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Old 09-07-2008, 11:07 PM   #1
keithieopia
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ANNOYING FREEZES: Happens on multiple distributions on multiple computers.


OK, I'm posting this in hopes of getting a definite answer to this problem that's effecting A LOT of users. Not only is it annoying, but the developers seem to be whitewashing the issue... I found 4 related bug reports with the same symptoms in Ubuntu's launchpad, and 2 in Debian. I didn't even check Fedora, because it's obvious it's not related to a specific distribution.

Symptoms
---------
When using any memory intensive program, such as Firefox 3, VLC, gnash, etc. the operating system complete freezes. It will not respond to keyboard, mouse, or SysRq commands; the screen just shows what was on it prior to the freeze. Waiting also is fruitless, the freeze was still present after 32 hours. The crash doesn't occur when the computer is completely idle with just Gnome or KDE running. The crashes seem to happen quicker when using Firefox 3, however the issue still happens with VLC and Firefox 2, so it's not related to these programs.

Affected Systems
----------------
I've confirmed this error is present in up-to-date installations of Fedora 9, Ubuntu Hardy Heron, Arch Linux, and Debian Lenny. Also, the same bug and behavior is present on the following computers (tested with all of the above distributions): Compaq Presario SR1303WM Desktop, Compaq 730us Laptop, and a Dell Dimension 2400.

Possible Resolutions Used
-------------------------
On all these systems, the memory has been tested with Memtest86+ and has passed with no errors. Also the boot parameters nolapic, noapic, acpi=off, noapm do not help the issue, as all of them have been tried alone and together, in all possible combinations.

Furthermore, I've run a system monitor and there is not a process eating 100% of the memory, up until the freeze everything appears normal. Furthermore, disabling powernowd or completely uninstalling it does not help (suggested in other forums)

Using the radeon, nv, nvidia, or fglrx XOrg drivers with their respective cards does not fix the issue (3 different ATI and NVidia where tested, for a total of 6 different cards). When using the vesa driver, the lockup still occurred, but the system was willing to accept a ctrl-alt-backspace to restart the XOrg server, the same freezing occurred.

The error is present in the 2.6.24 kernels and up, however I don't think it's kernel related as there's nothing useful in the log. The problems started with updates to the distributions around June - July. Prior to those months, all systems where working fine including those with proprietary nvidia and ati drivers.

Lastly, there are no useful messages in the system log and at tempting to SSH into the frozen computer is not possible (SSH was installed properly and running). KDE and Gnome also produce the same freezing.

Reproducing the Freeze
----------------------
For some reason certain webpages cause the freeze more often then others in Firefox 3. I've found this page: http://sites.target.com/site/en/corp...d=PRD03-002477, to cause it almost always. As stated above, this is not the only webpage and Firefox 3 is not the only program that causes the error.

Possible Source
---------------
I'm thinking it's some small package that nobody's thought to check, as there are no errors in the system log (Kernel, XOrg, etc) or anything. It's not related to a graphics card as many seem to conclude, due to all the drivers reproducing similar errors and the fact that the systems where working fine up until new updates where released.

Let's try to figure this out, it's definitely a major bug and a lot of people are turning from Linux due to it.

Last edited by keithieopia; 09-08-2008 at 11:43 AM. Reason: New Information
 
Old 09-08-2008, 02:24 AM   #2
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KommanderKaos View Post
Using the radeon, nv, nvidia, or fglrx XOrg drivers with their respective cards does fix the issue (3 different ATI and NVidia where tested, for a total of 6 different cards). It's not related to a graphics card as many seem to conclude.
If "Using the radeon, nv, nvidia, or fglrx XOrg drivers with their respective cards does fix the issue" why do you conclude that "It's not related to a graphics card"?
 
Old 09-08-2008, 03:07 AM   #3
b0uncer
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Maybe KommanderKaos forgot one "not" from the sentence..otherwise it wouldn't make much sense.

In any case I'd still say it's somehow hardware-related (be it the graphics card or not), because a lot of users (most I guess) are not facing those problems. I haven't met that sort of a freeze-lockup for a very long time, but of course it could just be my luck. If the problem is present on a variety of distributions (and not just related ones like Ubuntu and Debian), my guess would be that if software has something to do with it, it's a problem not in the distribution-specific packages but a bug in the original program source code itself.

To make sure it's not graphics card related, you should not just switch nvidia and ati cards around, but use a very generic chip with a vesa driver (as little trouble asked as possible).
 
Old 09-08-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
keithieopia
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Tried switching to the vesa driver, the lockup still occurred, but the system was willing to accept a ctrl-alt-backspace to restart the XOrg server, other then that the same freezing occurred. Also tried booting with noapm with no luck.

Also, gnash can be added to the list of applications that causes frequent lockups.

