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Old 02-23-2009, 08:06 AM   #1
Turgidson
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Unexpected shutdowns _SuSE 11.1


We put together a computer out of parts, some new, some spare, for my 11 year-old son, and installed SuSE 11.1 as the OS. We have noticed some odd behavior when he visits certain animated or game websites. The computer will just shut itself down. I don't know what the website is, because by the time I hear about it, it has already shut-down, but it appears to be repeatable and consistent.

Has anyone else seen this behavior, and more importantly, do you know how to stop it?

Thanks

Paul
 
Old 02-23-2009, 08:47 AM   #2
strick1226
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Hi, Turgidson,

First things first, I think it's a great idea to introduce your son to alternative operating systems.

Right. In regards to your shutdown issues... questions for you:

1) Is the computer actually shutting down to the point of powering off?

--Or--

2) Is it simply crashing to a black screen, or to a text-only screen etc.?

If the computer is not completely powered off, is it at all responsive, or completely frozen?

Do your best to verify with your son what site he is visiting/action he is performing when the issue occurs. If the issue really is this repeatable then it should be something the two of you can track down together with a bit of teamwork. Is it a gaming web site? Does it attempt to load animations via Flash or Shockwave? Is he running a 3D game that powers up a 3D video card in the system (not sure what the components are, as you did not specify). Does it happen when he tries to play audio files? etc...

As bizarre as it sounds, I've seen systems freeze or reboot only when running 3D games--turns out these systems had spotty power supplies that became very unstable when run near the maximum wattage.

As this particular computer was cobbled together from various parts and pieces, there's a chance this is hardware-related, so that's worth considering.

The two most likely culprits, in my experience, could be the RAM/memory and the power supply. A distant third might be the motherboard.

To test the RAM, an easy way is to run MemTest86 on the computer. This is a very small, non-interactive program designed to stress out all system memory, and is included on many current Linux distribution CD's. It might very well be present on your OpenSuSE 11.1 installation media, in which case simply boot the machine off that CD/DVD, and select the MemTest86 option.
If it's not on the OpenSuSE 11.1 media, download the latest release (v3.5) from the MemTest86 home page at http://www.memtest86.com/download.html .

You can make a bootable floppy or CD, depending on which you wish to use... In either case, once you have MemTest86 available, boot the computer with the floppy or CD you create, and let the machine it overnight. If there are no errors, its unlikely (but not impossible) the issue has something to do with the RAM in the computer.

If there are errors, however, I recommend removing a DIMM and re-running the test. For instance, if there are two memory DIMM's installed, remove one and re-test. If it fails again, replace that one with the original DIMM and run again. If it doesn't fail, you have isolated the bad memory module. If it fails again, you may have two bad memory modules... or an unreliable power supply or motherboard.

The next thing I would try is another power supply. Cheap, off-brand power supplies (especially older, used ones) can cause all sorts of system stability issues. If you have a spare I'd recommend swapping it out and seeing how the system works then.

Sorry for all the text. Hope this helps you get started on the right track to finding a solution.

Good luck!
 
Old 02-24-2009, 05:53 AM   #3
Turgidson
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Unexpected shutdowns _SuSE 11.1

Thanks.

Will try the memory test.

There are a couple of game sites that shut the computer down, and it appears to be a real shutdown, not just a power-off or sleep mode. To get the computer back, we need to press the on switch, and it goes through a real boot process. The game sites do not appear to be anything stressful (intensive 3d stuff).

I was expecting someone to tell me that they knew of some Java script that had this effect, especially some of the Microsoft specific programming shortcuts.

Thanks again.

P
 
Old 02-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
rylan76
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Nope, if this kind of control was possible off the net, it would be a security disaster for -any- operating system. I suspect you have some kind of hardware problem that gets triggered somehow if the browser gets lots of HTTP input to handle.
 
Old 02-24-2009, 03:51 PM   #5
dumboldguy
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Question

I was curious if you are using KDE 4.0 or 3.5? I was having frequent crashes with 4.0 but not after I installed 3.5. None to to the power off point. Just program crashes, and lock ups. Thanks
 
Old 02-25-2009, 06:06 AM   #6
Turgidson
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A good question. I just went to Opensuse.org to see what was in distribution 11.1. I still cannot answer you. They list 2 different flavors of KDE as part of the distribution package (3.5 and 4.1).

When I installed SuSE 11.1, I was given a choice of the gNome and KDE. I installed KDE, but I don't recall any discussion of KDE versions. I'm away from that computer at the moment, but I will check when I get home.

Thanks

P
 
Old 02-25-2009, 06:49 AM   #7
ronlau9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turgidson View Post
A good question. I just went to Opensuse.org to see what was in distribution 11.1. I still cannot answer you. They list 2 different flavors of KDE as part of the distribution package (3.5 and 4.1).

When I installed SuSE 11.1, I was given a choice of the gNome and KDE. I installed KDE, but I don't recall any discussion of KDE versions. I'm away from that computer at the moment, but I will check when I get home.

Thanks

P
In my opinion opensuse standard install kde 4.1
If you like to have kde 3.5 you have to install it manually through Yast
 
Old 02-25-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronlau9 View Post
If you like to have kde 3.5 you have to install it manually through Yast
From what I remember, that's not true. I installed both (and gnome and enlightenment and XFCE and windowmaker) at install time and only had to use yast when I realised that the enlightenment that I had installed wasn't e17 and was just e16. So now I've got two versions of enlightenement installed too.

Err, and sometimes I say I would like a small, clean, efficient install...I'm afraid I now know what stops that happening.

Anyway, if stability is the main objective, I wouldn't regard kde 4.1 as the answer. If its only animated or games sites, it isn't your graphics card overheating, is it?
 
Old 02-26-2009, 02:34 AM   #9
ronlau9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
From what I remember, that's not true.
Well it might be possible that it depends on youŕe install media
I always choice the live CD and on that one is only one GUI
The rest I have to install it myself
 
Old 02-26-2009, 06:15 AM   #10
Turgidson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
From what I remember, that's not true. I installed both (and gnome and enlightenment and XFCE and windowmaker) at install time and only had to use yast when I realised that the enlightenment that I had installed wasn't e17 and was just e16. So now I've got two versions of enlightenement installed too.

Err, and sometimes I say I would like a small, clean, efficient install...I'm afraid I now know what stops that happening.

Anyway, if stability is the main objective, I wouldn't regard kde 4.1 as the answer. If its only animated or games sites, it isn't your graphics card overheating, is it?
Graphics card? We've been using on-board graphics. We have been thinking about adding a graphics card (any suggestions for a kid's computer?), but none yet.

But then, I would be surprised if the games we're talking about heated anything up. This isn't one of those reality warfare type games. ...And shutdown seemed to happen as soon as he went to the site. It's as if the god of the computer said, "Ooh, not on my screen."

P
 
  


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