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Old 9th June 2008
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Default High disk activity crashes machine (sudden reboot)

Hi,
I've been trying to dump my usr filesystem but my machine keeps crashing (sudden reboot) only a few minutes into the process. Also, when I try to copy big files (using cp) onto an external HD via USB it does the same as well.

When I try to copy onto my external HD via network it crashed the machine as well.

I'm thinking that maybe my HD is going bad or perhaps a more fundamental hardware issue...it's a consistent problem.

Anybody with a similar problem?

--Damien
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Old 9th June 2008
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A couple WAGs / tips for you:
  • Try testing the RAM with memtest86+. I don't think a failing hard drive would cause sudden reboots (but I've been wrong before).
  • Next, boot to single-user mode and run a fsck on all filesystems.

Keep us posted on how it's going...
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Old 9th June 2008
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Also have a look at smartmontools. It has reasonable disk testing routines, and you can check the disk error count.
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Old 9th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien787 View Post
Hi,
I've been trying to dump my usr filesystem but my machine keeps crashing (sudden reboot) only a few minutes into the process. Also, when I try to copy big files (using cp) onto an external HD via USB it does the same as well ...
in all cases of a crash was the external HD (usb) connected?

what was the panic error message (see /var/log/messages) ?
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Old 9th June 2008
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Uhh? Disk going bad?
One thing with competing for uptime and halting the machine for the sake of keeping the power bill low is that
at reboot, the filesystem is automatically checked.
(anomie said this another way).

Then,
for one, does dump use /tmp (Dunnoh)? Strange things happen on FreeBSD with full labels.
Usb? There are USB and USB. Note that USB-3 and USB-4 will add other incompatibilities. USB is a fast serial protocol. Not all file systems will use it as they use hard-drives.

For external disks, I use eSATA. Have to shutdown the system, then reboot with eSATA powered on, then mount it as any other hard-drive. With a wrapper, not in fstab !!! Don't want to have my terabytes drive on-line anytime.

Large files are better handled with Iris' ZFS or IBM's JFS: not options for the *BSDs. Am not litterate enough for XFS.

I usually use sftp to backup files to another WS.

Lastly, check the RAM as suggested.
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Old 9th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
in all cases of a crash was the external HD (usb) connected?
Yup! Un-plug, re-plug the USB drive helps a lot.
----
edit
Fwiw, my motherboard has 1.1 2.0 compatible connectors, 2.0 connectors and 2.0 "shared" connectors.
Do I hate USB !
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Last edited by lvlamb; 9th June 2008 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 9th June 2008
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if your computer reboots spontaneously without a panic then its very likely because of flaky hardware.
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Old 11th June 2008
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Turns out my Dell monitor was the culprit. It has a built-in USB hub that was apparently interfering with low-level system stuff in my OptiPlex. The hub worked fine for awhile and then something in it flaked out...

I guess for the $400 bucks I paid for it didn't really cover the USB hub! It works good for simple stuff like my thumbdrive and camera but no good for serious duty.

Cheers!

Damien
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Old 11th June 2008
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A monitor with a USB hub, oh what on earth will they think of NeXT
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Old 12th June 2008
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Well...turns out the monitor had an 'accomplice' :-) ... the stock CD drive that come with my Dell was generating strange error messages and strange crashes. I didn't notice the error messages because it was printed to the console and the machine would reboot in a hurry without properly dismounting the drives.

I disabled it in the BIOS and now it appears that the problem is completely shored up. Disk performance seems greatly increased now, too. :-)

Cheers!

Damien (yes...that's my real nickname...witch I've had since most of you were even born)
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Old 12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
A monitor with a USB hub, oh what on earth will they think of NeXT
I had one at my old job (Philips, not Dell), and found it quite useful, especially since I was using various USB devices often.
Instead of going to the back of the machine and plugging in USB devices there, you now have a convenient USB port in front of you ... Makes life just a little bit easier.

Nowadays, most desktop machines sold have USB ports at the front already...
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