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Old 08-05-2002, 08:12 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: RH7.3 & YDL2.1
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Exclamation Spontaneous Machine Reboots?

What would be a general assumption, or cause, for a RedHat 7.3 iX86 machine to spontaneously reboot randomly say 20-30 days apart, without logging anything to logs about it, nor store a "core" dump file anywhere?
Old 08-05-2002, 08:54 PM   #2
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a 20-30 days apart blackout?, it is absolutely not unheard of.
Old 08-05-2002, 08:58 PM   #3
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No it isn't normal, linux's challanged IT community for its incredable uptimes, wiht most stuff running without a single reboot (except kernel upgrades), so you say there's no a clue in /var/log/messages, lastlog, dmessg? No core dump can be due to ulimit set to 0 for core file sizes, man bash and scroll to ulimit section
Old 08-08-2002, 06:10 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2002
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No clues in the log files. I looked through every log file. Even looked for 'new files' made around time of reboot. Cant find a danged thing.

Just seems like someone is turning the machine off/on or issuing a reboot command. But no ssh access has been logged around the time, and no other things in the log are mentioned (not even unexpected restart messages).

I'm baffled!

It makes no sense... I don't know what could be causing this. Its driving me insane!!! my YDL2.1 box has _never_ restarted itself... ever. The only time it restarts, is complete loss of power, or I tell it too. But this RH7.3 machine... its rebooted unknown reason like 6 times now since I've installed the OS.

Any other ideas?I no idea where to even start looking
Old 08-08-2002, 09:01 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Venezuela
Distribution: slackware 8.0
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I think this can be related to your problem.

I have a kernel 2.4.18, and find that there are a option when you
configure your kernel (make menuconfig),
in the section character devices, under Watchdog Cards,the help says:


If you say Y here (and to one of the following options) and create a
character special file /dev/watchdog with major number 10 and minor
number 130 using mknod ("man mknod"), you will get a watchdog, i.e.:
subsequently opening the file and then failing to write to it for
longer than 1 minute will result in rebooting the machine. This
could be useful for a networked machine that needs to come back
online as fast as possible after a lock-up. There's both a watchdog
implementation entirely in software (which can sometimes fail to
reboot the machine) and a driver for hardware watchdog boards, which
are more robust and can also keep track of the temperature inside
your computer. For details, read Documentation/watchdog.txt
in the kernel source.

The watchdog is usually used together with the watchdog daemon
which is available from
<>. This daemon can
also monitor NFS connections and can reboot the machine when the process
table is full.

So in your case can be that this option is enabled?
Old 08-08-2002, 10:09 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: USA
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I cant find anything on the server with 'watchdog' in it. No man pages, no binaries, no daemons running ...

So I would assume its not installed, since I cant find anything about it on the server.

Interesting catch though ... and if I could find it, I would most likely think that be the case.

My RH7.3 is kernal 2.4.18-3.

I checked for crons, none run anywhere roung the time this has happened. Also checked for any odd other log entries in general logs around the times of reboot... nothing seeming out of the ordinary. Totally baffled. I asked our tech to check out the power cable, see if the machine just isnt losing power due to some flaky power cable or something.

I would just at least THINK that something like "unexpected reboot/shutdown" would be LOGGED somewhere!!! LOL!
Old 08-08-2002, 10:28 PM   #7
Registered: May 2001
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Once a month vacuuming ...

The cleaning lady is plugging into the ups.. LOL
Old 08-09-2002, 05:21 AM   #8
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Can be anything.I had a router from my ISP with a electrical problem that killed my box every other day.


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