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1) My first issue is with my USB 2.0 External Hard Drive. I am not able to cleanly boot into Mandrake unless I unmount and turn off my USB Ext Harddrive. If I don't follow two steps before I reboot into Mandrake, I will get a Blue Screen that is seeing my external as a new hard drive and wants me to configure it.
I never turn this ext hard drive on when I'm booting into XP for the first time, but once XP has fully loaded into the desktop, I turn it on and XP detects the external hard drive the first time. I can reboot into Windows with the ext HD on. Not with Mandrake.
With Mandrake, I have to boot into the desktop and then the following two steps, turn the drive on , right click on an icon on my desktop named "Hard Disk Sda" and click mount. Then before I shut down, I have to right click the same icon and click unmount and then power down the ext drive and if I don't follow this procedure, then Linux will not boot up properly on the next start up.
2)Secondly, and I wish I could be more precise but that's impossible. At random, I could be doing anything and it can be 2 minutes after I get to the desktop, or 20 minutes, or 2 hours.
My machine just locks up. Can't do anything. Frozen. I'm not doing any certain task. I could be just surfing the web, listening to a MP3 in Kaboodle, watching a musice Video in Xine or watching a movie in Mplayer, or just following along with a tutorial on Mandrake. Everything will just freeze up.
I realize this is very vague, but that's all I can offer on the 2nd problem.
AMD Athlon XP 2500
512 PC 2700 RAM
GeForceFX5600 Video Card
IBM 7200rpm 120 Gig Hard drive
Leadtek WinFast TV
Creative Sound Blaster Live
Dual Boot/Windows XP Home/Mandrake 9.1
using Lilo as the boot manager
The first problem, i have no clue about. The Second problem, i cant solve, but i can maybe help you be a little more specific so someone else can help solve it. When your system hangs/locks up hit "ctrl alt f2" to bring up a terminal. Then type "ps aux|more". You then may be able to at least look through the processes and see what is causing the hang/lock ups.
I'll try both of your suggestions when I lockup again. However, when it locks up, I can't do anything. Not even a Ctrl - Esc to kill any applications or even a Ctrl - Alt - Del to at least shut down the machine properly. So I'm wondering if I will be able to get to the terminal at all.
As far as problem 1 with my ext HD, I would prefer not to configure it when the blue screen on startup prompts me to, because that creates a whole set of problems that had me bringing my machine back on a daily basis for 10 days in a row to a guy who installed Mandrake 9.1 for me where I purchased my new machine. He was the one who put a shortcut on my desktop so that after I turned on my ext I could right click on it and mount it and so I could right click on that icon and unmount it, turn off the ext and shutdown to avoid this startup snag.
XP doesn't even like for my USB Ext HD to be on when I startup the first time, but once I get into XP, I can turn it on and then restart into XP all day long with it on.