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Thread: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

  1. #1
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    system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    hello,

    this is affecting a Thinkpad T42 + Xubuntu 12.04.

    have run various flavours of Ubuntu on this machine for almost a decade now, hardly had any issue. Now, all of a sudden (and possibly after a recent update), Xubuntu freezes randomly though frequently. Sometimes I hardly have the time to do anything at all after turning on the machine and loading Xubuntu - other times (like now), I manage to work for an hour or two before it freezes. But sooner or later it does freeze...

    I've just re-installed Xubuntu 12.04 (thought it might solve things) and a) the machine froze during the installation routine, b) it still freezes as often as before.

    I'm also wondering if it might be time I replaced my T42...could it be a hardware problem? The machine doesn't seem to overheat and the fan is working fine as usual. How can I find out?

    Thanks a million for your help.

  2. #2
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    ...sorry, i just wanted to add that - when it freezes - there seems to be nothing i can do other than press the main power switch to force the machine to turn off. I tried the ctrl-alt-delete or ctrl-alt-f1/f2 commands but it didn't work. It's a total freeze, in other words: keyboard, mouse, everything gets stuck....

  3. #3
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    What are the full specifications on your Thinkpad T42?

  4. #4
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    here you go - there's probably a lot of stuff you won't need, sorry

    Code:
    ~$ lshw
    WARNING: you should run this program as super-user.
    t42                       
        description: Computer
        width: 32 bits
      *-core
           description: Motherboard
           physical id: 0
         *-memory
              description: System memory
              physical id: 0
              size: 1015MiB
         *-cpu
              product: Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.70GHz
              vendor: Intel Corp.
              physical id: 1
              bus info: cpu@0
              version: 6.13.6
              size: 1700MHz
              capacity: 1700MHz
              width: 32 bits
              capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 mtrr pge mca cmov clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss tm pbe up bts est tm2 cpufreq
         *-pci
              description: Host bridge
              product: 82855PM Processor to I/O Controller
              vendor: Intel Corporation
              physical id: 100
              bus info: pci@0000:00:00.0
              version: 03
              width: 32 bits
              clock: 33MHz
              configuration: driver=agpgart-intel
              resources: irq:0 memory:d0000000-dfffffff
            *-pci:0
                 description: PCI bridge
                 product: 82855PM Processor to AGP Controller
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:01.0
                 version: 03
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 66MHz
                 capabilities: pci normal_decode bus_master
                 resources: ioport:3000(size=4096) memory:c0100000-c01fffff memory:e0000000-e7ffffff
               *-display
                    description: VGA compatible controller
                    product: RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]
                    vendor: Hynix Semiconductor (Hyundai Electronics)
                    physical id: 0
                    bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
                    version: 00
                    width: 32 bits
                    clock: 66MHz
                    capabilities: vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
                    configuration: driver=radeon latency=66 mingnt=8
                    resources: irq:11 memory:e0000000-e7ffffff ioport:3000(size=256) memory:c0100000-c010ffff memory:c0120000-c013ffff
            *-usb:0
                 description: USB controller
                 product: 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1d
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.0
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: uhci bus_master
                 configuration: driver=uhci_hcd latency=0
                 resources: irq:11 ioport:1800(size=32)
            *-usb:1
                 description: USB controller
                 product: 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1d.1
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.1
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: uhci bus_master
                 configuration: driver=uhci_hcd latency=0
                 resources: irq:11 ioport:1820(size=32)
            *-usb:2
                 description: USB controller
                 product: 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1d.2
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.2
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: uhci bus_master
                 configuration: driver=uhci_hcd latency=0
                 resources: irq:11 ioport:1840(size=32)
            *-usb:3
                 description: USB controller
                 product: 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB2 EHCI Controller
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1d.7
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.7
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: ehci bus_master cap_list
                 configuration: driver=ehci_hcd latency=0
                 resources: irq:11 memory:c0000000-c00003ff
            *-pci:1
                 description: PCI bridge
                 product: 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1e
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1e.0
                 version: 81
