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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 06-01-2008, 05:10 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Distribution: Fedora 9
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3 linux distros freeze on amd64 quad-core install

I've searched for a couple of days and haven't found an answer that has fixed my problem.

I am a newbie so my explanation may include more than it needs....I am apologizing in advance.

I just built a new box with:

K9A2 Platinum Mother Board
amd64 quad-core phenom
1 Tb SATA Seagate hard drive
LG SATA super multi blu DVD/CD
ATI Radeon HD-3870 pci-e
8Gb RAM (4 @ 2Gb 800Mhz)

I've tried loading Fedora 9, Fedora 8, Kubuntu 8.04 KDE 4 (amd64), ubuntu 8.04 amd64, and Red Hat 9.0.

The first time I installed Fedora 9 completely without a problem. Everything worked fine, until I needed to configure it to get on my windows network. I followed a tutorial and changed the default Network Manager back to just Network, and it recognized the windows network and everything looked like it worked fine.

I decided to move a 25 Gb folder from my windows machine to the Fedora box and went to bed while it was transferring files.

In the morning my machine looked like it had rebooted and froze upon startup. I rebooted and my regular user account was fine, but when I logged into root it froze up everytime.

I tried to wipe the install and start fresh and that's where I am now. Every distro I have tried so far freezes on install. I even tried running the live CD's and they freeze too. I can't get any error messages from (alt+F2, alt+F3,alt+F4..etc) I have to due a hard restart.

From what I have read it sounds like I have hardware issues since multiple distros freeze. (Red Hat 9.0 will boot to install screen but cant find SATA CD rom to get install files)

when I run the memory check with any distro it looks like it is finding a lot of errors on the disc, but I am new to this so I am not sure what a lot is. I let it run for more than 24 hours and it never finished it was still running when I killed it from lack of patients.

Did I screw up the Hard drive somehow?

How do I start trouble shooting this? I don't have a IDE hard drive to try in this machine. Could it be the SATA DVD/CD?

Any help would be appreciated.
Old 06-01-2008, 06:54 PM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2007
Location: Chilliwack,BC.Canada
Distribution: Slackware64 -current
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Memory check checks your RAM, not your harddrive. Also Red Hat 9 is so old, I'm suprised it actually booted on your rig. Memtest runs until you stop it, if its finding lots of errors then that means you probably have bad ram
Old 06-02-2008, 10:34 PM   #3
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Registered: May 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Distribution: Fedora 9
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Thanks! That was my next place to troubleshoot.

Since I last posted.....I found an ATA hard drive (pulled out of an old Dish DVR) and tried booting with that in place of the SATA hard drive, but it still gave me the same error, I also replaced the SATA DVD/CD with an ATA CD. and I am still getting errors, which makes sense now. Since, like you said, the memory test was testing the RAM and not the HD.

The errors were a little different this time and they look like this:

Buffer I/O ERROR on device hdb, logical block 113314
SQUASHFS error: sb_breadfailed reading block ox36cd3
SQUASHFS error: Unable to read fragment cache block
SQUASHFS error:Unable to read page, block db2b108

I am going to follow your advice and take back the RAM and get new stuff. The ones I have now are CORSAIR DDR2 4GB (2X2GB) PC6400 DUAL / TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX. I looked around a little and noticed a few other people with distro installation problems have corsair RAM too.

Does anyone think this may be systematic or just bad luck on my part?

I would rather not repeat the same mistake twice, since I am not sure which mistake would have caused this in the first place.

I'm pretty sure that I couldn't really do any software changes that would corrupt the RAM (other than maybe overheating it). Do you think this may have been my fault?

Old 06-02-2008, 11:04 PM   #4
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I highly doubt it was your fault, RAM sometimes is just defective

Last edited by AceofSpades19; 06-02-2008 at 11:17 PM.
Old 06-03-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
Registered: Jan 2005
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Run 'memtest86' to test the RAM. Let it pass a few times to see if you have errors. If you do have errors then note which bank the errors are occurring in. Then power down the machine. Remove the know bad RAM.

You could clean the RAM edge connector with some '20#' paper and denatured alcohol. Swipe in one direction only with a wet folded piece of paper. You should use a new piece with each wipe.
If you need to clean the MB RAM slot, you can use a credit card with a piece of wet paper folded over one edge of the card. Push the card into the RAM slot. Be aware of the keys.

Insert the RAM back into the edge connector then reboot and run 'memtest86' again. If you get no errors then you are good to go.

If you still get errors then replace the RAM.

One other thought, are you OC? If so how do you have the RAM timing setup?
Old 06-03-2008, 07:22 PM   #6
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Registered: May 2008
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Things to check:

1. Is the RAM seated properly? (sometimes they're not put it in properly; you see it at an angle with some pads barely touching the contacts)
2. Is the RAM good (run memtest like other people say)
3. Is the HD plugged in correctly? (power cables, signal cables)
4. Is the power supply big enough? You have a power-hungry CPU plus a power hog of a graphics card; throw in the HDs as well and your poor power supply might be struggling.
Old 06-04-2008, 09:48 PM   #7
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Registered: May 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Distribution: Fedora 9
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I took the 4 sticks of RAM back to FRY's and they actually traded me for some new stuff even though it was past the return date! Fry's rocks!

I put the new sticks in and everything booted up fine!
I ran the memory test and didn't receive any errors.

The only annoyance that I ran into was after the Disk check utility.
the disk check said everything was good and ejected my DVD (Fedora 9). It said to continue and I entered OK, at which point it loaded the DVD and sat for about 1 second until it ejected it again and just said ERROR.
It gave me the option to enter OK and it would load the DVD again and repeat the same error. It kept doing this as long as I would click OK.

The only way to solve it was to push the tray in myself (using the button) and wait for about 10 seconds then click OK. simple as that, but very frustrating at first after everything else that happened.

Oh well....Fedora is up and running and I am happy!

Thanks for all the help everyone,

1. I checked the connections and everything was clean and appeared to have good contact with the pins, and the sticks were all seated properly.
2. The memtest on every distro came up with errors everytime.
3 HD was plugged in correctly and the system recognized it from the bios.
4. I have a 650W power supply which I believe is plenty, but I'll have to look up the amount of load my processor can pull at full power + the video card and HD's. I would hate to be in the middle of my computations and have this shut down due to power issues.

Also, I am not OverClocking anything at this point I just wanted to get everything up and running first, but I think I may look into doing it later. I have never OC'd before so I want to read up on it before I give it a try.
Old 06-04-2008, 09:58 PM   #8
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I had pretty much that same issue with an F9 install - I ended up just rebooting after the disk check and skipping the test the second time around.


failed, install, ram

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