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Old 10-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
tronayne
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Slackware 13.1 Install Problems Dell Dimension E510 KDE Freezes System


I've tried installing Slackware 13.1 32-bit on a Dell Dimension E510 and experienced the system freezing (had to kill the power) when trying to use anything in KDE; e.g., starting KPPP would freeze the system, but not every time and not at the same place loading the utility. Other utilities did the same, with no real rhyme or reason. Just locked up tight as drum.

I did an install, not an update, just not formatting these directories
  • /var/lib/virtual (to keep an existing VirtualBox partition in place)
  • /home (to keep existing user home directories in place)
all other partitions were formatted during installation of 13.1 to replace 13.0 (which was working fine).

The disk is a SATA and the system recognized it as /dev/sda (and the partitions were recognized) and installation appeared to go just fine, lilo ran, the thing boots, all looks normal until KDE got started and then the fun began -- system freeze, just locking up and no control whatsoever. As long as I stayed in run level 3 (console) things seemed to be all right and I was able to install all the patches from a CD-ROM, reboot, fiddle with settings, do the normal set up stuff (like alsaconf, alsamixer and alsactl store.

I've read through all the changes and hints and nothing really seems to stand out pointing at what the problem might be. I finally gave up and went back to a reinstall of 13.0.

I'm wondering if there's some weird hardware thing going on. This is the output of lspci for the box now running 13.0:
Code:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ/P/PL Memory Controller Hub (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ/P/PL PCI Express Root Port (rev 02)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR (ICH7 Family) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) SATA IDE Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV370 5B60 [Radeon X300 (PCIE)]
01:00.1 Display controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV370 [Radeon X300SE]
03:03.0 Communication controller: Conexant Systems, Inc. HSF 56k Data/Fax Modem
03:08.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) LAN Controller (rev 01)
Is there anything I may have missed? Anything jump out at anybody?
 
Old 10-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tronayne View Post
Is there anything I may have missed? Anything jump out at anybody?
Most people recommend, and my own experience bears out the recommendation, to delete the .kde directory in your home directory before running the newer version of KDE that comes with the newer version of Slackware.

Perhaps that will help.

Regards,
 
Old 10-26-2010, 02:31 PM   #3
tronayne
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Well, yeah, I kind of know that -- I'm talking about root (which is a brand-new installation) having those problems. As rule I always blow away all the KDE stuff after a new install in every user home directory.

Thanks for the thought.
 
Old 10-26-2010, 04:55 PM   #4
allend
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I have a Dell Dimension E520 which is working well for me.
Quote:
bash-4.1$ /sbin/lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82P965/G965 Memory Controller Hub (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82P965/G965 PCI Express Root Port (rev 02)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82562V 10/100 Network Connection (rev 02)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 02)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev f2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801HH (ICH8DH) LPC Interface Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation 82801 SATA RAID Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G72 [GeForce 7300 LE] (rev a1)
03:03.0 Communication controller: Conexant Systems, Inc. HSF 56k Data/Fax Modem
The obvious difference is the nVidia versus ATI graphics, so perhaps you should concentrate on checking your graphics setup.
Another thought would be to upgrade the dbus to a later version as per this http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...urrent-832297/
I do remember that when I initially installed Slackware (earlier than 13.0 though) on this machine that I had problems with the audio until I installed the Linuxant driver for the Conexant modem. After this the audio was correctly detected. I do have to supply a 'options snd-hda-intel model=3stack' to the snd-hda-intel kernel module to get the headphone socket to work correctly.
 
Old 10-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #5
tronayne
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Hi Allend,

Strangely, the audio stuff worked just fine, KDE plays its little tune on start up and shut down, all that. Sigh.

And, the video stuff appears to work as expected, too (well, at least until the thing freezes). Sigh.

I've looked at DBUS, now stable version 1.4.0, and have fiddled with the SlackBuild. The packages appears to compile (I did leave dbus-1.2.x-allow_root_globally.diff.gz in place along with everything else in the source directory and, well, it builds to .tgz so there's that). Maybe it'll work, maybe not, but at least it did build to an installable package. I'm kind of wondering about the dbus-glib and dbus-python packages, seems like a new dbus ought to be in place before rebuilding those two and that they probably ought to be rebuilt while I'm at it.

The basic problem is, it's not my machine -- I convinced a friend that it was time to replace XP with a "real" operating system (Slackware 12.x) and the upgrade from 13.0 to 13.1 just sorta didn't go too well (dammit). So I'm going to need to find a slot to shut it down and retry (and, maybe, have to take it back to 13.0 again; arrgghh!). And, of course, my machines all went smooth as silk, both 32- and 64-bit boxes. Sigh.

Tiz a puzzlement.

Thanks for your input.
 
Old 10-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #6
Lufbery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tronayne View Post
Well, yeah, I kind of know that -- I'm talking about root (which is a brand-new installation) having those problems. As rule I always blow away all the KDE stuff after a new install in every user home directory.

