SOLVED: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

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SOLVED: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:48 am

After two or three days, my desktop decides not to play nice anymore. Opening a window produces a blank window, but sometimes if I mouse over it bits of what should be there appear. As well, icons disappear from the system tray and some letters appear as blocks or smudges in windows with text in them. All in all things become unreadable/unusable and I have to log out.

Logging back in produces a functioning desktop. This is KDE 4.8.5.

I see lots of bug reports on crashes, but I don't know if you could call this a crash. Certainly, no window reporting a crash shows up. Otherwise, I've found nothing that resembles my problem. Anyone have any ideas?
Last edited by LindseyD. on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby 741cc on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:20 pm

H/w or graphics driver prob? Tried disabling desktop effects?
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:59 am

741cc wrote:H/w or graphics driver prob? Tried disabling desktop effects?


Thanks for the reply.

I don't use desktop effects. Only 1GB of RAM, which may be the issue--although I asked before I installed Maya, and the ones who replied were having no problems. When I run something like top or uptime, the load average is usually under 0.4.

This never happened when I was running Mint9, and it's the same hardware. The desktop actually did crash this morning, although it all seems to have come back without me having to log out and in again.

I've been gradually updating everything I can find to do with Xorg or KDE, but so far no joy. My next step would be to upgrade to KDE 4.9, which I'm not crazy about trying.

Any suggestions would be welcome.
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby 741cc on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:20 pm

My KDE install regularly uses around the 1G ram mark, but I have eight so its never an issue. Low ram might well be the problem. Did you use KDE or another D/E on Mint 9?
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:03 pm

741cc wrote:My KDE install regularly uses around the 1G ram mark

Wow! Right now I have 9 applications open, including Firefox with 9 tabs, and I have 261,564 free. The swap isn't even half full.
741cc wrote: Did you use KDE or another D/E on Mint 9?

Mint9 KDE out of the box. From what I can remember, it's about the same memory usage.

I *think* I'm using the Gaia recycled desktop theme, slightly customized in that it's a white panel. It's been so long since I tweaked anything, I can't remember how you tell what theme you're using. Anyway, I know it isn't anything heavy on resources.

Hmm ... Does Gaia recycled come as part of the default install? Because if it doesn't, how come I have it? And could that somehow be the problem?
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:00 pm

Well, I figured out what's causing it, I just don't know how to cure it.

Firefox makes my fan run very loudly--I assume because it's eating all my CPU. I installed Opera, which is much lighter (but not as much to my liking) and had no problems until I hit a site that got my fan running loudly. Then the desktop went crazy.

So I'll assume it's a temporary high resource consumption that's enough to bork the desktop. Sigh! I'll also assume that the fix is to install more memory, or get a new machine :(
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby Jaws on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:10 am

I doubt Firefox is the cause of the problem but rather a symptom. The unstable nature would seem to point to a hardware problem.

Have you cleaned inside the computer case and components of dust, dirt, and hair. You'd be surprised how much gets sucked into the case.

While you have the panels off the case I would check that all the case and component fans are working by booting the system and visually seeing that they are turning at a proper speed. Especially the video card's fan.

Lastly, do a memory check to see if the memory stick might be getting flaky.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:10 pm

Hi Jaws:

Thanks for suggesting a weekend project on Sunday afternoon just before I'm about to go out :)

Jaws wrote:Have you cleaned inside the computer case and components of dust, dirt, and hair. You'd be surprised how much gets sucked into the case.


If memory serves, the problem coincided with my install of Mint13. But, no, I've never cleaned it out. Will try your other suggestions, too, as this is NOT a new machine.

Now, where did I put that vacuum ...
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:24 am

Hi Jaws:

Apologies for being skeptical.

I finally got around to opening the computer & hoo-hah! was that thing filthy! Turns out, what I thought was only the speaker vent was also the fan intake. Now the thing is running so quietly, it's kind of creepy.

As to whether the desktop will stabilize, I'll have to wait a few days.
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby Jaws on Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:24 pm

Hey LindseyD.

No apologies necessary. It'll be great if the case cleaning helps with your problem.

It would be beneficial to get a can of compressed air and blow off the CPU and video card heat sink fins too, preferably outdoors. :wink:
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Re: Maya/13--Desktop goes crazy after a couple of days

Postby LindseyD. on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:00 pm

Hi Jaws:

I've spent some time giving the machine a good workout--done everything that used to cause problems except edit video & run Firefox (I switched to Opera. Don't know if that's a permanent thing yet). It's quieter than a mouse around here. I know there are strange relationships, sometimes, between hardware and software, but I never dreamed a dirty fan could mess a desktop up. (Actually, I never dreamed the fan was dirty.)

BTW, I installed a temperature monitor. Thanks again.
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