Constant system crashes - Slackware

This is a discussion on Constant system crashes - Slackware ; I've been having problems now with my slackware 11 system for a few months now. I'll do my best to give relevant information in describing the situation. My uneducated guess is that this is a hardware problem but some of ...

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Thread: Constant system crashes

  1. Constant system crashes

    I've been having problems now with my slackware 11 system for a few months
    now. I'll do my best to give relevant information in describing the
    situation. My uneducated guess is that this is a hardware problem but some
    of you may be able to help with even that. Starting a few months ago I
    have numerous and constant system failures, most of which are segfaults.
    It does not seem to matter what program I am using or how long I have been
    up and running. Right now my system runs between 10 minutes to a few days
    before it crashes so bad I must reboot. At boot time I often get kernal
    paging errors and hotplug seems to run into problems as well, getting a
    lot of segfaults. I have not added any new hardware recently so I feel as
    if either my current hardware is failing (the computers nearly 6 years old
    and has not been taken good care of) or my system has somehow become
    corrupt. I would like to try installing slackware 12 but I cant even burn
    a cd or dvd right now, before it crashes, even by command line. I have
    switched from KDE to xfce, which seems to have helped some, but I still
    can only expect to surf the net or watch a video for no more than half an
    hour before I have a problem. I was wondering if A, there are any programs
    available to check for memory or hardware programs (that I wont have to
    compile, I cant compile even the simplest programs right now before a
    crash) or is it possible to install slackware from a mounted ISO. I'm not
    sure what log files to check that may have relevent information, so if you
    would like to know more, let me know where to look and I will get you the
    information. I'll also start copying some of the crash info, though most
    of the time all i get is a simple segfault message. what i remember of my
    hardware:

    I have a nvidia geforce3 card, using the nvidia drivers
    asus motherboard and a amd 1.3Ghz processeor
    plextor cdr and pioneer dvdr+/-
    one WD 80Gig HD and one WD 120 HD
    bestbuy brand firewire PCI card
    Soudblaster Live Mp3 PCI card
    Ethernet PCI card
    couple of onboard USB slots.

    All my programs work correctly....just not for very long.

    This may not be enough info, but please let me know what you need and i'll
    try my best to get it to you.

    Thanks

    bst

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  2. Re: Constant system crashes

    bst wrote:
    > I've been having problems now with my slackware 11 system for a few
    > months now. I'll do my best to give relevant information in describing
    > the situation. My uneducated guess is that this is a hardware problem
    > but some of you may be able to help with even that. Starting a few
    > months ago I have numerous and constant system failures, most of which
    > are segfaults. It does not seem to matter what program I am using or how
    > long I have been up and running. Right now my system runs between 10
    > minutes to a few days before it crashes so bad I must reboot. At boot
    > time I often get kernal paging errors and hotplug seems to run into
    > problems as well, getting a lot of segfaults. I have not added any new
    > hardware recently so I feel as if either my current hardware is failing
    > (the computers nearly 6 years old and has not been taken good care of)
    > or my system has somehow become corrupt. I would like to try installing
    > slackware 12 but I cant even burn a cd or dvd right now, before it
    > crashes, even by command line. I have switched from KDE to xfce, which
    > seems to have helped some, but I still can only expect to surf the net
    > or watch a video for no more than half an hour before I have a problem.
    > I was wondering if A, there are any programs available to check for
    > memory or hardware programs (that I wont have to compile, I cant compile
    > even the simplest programs right now before a crash) or is it possible
    > to install slackware from a mounted ISO. I'm not sure what log files to
    > check that may have relevent information, so if you would like to know
    > more, let me know where to look and I will get you the information. I'll
    > also start copying some of the crash info, though most of the time all i
    > get is a simple segfault message. what i remember of my hardware:
    >
    > I have a nvidia geforce3 card, using the nvidia drivers
    > asus motherboard and a amd 1.3Ghz processeor
    > plextor cdr and pioneer dvdr+/-
    > one WD 80Gig HD and one WD 120 HD
    > bestbuy brand firewire PCI card
    > Soudblaster Live Mp3 PCI card
    > Ethernet PCI card
    > couple of onboard USB slots.
    >
    > All my programs work correctly....just not for very long.
    >
    > This may not be enough info, but please let me know what you need and
    > i'll try my best to get it to you.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > bst
    >

    Get a copy of memtest86

    http://www.memtest86.com/download.html

    I have found this cures a lot of problems. I had a couple of linux
    boxex that had a bad ram stick that I had run for months with
    intermittent errors. I noticed it most if I tried to install a new
    system (iso).

    fb

  3. Re: Constant system crashes

    On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 20:15:05 GMT, bst wrote:


    >Starting a few months ago I
    >have numerous and constant system failures, most of which are segfaults.
    >It does not seem to matter what program I am using or how long I have been
    >up and running.


