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!
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.
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)
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