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yeah. it runs fine for a while, but then, at no particular point, the thing freezes up. the cursor will still blink, but caps/scroll/num lock dont respond, ctrl+alt+delete doesnt work, nothing works. i have to shut off power to get it to restart.
Sounds more like a hardware fault to me. First suspect is temperature - Check that all fans are working and that everything is clean, especially the heatsink(s). A layer of dust just acts as an insulator. Check all components for excessive heat (CPUs, drives, motherboard, VRMs) when you first shut down the rig.
Once you've got it cleaned up you should remove and re-seat all the RAM, PCI cards and any riser cards.
A while back I fussed to get Slackware 9.0 running on a Proliant 5000. I used SmartStart and selected Unixware (I think). But the big breakthrough was installing the CDROM driver from a floppy once I had a shell from the Slack install program.
This involved putting a Linux filesystem on the floppy and copying the driver to the floppy. All done on another Linux box. Then mount the floppy on the Proliant. Something like this:
mount -t ext2 /dev/fd0 /mnt2/floppy
Then load the driver from the floppy:
Then unmount the floppy:
Once the driver is loaded, the install proceeded smoothly from the SCSI CDROM. Later, I added the memory stuff as mentioned above to lilo.conf so that all the RAM was recognized.
Finally, recompiled the kernel for SMP support and all was well with the world.
The kick in the pants is that Red Hat (7.0, I think) installed without a hitch on the same machine.