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Old 04-20-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Manila, Philippines
Distribution: Kubuntu, Debian
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Please Kindly Assist with Debian Crash/Freeze Troubleshooting

My sister's computer runs a Debian Etch Installation dualbooted with XP which has been working great for a month now. Recently she has been experiencing random crashes that occur from running any kind of application in Debian and/or Windows. There are no error messages just a freeze of the whole GUI and cursor.

-GUI and programs freeze
-Windows MBR got corrupted, prior to that, it automatically restarts

-All steps done via Debian
-Rebooted with hard reset, issue persists, corrupted Windows Partition (Now unbootable)
-Tried CTRL + ALT+ F1, = NOT WORK

**Please forgive me for the lack of information: I will attach them as they are requested since I do not know where to start, ie. which log file, which hardware info is required.

**Please specify which log file is required. Thanks

Last edited by dannybuntu; 04-20-2008 at 10:37 PM.
Old 04-20-2008, 11:40 PM   #2
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Since the problems occur in both windows and Linux, it's probably not a software problem. More likely it's hardware related, such as a memory chip or cpu going bad.

Most installation cds and livecds I've seen have a utility called memtest86 (it should be in the menu when the cd begins to load). It should be run before the system is loaded from cd so that RAM is not in use during the test. It can tell you if there is a problem with a memory chip.

Also, there is an application called stress ( which can test RAM memory, cpu, and hard drive for problems.
Old 04-21-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Manila, Philippines
Distribution: Kubuntu, Debian
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Thank you so much for replying. You are correct in saying that it is not software related, for now we can't even access the BIOS. The monitor is just showing "NO INPUT"

Anyway, that is intermittent sometimes we could get to the GRUB menu, if I am lucky I would use the tools you described. Thank you so much!
Old 04-22-2008, 02:11 PM   #4
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Would be a VERY good idea to backup everything you have on this machine, it's going the way that leads to the trash can... at least for some of the components.
Old 04-22-2008, 09:25 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Manila, Philippines
Distribution: Kubuntu, Debian
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Yeah definitely, unfortunately, my sister kept her mp3 files on one of the partitions. I am suspecting the motherboard, but I am not doing anything yet for cost reasons. I just recently got her to use Linux and she likes it. But now she is back on her xp laptop. Well, hardware is hardware. If it's broke - there's only one thing I can do - buy (if i have the money...)
Old 04-23-2008, 05:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dannybuntu View Post
Well, hardware is hardware.
True, but most manufacturers make very reliable components. Not saying something didn't just break, but in my own experience, most of the time something caused the malfunction, such as a fried CPU cooling fan with monitors disabled, or a dirty MB.

The only time I fried a CPU (and I've used some very old equipment, BTW), it started as simple drive r/w errors and quickly progressed to what you've described. It finally died while I was trying to salvage data. I realized afterwards what went wrong. Now, that's the first thing I check when anything goes awry, and many, many times, that was the only problem.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 04-23-2008 at 05:26 PM.


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