    >I have not added any new hardware recently so I feel as
    >if either my current hardware is failing (the computers nearly 6 years old
    >and has not been taken good care of)



    Get yourself a couple cans of compressed air (should be able to find
    those at an office-supply store), open the case and blast out all the
    dust bunnies (you may want to do that outside!). Then power the
    machine back on and make sure _ALL_ of your fans are spinning (case,
    CPU, power supply, etc.) Heat is at the top of my list for "odd"
    system issues.

    Also check into memtest86 as FB mentioned, however if you can't keep
    the machine up because it's overheating, then I doubt you'll have much
    luck running it...


    Scott McMillan

  4. Re: Constant system crashes

    On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 16:59:20 -0400, Scott McMillan
    wrote:

    > On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 20:15:05 GMT, bst wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Starting a few months ago I
    >> have numerous and constant system failures, most of which are segfaults.
    >> It does not seem to matter what program I am using or how long I have
    >> been
    >> up and running.

    >
    >> I have not added any new hardware recently so I feel as
    >> if either my current hardware is failing (the computers nearly 6 years
    >> old
    >> and has not been taken good care of)

    >
    >
    > Get yourself a couple cans of compressed air (should be able to find
    > those at an office-supply store), open the case and blast out all the
    > dust bunnies (you may want to do that outside!). Then power the
    > machine back on and make sure _ALL_ of your fans are spinning (case,
    > CPU, power supply, etc.) Heat is at the top of my list for "odd"
    > system issues.
    >
    > Also check into memtest86 as FB mentioned, however if you can't keep
    > the machine up because it's overheating, then I doubt you'll have much
    > luck running it...
    >
    >
    > Scott McMillan


    Thanks for the advice. I have blasted out all of the dust so far and am
    running with the side panel off. That has helped some as I think over
    heating was part of the problem and all the fans are running. i saw
    something called badmem and badram that may help if it is a memory
    problem. has anyone tried it before...i'm awefully nervous about patching
    my kernel and what not. will try the memtest86 and post the results.

    Thanks
    bst


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  5. Re: Constant system crashes

    On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 16:41:31 -0400, FB wrote:

    > Get a copy of memtest86


    > http://www.memtest86.com/download.html


    > I have found this cures a lot of problems. I had a couple of linux boxex
    > that had a bad ram stick that I had run for months with intermittent
    > errors. I noticed it most if I tried to install a new system (iso).


    #1 Always check for overheating. It's an easy and fast thing to confirm
    or not.

    #2 I second RAM for really "weird" problems. Usually if a stick of RAM
    is bad, it's bad from the get go. But I had one go bad and it caused all
    sorts of really odd stuff. Most noticeable is one OS I have would boot
    but another would not.

    I also found that in running just a few days in that state caused some
    file corruption. Nothing really serious but I'd check any *new* files
    for errors.

    If you have more than one stick of RAM pull one and then the other to
    see if you can spot the bad one.

    --
    Linux Help: http://rsgibson.com/linux.htm
    Email - rsgibson@verizon.borg
    Replace borg with net


  6. Re: Constant system crashes

    On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 19:50:35 -0400, Ron Gibson
    wrote:

    > On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 16:41:31 -0400, FB wrote:
    >
    >> Get a copy of memtest86

    >
    >> http://www.memtest86.com/download.html

    >
    >> I have found this cures a lot of problems. I had a couple of linux boxex
    >> that had a bad ram stick that I had run for months with intermittent
    >> errors. I noticed it most if I tried to install a new system (iso).

    > #1 Always check for overheating. It's an easy and fast thing to confirm
    > or not.
    >
    > #2 I second RAM for really "weird" problems. Usually if a stick of RAM
    > is bad, it's bad from the get go. But I had one go bad and it caused all
    > sorts of really odd stuff. Most noticeable is one OS I have would boot
    > but another would not.
    >
    > I also found that in running just a few days in that state caused some
    > file corruption. Nothing really serious but I'd check any *new* files
    > for errors.
    >
    > If you have more than one stick of RAM pull one and then the other to
    > see if you can spot the bad one.
    >


    thanks for the advice. I mentioned in another reply that all the fans are
    running and I have the side panel off, hopefully keeping the computer
    cooler. i will be running the memtest86 program tonight when i go to bed
    and report any problems, if any, that it finds. I have earlier switched my
    ram out, swopping the slots they sit in, which seemed not to have any
    effect at all. are you suggesting running the computer with only one ram
    module in at a time (i have two 512 sticks of ram)? that might be a good
    idea, as I would rather not purchase a new computer right now, and would
    much rather just have to purchase some new ram. i will try that tomorow.

    thanks everyone for all the help so far

    bst


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  7. Re: Constant system crashes

    On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 01:02:03 +0000, bst wrote:

    > ram out, swopping the slots they sit in, which seemed not to have any
    > effect at all. are you suggesting running the computer with only one
    > ram module in at a time (i have two 512 sticks of ram)? that might be
    > a good idea,


    Yes. A bad stick of RAM is more likely than a slot going bad. Also take
    a pencil eraser (soft gum) and clean the contacts on the RAM stick.

