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Ubuntu and Fedora both crashing - rwheelock83 - 2010-11-03

I've been switching back and forth between Ubuntu 10.04 and Fedora 13 for a few weeks now. They both seem to occasionally freeze up on me randomly... I thought that's why I was getting away from Microsoft! [img]<___base_url___>/uploads/emoticons/default_dry.png[/img]


Fedora tends to do it when I'm using Firefox. The mouse cursor still moves, and even changes based on whether it's over text, a link, etc, but nothing happens when I click anything (can't close Firefox, minimize, open Gnome menus...). Keyboard shortcuts don't do anything either. At that point I end up having to do a hard shutdown.


Ubuntu seems to do it regardless of which program(s) I'm in. The screen will either go black, or go to alternating white lines and solid black. Usually I can hit the power button, wait a second, and hit enter, and then the screen will go through the standard shutdown check list, which suggests to me that it's just the GUI that crashes in that case, while the kernel and whatever else is still running.


My question is, since I'm having similar issues in both OSes, does that indicate that it's actually a hardware issue showing up in two different ways?


It's a Dell Dimension 2350 that I upgraded to P4 2.5 GHz and 1 GB ram. These things apparently don't have temperature sensors that the OS can interface with, so I haven't been able to get any kind of CPU temp monitoring utility to give me any useful information. It does have a variable speed fan that definitely speeds up with processor load though. It can crash when the fan's barely humming, or when it sounds like the thing is about to take off, so I don't think it's an overheating issue, though it has had overheating issues in the past.


I'd eventually like to move my storage HDDs to this box and leave it up 24/7 as a home network server, but at this point it's not dependable enough.



Ubuntu and Fedora both crashing - Dungeon-Dave - 2010-11-03

Does sound like a H/W problem.


Try testing out a screensaver, leave that running, see if you get any freezes that way. I know Flash in Firefox can be a CPU hog and sometimes exposes faulty H/W that way - if you try some other apps that hammer the CPU or memory, maybe that can narrow it down.

Ubuntu and Fedora both crashing - rwheelock83 - 2010-11-04

Now that you mention it, there are a couple screen savers I know of in Ubuntu that will freeze it up immediately... So I've just had it set to shut the display off after a few minutes instead.


It's got an onboard graphics chip now. You think if I found an old Nvidia card on ebay (this thing doesn't even have an AGP slot, PCI only...) that would help? I suppose I'd have to figure out how to disable the onboard graphics though.

Ubuntu and Fedora both crashing - Dungeon-Dave - 2010-11-04

It would narrow down if the onboard GFX was at fault.


Generally, H/W faults are more likely to be memory, followed by CPU, then by mobo (but H/D at the top of that list...)