System Freeze
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Thread: System Freeze

  1. #1
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    System Freeze

    I have a dual processor system that keeps freezing after 48-96 hours of uptime regardless of load. Sometimes it will crash which basically idle and I have stress tested it using all of its ram/swap/cpu for +12 hours and it ran stable, only to crash randomly later.

    I have tried tried Windows 2003 Server, Linux (kernel 2.4.22), and QNX 6.2.1 and the symptoms are the same on all three so obviously this is a hardware issue.

    The confusing thing is that the system doesn't reboot, it merely freezes until it is rebooted manually and to be honest, the crashing is annoying, but it would be bareable if it just rebooted.

    The system board uses the 440LX chipset and is running two pentium 2 xeon 450mhz processors with 640mb of ram. Two scsi drives share the first channel.

    I am really at a loss for what to start swapping because any previous time I've had hardware issues the system just rebooted.

    thanks in advance. (please ask if you have any further system specification questions)

    catch

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a quite odd problem. My first reaction would have been a temp problem, but you'd think that would have been revealed during a stress test. Anyways you've peaked my curiosity and I did some poking around. It seems the dual-processor boards sometimes had a problem with the BIOS power-saver settings, and sometimes the OS power-saver settings. I realize however that you've probably had these system running for a while and that it's a problem that's just started to occur. So that would be an unlikely cause, but it's something for you to ponder until someone with more knowledge comes along.
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  3. #3
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    Actually, the system has had this problem since it's creation about two months ago. (I found a few old sealed Xeons and built the system around them)

    Do you have any sources off-hand for the bios settings of which you speak?

    catch

  4. #4
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    Source: http://www.netsys.com/cgi-bin/display_article.cgi?1079

    Osamu Aoki) You MUST also disable all BIOS related power save
    features. Example of good configuration (Dual Celeron 466 Abit
    BP6):

    ___________________________________________________________________
    POWER MANAGEMENT SETUP.
    ACPI: Disabled
    POWER MANAGEMENT: Disabled
    PM CONTROL by APM: No
    ___________________________________________________________________


    If power management features are activated, some random freeze can
    occur.
    This one relates specific to the linux kernel however there were several other articles on google relating to dual-processor system and random crashes.
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  5. #5
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    My experience with system hangs, especially with Linux, is that you can sometimes attribute that to memory. What you could try and do is swap some of the memory sticks out, and see if that fixes your problem...However it might not be that simple.

    -If it were me (and trust me, it has been..) what I would do, is add more swap space to your linux box, that could be 1 issue.
    -If the problem continued to occur, I would swap the memory sticks (I'm leaning more towards this as the problem.)
    -HOWEVER, work experience has shown me, with the dual Xeon's, that if the system board cannot keep them in-sync with each other, you might experience a system freeze, without a reboot...especially the older processors without the hyper-thread.

    I'm leaning more toward the memory sticks, or the system board.

    hope this helps!
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  6. #6
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    If you havent got the lastest bios update, try it.New bios updates have normally worked for me , with system hangs.

    Dr_Evil

  7. #7
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    If your board looks something like this and has the processors that come up from the board.

    http://www.supermicro.com/Product_pa.../Old/p6dbu.jpg

    I would also check to see if one/all of the processors are loose. I have a dual processor Dell (700 Mghz) and one of the processors comes loose if the system is jolted or moved.
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  8. #8
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    I've had a similar problem with my dual Athlon. As soon as windows booted into 32bit protected mode it would just freeze. Turned out 1 of my cpus was completely fried. Never did I encounter a fried cpu, so if everything else didn't help just try it. It worked for me
    Any decent dual board has the capability to run on 1 cpu. Remove one of your cpus and see if the problems go away. Also watch any changes in cpu temperature as it might also be a heating problem.

    Sidenote: I had to put the cpu in socket CPU1 not CPU0 to get it to work on 1 cpu. See your manual for details.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Maestr0's Avatar
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    I would go with SirDice's recomendation and start by running with 1 CPU (and 1 memory stick). You may also want to try each CPU with an additional fan and without watching the temp before and after. If you cannot find any CPU or heat related issues I would then try running with a Single CPU and swapping out memory, again test for heat issues. If this does not reveal anything I would look into the motherboard (if you have an identical one available that would be ideal) Good luck!

    -Maestr0
    \"If computers are to become smart enough to design their own successors, initiating a process that will lead to God-like omniscience after a number of ever swifter passages from one generation of computers to the next, someone is going to have to write the software that gets the process going, and humans have given absolutely no evidence of being able to write such software.\" -Jaron Lanier

  10. #10
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    You might also need a CPU terminator if you take out the second CPU. (If it does not boot when you take out the CPU, then it needs one)
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

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