System Freeze: Dell Inspiron 7500

System Freeze: Dell Inspiron 7500

Post by Thomas R. Shann » Mon, 08 Jul 2002 23:05:45



I have a serious bug with my Dell Inspiron 7500 and RH Linux.I'd like
to send a bug report to the appropriate person or organization but I
have no idea how to debug this thing even to the point where I can
find out what's responsible and who to contact.

The system will just occasionally freeze.  No mouse control, no
keyboard control, no anything.  I can only turn the computer off and
back on (there's no reset button).  

The problem started with RH 7.1 and persists with RH 7.3. I have only
seen the problem with X running.  Usually I start to see pixelated
"spots" in the background of my X session just before the freeze takes
place and if I hit Alt-Ctrl-backspace quickly, I can prevent the
freeze.  Of course, I lose anything that wasn't saved and if I'm not
using the computer at the time, I can't do this.  It doesn't appear to
be associted with the screen saver as far as I can tell.  The problem
appears to be window manager independent.

I'm connected to the internet through a cable modem and a Netline USB
10/100 Ethernet Adapter.  The laptop has 128 meg of memory.  I'm using
XFree and fvwm2.  I have an standard (with this model) ATI Rage
Mobility video card and my monitor is described only as a "Laptop
Screen" (HorizSync 30-110, VertRefresh 60-110).

The /var/log/messages file gives no clues.  The messages just stop
with no apparent errors.

Any ideas as to what I should do at this point would be greatly
appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom Shannon
--
Quote of the Day for July 4, 2002:
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us
with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
            -- Galileo Galilei

 
 
 

System Freeze: Dell Inspiron 7500

Post by Manwe Sulim » Tue, 09 Jul 2002 00:44:05




Quote:> I have a serious bug with my Dell Inspiron 7500 and RH Linux.I'd like
> to send a bug report to the appropriate person or organization but I
> have no idea how to debug this thing even to the point where I can
> find out what's responsible and who to contact.

> The system will just occasionally freeze.  No mouse control, no
> keyboard control, no anything.  I can only turn the computer off and
> back on (there's no reset button).

> The problem started with RH 7.1 and persists with RH 7.3. I have only
> seen the problem with X running.  Usually I start to see pixelated
> "spots" in the background of my X session just before the freeze takes
> place and if I hit Alt-Ctrl-backspace quickly, I can prevent the
> freeze.  Of course, I lose anything that wasn't saved and if I'm not
> using the computer at the time, I can't do this.  It doesn't appear to
> be associted with the screen saver as far as I can tell.  The problem
> appears to be window manager independent.

> I'm connected to the internet through a cable modem and a Netline USB
> 10/100 Ethernet Adapter.  The laptop has 128 meg of memory.  I'm using
> XFree and fvwm2.  I have an standard (with this model) ATI Rage
> Mobility video card and my monitor is described only as a "Laptop
> Screen" (HorizSync 30-110, VertRefresh 60-110).

> The /var/log/messages file gives no clues.  The messages just stop
> with no apparent errors.

> Any ideas as to what I should do at this point would be greatly
> appreciated.

> Thanks,
> Tom Shannon

Normally, one of the first things I would think of when a box is
mysteriously freezing is bad memory or cpu overheating.  But I think you are
saying you believe it is X.  How much of your time do you spend out of X?
Can you actually confirm, with a fair amount of usage that is, that this
does not happen to you in command-line?

You will have to accept that one of the drawbacks to using open source
software (even Redhat's) is that there is not always one hotline available
for you to contact immediately--at least not unless you want to pay for it.
There are forums on the Redhat site, and there are mailing-lists that you
can contact if you really think this is a bug with the software.  No doubt
Redhad would be willing to work through a number of problems more closely
with you if you pay for their support buy either buy the software with
bundled support, or buying a support contract like many businesses.

 
 
 

System Freeze: Dell Inspiron 7500

Post by Thomas R. Shann » Tue, 09 Jul 2002 01:09:33





> > The problem started with RH 7.1 and persists with RH 7.3. I have only
> > seen the problem with X running.  Usually I start to see pixelated
> > "spots" in the background of my X session just before the freeze takes
> > place and if I hit Alt-Ctrl-backspace quickly, I can prevent the
> > freeze.  Of course, I lose anything that wasn't saved and if I'm not
> > using the computer at the time, I can't do this.  It doesn't appear to
> > be associted with the screen saver as far as I can tell.  The problem
> > appears to be window manager independent.
> Normally, one of the first things I would think of when a box is
> mysteriously freezing is bad memory or cpu overheating.  But I think you are
> saying you believe it is X.  How much of your time do you spend out of X?
> Can you actually confirm, with a fair amount of usage that is, that this
> does not happen to you in command-line?

The reason I've targeted X is because of the pixelation effect above
and because it happens under both WindowMaker and Fvwm2.  But I cannot
absolutely confirm this.  The computer is a dual boot with win98 and
its never happened under Windows but I spend more than 99% of the time
in Linux and of that time, the vast majority with X running.  I can
start running more without it, of course.  I use emacs for most things
and, when I'm not browsing the internet, I don't need it under X most
of the time.  Certainly I can stop X when I'm finished with what I'm
doing.

Quote:> You will have to accept that one of the drawbacks to using open source
> software (even Redhat's) is that there is not always one hotline available
> for you to contact immediately--at least not unless you want to pay for it.

Oh, I'm no expert but I am kind of a veteran.  I've been using Linux
for a while.  I just haven't run into a freeze problem like this
before and I'm having trouble diagnosing the problem when I can't do
anything with the computer after the bug has its effect.  It seems the
most serious bugs are the toughest to diagnose. :)

I'm not really upset.  It happens about once every 48 to 72 hours but
I can count the number of times it happens per month while I'm
actually doing something on one hand.  That also makes it tough to
narrow it down to one thing.

Quote:> There are forums on the Redhat site, and there are mailing-lists that you
> can contact if you really think this is a bug with the software.  No doubt
> Redhad would be willing to work through a number of problems more closely
> with you if you pay for their support buy either buy the software with
> bundled support, or buying a support contract like many businesses.

I actually did buy it with support for my computer at work.  I like
Red Hat and I try to buy the occasional major upgrade to support the
company.  But my laptop isn't covered and I really doubt this is a RH
specific problem, anyway.  I don't know if that makes it inappropriate
for this forum or not.  I'd be real surprised if the tech support at
RH could do anything to help even if my laptop were covered.

If I had to guess, I'd target XFree 4.x.  But I have no way to
absolutely prove this and I don't want to submit it to them as a bug
unless I can.

Tom S.
--
Quote of the Day for July 4, 2002:
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us
with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
            -- Galileo Galilei

 
 
 

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