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I just installed Mandrake 9.1 on a second hard drive on a system that usually runs Windows XP Pro. Everything worked out well except when I try to browse the internet with any of the three browsers that come default on the system (Mozilla, Konquerer and Galleon) the computer crashes after about 2 minutes of use. It happens every time no matter the browser. There is no error message or anything. I believe I have the system all up to date. I connect to the internet using a DHCP server for addressing on a large LAN. I would really appreciate any suggestions as I am a Linux newbie.
Could you be more specific? What kind of "crash" are you having? Can you exit X by pressing control-alt-backspace, or can you switch to another virtual terminal with control-alt-F1 or F2, etc.? Or control-alt-delete?
Most messages are printed to files in /var/log. Right after the next crash, try looking in:
(you may need to be root to view it, depending on your security level). See if there are any messages towards the end that seem related to your browser.
A better idea may be to run the browser(s) from a terminal window, to see if they print anything when they exit. Open up an Xterm, RXVT, Gnome Terminal, or what-have-you, and type 'mozilla' (or galeon or konqueror). Use it as normal until it crashes, then look in the terminal window to see if it printed any errors. Let us know what they are and we'll see if we can help
A third idea is to use /var/log/messages to watch for any output when the browser crashes. Open a terminal and type (possibly as root):
tail -f /var/log/messages
This'll show you the end of the messages, and it will continue to show new messages as they're added to the file. Then, run your browser (using the regular icon or startup menu), and see if any messages get printed out when the browser crashes.
I tried the second suggestion and the browser crashed as always, but it completely locks the computer so it never printed any error message. As for the other two suggestions, it says that I do not have the permissions to view the log. I'm not sure how I log in to root to view the error log.
When you installed your Linux distribution, it should have asked you at some point what you want to use for a root password. To log in as root, the safest thing to do is use the command-line (with Xterm, Gnome-terminal or whatever), and type this:
(that's su space hyphen). It'll ask for a password; enter your root password. If you don't remember your root password, then it's a little bit tricky, but you can recover it. Search the forums; people have asked this before.
You may need to use root once in a while in order to do administration and stuff, but don't log in as root all the time; just use it when you need to. (search these forums for explanations why it's not a good idea to be root all the time, since it has been asked before )
Anyway, a couple of other questions about your lockups: First, what window manager are you using? (Gnome, KDE, etc.) Does it crash regardless of what you're doing in the browser? That is, if you run the browser, and just wait, does it still crash, or does it only crash after you go to certain websites?
And as I mentioned before, does it work to press control-alt-backspace to exit the window manager? Or control-alt-delete to restart completely?
I tried what you told me to. When the system hangs it does not leave any sort of message in the terminal. It just hangs. I cannot ctrl-alt-del out of it or ctrl-alt-backpace. I actually have to pull the power to get it to shut down.
I have experimented quiet a bit and I see no pattern in when it hangs. As long as I am surfing the internet it can hang. It has hung when I am checking my e-mail on Hotmail. I went on the Sun site and it hung there. It seems random to me.
I am using the KDE window manager primarily, but I tried to browse in Gnome and it hung in exactily the same way.
Again, I really appreciate the help. Love Linux. I just can't stick with it until the internet hang is gone.
That is kind of odd. Has it hung up on you while running any other software, or just browsers?
The only time I had consistent hangups was when I was having problems with my power supply. It was pretty random, but I kept thinking "maybe it's the browser... no, maybe it's the cable modem... no, maybe it's this..." since it would seem to have patterns, but then it would occasionally surprise me. Anyway, it's probably not too likely, but that is one of the things that can cause hard freezes like you're describing. My motherboard, an ECS K7S5A (popular model, apparently) was finicky about power supplies, and a new power supply solved my problems. Try google to see if there have been others who have had similar problems with the hardware you have.
Then again, if it's *really* only happening with internet, that seems less like a possibility. I'm at a loss to explain it Are you using a cable modem or DSL? Maybe the hardware there is causing some kind of conflict.
If you haven't tried already, see if it ever hangs when you're not using a browser. If so, then it's probably unrelated to the browser. I know it sounds funny, but it could just be coincidence that you always have the browser open when it happens. My aunt was telling me about her computer - it had a really noisy fan in it, which made noise for several minutes. She said "but as soon as I get on the internet, it gets quieter." I couldn't figure out what a fan had to do with the internet. Well, it turned out that the internet had nothing to do with it; that was just usually the first thing she did after booting up, and by coincidence the fan was turning off at around the same time she got online. In that case, the solution was to just cut the wires to the fan, since it was a redundant fan anyway With any luck, your lockups will be something just as easy to fix...
This is just an odd situation I guess. Not characteristic of Linux. I have never had it crash except when I was doing internet work. My computer is conected through a partial T-3 line so there is not modem to break.
It is very strange that this would cause a complete hardware freeze. Guess it's just a quirk that I will have to work out. Do you think it could be a conflict because I am dual booting it with XP Pro? They are on different hard drives.
Well any more advice you can think of is appreciated. Otherwise I will just have to mess around and see what happens.