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Old 12-03-2015, 03:33 PM   #1
IceBane
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Linux Mint XFCE keeps crashing Need HELP!


I have very little Linux experience. I installed Linux Mint 17.2 XFCE 5 days ago and have been struggling since.

Sympton:
I can't do anything anymore. Trying to start an app will give "Failed to execute command <whatever you try> Failed to execute child process <whatever process> (Input/outpout error)." No commands can be entered into a terminal if I still have one open when it crashes.

Frequency: Appears to crash less when I keep HD disk busy. e.g. Have a torrent download going in transmission instead of just surfing in firefox.

Other possibly relevent information: OS is running off of an external Seagate Freeagent goflex USB drive. OS seems to put drive in read only mode.

My questions are how do I go about figuring out what is going wrong here? What can i do to narrow down the problem. I looked for logs but I didn't find anything useful plus I think the OS craps out before logs can be written.

I really think the OS doesn't like the drive or like living on an external USB drive but why not??? Maybe it's video card? USB controller? Memory?

thanks
 
Old 12-04-2015, 01:50 AM   #2
ondoho
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i guess something went wrong during installation.
you should reinstall, and put more attention at the details, esp. in the beginning and end (partitioning, bootloader).
it is possible that some of the automated options do not recognize your special situation with the external drive.

otoh, it has to be said, that i/o error can also point to hardware failure.
maybe you should boot a diagnostic/rescue tool and check the drive first.

maybe you also should partition the external drive before installing.
if it's smaller than 100GB, i think 1 big ext4 partition should be enough.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 02:05 AM   #3
KernelTainted
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I'd be curious to see your partitioning layout. Please execute the following command in terminal.

sudo fdisk -l

and show us.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 09:50 AM   #4
IceBane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KernelTainted View Post
I'd be curious to see your partitioning layout. Please execute the following command in terminal.

sudo fdisk -l

and show us.
I'm not in front of the computer right now but I can tell you that I used Gparted to create a gpt file system and the linux mint installation process created the partitions for me. There are 3. The boot one which I think is vfat, the ext4 one and the swap one. They are at /dev/sda1 , /dev/sda2 , /dev/sda3
 
Old 12-04-2015, 09:53 AM   #5
IceBane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
i guess something went wrong during installation.
you should reinstall, and put more attention at the details, esp. in the beginning and end (partitioning, bootloader).
it is possible that some of the automated options do not recognize your special situation with the external drive.

otoh, it has to be said, that i/o error can also point to hardware failure.
maybe you should boot a diagnostic/rescue tool and check the drive first.

maybe you also should partition the external drive before installing.
if it's smaller than 100GB, i think 1 big ext4 partition should be enough.
Can you recommend a tool to check the drive?
 
Old 12-04-2015, 09:54 AM   #6
NGIB
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Lots of input/output happens as a system is operating and throughput with USB is much slower than internal hardware. I suspect timing, e.g. calling a module before it fully loads, is a culprit. A full listing of your system specs would help...

Last edited by NGIB; 12-04-2015 at 09:55 AM.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 10:02 AM   #7
IceBane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
Lots of input/output happens as a system is operating and throughput with USB is much slower than internal hardware. I suspect timing, e.g. calling a module before it fully loads, is a culprit. A full listing of your system specs would help...
Well the drive in question reads at about 70 MB/s and write around 50 MB/s via USB 3.

The CPU is an i5, RAM is 8GB, video is Radeon

Also the system crash seems to occur at random time intervals i.e. during bootup, after bootup, after 1hr, etc...

Last edited by IceBane; 12-04-2015 at 10:04 AM.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 11:41 AM   #8
KernelTainted
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While you're getting set up with some recommended diagnostic utility, let's throw some darts.

Dart #1: Unplug any other USB device, leaving only the external drive for your OS

Dart #2: Go into your startup applications program and turn everything off in there temporarily and reboot.

Dart #3: Run your system monitor program and watch processes, especially CPU.

Bonus Dart #4: Run your System Log Program and let's see what's in the syslog.

Don't you just love these Linux Mint tools? I think their pretty neat.

