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Old 01-27-2021, 07:52 AM   #1
AndrewAmmerlaan
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System completely freezes, what is broken and needs replacing?


For some time now my computer has had this problem where it sometimes completely freezes, not just a hang but a complete freeze. Nothing works, no CTRL+ALT+F2, no SYSRQ, the only thing that works is the power button. If some sound is being played when the freeze occurs it will repeat the last second of this sound indefinitely.



Now today it broke completely and now it does this every time KDE starts. Sometimes it happens even earlier (during booting, or when SDDM starts). Sometimes it happens later and I can actually login before it freezes. I can reproduce the exact same behaviour with a SysResque USB.



With the iGPU set as the default GPU, I get a freeze that is sometimes preceded by massive screen corruption. With the dGPU (AMD RX 590) set as the default GPU (and the iGPU disabled) it is just a freeze without any screen corruption.



Obviously this is a hardware failure, but my question is how do I determine which part is the faulty one? The fact that I have the same problem with the iGPU and the dGPU indicates to me that the problem might not be in the GPU. The motherboard seems functional as well, BIOS works and displays just fine. My guess is that the CPU is the problem, but I want to be sure before I start buying new things. (Perhaps I am completely on the wrong path here and it is the RAM or storage that is faulty)



The motherboard is a MSI Z370-A PRO (which I already updated to the latest version)
The CPU is a Intel i7 8700K
The GPU is a XFX AMD Radeon RX 590
 
Old 01-27-2021, 08:00 AM   #2
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewAmmerlaan View Post
For some time now my computer has had this problem where it sometimes completely freezes, not just a hang but a complete freeze. Nothing works, no CTRL+ALT+F2, no SYSRQ, the only thing that works is the power button. If some sound is being played when the freeze occurs it will repeat the last second of this sound indefinitely.
Now today it broke completely and now it does this every time KDE starts. Sometimes it happens even earlier (during booting, or when SDDM starts). Sometimes it happens later and I can actually login before it freezes. I can reproduce the exact same behaviour with a SysResque USB.
With the iGPU set as the default GPU, I get a freeze that is sometimes preceded by massive screen corruption. With the dGPU (AMD RX 590) set as the default GPU (and the iGPU disabled) it is just a freeze without any screen corruption.
Obviously this is a hardware failure, but my question is how do I determine which part is the faulty one? The fact that I have the same problem with the iGPU and the dGPU indicates to me that the problem might not be in the GPU. The motherboard seems functional as well, BIOS works and displays just fine. My guess is that the CPU is the problem, but I want to be sure before I start buying new things. (Perhaps I am completely on the wrong path here and it is the RAM or storage that is faulty)

The motherboard is a MSI Z370-A PRO (which I already updated to the latest version)
The CPU is a Intel i7 8700K
The GPU is a XFX AMD Radeon RX 590
Based on what you've said, I'd say it's most likely the graphics driver that's causing the freezing. AMD have also been releasing some pretty buggy drivers lately too (amdgpu).

Some questions:

Which distribution are you running?
Which kernel version are you running?

Also, could you open a terminal window and provide the output from the following commands (within CODE tags please - see my posting signature below if you're not sure how),

Code:
uname -a
lspci -nnk | grep -A3 VGA
 
Old 01-27-2021, 08:49 AM   #3
AndrewAmmerlaan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbjsb001 View Post
Based on what you've said, I'd say it's most likely the graphics driver that's causing the freezing. AMD have also been releasing some pretty buggy drivers lately too (amdgpu).

Some questions:

Which distribution are you running?
Which kernel version are you running?

Also, could you open a terminal window and provide the output from the following commands (within CODE tags please - see my posting signature below if you're not sure how),

Code:
uname -a
 lspci -nnk | grep -A3 VGA

The kernel version that I was using is 5.10.10, but I also tried booting up some earlier kernel versions (5.10.9 and 5.10.8) which were working before. However, with these versions I now have the exact same problem, and I also tired booting a SysResque USB which probably is using a whole different kernel version/configuration and I also got a freeze with that.


