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Re: System freeze (again)

Pleas try to isolate the problem,

If you suspect of powernow-k8 disable it,

try to work without X for a while

try vesa driver

try change your mouse

try chage your mouse driver...

good luck...

On 11/16/06, Richard L. Mace <macerl@telkomsa.net> wrote:
I was following with interest the thread about system freezes, but it seems to
have dried up. So, I was wondering if people have found a fix. Sorry for this
long post...

My system (HP nx6125 laptop, AMD Turion 64, ATI chipset, ATI Radeon Mobility
XPRESS 200M) started to have "random"  freezes shortly after the xorg 7.0 ->
7.1 transition in etch. The symptoms seem to be very similar to those
described in the "System freeze" thread of a few weeks ago. I first noticed
this a few weeks ago when I was viewing my  system logs and scrolling by
holding down the arrow keys. Sudden freeze during scroll.  Reboot and
execute "less /var/log/syslog". I scrolled down a bit more and freeze again
(during scroll).

I did several experiments in the interim. I just booted the machine and left
it on. Eventually the screensaver would come on, work for a few minutes and
then freeze. Sometimes I could prolong the time before a freeze by
interrupting the screensaver with a move of the mouse shortly after it came
on, but eventually  the system would freeze, typically within a timescale of
hours. This happens with the radeon xorg drivers, the ati xorg drivers and
proprietary fglrx 8.30.3.

Today, I decided to use the laptop for useful purposes (i.e., not diagnose
bugs ;-)). I was editing a moderate sized file with kate and doing the
typical, scrolling up and down with mouse and keyboard. I experienced two
freezes while doing a long scroll by holding the numpad arrow key down (so
that the keyboard repeats) and one while scrolling with the synaptics
touchpad (mouse pointer). I briefly switched from fglrx to the ati driver,
rebooted, turned away from my laptop to do something else and it froze up.

In every case there is nothing written to the system logs. The machine will
not even respond to ping requests once frozen. It needs a complete reboot to
get it going again.

I have run memtest86+ for hours without errors. The probability that this is a
software/Xorg bug is high, given the sudden increase in reports of this kind
of late (so I'm not ready to remove memory chips from my laptop yet...).

Google has been unhelpful. This seems to be a common problem on various
distributions including ubuntu. The causes seem to be many and varied:
presence of powernow-k8 module (I use this), network and usb mouse related
(http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=1738666), Nvidia related (see
previous thread), clock-skew related (powernow-k8 ?), etc. However, there
seems to be no definitive answer as to what the cause is, or what the fix is.

In my experience, it seems that it might be triggered by prolonged scrolling
or mouse  activity (or lack thereof?). But this is such a common user
activity that my experiences could just be coincidence. I have not managed to
get kernel 2.6.19-rc5 to work properly on my laptop, so that fix (mentioned
above) is not an option for me now (does it really work?).

I am currently running debian etch (amd 64) with xorg 7.1 and a custom built kernel. I autoload the powernow-k8 module and use the
kernel "ondemand" governor by default. I have tried with a range of older
(custom built) kernels going back to 2.6.17.x and nothing changes. None of my
32bit debian etch desktops (which do not use frequency scaling) exhibit this.
None of my colleagues' 32 bit debian etch desktops (which do not use
frequency scaling) exhibit this.

Any help would be appreciated.... My apologies again for the long post.


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Jaime Ochoa Malagón
Integrated Technology
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