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Old 08-10-2009, 09:55 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2007
Distribution: Suse 10.0, FC 6
Posts: 93

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question Strange behavior with GNOME, system keeps crashing.

Hi guys,

I'm running ubuntu 8.04 on my desktop machine (config. in my signature). The reason why I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 is that the moment I update gnome from that version, things become really unstable with xserver continuously crashing.

But anyway, the problem with 8.04 is that my system is highly unstable. I start the system up and log in, and things go smoothly. But the system crashes within 10 minutes and I have to hit the reset button. No key combination works since its a hard freeze. (all the systems services get halted)

I ran a memtest and the RAM came out clean, and its brand new. Moreover, I've disabled all the extra peripherals on my motherboard.

I'm using the Intel's built in GPU, and my motherboard model is 915GLVG.

Another thing is that the system crashes only after the monitor gets turned off via the power manager.

Can anyone help?

Config: Intel Pentium 4 3.00 GHz, 512 MB DDR 1 RAM, Intel 915GLVG motherboard, Creative Soundblaster Audio card, 160 GB SATA SAMSUNG HDD + 80 GB SATA Seagate HDD.

Last edited by ashesh0326; 08-10-2009 at 09:59 PM.
Old 08-11-2009, 08:55 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2006
Location: Oregon
Distribution: RHEL[45] {x86,x86_64}, Debian "testing" {x86,x86_64}
Posts: 219

Rep: Reputation: 36
Below are some things to try, and one at a time, until you get a system that is not crashing. Once you get to a clean running system, then add back components or enable subsystems until you see the crash.

  • Disable the power management facilities in the BIOS.
  • Disable the screen saver.
  • Disable the on-motherboards GPU, and add in an older (but known to be reliable) video card. Run with that to see if it crashes. If it doesn't, then it is likely your motherboards display circuitry. I've had bad luck with on-motherboard display hardware, and usually buy a higher end graphics card to drive my bigger display anyhow. Seems to me that a few motherboard manufacturers may be cutting corners/cost on the quality of this particular subcomponent.
  • Take out the sound blaster card (or if it is built into the motherboard, disable it in the BIOS), and retry.
  • Take the motherboard back and get a new one of the same make and model and retry (probably not an option, but it is for me since I usually buy my new systems from a local vendor that has a swap out guarantee; handy for new system setup when you are clueless as to what could be the cause of a problem such as this).
  • Disable any and all peripherals in the BIOS that might conflict (maybe this is what you stated that you did already).
  • Install a different distro and see if that has any effect. IIRC, Ubuntu has a Debian baseline. I use Debian exclusively and have had good luck with it (Debian Testing). I ditched Fedora some years back because of lack of stability.
Old 08-12-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2007
Distribution: Suse 10.0, FC 6
Posts: 93

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi, thanks for the reply. There are some things in your post that I've already tried without any luck:

I've disabled the screensaver.
I've removed all extra cards.
Tried several power management options in the BIOS.

Installing any other distro with the latest versions of xserver/gnome crashes GDM immediately after logging in, the system is all the more unstable with them.

Moreover, this problem had started occuring around 3 months back with Ubuntu server installed on the same machine, on which I had also installed the desktop environment.

I had performed a memtest then and the memory had shown errors. I changed the ram, and now memtest shows no errors. I really wonder whats wrong here.

I'll try out the rest of your suggestions as well.


gnome, gnome power manager, intel, ubuntu

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