Random machine freeze (Athlon/AGP?)

Random machine freeze (Athlon/AGP?)

Post by Mike Charnok » Tue, 11 Feb 2003 14:08:40



Here's the short of it: I have an Athlon based machine which always
freezes at random times.  It may freeze while booting or after running a
few minutes, hours or days.

The caps lock and scroll lock keys always blink when this happens, which
leads me to believe this is a kernel panic.  Still, I have never seen
any error message when this happens, even in text mode (though this
usually happens while running X).  Nothing is logged to
/var/log/messages.  When the freeze occurs, the machine cannot be
rebooted: the power button and reset button are rendered inoperable - I
must physically unplug the unit to restart (!)

The problem has happened using RedHat 7.3 and 8.0.  The problem has
*never* happened using Windows98.  I have been suspecting the infamous
"Athlon/AGP" problem, and have tried various kernels.  I compiled 2.4.20
myself, with the magic sysreq option.  Still, the freeze always occurs
and the sysreq does not work.  I cannot change consoles using
ctrl-alt-F1 (or other combination).  I recently downloaded RedHat's
2.4.20-2.33 kernel package - problem persists.  The machine will not
even boot if I try the "mem=nopentium" kernel option.  All kernels have
been compiled for athlon (maybe I should try compiling for pentium...)

Has this Athlon/AGP problem been fixed in the kernel by now?  What is
the status of this?  The most comprehensive writeup I've seen was this
(which seems to indicate that 2.4.19 has at least a short-term fix):

http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-kernel&m=102376926732464&w=2

Hardware setup is this:

Motherboard: IWILL KK266 (VIA KT133 based)
CPU:         AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" 850MHz Socket A
Memory:      Crucial CT32M64S4D7E (256MB, PC133, CL=2)
Gfx:         ATI Rage 128 AGP, 16MB
HDs:         WDC AC313000R
             FUJITSU MPG3409AT E

At this point, I am at a loss.  Are there any known issues with the
above combinations?  I have done extensive research, to no avail.  Any
help is much appreciated.  I am really going berserk and hate using
Windows, though it is sadly much more stable than Linux on this
hardware.  Thank you.

Mike Charnoky

 
 
 

Random machine freeze (Athlon/AGP?)

Post by Steve Marti » Tue, 11 Feb 2003 21:11:06



> Here's the short of it: I have an Athlon based machine which always
> freezes at random times.

<snip>

Quote:> When the freeze occurs, the machine cannot be
> rebooted: the power button and reset button are rendered inoperable - I
> must physically unplug the unit to restart (!)

If the reset button truly is rendered inoperable, then this
is probably a hardware problem, and a really * one
at that. I don't think it's possible for a simple software
problem to disable the reset button.

The power button on modern ATX-based mobos is another story.
That can and does sometimes get disabled to casual activation.
However, if the problem shows up again, try pressing and holding
the power switch for a count of five seconds. This usually
works for me when I have trouble shutting off my system.

Quote:> The problem has happened using RedHat 7.3 and 8.0.  The problem has
> *never* happened using Windows98.

This might be because Windows 98 is not optimized for an
Athlon proc, while your Linux kernel is. Try compiling a kernel
and specifying a Pentium processor, and see if it makes a difference.

Quote:> Gfx:         ATI Rage 128 AGP, 16MB

I also used to have quite a few problems with my Radeon board
and AGP, swapped it out for a Matrox G550, my problems vanished.
I think (although it's just a guess) that there is some basic
problem with Athlon AGP and ATI video boards...

Hope this helps.

--
Steve Martin, CPBE CBNT

 
 
 

Random machine freeze (Athlon/AGP?)

Post by Josep » Wed, 12 Feb 2003 00:00:30



> Has this Athlon/AGP problem been fixed in the kernel by now?  What is the
> status of this?  The most comprehensive writeup I've seen was this (which
> seems to indicate that 2.4.19 has at least a short-term fix):

I've been running Mandrake 9.0 on an Athlon Thunderbird 900 Mhz CPU with
AGP for months now without a single problem.