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: pci normal_decode bus_master
                 resources: ioport:4000(size=20480) memory:c0200000-cfffffff memory:e8000000-efffffff
               *-pcmcia:0
                    description: CardBus bridge
                    product: PCI4520 PC card Cardbus Controller
                    vendor: Texas Instruments
                    physical id: 0
                    bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
                    version: 01
                    width: 32 bits
                    clock: 33MHz
                    capabilities: pcmcia bus_master cap_list
                    configuration: driver=yenta_cardbus latency=176 maxlatency=5 mingnt=192
                    resources: irq:11 memory:b0000000-b0000fff ioport:4c00(size=256) ioport:4800(size=256) memory:cc000000-cfffffff memory:c8000000-cbffffff
               *-pcmcia:1
                    description: CardBus bridge
                    product: PCI4520 PC card Cardbus Controller
                    vendor: Texas Instruments
                    physical id: 0.1
                    bus info: pci@0000:02:00.1
                    version: 01
                    width: 32 bits
                    clock: 33MHz
                    capabilities: pcmcia bus_master cap_list
                    configuration: driver=yenta_cardbus latency=176 maxlatency=5 mingnt=192
                    resources: irq:11 memory:b1000000-b1000fff ioport:4400(size=256) ioport:4000(size=256) memory:ec000000-efffffff memory:c4000000-c7ffffff
               *-network:0
                    description: Ethernet interface
                    product: 82540EP Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Mobile)
                    vendor: Intel Corporation
                    physical id: 1
                    bus info: pci@0000:02:01.0
                    logical name: eth0
                    version: 03
                    serial: 00:10:c6:ce:fa:aa
                    capacity: 1Gbit/s
                    width: 32 bits
                    clock: 66MHz
                    capabilities: bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
                    configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=e1000 driverversion=7.3.21-k8-NAPI firmware=N/A latency=64 mingnt=255 multicast=yes port=twisted pair
                    resources: irq:11 memory:c0240000-c025ffff memory:c0200000-c020ffff ioport:8000(size=64) memory:e8000000-e800ffff
               *-network:1
                    description: Wireless interface
                    product: AR5212 802.11abg NIC
                    vendor: Atheros Communications Inc.
                    physical id: 2
                    bus info: pci@0000:02:02.0
                    logical name: wlan0
                    version: 01
                    serial: 00:05:4e:50:ca:5d
                    width: 32 bits
                    clock: 33MHz
                    capabilities: bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
                    configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath5k driverversion=3.2.0-51-generic firmware=N/A latency=168 maxlatency=28 mingnt=10 multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abg
                    resources: irq:11 memory:c0210000-c021ffff
            *-isa
                 description: ISA bridge
                 product: 82801DBM (ICH4-M) LPC Interface Bridge
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1f
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.0
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: isa bus_master
                 configuration: latency=0
            *-ide
                 description: IDE interface
                 product: 82801DBM (ICH4-M) IDE Controller
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1f.1
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.1
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: ide bus_master
                 configuration: driver=ata_piix latency=0
                 resources: irq:11 ioport:1f0(size=8) ioport:3f6 ioport:170(size=8) ioport:376 ioport:1860(size=16) memory:40000000-400003ff
            *-serial UNCLAIMED
                 description: SMBus
                 product: 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) SMBus Controller
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1f.3
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.3
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 configuration: latency=0
                 resources: ioport:1880(size=32)
            *-multimedia
                 description: Multimedia audio controller
                 product: 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1f.5
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.5
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: bus_master cap_list
                 configuration: driver=snd_intel8x0 latency=0
                 resources: irq:11 ioport:1c00(size=256) ioport:18c0(size=64) memory:c0000c00-c0000dff memory:c0000800-c00008ff
            *-communication UNCLAIMED
                 description: Modem
                 product: 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Modem Controller
                 vendor: Intel Corporation
                 physical id: 1f.6
                 bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.6
                 version: 01
                 width: 32 bits
                 clock: 33MHz
                 capabilities: generic cap_list
                 configuration: latency=0
                 resources: ioport:2400(size=256) ioport:2000(size=128)
      *-scsi:0
           physical id: 1
           bus info: scsi@4
           logical name: scsi4
           capabilities: scsi-host
           configuration: driver=usb-storage
      *-scsi:1
           physical id: 2
           bus info: scsi@5
           logical name: scsi5
           capabilities: scsi-host
           configuration: driver=usb-storage
    Last edited by Toz; July 31st, 2013 at 04:29 PM. Reason: added code blocks

