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SubjectRe: Finding mysterious 2.0.33 crashes
On Sun, Feb 15, 1998 at 10:33:12AM -0600, Doug Ledford wrote:
> Well, the only thing that's really been established in this thread so
> far is that there is no one common device in all of these machines
> except maybe a 3 1/2" floppy or something similarly innane.

Yes, it seems that this is the case. In particular, I have no IDE
devices and we've heard from someone with no SCSI; there are also
folks with various ethernet cards and mice who have the problem.
Historically, ps/2 mice, NE2000 cards, and Adaptec 29xx cards have been
trouble sources for other people (but worked fine for me, cross fingers)
which is why I was curious about those. Let's consider them exonerated
now. Only x86-compatible machines have been heard from, but that's not
statistically surprising, and if it is a hardware problem, x86 machines
tend to have flakier hardware anyway.

> OK..I know this isn't an answer, but a complete lack of commonality
> always brings me back to this point. Manfred commented that something
> must have changed between 2.0.31 and 2.0.33. Well, of course that's a
> given.

It also appears that the problem appeared for many people at this time;
2.0.29 works fine for me, but 2.0.33 exhibits the "periodic hang"
problem. It could be a hardware problem that's exposed in 2.0.33, but
the fact that everyone who has this problem is getting it at exactly the
same time makes me think it might not be that. If 2.0.33 simply banged
on the hardware harder, it _could_ be the culprit. For what it's worth,
though, the 2.1.x series (through 2.1.86 or so) does perfectly (no
hangs) on my machine (as do 2.0.29 and earlier kernels back to 1.3.xx).
And pre-2.0.34-2 seems stable as well.

I've had no problems with corrupt files, sig 11s, or anything else
that's indicative of a hardware problem -- I just used rpm to verify the
md5sums on my installed software, and they all look clean. The problem
is unrelated to the machine's load (CPU, Network, disk, or other) --
the only time that it's crashed while anyone was logged in was when I
was doing nothing more than read e-mail. All my hardware timings are
conservative, and the machine's not overclocked or anything obvious like
that.

The good news:

It's been two and a half weeks since I had a hang (that was 2.0.33, I'm
using pre-2.0.34-2 now). If it stays that way, I'm going to file this
problem away in my archives and ignore it until other weirdnesses start
happening. It would be nice to know whether it was a hardware problem
or a kernel problem, but if I can't reproduce it then it's going to be
nigh impossible to determine that.

-Sumner

--
rage, rage against the dying of the light

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