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Old 04-15-2005, 03:34 AM   #1
Nobber
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Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Nova Scotia
Distribution: Debian (home), Kubuntu 7.04 (work)
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Recurring cold boot failures


Lately my computer's been having problems booting from cold when I switch it on in the morning. However, the symptoms appear to be different each time. Sometimes it's a kernel panic as init starts, sometimes it gets nearly all the way through but then X11 refuses to start - apparently because the kernel DRM module has failed to load - and this morning fsck segfaulted while it was trying to check my root partition!

The odd thing about this is that if I then press the reset button, the computer boots normally and operates normally throughout the day.

What do you think is the most likely cause of this apparent aversion to booting from cold? I suspect hard disk trouble, but I was wondering whether the memory or some other component might need "warming up" before it can work properly.

Anyway, all advice is welcome!
 
Old 04-15-2005, 10:03 AM   #2
penguinlnx
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This is probably a bad connection, or a power supply problem, like weak capacitors which are taking too long to charge up and pull up the D.C. voltage to the boards and hard drives. Often with motors, (i.e.,hard drives) the current drain on a cold powersupply causes a voltage drop and the hardware then operates unreliably.
If you have a weak powersupply you can try to replace the caps yourself if you have the skills, or else just replace the whole unit, or remove some items from the computer to decrease the strain. Sometimes a powersuppy will have several connectors to power CDs, Floppies and Hard drives. Make sure that each hard drive is on a separate cable set coming from the supply box, as this should hopefully ensure that each drive is powered by a separate sub-section. Alternately, check that the CDROMs (which also draw current when they spin are on their own line, and that the floppy is powered from the same line as the CD/DVD, because usually these three units are not all running at once. When they are idle they should draw little or no power.
But if you have a couple of Hard Drives and a CD player on the same cabling, there is a chance that you are overloading one section of your power supply, but not efficiently using some other section.
 
Old 04-15-2005, 10:25 AM   #3
Nobber
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Thanks for the tips. Looks like I'll be taking a screwdriver to my box this weekend...
 
  


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