    But run it for a while. Don't make your mind up after a few minutes. I
    would take at least 2-3 hours to make a decision. Run some memory
    and CPU intensive applications.

    For the future might be a good idea to use lm_sensors + gkrellm

    --
    Linux Help: http://rsgibson.com/linux.htm
    Email - rsgibson@verizon.borg
    Replace borg with net


  8. Re: Constant system crashes

    bst wrote:

    > I've been having problems now with my slackware 11 system for a few months
    > now. I'll do my best to give relevant information in describing the
    > situation. My uneducated guess is that this is a hardware problem but some
    > of you may be able to help with even that. Starting a few months ago I
    > have numerous and constant system failures, most of which are segfaults.
    > It does not seem to matter what program I am using or how long I have been
    > up and running. Right now my system runs between 10 minutes to a few days
    > before it crashes so bad I must reboot. At boot time I often get kernal
    > paging errors and hotplug seems to run into problems as well, getting a
    > lot of segfaults. I have not added any new hardware recently so I feel as
    > if either my current hardware is failing (the computers nearly 6 years old
    > and has not been taken good care of) or my system has somehow become
    > corrupt. I would like to try installing slackware 12 but I cant even burn
    > a cd or dvd right now, before it crashes, even by command line. I have
    > switched from KDE to xfce, which seems to have helped some, but I still
    > can only expect to surf the net or watch a video for no more than half an
    > hour before I have a problem. I was wondering if A, there are any programs
    > available to check for memory or hardware programs (that I wont have to
    > compile, I cant compile even the simplest programs right now before a
    > crash) or is it possible to install slackware from a mounted ISO. I'm not
    > sure what log files to check that may have relevent information, so if you
    > would like to know more, let me know where to look and I will get you the
    > information. I'll also start copying some of the crash info, though most
    > of the time all i get is a simple segfault message. what i remember of my
    > hardware:
    >
    > I have a nvidia geforce3 card, using the nvidia drivers
    > asus motherboard and a amd 1.3Ghz processeor
    > plextor cdr and pioneer dvdr+/-
    > one WD 80Gig HD and one WD 120 HD
    > bestbuy brand firewire PCI card
    > Soudblaster Live Mp3 PCI card
    > Ethernet PCI card
    > couple of onboard USB slots.
    >
    > All my programs work correctly....just not for very long.


    It sounds like hardware - have you tried running a Live CD like Slax? That
    may tell you if you have a filesystem problem like hard disks and cables (I
    have had success replacing cables in the past).

    memtest is included on Slax and it is a quick download - only 200 meg. It
    will also be a quick burn onto a CD - same reason.

    I recently had to replace a 5 years old motherboard (CPU and memory were
    fine) - the constant heating/cooling cycling tends to create microfractures
    at solder joints. Perhaps check out eBay for used motherboards, I got a
    replacement NewOldStock for under $20 with superior features.

    Also check your motherboard for swelling electrolytic capacitors - the top
    will appear convex and there may even be fluid leaking. Electrolytics look
    like little barrels - they should have flat tops.

    Another likely culprit is the power supply which is also subject to heat
    stresses.

    Running with one stick of memory and then the other is also a good idea.

    Lots of luck with your tests.

    Let us know how it turns out.

  9. Re: Constant system crashes

    On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 20:15:05 +0000, bst wrote:

    all snip....

    Check the power supply. Sometimes really cheap ones, or ones without
    enough power can fail or shut off unexpectedly. If you have a spare
    computer, try switching PSU.

    --
    Peter

  10. Re: Constant system crashes



    Thanks so far for everyones advice. I ran memtest last night, but it
    failed about 17% through the test. it had not found any errors yet, but
    the fail messages said something about unexpected memory or irq. i wish i
    had wrote it down now. i will try the test again tonight, but on each
    piece of ram seperatley and post the results (if any). also does anyone
    know if some options are better than others within the memtest program, or
    should i not mess with it and let it do its thing?

    i have tried slax and it encounters the same problems, seemingly more so,
    i assume because it will be more memory intensive. I am currently running
    with half my ram now, since my x server crashed 3 times trying to write
    this (so far so good on the one stick). I don't think the problem is with
    the x server though because often I encounter the same problems with
    programs from the commandline before laoding xfce or kde. I will run the
    system on this stick of ram and test it tonight, with results tomorow.
    then switch them out. should i also try it with different slots or is that
    an issue? I will look into lm_sensors + gkrellm shortly.


    i dont have another computer or a spare power supply so that will be
    difficult for me to test for. i'll post back with results tomorow.

    thanks again for the help and advice,

    bst

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