[ALUG] Strange PC lock-up

Mark Rogers mark at more-solutions.co.uk
Thu Mar 23 09:51:52 GMT 2017

On 22 March 2017 at 21:31, Adam Bower <adam at thebowery.co.uk> wrote:
> Right, but if your swap partition is on that disk and you can't read/write any
> temp files etc. etc. then you get pretty much exactly the symptoms you describe
> in that everything appears to have stopped working but you can still move the
> mouse.

I know the symptoms you mean, and have seen them before; I'm pretty
sure that the clock doesn't stop in that scenario though.

However, if it happens again I should be able to check: either it
should be logged in syslog or there'll be nothing at all in the logs
after that point (if the root partition was also affected and switched
to read-only). So it's definitely something I'll check out if it fails
again (it didn't fail overnight, but that means nothing).

Note that the new PC only has (for now anyway) 8GB RAM, where the old
one had 16GB, so the new one should be making more use of swap and
more likely to fail if sudden loss of swap is the problem.

> In fact a simple script
> writing continually with a sleep every minute with the output of dmesg to a
> network mounted filesystem or to a port on another computer which has netcat
> running on it may help show up any more detail about the problem.

That's a good suggestion, I'll give that a go if it fails again.
(Obviously it makes more sense to do it before it fails, but at this
point I'm optimistic that maybe the driver switch may be enough. If it
fails again I'll know that it wasn't and that more failures will
follow that I can capture.)

I'll also do some disk SMART checks.

Mark Rogers // More Solutions Ltd (Peterborough Office) // 0844 251 1450
Registered in England (0456 0902) 21 Drakes Mews, Milton Keynes, MK8 0ER

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