Thanks for the thought.
Oh darn. Well, good luck.

Regards,
 
Old 10-27-2010, 01:49 PM   #7
slac-in-the-box
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what about /var/log/messages? are there any errors reported there, or IRQ interrupt messages?
 
Old 10-27-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
slac-in-the-box
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is the bios up-to-date?
 
Old 10-28-2010, 07:11 AM   #9
tronayne
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Right now there's no way to look at any of the logs (they have taken the short trip to the Great Byte Bucket in the Sky when I had to go back to 13.0); don't recall anything that jumped out me, though, during the troubles.

The BIOS? Hmm, the BIOS. Might be worth a look-see, that -- may be that trying to update it (if there actually is an update, of course) without XP installed might be interesting (Dell, and others, I s'pect, want winders for BIOS twiddling). Maybe I can find an old IDE drive I can stick in the thing... it's not dual-boot, it's Slackware with XP in VirtualBox.

Never have had a lick of problems with a Slackware install (on any platform!) and this is just plain strange.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 
Old 10-28-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
slac-in-the-box
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nix way to update bios

I used to have to keep an old machine with a floppy around, to run win xp inside virtualbox so I could use Dell's bios-update .exe files, which created boot floppy's that updated the bios in older machines that still had 3.5" floppy drives...

But since, I have discovered FreeDos, and have put manufacturer's bios-update .exe utilities in .iso FreeDos image, and, after burning, was able to boot machine off FreeDos CD and run bios-update... no more winxp
 
Old 10-28-2010, 05:38 PM   #11
tronayne
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Huh. FreeDOS. Huh.

OK, looked at that and I got to wondering if, maybe, a BIOS update (still don't know if there actually is a BIOS update) can be done from the existing XP in VirtualBox or if such requires a bootable floppy or bootable CD-ROM; my friend has an external USB-floppy drive, dunno if that's bootable or not. Haven't read enough about FreeDOS to figure out what to do with it, like install it in VirtualBox and fiddle from there or what-have-you. Not too smart about Microsoft and Microsoft-like stuff -- smart enough to know to avoid at all costs, but not smart enough to know what to do with it once I've got it. Like, would I install FreeDOS in VirtualBox, get a BIOS update file into that somehow or other then somehow or other burn an ISO onto a CD-ROM? Makes your head spin a little off-kilter or something.

Thanks for the input.
 
Old 10-28-2010, 08:15 PM   #12
allend
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I would not attempt a BIOS update from a virtual machine.
Quote:
Like, would I install FreeDOS in VirtualBox, get a BIOS update file into that somehow or other then somehow or other burn an ISO onto a CD-ROM?
You may find this thread useful.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-linux-837572/
 
Old 10-28-2010, 09:04 PM   #13
damgar
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Somewhere in the trip from 13.0 to 13.1 following current, I started experiencing weird system hangs that made no sense to me. Sometimes they happened within minutes and sometimes hours, even occasionally going for 24 hours. The culprit was in a change in the kernel that I never did figure out exactly, but I did find that my problem went away when I set a static value for the pcie slot in the bios instead of "auto". I have no idea about your system specifics, but it might be worth looking into.

I second not using a virtual machine to update your BIOS. I tried to upgrade the firmware on my phone using virtualbox and it just would not work and all I did was successfully brick a $400 phone. I was ultimately able to fix that, but only by putting windows on bare metal.

Last edited by damgar; 10-28-2010 at 09:06 PM.
 
Old 10-29-2010, 08:48 AM   #14
tronayne
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Looks like fiddling with the BIOS is both not a good idea and not worth the effort -- I have to keep in mind that this peculiar box has worked fine through two versions of Slackware 12.x and 13.0 (problem shows up in 13.1). So, phooey on BIOS fiddling, one would think. And, thanks to all for the advice and consul.

On the other hand, damger may have hit the nail and that will be the next thing to try when there's a window of opportunity to get at the box in a day or two.

Again, thanks for all the time and effort.
 
Old 10-30-2010, 12:59 PM   #15
slac-in-the-box
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nix way to update bios

a couple of thoughts

Your problem might not be bios related at all, as machine worked under 13.0; but it is still a good idea to have latest bios so you don't have to ever worry if any random problem is related to obsolete bios...

I discovered the freedos method from this link.

But since your problem is probably related to something new in 13.1 kernel, you could find out the differences between the kernels by comparing the /boot/config file from a 13.0 system with the /boot/config file from a 13.1 system (can use the diff command for this) and seeing if any of the changes look relevant to your system...

I had random disruptions of various services (like wifi) on an Asus UL-80, that seemed completely unpredictable, but that, when they occurred, left some message in /var/log/messages about an IRQ interrupt... later in the bios settings of that ASUS, I saw a setting for VGA controller to be set for Windows or to set for other operating systems... once I changed this to other os's, the irq messages went away, and asus ran smooth. That's what prompted me to suggest checking bios.

Hope it works out, because slackware, once worked out, is rock solid stable!
 
  


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