I just upgraded the 2.4.19-16 kernel to the 2.4.19-24 kernel and it only
runs better...quicker.

...and I reused the old kernel config.

--
Mandrake Documentation: http://snurl.com/ph0
Mandrake Supported Hardware: http://snurl.com/ph1
A "Newbie"ginning: http://snurl.com/ph2
Testing the Best of Linux: http://snurl.com/ph3

 
 
 

Random machine freeze (Athlon/AGP?)

Post by Chris Co » Wed, 12 Feb 2003 02:11:16



> Here's the short of it: I have an Athlon based machine which always
> freezes at random times.  It may freeze while booting or after running a
> few minutes, hours or days.

...snip...
> Hardware setup is this:

> Motherboard: IWILL KK266 (VIA KT133 based)
> CPU:         AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" 850MHz Socket A
> Memory:      Crucial CT32M64S4D7E (256MB, PC133, CL=2)
> Gfx:         ATI Rage 128 AGP, 16MB
> HDs:         WDC AC313000R
>             FUJITSU MPG3409AT E

> At this point, I am at a loss.  Are there any known issues with the
> above combinations?  I have done extensive research, to no avail.  Any
> help is much appreciated.  I am really going berserk and hate using
> Windows, though it is sadly much more stable than Linux on this
> hardware.  Thank you.

Apples and oranges ... but on my Tyan K7X (Dual Athlon) I use:

mem=nopentium apic acpi=oldboot pci=acpi

I have both an onboard ATI and currently I use a G4 4600.

I won't guarantee success... the params I'm using are necessary
to spread the interrupts across the CPUs and to use the broader
range of PCI based IRQs.

I use SuSE 8.1 which uses 2.4.19 I believe.

Mine runs rock solid with that config.

 
 
 

Random machine freeze (Athlon/AGP?)

Post by Gib Bogl » Sat, 15 Feb 2003 12:33:51



> Here's the short of it: I have an Athlon based machine which always
> freezes at random times.  It may freeze while booting or after running a
> few minutes, hours or days.
...
> The problem has happened using RedHat 7.3 and 8.0.  The problem has
> *never* happened using Windows98.  I have been suspecting the infamous
> "Athlon/AGP" problem, and have tried various kernels.  I compiled 2.4.20
> myself, with the magic sysreq option.  Still, the freeze always occurs
> and the sysreq does not work.  I cannot change consoles using
> ctrl-alt-F1 (or other combination).  I recently downloaded RedHat's
> 2.4.20-2.33 kernel package - problem persists.  The machine will not
> even boot if I try the "mem=nopentium" kernel option.  All kernels have
> been compiled for athlon (maybe I should try compiling for pentium...)

In your situation I'd probably experiment with different video cards.
Maybe you have an old PCI card somewhere.  Or maybe you could borrow an
AGP card from a friend.

Gib

 
 
 

1. Dual Athlon problem - random flaky problems

I've been having some really bizarre problems with a new hardware
setup and I wanted to know if anybody has seen anything similar or
knows what the issue is.

The machine has:
2GB of RAM
Tyan tiger MP version 1.5 S2460 motherboard using
2 socket A Athlon MP 2000+ processors
3 120 GB Western Digital Caviar drives. (7200 RPM, 8MB cache and the kung-fu
grip)

When installing Debian from CD, the machine hangs and kernel panics in
weird places.  Sometimes it will hang while booting, sometimes I'll
get a kernel panic while booting, and in all other cases, it will boot
all the way up, and then hang completely while trying to format some
of the partitions I created (mke2fs).

I know this hardware is compatible with linux, because I've run debian
on this hardware setup before in the past.  (Although it was with SCSI
disks rather than IDE) We have swapped out the motherboard, both CPUs,
memory sticks, and verified that the drives are OK, and still we get
random flaky behavior.  When installing windows 2000 or XP, everything
works fine.

Given that pretty much all of the hardware components have been
swapped out, is this the software?  Or is the behavior of hanging in
different places due to flaky hardware?  (The version of Debian is
2.2r3 I believe, which uses a default 2.2 kernel)

Any help would be appreciated.

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