The distribution I'm using is Gentoo.


lspci:

Code:
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 630 (Desktop) [8086:3e92]
    DeviceName: Onboard - Video
    Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. [MSI] UHD Graphics 630 (Desktop) [1462:7b48]
    Kernel driver in use: i915
--
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere [Radeon RX 470/480/570/570X/580/580X/590] [1002:67df] (rev e1)
    Subsystem: XFX Pine Group Inc. Radeon RX 590 FATBOY 8GB [1682:9587]
    Kernel driver in use: amdgpu
01:00.1 Audio device [0403]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] [1002:aaf0]

uname:

Code:
Linux andrew-gentoo-pc 5.10.10-gentoo #1 SMP Sun Jan 24 14:34:24 CET 2021 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Next I'll try removing the AMD GPU completely, and see if that will fix it or not.
 
Old 01-27-2021, 08:57 AM   #4
jmgibson1981
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On Windows when I was gaming I had the occasional issue where my whole machine would freeze with screen tearing and such quite often. This could be at any time, on boot, during gameplay. Totally random. I tracked it down to a faulty sata port on the motherboard. Switched my ssd to another port and it's been smooth sailing ever since. That is also why it never happened when booted to Linux. I network boot via LTSP.

The problem with random freezes is there can be any number of causes. Bad ram, hard drive / ssd, sata ports, and of course software. Even a bad power supply can cause these issues. Worst case it could be the board itself, chipset or something. Start eliminating them 1 by 1. Try another psu, try with 1 stick of ram at a time, another sata port. Eliminate potentials is the only way to chase it.

Last edited by jmgibson1981; 01-27-2021 at 08:59 AM.
 
Old 01-27-2021, 10:13 AM   #5
AndrewAmmerlaan
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Okay so I removed the AMD GPU and the issue was still there. Next I removed *everything* (PCIe devices, chassis connectors, CD reader, SD card reader), I just left the mouse, keyboard and 1 monitor connected to the iGPU, rebooted, and to my surprise everything was working just fine. So I started reconnecting things, and found that everything stayed functional. I connected the AMD GPU last, rebooted, and to my surprise everything still worked. The iGPU was still the default GPU but I could offload things to the AMD GPU with DRI_PRIME=1. Next I connected the remaining monitors, and when I connected one of them to the AMD GPU, rebooted, the issue returned.

I'm even more confused now. It seems like the dual GPU part is not working correctly any more for some reason. I've used this setup exactly like this for years, and I've never had problems apart from the occasional freeze, yet now suddenly it refuses to work at all.
 
Old 01-27-2021, 03:13 PM   #6
AndrewAmmerlaan
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I got things up and running again by setting the AMD GPU as the default GPU, and using 'xrandr --setprovideroutputsource' to allow the AMD GPU to use to the monitors connected to the iGPU. Instead of the other way around.

I'm happy it works now, and that the hardware is not completely broken, but I'm also super confused.

How can it be that the setup that I have been using exactly like this for more than a year, suddenly no longer works. And that even older kernel versions and a SysRescue USB are suddenly plagued by the same problem. Could it be that the iGPU is somehow damaged? (even though I can use the monitors connected to it if the AMD GPU is the GPU doing the rendering)
 
Old 01-27-2021, 03:37 PM   #7
biker_rat
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Mesa also recently had a feature release from 20.2.x to 20.3.x. Is it possible that the timing of your trouble could implicate mesa as well as the kernel?
Also, I imagine the amd gpu has many output ports, why do you need the intel gpu output ports- could you completely depend on the amd gpu by disabling the intel gpu in the BIOS or by blacklisting the intel kernel driver?
 
Old 01-27-2021, 03:46 PM   #8
AndrewAmmerlaan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker_rat View Post
Mesa also recently had a feature release from 20.2.x to 20.3.x. Is it possible that the timing of your trouble could implicate mesa as well as the kernel?
Also, I imagine the amd gpu has many output ports, why do you need the intel gpu output ports- could you completely depend on the amd gpu by disabling the intel gpu in the BIOS or by blacklisting the intel kernel driver?

I'm on mesa-21.0.0, and have been since Friday 15th of January according to the logs. And everything was fine until today. And the freezes would sometimes happen even before the display manager had started, so I don't think mesa is the problem.


I could use the AMD GPU's outputs, but I would have to buy a Displayport --> VGA and Displayport to DVI-D converter. And there is no real point in adding converters and increasing the cable-mess under my desk if there is a perfectly fine VGA and DVI-D connector on the Motherboard.
 
  


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