You say things run better when you're disk is busy? I wonder if that drive is going to sleep or shutting off. Check the power settings for always on settings.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 11:41 AM   #9
malekmustaq
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That's a carrier signal interruption.

Just a point of assurance, I have installed Mint many times (since version 5) and so long as installation and hardware have no issue Mint should go running: currently my oldest Mint v.5 is running without issue since 2008.

Try do this:

1. If you used CD/DVD or USB try "md5sum" check your image if it is perfect. Mint sources post their hash values for integrity checking of downloaded image. Then reinstall, allowing Mint installer to configure partition.

2. If above solution did not heal then the problem is likely at the hardware level. Check your BIOS configuration first if nothing in there hinders the carrier signal. Check your cable, hard drive, or finally take a survey in checking your RAM --this latter problem is very latent and often surprises anyone, Mint install provides a memory checking option, or you may download and use Gparted repair CD to check the RAM.

Hope that could lead to your comfort.

Goodluck and enjoy.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 12-04-2015 at 11:46 AM.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 06:08 PM   #10
IceBane
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I reinstalled. Didn't work. Crashed almost immediately with same error. I do not know how to test memory. I do not know how to test hard drive. I tried smartctl and badblocks with no success.
 
Old 12-04-2015, 06:31 PM   #11
astrogeek
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My first guess would be RAM. The easy way to test it is to run memtest/memtest86.

You probably have it, but I am not a Mint user so don't know. The easy way to run it is from any number of rescue CDs/DVDs. My personal favorite is Gparted. Boot to DVD/USB, select memtest86 and let it run for at least a few hours.

Also, double-check the cables to your external drive.
 
Old 12-05-2015, 03:18 AM   #12
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceBane View Post
Well the drive in question reads at about 70 MB/s and write around 50 MB/s via USB 3.
yes, but does linuxmint really use it as usb3?

does the drive have an external power supply?

can you hear it actually stopping to spin when the freezes happen?

do you have some sort of efi setup?

is /dev/sda really the usb hard drive?

did you run diagnostics by booting into some rescue system? it would be good to rule that one out.
and there's plenty of tools available for free online, don't even have to be no linux.
 
Old 12-05-2015, 10:21 AM   #13
IceBane
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Good to go

Okay. So I seem good now. Looks like it was my HD

I reinstalled Mint the exact same way onto another portable external usb drive and haven't had any trouble yet and it's been over 12 hrs running now.

So I'm wondering if my Seagate Freeagent GoFlex just doesn't get along with Linux.
 
Old 12-05-2015, 12:40 PM   #14
malekmustaq
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Quote:
So I'm wondering if my Seagate Freeagent GoFlex just doesn't get along with Linux.
Seagate gets along well with Gnu/Linux. Probably there are bad sectors on the HD by now. I have a seagate HD eaten up with bad sectors. So you may want to find out what to do.

Try these:

Code:
sudo fdisk -l
Know which partition you want to check for back sectors. Then proceed to check it.

Code:
sudo fsck -vcc /dev/<yourdevice or partition>
(by the way this can take very long time so you have to wait until it is finished.)

fsck will test your disk for bad sectors. You will know from its output and from the final report. And if you decide to isolate these bad sectors and use the good ones you will issue:

Code:
sudo fsck -p /dev/<yourdevice or partition>
After those procedures you may still use the HD for some non-critical tasks and files. Try install another Mint on it, there is greater chance it will not fail anymore. Only that, when bad sectors begin it is likely to happen to remaining sectors. This is not brand specific, this weakness is owing to the type and quality of the material used for the hard drive, and this can occur generally to all other brands too. So you may want to recheck the the HD more frequently. You may tune the hard drive to run quick check more sooner:

Quote:
sudo tune2fs -c 4 /dev/<yourparition>
Hope that helps. Good luck and enjoy.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 12-05-2015 at 12:52 PM.
 
Old 12-05-2015, 04:53 PM   #15
ardvark71
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Hi IceBane...

In addition to what malekmustaq has said, you may need to replace the drive outright. However, if you have a Windows system handy, you try using this utility to see if there's anything wrong and if possible, make repairs.

Regards...
 
  


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