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Old 08-19-2010, 12:37 AM   #1
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Diagnostic Hints Needed

My system hangs regularly and I need some help identifying the cause. During the hang condition I have no keyboard/display response but it does respond to ping from another machine.

I suspect it to be hardware. This is an older system running AMD Athlon 1700+ processor and Elitegroup K7S5A motherboard. I've recently added Rosewill RC-400-LX gigabit PCI LAN card but seem to get the failure (though less frequently) while using the motherboard LAN port instead. I've also recently added Koutech PSA420 4-port SATA LAN card.

CPU temps seem reasonable and stable at 100F. Motherboard temp shows at 41F which I assume is a faulty sensor. Case temp is 108F. Hard drive temps are in the 82F-113F depending on how far from the case intake fan they are.

I have seen some segfaults and I am suspicious of them. Can segfaults be caused by failing memory? How can I determine the source of the segfaults? Are there logs somewhere to give me any hints?

Problem "seems" to be related to heavy I/O to SATA drives (though the Koutech PCI card), but I have no real convincing evidence there. smartctl doesn't seem to show anything outstanding on the drives in question.

Can anyone provide pointers on where to look for the cause of the hangs? I'm running Fedora 10, kernel (though I'm more suspicious of hardware than software).
Old 08-19-2010, 12:48 AM   #2
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Sounds like ram to me. Install memcheck or similar and let it run for a few hours.


Old 08-19-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
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If you can ping you may also be able to remote in and get detailed info.

Ultimate boot cd may be a start. I'd also try a few versions of memtest.

Go to bios and set settings to failsafe or default.

If you suspect board flex then you may wish to try to remove board and carefully flex it.

Could be standoff's touching or close to some lan.

Look for cold solder joints on keyboard area chips.

Consider swapping to different power supply.

Swap keyboard, or any and all external devices.

Reseat all removable devices. Watch out for esd damage which is what you may have anyway.

Try other live cd's or usb's.

Maybe more ways to start.
Old 08-26-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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After MUCH testing I've pinned the problem down to the Koutech IO-PSA420 4-port SATA PCI card. I/O activity to the SATA drives attached to the PSA420 hangs the system after 100G or so. I/O to the motherboard attached IDE drives works fine. Replacing the PSA420 with the 2-port PSA150 works fine as well. I'm contacting Koutech about driver/firmware needs for the PSA420.


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