS, and as scary as it sounds, Windows ME is beginning to sound like an alternative, though MS is dropping the support for it. Yesterday I didn't know if I was to laugh or cry to myself, since after all these years using Linux and seeing the installers grow better and better, I face a very ordinary PC with good hardware on it and am unable to even tell what is causing the crashes

So - any ideas if it could be the CD drive? Any other easy (i.e. no magic needed) way of installing Kubuntu - I can use USB flash memory keys, a 2nd (very small old ~300MB) HD and that's about it, in addition to CDs.
 
Old 07-20-2006, 01:17 AM   #2
Electro
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The word crash means nothing to anybody unless you describe about the crash in detail. The crash could be heat problems, power supply, memory corruption, to fast of write speed during making a CD.

First, use compressed air to clean the insides of the computer. Also use compressed air in the CD drive, but be careful. Second re-write another CD, but write at the lowest speed setting. The higher the speed the higher warping of the disc which causes errors to be produce. Too many errors on CD discs is like reading a lot of bullshit such as Windows is the greatest OS in the world. Patience is the key to write OS discs. Third use memtest86 to check memory. Fourth, use a digital multimeter to check if the power supply is more than -1% of the rated voltage. This is very tight voltage regulation but components works the best with this regulation. Electronic components do not work well when the voltage is higher than its rated spec.

It does help to set the BIOS to register the IRQ by it self than the OS. Set the BIOS in fail-safe mode. Make sure video and system cache is disabled because it does eat up cache. Set hard drive to LBA mode.
 
Old 07-20-2006, 07:27 AM   #3
b0uncer
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As I said about the crashes, they seem to be totally random; there seems to be no rule in which situation a program crashes (at times all programs work all right for a moment and next minute they crash where they used to work), and the reasons (error messages) seem to be too random to actually be caused by a single or clear reason. All of a sudden, after having wvdial or kppp or some other app (or X) working for 10 times all right, a KDE Crash Handler pops up, or X just dies. The error messages aren't even the same, they differ from time to time, which is driving me crazy.

The CD is good. I've installed from it and tested it many times and it only seems to produce errors on this specific PC, which makes me believe the cause is in hardware; the CD drive is my guess since the errors tend to start coming in a rush when reading from the CD (executing something, for example); when the CD is idle, system tends to be all right (for most of the time, at least).

I have no tools at the moment to check the power supply, and the inside of the PC has been cleaned already. I believe there is no problem with the hardware itself, since Windows ME worked perfectly for a few years (before I tried updating explorer, which killed the whole shit - nice), except for the cd drive's random read errors (or CD scratches or something - well the result was a read error).

I guess I'll have to run the memtest (though it takes some time, doesn't it?), since I cannot come up with any good reason for now, except that the CD fails to read well. The oddest thing just is that if I leave the PC on it's own and take a cup of coffee, after some while X dies without any particular reason. It can also freeze, coming back to life after a while, but it's a bit more rare..

I hate when they made that graphical installer for Ubuntu. The older was better in multiple ways..I guess I have to try the Alternate install CD too, if it would be of any help (don't know if it's a GUI or CLI version..)

Thanks for ideas anyway. I'll run the memtest..
 
  


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