Re: Strange System Behavior

Barry Zubel (
Fri, 4 Dec 1998 13:02:20 +0000 (GMT)

On Thu, 3 Dec 1998, Paolo Galtieri wrote:

> Folks,
> 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
> completely.
> 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.
> Thanks
> Paolo
> --
> Paolo Galtieri Senior Software Engineer
> Motorola Computer Group INTERNET:
> 2900 S. Diablo Way VOICE: (602) 438 - 3754
> Tempe, AZ 85282
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I'd place money on a hardware fault

Barry Zubel
VK Research Ltd

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