Ubuntu 8.04, repeated system crashes.
I have installed ubuntu 8.04 on my old box with this configuration:
Intel Pentium 4 3.00 GHz,
Intel 915GLVG motherboard,
Samsung SATA 160 GB Primary HDD
Seagate SATA 80 GB HDD
512 MB DDR 1 Memory
Intel onboard graphics
Now, ever since the install, I've been facing a strange issue.
First of all, with the latest versions of GNOME, my Xserver keeps repeatedly crashing, restarting and presenting me with the login screen again and again. Repeated login attempts then hangs the display and I fail to log in from then onwards.
Next, I installed Ubuntu 8.04, and then things got more stable and I was able to log in and do my work.
What started happening here was, the system completely crashes if I leave it idling for around 20-30 minutes. I log in, and things seem to be working pretty well.
Once the system crashes (it happens after the power manager turns off my monitor), nothing seems to work, the keyboard, or mouse, or the power button don't respond.
I don't know what the issue is but would like to get this system up and running. Moreover, I don't think this is a hardware error since the system boots off pretty smoothly, and shows glitches only after running a while - not at irregular times.
Can anyone please help me out with this? I've tried asking for help earlier but didn't receive any responses.
Have you tried booting into single-user (safe) mode and inspecting the various log files in /var/log to find out what is troubling your system? That would be a start on diagnosing and solving the problem. I'd start with /var/log/Xorg.0.log and see if anything interesting appears. The you can carry on your search accordingly.
Q --"First of all, with the latest versions of GNOME, my Xserver keeps repeatedly crashing, restarting and presenting me with the login screen again and again. Repeated login attempts then hangs the display and I fail to log in from then onwards."
--Usually this is only a permission question. At the terminal issue:
user@host--$: sudo chmod ug+x ~/.Xauthority <Enter> <Password> [startx]
Q --"Next, I installed Ubuntu 8.04, and then things got more stable and I was able to log in and do my work.
What started happening here was, the system completely crashes if I leave it idling for around 20-30 minutes. I log in, and things seem to be working pretty well."
-- Usually this is Screen Saver issue. Your old card might have posed some glitch with the recent driver that is trying to enforce Screen Saver function.
Try do: go to Menu>Preference>Screensaver Switch Off or No Screensaver.
Q--"Once the system crashes (it happens after the power manager turns off my monitor), nothing seems to work, the keyboard, or mouse, or the power button don't respond."
-- Usually this is due to old hardware not working with newer drivers over automatic power management. If you can "hunt" the correct linux driver for your motherboard get it installed, the power management might work with you. In my case, since I had no enough time online hunting merely for that, I switched off/ disabled auto power management, only doing boot/shutdown manually. I am contented with that.
Hope this helps.
Hi guys, thanks for the replies.
I'll try each of the above tips and update you. BTW, what conclusion should I draw if keeping the system running on a liveCD also has the same effect? I remember running Ubuntu/Fedora/WinXP on this system pretty smoothly sometime back.
The system was off for the past 2 months, and I'm beginning to think this is a hardware issue. What do you guys suggest?
By the way, installing xserver-xorg-video-intel from the repos didn't help either, same issues.
Q --"BTW, what conclusion should I draw if keeping the system running on a liveCD also has the same effect?"
I believe it would be fine with the live CD. Btw, if it doesn't hurt any data I would advise you try other distros, later may have a fitting driver for your hardware. If you want to try Linux Mint get it here, http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php or if you want to install a minimalist distro that is sure to run even over an aged hardware try Absolute Linux here http://www.absolutelinux.org/download.shtml
or best try to visit this site http://distrowatch.com/ and make a good choice.
Q --"By the way, installing xserver-xorg-video-intel from the repos didn't help either, same issues."
I have had a case like this before, and I was still new to linux. What I did was to install another distro and it went well the second time.
Back up, copy important data first to another media or into a safe partition before you do experimentations.
Hope this helps.
Good luck. Check back how it goes.
Hi, thanks again for the reply. I tried all the tips as you guided earlier, and this time I noticed that the system was more stable than usual and lasted for a good 4-5 hours without any crashes.
But then, it hung the same way as before. I also installed xserver-xorg-video-intel-dbg and updated acpi and rebooted the system.
Apart from that, I also tried to run the system with a Fedora 11 liveCD but it crashed again after running for about 30 minutes.
I also checked my Xorg.0.log but didn't find any obvious anomalies in it, except for this part:
I'll try other distros and see if they help. How about debian?
debian is good. in fact it has wider support for hardware.
There seams to be many problems with this issue of Ubuntu. Sack it and try 9.04 instead.
Thanks a ton for the replies guys, but sadly it now seems to be a hardware issue.
I had the system running for a while, and suddenly it rebooted and got stuck at the motherboard splash screen with the processor logo missing.
I thought that the processor might be loose and opened it. Since then, the system has been sounding an alarm and getting switched off within seconds, and I just manage to get a message from the BIOS before the system shuts down - 'the CPU was previously shut down due to a thermal issue'
I tried my best to seat the heatsink properly, but it didn't help.
I guess I'll be heading to the hardware repair centre before I can try anything new on it. :(
I'll update you guys in a couple of days about how things go.
If symptoms persist throughout every distro you tried, then we only have one sure remaining thing to hunt the problem: run memory test. Ubuntu automatically offers a memtest run at grub option window, it is even offered in the liveCD. Run it for a full testing.
My experience remind me now that I had that same recurrent problem before. Simply it becomes obvious where system serves good for a while but crashes later WHEN PROCESSOR AND/OR RAM reach the peak temperature.
Whatever the result of the test you have to abide. It may require you to buy a new RAM which is cheaper now than a decade ago. Pray that it is not your Processor. :)
hope this helps.
Thanks for the reply. I tried your suggestions and found that the computer behaves the same way with most other distros, well atleast the ones I tried, including Fedora 11.
I got the computer repaired, and got the processor re-seated on the mobo, with thermal paste et al.
However that didn't help and the computer still hangs as it used to. Apart from that, I ran a memtest for 2 hours straight, with 10 passes and no errors at all.
I really don't know what to conclude from this. Is there anything wrong with the processor then?
I'm glad to know your RAM is healthy and strong. Now can you bench mark the processor? I have not tried benchmark-testing mine under linux, my experience was only in the past with Windows. If you have known a benchmarking tool in linux you can try test your processor and find out if it is healthy.
Next to examine is your motherboard. A bus channel that gets loose when heat becomes unbearable to it can also render the same trouble you are facing. I remember an experience in past when my VGA monitor repeatedly goes off about 45minutes after boot up, I used a lense, examined the graphic IC near south bridge area of the board, cleared off some suspect rusts and dirts, ran a soldering rod, just briefly passing a heat over its connectors, boot up and the trouble went off for the next two years it had no more problem. I am telling you this story to show a point that often this kind of trouble comes from the motherboard: I am not telling you to do the same unless you know what you are doing. I am not a technician but I always hate spending for something that I can manually do. I was only lucky to get it right at one setting.
The bottom line here is a suspect hardware. After several runs with different distros the same occurs to all. Therefore, the problem is the common denominator: the hardware.
check back and whatever is known and solved please post it here so that others will benefit from your work.
Thanks ahead and good luck.
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