Strange System Behavior

Paolo Galtieri (
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 10:04:40 -0700 (MST)

I recently bought my first PC, however, I've been working with
Unix for many years so this is not a newbe situation. Since I got
it I have had nothing but strange problems with it which I so far
been unable to determine whether they are hardware problems or
software. I have run diagnostics on the hardware and I've brought
the system back once already and there doesn't seem to be any obvious
hardware problems, but yet the system will not stay up more that 24
hours. First I'll describe the hardware then I'll list the various
problems I've encountered.

Motherboard: ASUS Dual Pentium II (350Mhz) w/ on board SCSI
1 4.3 GB disk
1 9 GB disk
1 5.1 IDE disk
Matrox G200 video card
Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card
Eexpress pro 100 Ethernet card

I have RH5.2 + 2.1.130 kernel loaded on the IDE drive.

Here are the problems I see in no particular order.

1) When I build the kernel it takes about 10 - 20 tries to get it to
build. This is due to the compiler terminating with sigsegv or
other error. I'm using the gcc- compiler.

2) I will run make and make will lock up, i.e. it becomes an unkillable
process, and my only resort is to shutdown and reboot the box.
This problem looks like a traditional deadlock scenario. The wait
channel field in the ps output always shows end as the address it
is waiting on.

3) The system will lockup. This occurs even if the system has been
idle. It will be working when I go to bed, and be locked up in
the morning. By locked up I mean no keyboard or mouse input works
for my X session, and any attempt to ping or telnet from another
box fails. Sometimes ping will work, but not telnet. Obviously
switching to an alternate console fails. This has occured whether
or not I am running xscreensaver.

4) Various processes will terminate with sigsegv while running. e.g.
xterm's will simply go away, or I'll be logged off my xsession

5) At various times during the boot sequence I will get various oops
regarding either NULL pointer dereference or problems accessing
various virtual addresses.

6) On at least 2 occasions CPU 1 has panic'd with the following:

Attempted to kill the idle task!

7) I'm getting lots of messages of the form:

schedule_timeout: wrong timeout value <some val> from <some ptr>

in /var/log/messages

My question is has anyone had any success running an ASUS dual pentium
motherboard along with a Matrox G200 video card ( using the matrox X
server from SuSe)?

If not, does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can best debug these
problems, or better yet does anyone have fixes :-)?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Paolo Galtieri                            Senior Software Engineer
Motorola Computer Group                   INTERNET:
2900 S. Diablo Way                        VOICE: (602) 438 - 3754
Tempe, AZ 85282

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