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Thread: Serval crashes upon high CPU usage

  1. #1
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    Serval crashes upon high CPU usage

    My Serval laptop has suddenly started immediate turn-off power recently. It's happened at least twice in last 2 days. Any idea is appreciated and please tell me which log files you need to investigate so that I'm happy to provide those.

    I can only describe the situation non-numerically b/c I didn't record anything when it occurred but:

    - CPU usage is high (roughly, the usage of all 4 cores is more than 75% less than 100% on Gnome System Monitor)
    - Noise of the fan was the one of the busiest
    - Memory usage was about 50%
    - Application program running was a simulator for robotics (called Gazebo), which after a few minutes of running the phenomenon occurs. I've used the same tool before on this machine so shouldn't be the matter.

    Not sure if it's related but after I've upgraded to Precise, the fan has been making more noise even when the CPU usage is very low.

    Environment:
    - Ubuntu 12.04 (originally 11.04 upon purchase, then 11.10)
    - Kernel 3.2.0-30-generic
    - Core i7 2GHz x 8
    - 11.7GB RAM

    Thanks.
    Last edited by 130s; September 8th, 2012 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Serval crashes upon high CPU usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 130s View Post
    My Serval laptop has suddenly started immediate turn-off power recently. It's happened at least twice in last 2 days. Any idea is appreciated and please tell me which log files you need to investigate so that I'm happy to provide those.

    I can only describe the situation non-numerically b/c I didn't record anything when it occurred but:

    - CPU usage is high (roughly, the usage of all 4 cores is more than 75% less than 100% on Gnome System Monitor)
    - Noise of the fan was the one of the busiest
    - Memory usage was about 50%
    - Application program running was a simulator for robotics (called Gazebo), which after a few minutes of running the phenomenon occurs. I've used the same tool before on this machine so shouldn't be the matter.

    Not sure if it's related but after I've upgraded to Precise, the fan has been making more noise even when the CPU usage is very low.

    Environment:
    - Ubuntu 12.04 (originally 11.04 upon purchase, then 11.10)
    - Kernel 3.2.0-30-generic
    - Core i7 2GHz x 8
    - 11.7GB RAM

    Thanks.
    Try blowing compressed air through the vents on the back of the computer. I'm guessing they're cloged up, and blowing the dust free will resolve your issue.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
    Open a Support Ticket!
    Ask a Sales Question!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Serval crashes upon high CPU usage

    Thanks isantop. So you suspect that this could be unusual high temperature issue right?
    I've done these:


    • I blew the fan at the back/bottom (I saw some dust at the exterior of air outlet, but not that terribly much I believe. And I don't see much either at the fan inside though it's darker and not clear)
    • I moved the machine on flat, hard surface (before, it was placed on magazines) just to make it clear the surface underneath is what's intended (so that the air outlet won't get clogged)

    Now, after testing the same simulator a few times, I haven't seen shutdowns so far.

    I also started checking CPU temp (by psensor) and observed (all are observation after blowing fan):

    • When CPU usage is around 20%, Core 0 thru 3 are around 52C(elsius), GPU0 is 58C
    • When running the same simulation that makes CPU usage 70% or higher, temps of CPUs are 85 - 95C (this particular simulation doesn't use GPU).

    Assuming again temperature is related, are these values abnormal? Unfortunately I have no idea how hot they were upon the shutdowns.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by 130s; September 11th, 2012 at 02:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: Serval crashes upon high CPU usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 130s View Post
    Thanks isantop. So you suspect that this could be unusual high temperature issue right?
    I've done these:


    • I blew the fan at the back/bottom (I saw some dust at the exterior of air outlet, but not that terribly much I believe. And I don't see much either at the fan inside though it's darker and not clear)
    • I moved the machine on flat, hard surface (before, it was placed on magazines) just to make it clear the surface underneath is what's intended (so that the air outlet won't get clogged)

    Now, after testing the same simulator a few times, I haven't seen shutdowns so far.

    I also started checking CPU temp (by psensor) and observed (all are observation after blowing fan):

    • When CPU usage is around 20%, Core 0 thru 3 are around 52C(elsius), GPU0 is 58C
    • When running the same simulation that makes CPU usage 70% or higher, temps of CPUs are 85 - 95C (this particular simulation doesn't use GPU).

    Assuming again temperature is related, are these values abnormal? Unfortunately I have no idea how hot they were upon the shutdowns.

    Thanks again.
    Those sound right. Keep an eye on it and let us know if you see anything else unusual.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
    Open a Support Ticket!
    Ask a Sales Question!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Serval crashes upon high CPU usage

    Turned out after nearly 10 months later that I had to clean the fan itself. I opened not only the back lid of the laptop, but also the covers of the 2 fan components; inside the fans I see the parts that connect to the dust ducts where were clogged terribly. I thank the fans are open-able by screws. Not the processors temperature become 20F lower than it was during high usage.

    Last edited by 130s; June 24th, 2013 at 08:07 AM.

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