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Thread: Problem with machine freezing

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    168

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    Hello Dino99,
    You wrote :
    "Genuinely the kernel is patched/upgraded with the help of Dell technical staff, so recent versions should be better; except for too old hardware where some chip are no more supported (should not be case on your machine, but who knows)."

    Well, the most recent kernel does not hold the change they made into the 4.13 one...
    I've seen that the 16.04 Dell version with a more recent kernel (vanilla one) does not have the problem. So could it be a module they use ? (there are a lot of loaded module with names containing "acpi"...) Add to this I still have the Dell recovery partition where there are a lot of things (3.0 GB...) so doing some forensic analysis could give me an answer... But I need some leads or clues as to what to search .

    Last but not least, do you think that if I upgrade from 16.04 Dell version to, says 20.04, I could retain the Dell changes (obviously not those in the OEM kernel, but...) ?

    I have searched too much for troubleshooting this issue that I can't think straight, so your help will be invaluable !

    P.S. : The Dell support page only offer the BIOS update when I select my serial number and a Linux OS.... So no help to get from them, I suppose....

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Nux Jam
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    About the Seageate 320 Gb: could it be the slowest device installed ? Maybe exclude it from lvm, and use it for storage or else.
    The other hdds are very good ones. How they are used ? There are many custom partitions install choices: is the system need to pick them across all these hdds ?

    Try a new install of 20.04 on free space (manual install, ext4, default installer choices (no custom /var/ /tmp/ ...). Note that nowadays there is a swap file, not a partition, nor a /home partition: better to set a Data partition which is filed via syncing or cron. Do tests and see if you get freeze with that config.
    Last edited by dino99; May 2nd, 2020 at 05:38 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    168

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    Oh, I did not made myself clear !
    I tried 3 different disks, as cited. But one at a time, as I can't put more than one in the laptop...
    So I've a 2TB Seagate disk in the machine. I hook another disk using USB adapter on the laptop, create the various needed partition on it, and copy the non Linux partitions, and pvmove the Linux parts.
    Once done, I do fstab edit on the external drive, adjust the initramfs and grub on the external disk and swap the external disk, putting it inside the machine. I then reboot and test for the freeze using my copy/cat commands. As there is the NVME disk in the VG, I "only" have to move the home, varlog, vartmp, ... LVs in the "new" disk.
    And I repeated this 3 times (including the test on the Lenovo laptop)... Time consuming and worthless.... given the results.
    The 320 GB disk, running at 7200 RPM is very good at access time and responsiveness. Better than the 2TB one... A pity they do not make 2TB disks in 7200 RPM ...

    Oh, and by the way, the Dell provided Ubuntu 16.04 LTS uses the Nvidia driver version 390. And it works flawlessly as far as I can tell in the Dell OS.... I can't tell if they have made some change to it or not.
    Now, I'll return the "plain" Seagate 2TB 5400 RPM to the Lenovo Laptop where it belongs, and restore on it the Windows partitions stored on a very old 200 GB disk, the linux partitions being stored on a 500 GB drive and a couple of USB sticks... I miss the data center storage I used at work it would have made my life easier
    Stay safe and have a nice bright day !

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Nux Jam
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    Happy weekend

    As most say, devil is hidden into the details
    Take time to find culprits via 'journalctl -b', pay attention at errors (red lines) then warnings.

    But first have a break to avoid headhaches

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    168

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    I'll sleep on it. Maybe I will have a clue as to what to search for to reproduce/apply the Dell's mods to a recent 5.x kernel...
    Or try to update the 16.04 Dell version to 19.04, then to 20.04 and see if it still works.
    If it does, Bob's your uncle, if not....
    For now I've got a bootable USB stick with Dell original software on it to make the disk as if it just left the factory..
    Time to go to sleep.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    168

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    So, here am I again.
    I spend yesterday and a part of today restoring the Dell software, using it to test and upgrading it. And do it again because the upgrade didn't went well... And do it again.... Time consuming, to say the least, but in these lockdown period, time is not the essence
    So, Dell gave a 16.04 LTS version, tweaked with an oem kernel some DKMS modules (Wifi, Bluetooth and Ethernet chip for the obvious.) and some fancy things like a G3 wallpaper or Dell restore app... And maybe something else, who knows ?
    I kept the original SSD as delivered by Dell to have a reference and had to clean up the 256Gb SSD I use instead. Pvmove is my friend...
    I restored the Dell software (which cleaned up the MOK Microsoft keys, BTW... ) and had a quite identical 16.04LTS with oem tweaks. To be on the safe side (belt and suspenders type) I had removed the 2TB disk holding Ubuntu 19.10, Windows 10 and more importantly my files...
    Then, I put back the disk into the machine, and did my copy, and cat test to see how the computer behaves. Perfect. As expected. 16.04 has 4.13 oem kernel. (Maybe I can get the source, I did not check)
    Then I upgraded to 18.04LTS (Dell had disabled this ...) And then turned on again the Dell software repositories upgraded the Ubuntu and put the disk back in and tested the copy/cat file. Perfect. This was done with a 4.13-0-1080oem kernel. Still perfect.
    Then I wanted to go up to 19.10... And everything went south.
    First, I did the upgrade in the graphical environment. Something went wrong and the upgrade frooze, in an unrecoverable way. So I started right again from the beginning. Thanks that the SSD is fast... Same problem. So I started again and this time made a backup (dump) of the 18.04 version, then did the upgrade in a console. The upgrade finished "flawlessly" but upon reboot, impossible to get the graphical session, even if the gdm shows...
    The kernel did not get past the 4.13.0-1080oem version and it seems it is not enough for 19.10 to work. I'm too tired to analyze or troubleshoot but, something is amiss here.
    Add to this, I now have to clean up the MOK table, and that the latest upgrade, done with the hard disk installed messed up badly with the EFI entries, Grub settings on the HDD and I'm fed up.
    Now, I run the 19.10 version on the hdd and LVM. The ssd has 19.10 and seems not to be working (but I have to triple check again) ..
    So I'm left with :
    1) restore the SSD to 18.04 oem and make it work. Then copy it over the LVM HDD to make it back to 18.04 (and loose all the configuration and installed software) and return the SSD as a fast PV ...
    2) Try to find a suitable 19.10 capable kernel with the Dell oem tweaks... And test it....
    3) sell the Dell G3 and revert to the nice Lenovo, old but good....
    4) Go fishing .....
    Well this last one is not possible right now...

    I'll be happy to hear from all of you and get some advice...
    Have a nice day and stay safe !

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Beans
    168

    Re: Problem with machine freezing

    Update : Nothing related to kernel version in my problem.
    The Xorg nouveau driver had kicked in instead of the Nvidia based one and wreck havoc. Once modprobe.blacklist=nouveau was added to the Kernel boot parameters, everything was fine.
    So I could test for presence of my problem.
    As I suspected (due to the kernel version being used), everything is fine ! And performance is very good.
    The Nvidia driver was broken (hence the Nouveau use) and I had to install it again.
    Now, I'm left with putting this into the LVM 19.10 version I prefer to use and to clean up the mess on the UEFI key table... And that will keep me busy for some time...

    Lesson learned : Sometimes, a newer kernel does not solve problems.. But sometimes an older one could....

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