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Kernel panics after wheezy upgrade (but blaming hardware)

I finally updated my 32bit PC to wheezy in October. Shortly after, I started getting kernel panics (blinking CapsLock/Scroll Lock for about 10 seconds, then it would re-boot itself).

I ran memtest for 14 hours; no errors.

It often happened while watching videos in iceweasel, especially when seeking with the slider. It also happened with totem and an audio program again when seeking. It also happen on 3 occasions right after I clicked SEND in icedove. Often it would reboot on its own overnight. I admit I thought it was all due to software for many weeks.

Then I started getting fsck errors during the re-boot. Then after running OK for an hour or so it started re-mounting the hard drive read-only without rebooting. I was seeing journal errors (ext3 filesystem). Then I saw a BIOS message saying a hard drive failure was imminent.

I had a new drive that I wasn't using, so I set it up with ext4 partitions and copied everything to it, fixed up grub, and booted the new drive.

It went back to kernel panics!

I stole a Gateway desktop from my kids (similar CPU and memory). I put my harddrives (the new one), memory (4x1GB), gigabit LAN card and video card (GeForce 7300LE) into it. No problems at all.

When swapping the video card I discovered that the fan was no longer working. I thought maybe an overheating video card could be to blame but it's run for 2 days now without a kernel panic.

That pretty much leaves the blame on the original machine's mother board and power supply. I replaced the power supply a few years ago (Antec Earthwatts 430W EA-430D). The machine is an HP Pavillion MutilMedia TV PC, so there's an Hauppage TV tuner card installed. I didn't try removing that. I don't use it but I still have remnants installed from when I played with ivtv some years ago.

Any comments about all this? I kind welcome the excuse to buy a new PC with a better video card and more memory (and 64bit), but it would be nice to know what's wrong with the machine before I through it out.


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