Frequent lockups :(

brian brian at
Tue Mar 29 18:04:09 CEST 2016

On Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:44:06 +1100, you wrote:

>On 29/03/16 13:39, Rob McCathie wrote:
>> On 29/03/16 00:11, 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.
>>> Thanks.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Xfce mailing list
>>> Xfce at
>> 1, get SystemRescueCD ISO, burn it to a CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
>> 2. RAM test: boot SysRecCD and at the boot (grub) menu select "floppy 
>> disc images", then select "memtest86" and let it run for a couple 
>> hours at least and see if any errors occur.
>> 3. CPU thermal test: boot SysRecCD normally (standard defaults - first 
>> option in it's boot menu). once it's booted run:
>>   stress --cpu 6
>> this will hammer your 6 CPU cores, leave that running, hit ctrl+alt+F2 
>> to swap to vt2 and execute:
>>   sensors
>> keep executing sensors over and over so you can monitor how high your 
>> CPU temperature is getting. A 6 core Phenom at full load will get 
>> warm, but shouldn't generally get much past 55c with standard cooling 
>> (if it's getting over 60c you probably want to clear out your 
>> heatsink/fan and also apply new thermal paste between the heatsink and 
>> CPU), what we're looking for is if it's getting to like 70c+ and/or if 
>> the system locks up while stress is running.
>> 4. Another test: If the CPU is fine, go back to vt1 (ctrl+alt+F1) and 
>> stop stress (ctrl+c). Now execute the command:
>>   wizard
>> and it will offer to auto-detect stuff and start Xorg+Xfce. Once it's 
>> running, open the provided web browser (it's firefox iirc) and browse 
>> for a bit, see if any lock-up occurs.
>> If this test and all earlier tests were fine, it still could be a 
>> number of things (hard drive, power supply, Debian's kernel not liking 
>> your hardware, Debian's Xorg not liking your hardware, etc.), but the 
>> first thing i'd be trying is a different hard drive. If you have a 
>> spare HDD, plug it into your system and do a Debian install on it and 
>> try to run off it for a while.
>> Beyond this you'd want to try a different distro with different 
>> kernel/xorg.
>> If the problems persist through all that, it's likely a power supply 
>> problem or a failing motherboard.
>> -- 
>> Regards,
>> Rob McCathie
>Oh also, before bothering trying a different HDD, try replacing your 
>SATA data cable.

Thanks for the ideas. They're on the list of things to try. 


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