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Old 04-21-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
bgeddy
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Stress testing a new Slackware box


I have just 'acquired' an old box of unknown quality and installed Slackware current on it. The install had some problems with package errors but all is now well ( I think the DVD ROM drive may be a bit dicky).

I run current on another box on my lan and am fluent with installs/setup/useage.

The thing is - this box was being thrown away by someone as it was supposedly busted beyond repair. When I cracked it open it looked like a repairer had tried to fix it but got the jumpers wrong on the hard disk. Believe it or not I don't know the person who previously owned the box so there's no way of getting it's problem history.

Are there any 'burn in' tests that I can set running to test the hardware - (Linux based)? (I have managed to get Slackware current running on the thing).

In particular I'm thinking of 'burn' testing the whole system - disk,ram,video etc. I already suspect the DVD rom is faulty but in my experience these can be the first components to go and a lot of end users throw away an otherwise perfectly good system because the optical drive is playing up.

So far I have ran various tests both via ssh from another machine on my net whilst ping flooding it and locally (e.g. running dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/null (hopefully stressing hda)). Then spawning 1000 http requests from another lan connected box. ( I have enabled httpd on the target machine).

Basically I am inventing these tests as I go along to try and stress test the hardware. Are there any apps that will do this for me or anyone have any ideas - (clever scripts maybe, etc) ?

Thanks in advance - who knows, maybe I've got something for nothing !!)

p.s. Please don't suggest compiling Open Office or something as I am not immortal !! And yes I know of memtest but ideally there may be a suite of tests I can run ??

Last edited by bgeddy; 04-21-2008 at 09:24 PM.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 01:03 AM   #2
BugZRevengE
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I had some flaky problems with my new system and found it to be a memory error (SUSE rpms were downloading and reporting corrupt, random slow-downs, and frequent beeps)
I ran memtest86 that comes on kubuntu cds and installs to the hdd as a boot option, and it kept reporting errors - basically it cycles various patterns in your ram and checks the values. it does a good job of checking the ram and does not touch the rest of your system
Have a look to see if your distro provides it, otherwise you can downlaod from:
http://www.memtest86.com/

For other systems - we do use the 'Ultimate Boot CD' but I do not have link - one of the guys found it for me...
 
Old 04-22-2008, 02:26 AM   #3
Bruce Hill
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For testing memory I prefer memtest86+, and for your hard drive,
motherboard, and controller check out SeaTools for DOS
 
Old 04-22-2008, 02:40 AM   #4
askalon9f2
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For stressing the cpu this is highly recommended:
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
 
Old 04-22-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
bgeddy
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Thanks for the replies - some interesting options there.

So far so good with the testing anyway.

Thanks again..
 
Old 04-22-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugZRevengE View Post
<snip>

For other systems - we do use the 'Ultimate Boot CD' but I do not have link - one of the guys found it for me...
The 'UBCD Ultimate Boot CD' link.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 04:36 PM   #7
bgeddy
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I just looked at the UBCD - wow I never knew it did all that
- I thought it was just a recovery disk !!

Looks like just what I need I'll be downlading it to try later.

Thanks a lot...
 
Old 04-22-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
onebuck
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Hi,

Give us some feedback as to your experience with 'UBCD'.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 11:47 PM   #9
bgeddy
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Quote:
Give us some feedback as to your experience with 'UBCD'.
The download went OK and the disk burnt OK - it's a reasonably small iso - I downloaded a zip of 95Mb which expands to about 115Mb.

The disk boots very quickly into a menu offering tests,diagnostics, utilities and Dos or Linux shells.

I have been working through the tests and so far everything has passed OK. Some of the tests seem to require a reboot which is a bit of a pain. In any case I cannot get back to the main menu having ran a test but this may be me missing something as it's early days yet.

The disk test are interesting - some will only work with their branded disks (i.e. Fujitsu test looks for a Fujitsu disk) but others are brand agnostic and work with any disk.

The CPU test are interesting and there is a 'burn in' test which runs for 7 days !! Needless to say I haven't ran this !!

On the whole it seems a useful tool - I just need to figure out how to rerun the launch menu. However I have only been playing for about an evening so we will see.
 
Old 04-23-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
Galaxy66
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I once installed Gentoo (from Stage1) on my 'trusty' AMD K6 system.

Attempt 1: The CPU overheated due a gummed-up fan. -> Resolution: Clean and lube CPU fan.
Attempt 2: A bad spot in upper RAM became apparent. -> Resolution: Replace bad memory module.
Attempt 3: The hard disk make a horrible "clang" and the system froze. -> Resolution: Replace HDD.
Attempt 4: All went well and its been running fine ever since.

Conclusion: Installing source-based Linux is a good way to reveal marginal hardware while learning at the same time.
 
Old 04-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #11
BugZRevengE
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Quote:
Some of the tests seem to require a reboot which is a bit of a pain. In any case I cannot get back to the main menu having ran a test but this may be me missing something as it's early days yet.
Yes this seems to be the case. The Ultimate Boot CD is just a collection of independent applications with a nice menu. The applications do not really know they are running from a menu, and generally expect a reboot back into your OS.

Still very useful
 
Old 04-23-2008, 06:56 PM   #12
bgeddy
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Quote:
Yes this seems to be the case. The Ultimate Boot CD is just a Yecollection of independent applications with a nice menu. The applications do not really know they are running from a menu, and generally expect a reboot back into your OS.
So it's not just me then !

Anyway - just as a comparison I thought I run some benchmarks on my main machine - core 2 duo with Sata disks.

The UBCD hard locks on boot up requiring a power cycle. Not sure why but disappointed nevertheless.
 
Old 04-23-2008, 10:43 PM   #13
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
'UBCD allows users to run floppy-based diagnostic tools from most CDROM drives on Intel-compatible machines, no operating system required. The cd includes many diagnostic utilities.'
That's why the menu is not re-entrant. The programs were floppy based.
 
  


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