  5. #5
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    could it have something to do with the Radeon driver(s)? if it could, any thought about what can be done about it? If Xubuntu 12.04 has got nothing to do about it, I guess it's the display or the motherboard or...

    hope someone can help. thanks.

  6. #6
    dino99's Avatar
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    sorry im not used with xubuntu; but you might find something usefull logged. At first glance im thinking about a possible compiz crash for such trouble; reset it to default.

    dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
    and possibly clean the system: clean/autoclean/autoremove/gtkorphan/bleachbit
    also glance at the sources.list (no "exotic" entries like untrusted ppas for example)
    Last edited by dino99; August 1st, 2013 at 03:12 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    Hi

    Can you pin point any change that happened when it occured ?

    Do you still get the same issue when running from a live cd/usb ?

    As you reinstalled xubuntu and still have the issue, i would suspect/eliminate hardware in the first instance.

    What hardware tests have you run ?

    EDIT: Can you shutdown by getting to a console ?

    Can you shutdown using the magic key combination (alt + sysreq .....) ?

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    Thinkpads with ATI Radeon graphics chips develop problems over time. The graphics chip delaminates from the motherboard causing a hard lockup. You had a good run at 10 years. You can search youtube for ways of resoldering the chip, but success is low. Back up your data and start looking for another machine.

    Try booting from a Live CD of an older distro. If your machine stays up for several days, then it could be software-related. If it locks up while running the Live CD, then you can be reasonably sure that the motherboard has worn out.
    -------------------------------------
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    Unumquodque potest reparantur. Patientia sit virtus.

  9. #9
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    thanks all for your kind advice - i tried a dconf reset -f /org/compiz/ though don't really know if it's worked. I understand that it's an old machine and it did lock up while running the live CD so...i'm looking into getting an X230 anyway, but in the meantime would like to try and keep this for as long as I can and as a second machine. So let me answer the questionnaire first

    Can you pin point any change that happened when it occured ?

    No, I can't. Couldn't see any change in (for example) the screen. In fact, every time it freezes, the screen (colours, light intensity, etc) remains exactly as it is when the pc is working.

    Do you still get the same issue when running from a live cd/usb ?

    It happened once, the second time it didn't, as it didn't the third time I run it (after that I proceeded to install Xubuntu).

    As you reinstalled xubuntu and still have the issue, i would suspect/eliminate hardware in the first instance.
    What hardware tests have you run ?
    None. Wouldn't know where to start from.

    EDIT: Can you shutdown by getting to a console ?
    No. Have to use the power button.

    Can you shutdown using the magic key combination (alt + sysreq .....) ?
    As above. Power button only.

    Will post more if I see any change.

  10. #10
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    Re: system freezes randomly and for no apparent reason

    Hi

    @tgalati4 may have the answer. It sounds like he may have come across this issue in the past.

    You can run the usual suit of tests for memory, hard drive, temps etc, but if it is the issue tgalati4 suspects it is then it may be a bigger issue to fix it.

    Have you looked in the log files to see if there is anything in them ?

    Does the CAPS LOCK keyboard LED flash when the system has hung ? This would suggest a kernel crash.

    Does it freeze if you boot into the BIOS and leave that running (leave it overnight or even longer) ?

    Kind regards
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

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