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Old 05-04-2004, 11:45 PM   #1
garymd
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Olympia, wa
Distribution: Mandrake 10, 10.1
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Unhappy Frequent Crashing


I have a reasonable piece of hardware from HP (Cel2.2,512+256DDR,40GBHD,CDRW) that I bought just for the purpose of experimenting with Linux, following the advice of Marcel Gagne (Moving to Linux). I have been using open source for a while and I more than an newbie at PHP and MySQL. I wanted to get away from Windows for the obvious reasons.
I have been very impressed with Linux and ease of use but I am hitting a few roadblocks that are severly slowing progress. I had a copy of Mandrake 9.1 that came with the machine and it installed easily. From there I have purchased a copy of Xandros 2.0 and it was also an easy install. It is having some problems, however, and crashing quite frequently. Sometimes the application dies but sometimes the entire system crashes. It seems like it is the web browser mostly (either Mozilla or Opera) I also bought a copy of Mandrake 10.0 and after several attempts at installation, finally succeeded. It also has had problems with frequent crashes of the same sort.

I bought a copy of Linspire 4.5 and that will not install at all, just hangs up after the first screen and will not install in diagnostic mode.

My question for the community is: I am having uniquely bad luck, I am missing something? am I hurting myself somehow with the multiple installations?

I really like the commmunity of open source but I am losing much of the benefit right now with more crashes than I get with my windows OS. Must be something I am doing wrong?

Last edited by garymd; 05-04-2004 at 11:49 PM.
 
Old 05-05-2004, 12:02 AM   #2
bigrigdriver
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
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I'm certain that I and many others would like to help you, but what you've supplied is far to vagur. How about posting some error messages or excerpt from /var/log, such as messages, localmessages, mail, etc. We need more definitive information about the problem.
 
Old 05-05-2004, 08:48 PM   #3
beejayzed
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Distribution: Ubuntu
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For the Mandrake crashing prob, you might try disabling apic.
 
Old 05-05-2004, 09:11 PM   #4
garymd
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Olympia, wa
Distribution: Mandrake 10, 10.1
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Original Poster
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muchas gracias for your responses.

I was looking at a similar thread and someone suggested a bad RAM chip. I have placed the extra ram chip that I matched at crucial.com. Well I took out the chip and now am waiting for another crash to not ethe suggestions of the first response. Well I am not getting any crash. Can anyone tell me the process for looking at a chip in Linux to see if the memory is bad?

thanks again
 
Old 05-06-2004, 01:48 AM   #5
Electro
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Registered: Jan 2002
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Download memtest86. It will test your memory. Though like all memory testing programs, it can not identify the memory module. You have to do that by taking out the memory or changing it to a different memory socket.
 
Old 05-06-2004, 02:29 AM   #6
chakkerz
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Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: RedHat (RHEL, FC, CentOS), openSuSE, Mac OS X
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one other comment to add to this, though there is little support for this

You mentioned going from sources, if you compiled the Kernel and told it in any way shape or form that you have a different Northbridge and have NOT included the right one your system will crash frequently on IO operations to the memory, the hard drive and the soundcard.

So say you have a nforce2 and you told it ... anything else it will die.

Now you mentioned that it's sometimes the entire system (ie scenario above) ... and before i get jumped on, i managed to make it into KDE quite happily, and was working away before the whole system locked; others on the linux-kernel mailing list had the same experience switching to 2.6

NOW if this isn't a 2.6 issue, then there are a few bugs in MDK. so check their updates, or downgrade to something more stable. Possibly consider SuSE or Slackware ... Knoppix (which is a free download onto a bootable CD) might also give you some insights, because 1) it's nice, and 2) it works very well, and 3) being free it ain't a drama. Slackware is also free, but a little bigger, SuSE costs money though there is a version 9 bootable demo disk similar to Knoppix which is free.
 
Old 05-07-2004, 02:30 AM   #7
Electro
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chakkerz:
In any OS, plan for the worst when updating, upgrading, changing a setting, or other situations. I like to use a phrase "If it ain't broken, don't fix it".

I'm running Mandrake 9.0 and I did not update anything. I have not had any problems with it. I have not updated my nvidia module in a whole year. What bugs are you talking about. In all my systems, the Creative Labs Soundblaster LIVE! corrupted memory and then it corrupted data on the hard drive. It does not matter what OS or what chipset that I was using. Now, I use any brand except Creative Labs. Pretty soon a sound card will be coming in the mail that sounds much better than any Creative Labs cards on the market. What do you call this a bug in software or a bug in hardware.

You can not say to the kernel that I have a nforce board. The kernel will detect the hardware and load up the appropriate modules or just work if its in the kernel. Though, you can always include it in the ramdisk to load up at boot up if you forgot to include it in the kernel or the hardware came out after the kernel has released.

You can update but sometimes it has its consequences.
 
Old 05-09-2004, 07:21 PM   #8
chakkerz
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ah ... when it's not broken don't fix it ...

Sorry i should have specified, MDK 10.0 is reportedly having issues. Also, from personal experience, 8.2 (Pocket book) had serious issues on installing the development packages during install because both gcc 2.9x and 3.x got installed and there was some serious conflicts there.

It depends on what sort of kernel you have as to whether it can load the appropriate module.
Personally, i believe in customizing the kernel (and other components) to suit my needs best, as such i don't rely on stock kernels, rather i compile those items into the kernel i have, and those items i can see myself getting in the near future, as modules.

Stock kernels, commonly cater to the masses for the obvious reason that MDK (or red hat or suse or whoever) does not know what you have, so the create modular kernels (mainly) which means the kernel loads what you have, and all is well.

Not updating your drivers / kernel and so forth is a dangerous endeavour IMHO, but i completely agree with the concept of if it ain't broke...

Problem is it is broken, you merely don't see this.

in Software Engineering we have the concept that every item of software has faults (personal opinion on this varies, but lets stick to the text book). Not every item of software exhibits failures though. The difference is that a failure is something the user realises, whilst a fault is something that goes wrong internally.

Not every fault leads to failure, but they still occur.

If your system is not connected to the net, then it makes little difference if you might be compromised from an outside person hacking your system or not. BECAUSE if there is no connection, it can not happen. That this fault exist does not change, because you are not susceptible.

Rather, YOU as an individual and probably skip the upgrade, the broken part is not used by you, so you're fine.

Consider a more commonplace concern. The horn on my car was broken, for more than a year, when i went for registration year after year they passed me, stating "you should get that fixed". I never use my horn. It wasn't broken, it did just what i wanted it to, NOTHING.

yes the bloody thing was stuffed, and yes i had to fix it, and yes it cost me $5 to get a replacement, and 2 minutes to replace the old one, but for 2 years i was rather happy with where it was at.

Now, the plan for the worst when updationg etc. YES, well ... depends. I have yet to have a problem upgrading, and i have experienced every new kernel since 2.4.10 (or thereabouts). in fact i started on 2.2 ... be that as it may, nothing has ever gone wrong. Arguably i'm extremely lucky, because i know it ain't a matter of pre planning, but when i'm working on an ISP's servers i am extremely weary of updating packages, rather i let the resident guru deal with it, because i'm not gain.

So i whole heartedly agree with you, but frankly, when it comes to the system I use for MY work, i want the latest and greatest, and i like knowing that i'm on the fore front of kernels, sure i'm not using the rcs but i don't have the bandwidth.

I know the risks, and i can compensate if i have to. Upgrading especially in Linux, on kernels that are under heavy development (such as 2.6 with which MDK 10.0 ships) is essential. This is also the reason we don't use MDK 10.0 on ISP servers.
 
  


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