[Solved] Did Mint brick my mobo?

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Xavier321
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[Solved] Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by Xavier321 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:42 pm

I upgraded my GPU to a RX 580. I changed changed and updated the drivers etc in windows fine and ran it a few weeks like that.

I tried to boot into mint and it would just lock up on a black screen and I would have to hard power the computer off. Because of this I avoided using mint and stuck to windows, but I then accidentally let it boot to mint and on that occasion the motherboard was bricked.

I have since got a new motherboard and I would like to continue still trying out mint but I can not afford to keep replacing motherboards and I am fearful this would happen again. How high is the risk it would occur again? And would mint really have been responsible?
Last edited by Xavier321 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Neil Edmond
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by Neil Edmond » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:57 pm

Xavier321 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:42 pm
How high is the risk it would occur again?
Sorry, I haven't a clue.
Xavier321 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:42 pm
And would mint really have been responsible?
I cannot imagine any operating system doing physical damage to any device including a system board. (But, what do I know?)

pbear
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by pbear » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:16 am

Linux unable to use a shiny new GPU wouldn't be surprising, as there's usually a lag until it's incorporated into the kernel or a driver offered. From there to mobo failure, though, should require something else not really the OS's fault. Whether likely to repeat will depend on the nature of the something else. Frankly, not something I'd hazard for an OS I'm trying on the side. Maybe try running in VirtualBox. Or get a cheap used laptop for the Mint playground.

By the way, there's almost never a need to use a hard shutdown in Linux. If the system freezes, pull out your phone and do a quick internet search for Linux raising elephants. This will refresh your recollection about the magic SysRq key method for soft shutdown. See, e.g., here and here. In a nutshell, holding down Alt all the while, hit SysRq then (pausing briefly between each letter) R E I S U O (to shutdown) or R E I S U B (to reboot).

ETA: Forgot to mention, doesn't matter whether you use upper or lower case for raising elephants, e.g., r e i s u o works just as well.
Last edited by pbear on Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lsemmens
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by lsemmens » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:36 am

Unlikely for software to cause damage to hardware, However, I suppose it's possible.
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by catweazel » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:01 am

Xavier321 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:42 pm
I have since got a new motherboard and I would like to continue still trying out mint but I can not afford to keep replacing motherboards and I am fearful this would happen again. How high is the risk it would occur again? And would mint really have been responsible?
Mint most certainly would not have been responsible. That the events you mentioned occurred close together is mere synchronicity.
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Xavier321
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by Xavier321 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:14 pm

Thanks for all the imput, I just thought it odd that it would freeze every time I tried to boot mint before finally dying.

Regardless I have since booted into my mint 18 install and it went straight in without a hitch no issue. I would not have thought of the 580 as a shiny new GPU as it has been out for a while now?

Regardless, for future reference the mobo that died was an Asrock Pro 4 B350.
The new Mobo that is playing nice is an Asus Prime B450 plus. The only thing I do not like about it so far is that is 'double boots' which is apparently something to do with 'memory training' that did not occur with the Asrock one.

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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by Mute Ant » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:23 pm

It's a sort of Philosophy-of-Engineering tenet that it is impossible for software to damage the hardware it runs on. At the very worst, software can trigger a 'defect' in a hardware design. So no, Mint can't damage the hardware just by running on it.

EXAMPLE You deliberately stop breathing with all your will and effort --> Body-Brain overrides the conscious you and insists on dumping CO2. Your Software-Self is subservient to your Hardware-Self (also see: Matrix: He Is Beginning to Believe)

The tenet is not just theoretical. I was a designer of electronic hardware for military aeroplane cameras. Any hardware failure was the responsibility of the Designer of that hardware, or the Production team that made it, or the Purchasing department who bought the materials. Not to blame-and-punish someone... to stop it happening again, before we make 5000 of them.

The software is 100% simulated on a desktop at millions of times the real-time rate (given hardware uses thousands of operations per second and software uses billions of operations per second).

Of course there are software errors. Nearly every Debian package has a 'bug' pending, but they are not Brick My MOBO errors, they are software errors.
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by Turtletronic » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:41 pm

Mute Ant wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:23 pm
It's a sort of Philosophy-of-Engineering tenet that it is impossible for software to damage the hardware it runs on. At the very worst, software can trigger a 'defect' in a hardware design.
A famous coded-to-kill example was that short prog which (way, way back) killed Atari SM-124 greyscale monitors by exploiting an oversight in the PCB design.
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Re: Did Mint brick my mobo?

Post by murray » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:58 pm

Xavier321 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:14 pm
Thanks for all the imput, I just thought it odd that it would freeze every time I tried to boot mint before finally dying.
Maybe the motherboard was on its way out and beginning to fail and was at a point where Mint couldn't run on it but Windows could? And then it finally died.

As for the question is it possible for software to damage hardware? Sure. It's possible for a program to overheat the CPU and if the CPU doesn't have protection for this then it can be eventually damaged. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_virus It's also possible to wear out flash memory with repeated writes. And then there was the Stuxnet virus that caused physical damage to nuclear centrifuges by overriding the command and control software.
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