Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Questions about applications and software
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby anarchitektur on Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:56 am

My computer started crashing a lot while running Windows XP, so after trying to divine the cause for over a month, I said nuts and formatted the disk and installed Linux Mint. It was running pretty great for a while, but now it is crashing just as much, if not more, than XP did. Basically any program I run will close out randomly... Amarok, Firefox, Opera, VLC Player, etc. Sometimes when one of those programs locks up, it kicks me out of my Gnome session and I have to log in again. Other times, the whole system crashes out of X entirely and the system freezes and needs to be booted.

I'm really at my wit's end here. Since this sort of crap was happening in XP, I'm ready to believe that there's a hardware problem somewhere, but I'm not really sure where to look now... nothing in my BIOS looks out of whack, MEMTEST results are all good, all diagnostic checks on both hard drives are good.

Any suggestions? Is my computer begging for the the sweet release of death that only a 15 lb sledgehammer can properly administer?
anarchitektur
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:09 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby nick on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:01 pm

Hi

The first place I would look is the power supply, have you got one
you can temporally replace it with?

What is its rating?

Nick
nick
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:04 am

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby anarchitektur on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:11 pm

Nick,

Thanks for the reply. This is my power supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817194001

Unfortunately, I don't have a spare PS laying around to swap.
anarchitektur
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby Fred on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:25 pm

anarchitektur,

I think Nick may have hit on something here. How heavily do you have this supply loaded, and do you have the load fairly well balanced between the two rail circuits?

Dual rail power supplies present some unique challenges. Load balancing becomes very important. Also, make sure all your connections are tight. The more mechanical connections you have on a power supply and cabling the more likely you are to have these kinds of problems.

It is certainly worth checking.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
User avatar
Fred
Level 10
Level 10
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby anarchitektur on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:29 pm

It's really not that loaded down... 2 IDE hard drives, 2 DVD combo drives, and an ATI Radeon x850 across the 2 rails.

The PS may be going bad, but it's been running fine since I built this box in 2005, so it seems unlikely that any problems with it being overloaded would only be showing up now.
anarchitektur
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby Fred on Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:08 pm

anarchitektur,

If you are reasonably certain the load is not overloading one rail I would have to agree, but a lot can happen in 3+ years. I would definitely check the connectors for signs of having been over heated due to loose or high resistance connections.

It just has all the markings of a power or connector problem of some kind. Check the drive connections too, at the mobo and the drive.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
User avatar
Fred
Level 10
Level 10
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby Timmi on Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:07 pm

I would check the memory.
When a system starts to "grow", as you build it up in software applications, it starts to use more memory, venturing into areas that may have been unused when the system is fresh.
You didn't mention if you got any error message when it froze. If you did, such as "error at xxxxxxxx" then you are 100% certain it's your memory, but the absence thereof doesn't mean it's not that.
If you have memory chips of different brands, even if they are rated at the same speed, they will not be identically the same speed, and that WILL cause problems in fast systems.
Timmi
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:04 pm

Re: Frequent Crashing (OS and applications)

Postby anarchitektur on Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:37 pm

Fred wrote:anarchitektur,
I would definitely check the connectors for signs of having been over heated due to loose or high resistance connections.

It just has all the markings of a power or connector problem of some kind. Check the drive connections too, at the mobo and the drive.


Rather than just write it off, I did go ahead and make sure that everything was connected properly, but the problem persists.

Timmi wrote:I would check the memory.
When a system starts to "grow", as you build it up in software applications, it starts to use more memory, venturing into areas that may have been unused when the system is fresh.
You didn't mention if you got any error message when it froze. If you did, such as "error at xxxxxxxx" then you are 100% certain it's your memory, but the absence thereof doesn't mean it's not that.
If you have memory chips of different brands, even if they are rated at the same speed, they will not be identically the same speed, and that WILL cause problems in fast systems.


When the programs crash, there's never an error message, they just close out. When X crashes out to the command line, there's an error message, but I can't recall it off the top of my head, so I'll have to make note of that next time it happens.

As far as the memory chips themselves, they are 2 identical 512mb sticks
anarchitektur
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:09 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Software & Applications

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 29 guests