Odd hard drive activity and lock-ups on laptop using SuSE 9.1 personal
I use a number of different linux distributions among various PCs that I either own or maintain. On my laptop, a Compaq 1210us (850 MHz, 320 MB ram, 20 GB drive), I run SuSE 9.1 Personal.
First, let me say that SuSE 9.1 is the best distro I've ever had on this laptop in terms of hardware support. I have had many linux distros on it, and none of them have worked very well. This SuSE desktop is one of the most polished linux desktops I have seen yet.
During the last few weeks, however, after prolonged usage, the hard drive suddenly starts "crunching" in a rhythmic, predictable fashion (from an audible point of view), and then the OS freezes (the HD continues to "crunch"). I power the PC off (hard power off), and then fire SuSE back up... and all is well.
I can't check dmesg or kernel logs because whatever is hanging the box, it is preventing any input or output. The lockups are pretty sudden and unexpected, and nothing is ever written to logs. On the dmesg side, I can't get the keyboard or mouse to respond to request dmesg output.
All in all, I have considered switching distros because of this error, even though I have been really pleased with the SuSE distro (no other distro even comes close when it comes to support on this laptop).
Any suggestions? Have any of you had similar problems with this distro? I have WinME (gaming only) and Win2000 (a necessary evil) on this laptop also, and they work just fine (but who wants to use MS when you can run linux!!!).