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I don't know about tracking down system freezes but I can tell you about my system freezes since I fixed the problem this morning.
My computer is connected to a cable modem and when I first boot the IP address and hostname are assigned by the network using DHCP. For reasons I'm too lazy to figure out the hostname doesn't resolve back to an IP address. Everything runs except X-Windows is prone to hanging, making the computer look frozen. The only way out is to power down because I don't know the secret keypress that gets me back to a console. I fixed the problem originally by add the hostname to /etc/hosts as a localhost. All was fine and dandy until a few weeks ago when my ISP changed my hostname. The screensaver would kick in and would never really come back. There were never any errors in the system logs.
Oddly enough, running gedit while my system was "broken" resulted in "unknown domain name" errors although gedit still worked.
It's probably not worth 2 cents, but that's my 2 cents.
The last time it happened, I thought it was frozen because I could not reach my webserver from work, but then I tried to ssh to it and got connected, at which time I tried to restart httpd and couldn't, so I had it reboot (which, for some reason, I always get a kick out of being able to do from somewhere other than home ;-) ) and after that the webserver was fine and everything rebooted okay.
I tried going through some logs last night, but really don't know where to start and everything is still so cryptic to me, being a newbie. The httpd log didn't show anything that hasn't always shown up, like people trying to access C:/windows/system and c:/scripts. I assume these are hacker looking for vulnerable windows boxes, right?
I tried to research the "find_domain_master_name_query_fail:" error in my /var/log/messages, and found a vague reference to something regarding port 435 (think it was 435...one of the ones enabled for samba), but didn't understand whether it said 435 should be open or not.
Originally posted by jeffreybluml FYI, to get out of X you use cntl-alt-F1
In www.linuxjournal.com, January 2004, there an article on "Monitoring Hard Disks with SMART." If you have drive issues, a SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) compatible drive can be tested for errors.