Frequent lockups :(

John Coppens john at
Fri Apr 1 03:28:12 CEST 2016

On Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:11:41 -0400
brian <brian at> wrote:

> Anybody have any ideas, please? The lockups are happening every couple
> of hours or so. 

At a distance, one can only guess. Two suggestions:

1) Firefox (and I suspect Iceweasel too) has problems here when visiting
sites with many images. It seems that it fills a cache, and once in a
while cleans it out. The cleaning cycle seems to be incredibly slow and
very computation- and disk-sensitive. Though I don't have crashes and
the clock continues running, I can imagine this is a heavy load... It takes
up to many minutes to recover, at 100% of one of the cores.

2) A more serious problem, which seems more probable in your case, is
the power connector on the motherboard. The previous power supply had a
connector which caused the 3.3V line to drop slowly - typically hours.
At a certain point, heavy loads did cause crashes. And I had to recover
a disk with a manufacturer's diagnostic tool to be able to continue. 

It took me weeks to determine the cause, and the XFCE 'Sensor plugin'
allowed me to monitor the voltages constantly. By default the update
rate is rather slow (don't recall, every 1 minute or so), but I have it
on 1 second now. I also reduced the voltage limits in the setup, so the
display is more sensitive. Moving the cable to the motherboard reliably
changed the voltage, which confirmed the diagnostic. Moving the cable
returned the 3.3V line back to its normal state, but over time, the 
voltage dropped again.

I changed the power supply, and all problems went away - even though this
supply provides a little lower voltage than the previous one.

Hope this helps,

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