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Old 04-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2010
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Lenny Freezes overnight - need diagnosis help

I recently switched from Windows XP to stable Debian w/KDE on my work dell B120 laptop. I have been trying to diagnose freezes. In the evenings I have been leaving an SSH connection to my home computer. I leave a command running that writes the current time to a file every ten minutes. The past two nights it has stopped writing the time after a couple hours (not at the exact same time), and I am no longer able to ssh from my home computer to my work computer.

When I get back to work, the work laptop is frozen. CTRL+Alt+Backspace does not help, neither does CTRL+ALT+F1. Ctrl+Alt+SysRq works sometimes. It has not yet frozen while I have been present.

I tried disabling the screen saver and monitor power controls in KDE, thinking that those only come on when I am away, so they might be the cause. But it did not help.

I took the last time recorded by my ssh connection and looked through the logs trying to find something that happened at that time, but the only event occuring around the time the SSH connection dropped was a chron job that runs every hour. As far as I can tell, the chron job does not actually do anything but write to the log each hour.

So obviously I need to post more information. What would be helpful? Which log or configuration files might contain clues?

I see these lines in my logs:
kernel: Kernel logging (proc) stopped.
imklog 3.18.6, log source = /proc/kmsg started.
It appears at 6:25 AM each day between when the SSH connection drops and when I arrive in the morning. Do I need to restart logging?

I don't have a serial console.

Thanks for your help! My laptop runs much faster with Linux and the sound card (which probably had a hardware problem) works more frequently than it did with Windows XP.
Old 04-02-2010, 04:46 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: England
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 392

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I would test your RAM with memtest86+, run a self-test on the hard drive with smartmontools and also read its SMART attributes. This will just rule out some possible hardware problems. If that looks OK, I would try another Linux distribution (maybe just a live CD if you don't want to wipe your current installation) at least to see if it is distribution specific.
Old 04-04-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2010
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Replacement disks?

Long story short, the disk looks like it is failing.

sudo smartctl -a /dev/hda
Error 6672 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 17066 hours (711 days + 2 hours)
When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

After command completion occurred, registers were:
-- -- -- -- -- -- --
40 51 08 ca e9 30 e1 Error: UNC 8 sectors at LBA = 0x0130e9ca = 19982794

Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC Powered_Up_Time Command/Feature_Name
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ---------------- --------------------
c8 00 08 ca e9 30 e1 00 00:22:33.125 READ DMA
ca 00 08 4a a9 f0 e0 00 00:22:33.125 WRITE DMA
ca 00 08 fa 39 e9 e0 00 00:22:33.125 WRITE DMA
ca 00 08 c2 a7 e0 e0 00 00:22:33.125 WRITE DMA
ca 00 80 1f fd 19 e0 00 00:22:33.125 WRITE DMA

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA_of_first_error
# 1 Extended offline Completed: read failure 00% 17193 46039111

I have this hard disk. Anyone want to suggest a new replacement? Dell will only sell me used disks, even if I wanted to pay their inflated prices. Would this one be good?

Is there any chance this is a motherboard failure or failure of some other non-replaceable component?

Note: Can this thread be moved to hardware?


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