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Old 05-29-2012, 04:43 AM   #1
sans
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Registered: May 2012
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Distribution: Manjaro, Chakra, UbuntuMate, SolydX, Point, Archbang, Mint, Stella
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A Most Vexing Error (unrequested, distro-independent auto-restart)


Hi folks, I'll keep this quick -- I've been using Linux for 6 years or so but still consider myself a bit of a newbie -- rarely install from source, never ventured into LVM-land, no programming skills, etc. But I've done my share of distro-hopping, and have a basic understanding of each of the main branches (besides RH/Fedora-based, those always turned me off; prefer Arch- or Debian-based)

A few weeks ago a put together a desktop from discarded ones I'd found, using the same HDD's from my previous (working) one. I reinstalled all the distro's I like (generally have 4 or 5 bootable, usually #!, ArchBang, Mint or Lubuntu, Chakra, and one I'm trying out, most recently Zenwalk) and have come across this problem no matter which one I'm running:

In the middle of doing whatever, the OS will kill all running processes and return to the login screen...

I've no idea what could be causing this -- obviously it's hardware-related, but haven't come across this before in experience or text. I haven't noticed any GUI action that is similar to these occasions.

Oh and one more thing -- one of my favorite distro's won't run at all: Chakra. I can install it via live-cd/dvd, but when trying to boot it'll say something like "can't run theme: RODAN" or something similar, it's been a few weeks since I tried it, but this was true with 2 different versions of Chakra; 2012.5, and the previous Archemedes 12.02 i think? Anyway, hope someone's smarter than me, for the love of godd. Thanks!
 
Old 05-29-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
jefro
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Simple answer is hardware or software of a combination of both. I can't think of anything what would do this and have never heard of it. Logs in /var may yield some clues.

Run memtest for a few hours or days. Hard drive diags may be a good choice.

As with all old stuff be sure to burn the cd's at the very slowest speeds and with the highest quality disks. Why several distro's fail may be that they share a common kernel or similar kernel.

Theme may be some video issue.

Last edited by jefro; 05-29-2012 at 12:28 PM.
 
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Are you running out of memory? An out-of-memory error on Linux will cause random processes to crash and vanish. If one of those processes is XWindows, then it will automatically restart -- dumping you back at the login prompt.

How much RAM and swap do you have?
 
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
sans
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Registered: May 2012
Location: Michigan
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1.25G RAM, 3G SWAP -- an olde computer for sure but it seems that a lightweight distro like ArchBang shouldn't be that demanding...

Also, Memtest went fine, but something else crossed my mind that... maybe could be related. I use this really slow city-wide wireless at home, so to get a new distro lately I'll generally dl it at work to a flash drive and bring it home.

The part that made me curious was that before burning these to discs, I'll generally put them on my second HD which is mainly for media, and is of the filesystem type NTFS. I'm also not aware of how to test the integrity of this drive; think the last time I did that was with chkdsk.

Would transferring the image twice and burning from an fstab-mounted NTFS drive within linux cause any effect? ...I doubt it, but like I said that's a relatively new technique for me. And thanks guys
 
Old 05-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
suicidaleggroll
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It's doubtful that would cause any issues. You can always compare the md5sum at the final destination to the original (usually downloaded with the image) to ensure there was no corruption along the way.
 
Old 05-31-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
sans
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Registered: May 2012
Location: Michigan
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^I admit I'm generally too lazy to go through the md5sum comparison, or too excited to run the new dist; but yes perhaps I should try this. Now that Mint 13, xBuntu12.04, and #!Waldorf have come out (since these instances started happening) I'm trying reinstalling -- using non-RW discs burned at a slower speed.

But still, I can't shake the feeling there's something I've missed about the hardware, it's just too much of a coincidence that more than one distro would have such a similar problem. Might 'lspci' or 'dmesg' or any of those yield any clues do yall think? (See I told y I was a newbie).
 
  


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