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Re: Why does my system stop frequently?

Camaleón wrote:
On Sun, 22 May 2011 21:47:03 -0500, Dennis Wicks wrote:
My system (lenny 2.6.26-2-686, P2, 2+ GHz) will just stop.
That's a quite old computer.
No disk light, nothing works. No scrolling, typing, marking/selecting,
no copying/pasting. Just frozen. It will stay like this for probably 5
secs. although it seems longer, and it happens often, every couple of
I would discard a hardware error, and being frozen too often I would
start with hard disks. You can load a LiveCD and keep it running a full
day -no more freezes could mean the error is on the disk itself or at the
controller- and also run "smartctl" test, long run.

Yeah, what he said. Hardware failure is what first came to mind for me as well, specifically hard drive issues.

One thing I learned the hard way is that consumer-grade drives (vs. "enterprise" drives), is that a drive's internal firmware will try lots of times to read a bad sector before giving up. The only indication you'll see is that the response time of the drive goes WAY up.

About the only way to find this is running:
smartctl -A
If raw read errors is anything higher than 0, you have a drive that's failing.

This behavior is a good thing if you have a single drive (your system continues to run in some form). It's a bad thing if you're running software raid (at least with md) - rather than detecting and dropping the bad drive, the array just keeps functioning and the entire system slows down. ("enterprise" drives are designed to be used in RAID arrays, and give up a lot earlier when reading a bad sector - leaving reliability and error recovery to the RAID array).


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In<fnord>  practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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