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Old 01-16-2006, 10:18 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Debian 6.0.2 (squeeze)
Posts: 944

Rep: Reputation: 30
Total system hang

Something strange just happened that hasn't ever before since I've been using Linux. I was viewing a page in Firefox and had just clicked "Send" in Thunderbird to send an email, when the system hung. The mouse stopped responding and the hard disk activity light showed constant activity. The mouse and buttons had no response, Ctrl-Alt-Backspace didn't kill X, and Ctrl-Alt-F1, F2, F3, etc. didn't do anything either. Closing the laptop lid did not suspend the system as it normally does. I waited a couple of minutes, but nothing changed and the hard disk continued to show activity. I ended up forcing shut down with the button and starting again. Nothing seems to be wrong, and the only thing I see in dmesg on startup is:

ide0(3,3):Removing [15607 60887 0x0 SD]..done
ide0(3,3):Removing [15607 33449 0x0 SD]..done
ide0(3,3):There were 2 uncompleted unlinks/truncates. Completed
First, forcing shutdown while the disk is active doesn't seem like a good idea, so is there anything I can do to confirm nothing was damaged (other than whatever that dmesg message shows). Second, what could cause this to happen? It was my understanding that you should always be able to get out of X or switch terminals, at least. What can I look into, and what should I do if it happens again? Thanks in advance.
Old 01-16-2006, 10:27 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian, Slackware
Posts: 505

Rep: Reputation: 46
Firefox 1.5? Seems to do this, it's broken. I had the same problem and downgrading to Firefox 1.0.7 fixed it. How can it hang the system totally is a mystery to me??? FX1.5 also eats vast amounts of memory. It's crap, just use 1.0.7 until they get it working again.

I don't think that your system is damaged by the improper shutdown. You are probably using a journaling filesystem, so you should be ok. You might want to check /lost+found, but I don't think there's anything there.

Last edited by alienDog; 01-16-2006 at 10:31 PM.
Old 01-16-2006, 10:33 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Debian 6.0.2 (squeeze)
Posts: 944

Original Poster
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Well I've been using 1.5 pretty much since it came out without having that happen, and I wasn't actively doing anything with Firefox when it hung (was just using it as a reference for something while I typed the email). Interesting though, hadn't heard that before. Anyone else have similar problems with 1.5 (or other ideas about the hang)?
Old 01-16-2006, 10:35 PM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Slackware, SysrescueCD
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Originally Posted by jrdioko
...and what should I do if it happens again?
I don't know what would have caused this, but if your laptop is hooked up to a network I would walk over to some other computer and see if I could ssh into the problem computer. If you're lucky you can ssh in, su to root and troubleshoot, kill processes, issue shutdown commands, etc.


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