Hard Lock Ups are back! [ARGHHH!]

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Hard Lock Ups are back! [ARGHHH!]

Postby Lolo Uila on Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:31 am

When I first tried Mint (Bianca) I had some hard lock ups. Having found the default ATI drivers to be problematic in other distros I installed the proprietary ATI drivers and all was well. For a week or so it was smooth sailing in Mint. There were a few minor issues like slow screen savers and some network lag, but it was very stable and really a joy to use.

Now all of the sudden the dreaded hard locks are back. :(

I did some searching here and in the Ubuntu forums and tried some of the suggestions there (like noapic and nolapic) but nothing has helped. I even tried uninstalling and reinstalling the ATI driver (just in case) but it's still crashing.

Sometimes when it locks the mouse still moves, but it won't click on anything (and the cursor often looks like an editor I-bar if that means anything). Nothing from the keyboard works. Tried CONTROL-ALT-BACKSPACE, CONTROL-ALT-DELETE, CONTROL-C, CONTROL-ALT-F1 and no joy. I am forced to power cycle the computer, or hit the reset key.

This is really frustrating. I thought one of the advantages of Linux was that it was nearly impossible to hard lock it. But that seems to be the ONLY kind of crash I get. It either runs great or it freezes solid.

I have no clue how to troubleshoot this since I can't get out of the locked system to see what is freezing.

The stupid thing even locked while I was trying to post this message. I got all the way to typing "Thank Y.." at the end, and it locked before I could finish! :x

Had to go to one of my Windows machines and copy what I wrote off of the frozen screen.

Someone please help. I really like Mint, but I can't use it like this.

Thanks, Tim

PS: the hardware in this system is very solid. Memory has been tested and the components have all been used to run Windows without problems (other than the usual Windows nonsense).

EDIT: System spec's
CPU: Intel P4 2.4GHz
RAM: 1GB OCZ EL PC3200 DDR
MOBO: Intel D865GLCLK (865/ICH5)
SOUND: On-board
NETWORK: On-board Intel Gigbit
VIDEO: ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB
HD: Seagate 20GB boot & Quantum 30GB for storage
CD: Sony DVD burner
Logitech PS/2 keyboard and mouse
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Postby Lolo Uila on Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:12 pm

So no one has any suggestions on how I can try and troubleshoot this?
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Postby telic on Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:40 pm

So no one has any suggestions on how I can try and troubleshoot this?


The lockups might not be Linux per se, as the ATI video driver is separate and proprietary, yet the embedded code has the authority of an OS limb. For better or worse.

As for troubleshooting suggestions: Try something different in your video parameters, e.g. change the screen resolution or refresh rate.

I've not had undue problems with Bianca, but, for example, Ubuntu's fiendishly Feisty 7.04 (Beta) ran fine at 1280x1024, yet it locked my PC harder than a frozen carp each time I tried to set it to 1024x768. This glitch vanished after I installed proprietary nVidia drivers.

So, video settings can make a difference, evidently, yet you and your monitor might not care if it's run at 75Hz instead of 60Hz. Or whatever. (Check your monitor's technical specs.)



Linux Mint 2.2 (Bianca)
GNOME 2.16.1, Beryl 0.2.0, nVidia driver 9755
AMD Athlon XP2200+
ASUS A7V8X-X, 1152MB DDR333
XFX GeForce FX5200 AGP8X 128MB
ATI TV Wonder VE (Bt878)
Hansol 920A 19-inch CRT

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Last edited by telic on Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:15 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Lolo Uila on Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:05 am

Interesting that resolution would make a difference. That actually reminded me of something. There was an issue with the Radeon 9700 Pro under Windows XP when run at AGP 8X. With XP you had to run at AGP 4X for best stability. Since it was fine at 8X with Windows 2000 I always considered it an XP specific problem, but now I'm wondering if this may be something similar.

My old motherboard had AGP 2X/4X/8X settings in the BIOS, but the one in this system does not.

Is there any way to set the AGP mode under Linux?

I will also try some different resolution/refresh rate settings and see.

Thanks for the help.

I'm still open to suggestions if anyone else has any ideas. The lock ups started happening right after the last round of updates from earlier this week, and I'm thinking something that got updated triggered the instability.

Aloha, Tim
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Postby telic on Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:31 am

Is there any way to set the AGP mode under Linux?


I'm quite the Linux n00b, too, but my friend Google says to check this page for some AGP- and vendor-specific xorg.conf settings for Edgy (a.k.a Bianca)...

Option "AGPMode" "x" #where x may be 1, 2, 4, or 8 depending on your system#

You could also tinker with the Option "AGPFastWrite" "on" (or "off") thingy.



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Postby ambertone on Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:59 am

Hi there, being an 865G based mobo am I correct that it has onboard video? Maybe take the 9700 out for a few days and let the default driver in Bianca do the VGA for you and see if that helps by either ruling in or out the video card / driver as the problem.

Rod
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Postby Lolo Uila on Tue May 01, 2007 7:28 am

Well, the latest ATI driver seems to have fixed the stability issues I was having.

Unfortunately the current version of Envy does not install the latest driver. Envy installs 8.35.5 and the latest driver from ATI is 8.36.5. I noticed that as Envy was running and just downloaded and installed the newer driver using the steps outlined in this thread:

http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=386

System ran fine for more than a week then I noticed there was a new version of Envy on Alberto's page and gave it a try. It still installed the previous 8.35.5 driver and with that older driver I still get random hard locks.

So if anyone else with an ATI card is experiencing random hard lock ups give the new 8.36.5 driver a try.

Aloha, Tim
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Postby Boo on Tue May 01, 2007 7:43 am

the newer version of envy is in the romeo repository of mint.

so you can add the romeo repo and add it with apt-get

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install envy

:D
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Now where was i going? Oh yes, crazy!
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Postby Lolo Uila on Wed May 02, 2007 7:13 am

Yes, but as I said, the current version of Envy still installs the 8.35 driver (not the newer 8.36 driver). Not sure what's up with that since the last few Envy updates keep installing the same driver version.

So for now at least you'll have to install the driver manually. Envy does make it a lot easier, but installing it myself was not too bad. I think since I had used Envy previously the driver dependencies were already taken care of.

EDIT:
Envy is now updated to install the 8.36.5 driver (envy_0.9.3-0ubuntu1_all.deb).
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