I found this thread that confirms this isn't just me, the problem started around late June to early July for everyone.
 
Old 09-08-2008, 03:22 PM   #5
jiml8
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I don't know....

I just visited that Target link you provided. No problems in Firefox 3.0. I run a really heavy system and have 2.6.24-5 in place. No issues. Occasionally KDE and Compiz get tangled up; I have to restart X about once a week because of that, but otherwise no issues.

I don't recall the last time I had a lockup that was genuine; I can always SSH in to get control.

You do seem to have looked at a lot of things. Seems to me that now it would be necessary to start listing out all processes running on various systems, hunting for commonalities and exclusions.
 
Old 09-08-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
keithieopia
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For the sake of closure, I'm posting what seems to be the fix (so far no lockups). It's a documented bug in XOrg, caused by XOrg (or the Kernel) not knowing what speed the AGP slot or card supports. This explains why the issue was still present regardless of the driver (vesa).

This is what I did to "fix" the issue, I edited xorg.conf and added this to the driver section:

Code:
Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "TexturedVideo" "on"
Option "AGPMode" "8"
I then switched to my original driver (fglrx) and did a complete reboot. If you experience freezing still, or notice the graphics are a little "choppy" try lowering the AGPMode to 4 and restart X (alt-ctrl-backspace), if there's still problems try lowering it to 2. For a small sacrifice of 3D effects being a little less polished, you get stability while being able to use OpenGL and 3D acceleration.
 
Old 01-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
aremar
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Hi,
I have the same problem. The system is up for day or two (sometimes less) and then freezes. The music stops, the keyboard and the mouse don't respond. I use debian lenny, have ati card, kde and compiz. I can't find the reason for the freeze in syslog or Xorg.0.log. It is strange that sidux do not freeze using the same hardware and software (kde+compiz). I'll try
Quote:
Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "TexturedVideo" "on"
Option "AGPMode" "8"
and will ell you if the problem disappears. I remember that I had the same problem a year ago using again debian (not sure etch or lenny). Please tell if I can find an clue for the resolve of the problem in some logs or for what I must search.

Have luck (if you need it!)

Sory for my poor english.
 
Old 01-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
keithieopia
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My problem was fixed with the kernel 2.6.27-9 release. Are you using that kernel or perhaps a older one that still has the issue? See the following bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/267836

If you are using that kernel (or greater) are you sure it's the same problem? Next time it freezes try pressing control-alt-backspace, which will restart the Xorg server. If X does restart, then it's another unrelated problem.
 
Old 01-20-2009, 03:19 AM   #9
aremar
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But in my webcam do not work with 2.6.27, there is a problem with gspca modules, that's why I move to lenny from sidux. I'm not sure, but I think that the combination "Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "TexturedVideo" "on"
Option "AGPMode" "8"
" with stopped acpi work. Only the time will proof that.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 12:42 AM   #10
aremar
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It's working so far.
 
Old 02-09-2009, 09:41 AM   #11
CrashedAgain
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I just installed Lenny & had this bug bite me too.

I read in another thread that it seemed to be related to operations handling big files which may be true...it appeared to be almost 100% certain to hit when copying a dvd but has hit at other times as well.

The xorg.conf edit seems to have fixed it.(fingers crossed!!)

Will try 2.6.27 when it gets into Debian unstable.
 
Old 02-16-2009, 10:26 PM   #12
CrashedAgain
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Uncrossing fingers...it's still happening when trying to copy a dvd using k9copy even with the xorg.conf editing mentioned.
I don't see how it can be xorg related...x isn't doing anything at the time (system has gone to screensaver).
With the latest occurrences k9copy reports copy completed even thought the crated .iso is only about 10-20% of final 4.3 G size.

Last edited by CrashedAgain; 02-16-2009 at 10:32 PM.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 04:51 AM   #13
mohannad
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i am having this problem with Slackware 12.0 with multiple Firefox version, but not with Opensuse 10.3 and 11.1 with the same firefox.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 05:38 AM   #14
archtoad6
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mohannad,

Compare the screen presentation of your post to the one above it. Notice how your info. panel is wide & crowds your post content. This is happening because LQ isn't wrapping your "Distro" info. If you would change
"OpenSUSE10.3/OpenSUSE11.0/Slackware"
to
"OpenSUSE10.3 / OpenSUSE11.0 / Slackware"
or
"OpenSUSE10.3, OpenSUSE11.0, Slackware"
it would fix this problem. The lack of spaces is preventing word wrap.
 
Old 02-22-2009, 03:25 PM   #15
CrashedAgain
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I have discovered that the freezeup occurs for certain when trying to back up a certain dvd using k9copy. so, using that as a test, I upgraded to 2.6.28 kernel and.......no joy.

Freezeup still occurred but at a much later point in the copy process.
 
  


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