Frequent lockups :(

brian brian at
Mon Mar 28 20:32:38 CEST 2016

On Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:10:45 -0600 (MDT), you wrote:

>On Mon, 28 Mar 2016, brian wrote:
>> Is there anybody else out there using Debian Jessie 64-bit and XFCE on
>> an AMD PC who, for the 3 or 4 days, has been seeing frequent lockups
>> of their PC? The crashes seem to occur when I'm using a browser, and
>> using Iceweasel is worse than using Chromium. When it happens, that's
>> it, everything locks solid, mouse cursor won't move, the keyboard
>> doesn't appear to work, the display clock stops, the only thing I can
>> do is to use the reboot switch. The only thing I notice is that the
>> drive access light is still flickering (once every 5-10 seconds) and
>> there's been a disk repair needed every time I've had to reboot.
>> I know there was an amd64-microcode package in the last bunch of
>> updates, it's for AMD processors other than mine (a Phenom II 6-core)
>> so I uninstalled that, with no apparent effect on the problem.
>> The 'about XFCE' dialog gives the version as "4.10, distributed by
>> Debian".
>> Anybody have any ideas, please? The lockups are happening every couple
>> of hours or so.
>xfce 4.10 on FreeBSD is used here daily, with no problems at all, 
>although generally on Intel processors.
>There are a lot of things this could be, but hardware problems would be 
>high on my list.  I would check that the power supply and system fans 
>are clear and spinning, the heatsinks are not clogged with dust, that 
>sort of thing.  If the machine is more than a few years old, look for 
>bulged capacitors on the motherboard near the CPU.  It's usually 
>difficult to see into a power supply, but try to look there also. 
>Failed caps can cause just this type of intermittent problem.  So can 
>RAM that is failing.

Thanks for the ideas. The PC is about a year or so old, 18 months
tops, and I'm fairly careful about keeping the inside cleaned out.
I'll check on the capacitors, though. 

What points me towards a possible software problem is that I always
seem to be using a browser when it locks up, whether Iceweasel or


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