Strange Freeze-ups

Strange Freeze-ups

Post by The Studen » Tue, 25 Mar 2003 12:33:19



Normally I would not put a post about hardware freeze-ups here, but I cannot
think of anywhere else to put it.

Basically, I have a machine that runs a floppy-based firewall (Dachstein to
be specific), using two PCI net cards.  I've been using it for over a year
with never a single freeze-up ever.  The machine is a beautiful old DEC
P75.

However, when I put SuSE 8.0 minimal install onto a HDD and drop it in
there, and run my own script, the machine will freeze up with a blinking
CAPS LOCK and SCROLL LOCK.  The lockup occurs anywhere from 1 minute to 60
minutes after power up.  

Before the lockup, it works fine, SNAT'ing all outbound traffic, and
DNAT'ing a few selected ports to machines behind the firewall.

Now here I'd say bad HDD or something, except that:

-> A completely different hard drive did it also
-> A completely different *machine* did this to me, this time a DEC
   P166 that I was using to first learn about firewall scripts.  This
   machine also has been running for a year with no problems until
   I started playing with firewall scripts.

The only thing these machines had in common after the HDD was an ISA NIC,
except that I was using that very NIC with SuSE 8.0 for an X-terminal box
for about 8 months w/o ever one single problem, so I don't think it was the
NIC.

Unfortunately, eliminating the HDD and the NIC leaves me with no hardware
culprit.  The SuSE bootup is starting virtually no services except for
CRON, atd, sshd (for local traffic only), and that's about it.  Things like
SuSE's personal firewall, SMTP and other stuff in a default install are all
removed.

I have tried a lot of variations, but before I list everthing, I am
wondering if there is some known combination of kernel parameters used in
firewalling that can cause this, or should I go back to looking at
hardware?  Am I way out in left field here, or has this happened to anyone
else?

If anybody thinks this could actually by my firewall script, I will be happy
to post the script.

Another detail, the lockups always occur when actually connected to the
internet, so I'm wondering if I'm leaving out protection against something
that could be causing this.

TIA,

--
The Student
Programming.  Think about it.

 
 
 

Strange Freeze-ups

Post by asadche » Tue, 25 Mar 2003 13:09:52


what do your logs say?
perhaps you can monitor your box over serial cable and see what kernel spits out.

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Strange Freeze-ups

Post by Roeland Th. Janse » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 07:01:23



> However, when I put SuSE 8.0 minimal install onto a HDD and drop it in
> there, and run my own script, the machine will freeze up with a blinking
> CAPS LOCK and SCROLL LOCK.  The lockup occurs anywhere from 1 minute to 60
> minutes after power up.  

kernel panic..... happens with X and buggy nvidia for instance. not your
install I guess :-)

maybe a stock kernel to try ?

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Strange Freeze-ups

Post by The Studen » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 11:23:34


Quoting unnamed sources, Roeland Th. Jansen claimed:


>> However, when I put SuSE 8.0 minimal install onto a HDD and drop it in
>> there, and run my own script, the machine will freeze up with a blinking
>> CAPS LOCK and SCROLL LOCK.  The lockup occurs anywhere from 1 minute to
>> 60 minutes after power up.

> kernel panic..... happens with X and buggy nvidia for instance. not your
> install I guess :-)

> maybe a stock kernel to try ?

Can you get any more stock than SuSE?  I ask because I always assumed they
were fairly "safe".

--
The Student
Programming.  Think about it.

 
 
 

Strange Freeze-ups

Post by The Studen » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 11:24:48


Quoting unnamed sources, asadchev claimed:

Quote:> what do your logs say?
> perhaps you can monitor your box over serial cable and see what kernel
> spits out.

->BONK.  Hits self on head.  I'm a windows guy and assume that if it locks
up tight there ain't no log worth looking at, so it did not occur to me
that /var/log/messages would have anything useful.  Will have to check.

--
The Student
Programming.  Think about it.

 
 
 

Strange Freeze-ups

Post by Hal Burgis » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 12:17:11



> Can you get any more stock than SuSE?  

Yes, you can. SuSE (and most distros) add their own ideas of how to make
their stuff "better" via patches, compile time options, etc. Usually it
is "better", but not necessarily so.

--
Hal Burgiss

 
 
 

Strange Freeze-ups

Post by Roeland Th. Janse » Sat, 29 Mar 2003 08:06:04



>> maybe a stock kernel to try ?

> Can you get any more stock than SuSE?  I ask because I always assumed they
> were fairly "safe".

anyone can make mistakes :-). I almost always replace it my  a kernel I
build myself. in the case of 8.0 I experienced SuSE kernel + NVIDIA stub
driver problems exactly the same way. box killed between a few minutes
and a few hours with a walking led pattern on the keyboard..

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1. Clock speeds and system freeze-ups...

I'd looked at some items in the newsgroups about segment violations and
"signal 6" and "signal 11" internal compiler errors having to do with
overheating Pentiums. I'd  had similar things happen, in addition to
the system freezing up.

The guy who put my PC together had the clock jumpered up to 120 MHz and
the Pentium is rated to 75 MHz.  Of course, he did this with my
knowledge,
and he wasn't trying to bilk me.  Anyway, it works fine with Windoze,
and Linux, until I really push it with some real multitasking, or try
to build a kernel. Basically, I was in denial: "CAN'T be the hardware!
It would've showed up a long time ago! Yeah, I KNOW it's pushing the
envelope already but..."

I'm stepped back to 100 MHz, and things are purring along.
So, lesson learned for me. It's not a black or white case whether
things will work when you crank up the clock speed...some spooky
things can happen.

Just though I'd pass this on.

Kudos to Thomas Lostaunau for hitting the nail right on the head.

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