I just "flashed" through your post, and did not absorb all of it...
I'd guess hardware, and, in my experience, first item is RAM...
Could you try a boot from a "Live-CD", with NOTHING installed to the
HDD, and with minimal HDD access. Let it run for a few hours. That
should isolate the OS. And, if it blows up, that would reinforce the
On the RAM, are you using the RAM that came with the MB initially (and,
presumably, is SURELY the correct type!), or did you upgrade/replace it.
If in ANY doubt, could you check on what the MB can handle, and the
specs of the sticks, and ensure they match. If still in any doubt, have
you access to sticks which DEFINITELY match the MB?
On 05/09/2010 13:03, Michael Conry wrote:
> I'm struggling with a system failure (home computer, but still
> frustrating) and thought someone might be able to advise me on where
> to apply my efforts/euro to get back in action...
>> Story so far:
> I was running Ubuntu 8.04LTS for ages, and last week decided to
> upgrade to the new LTS release (Lucid Lynx).
> This went OK, and system seemed to be running fine. I didn't do
> anything much with the computer during the week (except a couple of
> hours of Web), though it was powered up as it's also a printer/scanner
> server. When I came to the machine on Friday evening, it was powered
> down, which I didn't think much off since there had been people in
> working on the heating and any power interruption would leave it
> powered down.
>> However, when I rebooted, after apparently coming up fine, it then
> crashed after only a little bit of use (just small stuff like Web,
> email, etc.,). Trying to reboot, it failed. Then tried safe mode,
> and it worked, though I've since found that that was a red-herring.
> The shut-down is a bit random, and may happen during first stage boot
> (after grub, before splash), may come during fsck, or may come after
> using the system for a few minutes to half an hour.
>> If the failure happens early in the boot, I get a stack-trace with
> contents that I could only photograph. I'll transcribe some bits here
> in case it means anything to anyone...
> lots of irq stuff...
> <EOI> <#MC> [<lots of address stuff>] ?panic+0x111/0x137
> <<EOE>> [<lots of address>] ? default_idle+0x3d/0x90
> end trace
>> Anyway, my first thoughts were that it was a problem of the upgrade
> and kernel version, some googling gave circumstantial evidence too. I
> bought a new HDD yesterday, and installed Debain stable (Lenny) onto
> that (after much rebooting while I tried to create the USB stick to
> boot the install from).
>> That install ran fine, even though i picked lots of extra packages.
> Only problem was X didn't configure itself properly, but a bit of time
> would fix that. However, after maybe 45 minutes that system crashed
> too... :-( At least with Debian I have found a likely way to crash
> the system: Boot to console (remember, X not working, so this is
> default). Fire up w3m, and go to nvidia pages to download the binary
> nvidia drivers.
> Start the download. 3 times the download of the installer from within
> w3m has crashed the computer (so maybe a network/sata connection?).
> However, while writing this mail, I tried again and that succeeded.
> Also have downloaded (wget) half a full-size Debian ISO and via a
> Python script have dumped 1.5Gb of ascii data to HDD without crash.
>> I am now thinking the problem is hardware related. First thought was
> memory. The computer has 4x1GB of ram. I have tried running the
> system with just 1GB using each of the modules, and have had the same
> problem. I also did one run of the memtest grub option from ubuntu,
> without errors. So the RAM is (by my reasoning) unlikely to be the
> problem. That might leave CPU or motherboard (or PSU). During the
> Debian install I did a 10 minute CPU burn in test without issue.
>> So it's a long story, but to summarise my empirical observations:
> 1. Ubuntu Lucid boots sometimes, crashes a bit randomly. Use seems
> to make it crash more quickly.
> 2. Debian Lenny crashes after a longer period of time. Can be made to
> crash immediately by using w3m task described below, but also might
> crash during boot (did that just now on me).
> 3. Installer for Debian Lenny ran without any problems at all. This
> took well over an hour, and would have involved lots of network access
> (I used a minimal iso, but took lots of packages from mirror). I'm
> not sure how this gels with the hardware theory.
> 4. Whole thing follows from a recent upgrade, which may be unrelated
> (since now I can't keep the system up for more than an hour, and
> before first crash it was ok for days.
>> My question (finally) is what would people do next?
> Am I reasonable to infer that there is a hardware issue rather than
> software? (or should I try to reinstall Ubuntu 8.04 to confirm?)
> If it is hardware, what should I replace? I'll maybe find it hard not
> to end up buying CPU+MB+RAM as the whole setup is a bit aged (maybe 4
> years old, with DDR2 RAM), but I don't want to spend a lot of money.
>> Apologies for the long mail, hopefully someone has some time and
> insight to share on a gloomy Sunday!
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