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Re: unpredictable crashes, lock up, freezes, whatever

Heather <star@betelgeuse.starshine.org> writes:

> Olaf Meeuwissen <olaf@epkowa.co.jp> writes:
> > Okay, so I compiled a kernel without any APM support, installed
> > and tried it.  My system froze within half an hour :-(
> You must compile with one of the two flavors of power management, or
> else there will be hardware interrupts that *will* happen, that the
> kernel will not have any awareness of, and eventually, something bad
> will probably happen.

Then the kernel configuration should take care of that, not? :-)
Anyway, I wouldn't really want to use a kernel without APM enabled.
Doubly so on a laptop.

> You can try ACPI - [...]

Haven't seen that mentioned in the configuration for 2.2 kernels.  Is
this something from 2.3+?

> I believe, but am not sure, that the original "neomagic specific" X
> server is still out there, and you could try it.  You might have to
> raid the complete X setup from an older distro in order to try it if
> you want to go that far.

Don't think I want to go that far back to the stone ages ;-)

> > Left if sitting at the console and gdm login prompts overnight as
> > well.  No crash.  Bad news is that as soon as I logged in through
> > gdm, my machine froze.  Actually, it locked up three times in ten
> > minutes or so :-(
> Interesting, that makes it hard to tell if Gnome, gdm itself, or X
> is the problem.

I'm pretty sure Gnome is not the problem.  Originally, I experienced
these lock ups with KDE.  Since that included (still does, I think)
quite a bit from unstable I switched to Gnome to see if it made a
difference.  Not!

> I know it's weird but you could just run 'X' - which should get you
> the server, no window manager, and no clients, and see if it lives.
> Even leave it that way a while and see if it eventually barfs out on
> you.  If you want to test Xserver activity, move the mouse.

Something I might want to keep in mind when I get some time to really
sort this problem out.

> > > > You might isolate video card issues by running in console
> > > > mode, by switching to a version 3 XF86 driver, or by switching
> > > > from an accelerated driver to SVGA or VGA16.
> > > 
> > > I've been thinking about running X on the frame buffer device
> > > myself.
> > 
> > This morning, after three lock ups in ten minutes, I compiled
> > frame buffer support in, fiddled my XF86Config-4 to use it and
> > I've been up for 5(!) hours.  I think I'll lock my session with
> > xscreensaver (to guarantee some Xserver activity (eh, at least
> > until APM kicks in and blanks the screen)) before I go home and if
> > my machine hasn't crashed by tomorrow morning I'm ready to believe
> > my problem is fixed.  I might even get bold and start using that
> > broken DIMM again ;-)

APM didn't kick in last night it seems.  The screensaver was running
happily when I came in this morning.  Removed the lock and my session
was still very much alive (left stripchart running).  As a matter of
fact I'm typing this mail from a 21 hour old session.  I'd say that
even if my problem may not be fixed, I've got myself an acceptable
work around.  Using the framebuffer is only a bit slower.

> > Problem then is where to put the blame: graphics card or X driver?
> > I'm using xserver-xfree86 4.0.3-4.
> Try tuning up SVGAlib to see if that also freaks out the system.  If
> it works at all it will be under "VESA" or "Standard VGA". If it
> breaks too then two things remain.

Not quite sure whether I get what you're saying, but I'll keep this in
mind for when I get oodles of free time (or my boss' blessing :-) to
get to the bottom of this.

> 1. the modeline.  SVGAlib uses XF86 style modelines too.  Monitor being
>    pushed just barely out of spec could be doing something unknown and
>    invisible.   To test that, reduce the freq range for your monitor
>    values in X's config then try again, so you get new modelines.
> 2. yeah, your card could be bad...
> Good luck
> * Heather Stern * star@ many places...

Karsten, Heather, thanks for the feedback.

Olaf Meeuwissen       Epson Kowa Corporation, Research and Development

     Free Software: `No walls, no windows!  No fences, no gates!'

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