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Old 03-26-2006, 12:43 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Montana
Distribution: Debian "squeeze"
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Question Complete system freeze-up

Slackware 10.2 - Kernel

I have been experiencing intermmitent freeze-ups of my system as of late.

At first they were spread far apart, weeks basically could go by and my system would be fine, then one day i'd come to the PC and the screensaver would be hung, and system would be un-responsive. I could NOT force-quit X, switch to a virtual console, reboot cleanly, etc.

So I would reboot, force a file system check and reboot again and then go back about my business. Weeks would pass and it would crash again.

Now the crashes are within days, and just yesterday it crashed twice.

No information in /var/log/syslog or /var/log/messages

Does anyone know how I can go about finding or activating some form of memory dump when my system does crash so I can trouble shoot the cause?

Steps i've taken so far:
- full memory test with MemTest 86+
- full file system checks with e2fsck
- full hard disk check with MaxBlast software
- closed every running application in X before initilizing screensaver

Steps i'm going to take today:
- recompile kernel with newer sources
- close X windows and leave machine running at console (maybe the problem is with X)

I'm leaning towards a kernel issue though, based on the fact that the entire system locks.


Last edited by ScottReed; 03-26-2006 at 12:44 PM.
Old 03-26-2006, 03:31 PM   #2
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Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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One other thing to check - what are your system temperatures? Your symptoms could be the result of increased dust accumulation and/or a failing fan. I'd recommend checking that the CPU fan in particular is spinning normally, and the the heat sink is not obstructed with dust. Obviously this may not be the true cause, but it's something to check. Good luck with it
Old 03-26-2006, 04:07 PM   #3
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Buy a new power supply. Everybody that I know and read on this forum use cheap ass power supplies. I am using Seasonic S12-430 (430 watts).

X Window System crashes a lot and it does not matter what X11 (XFree86 or Xorg), so setup ssh to terminate X11 instead of rebooting. Use kill -15 [pid number] instead of kill -9 [pid number] because the KILL can actually corrupt the program.

I do not use screen savers because the display goes blank within 10 to 15 minutes after no user activity. I think I have it set by the BIOS.
Old 04-01-2006, 07:18 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Montana
Distribution: Debian "squeeze"
Posts: 157

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Thumbs up Figured out the problem

Leaving my machine for the night out of X windows and at the console allowed the kernel to dump to the screen. I gathered the information it spit out and come to find out the crashes were related to SMP.

This all makes sense now. For the past few months I was randomly seeing the following message in /var/log/messages:

MCE: The hardware reports a non fatal, correctable incident occurred on CPU 0
I didn't think much about it, but as the freezes became more prolific I noticed that the amount of these errors I was recieving increased.

I disabled SMP in my kernel, not sure why it was on in the first place, recompiled and everything has been good for about a week now. No more MCE errors.
Old 04-02-2006, 03:06 AM   #5
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Excellent - congrats on solving the problem and thanks for posting back with the update ScottReed


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