Mike Leone on 30 Dec 2009 07:26:52 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] How To Diagnose System Instability?

Casey Bralla had this to say:
> On Wednesday 30 December 2009 10:06:46 am Mike Leone wrote:
>> Casey Bralla had this to say:
>>> Lately my computer has started showing signs of instability.   I get
>>> rather frequent SegFaults which pop up windows in KDE and (usually) allow
>>> me to restart applications.  The computer is about 8 months old, and had
>>> been completely fine up until about a month ago.
>>> At first I thought this was just goofiness with the latest version of
>>> KDE, but after I removed half my RAM, the stability improved
>>> tremendously.   Also, my BIOS includes the memtest86+ program and it
>>> shows errors (sometimes).
>>> I use Gentoo, so am compiling a lot of software.  I've read that
>>> recompiling the kernel is a great way to identify hardware problems since
>>> it exercises the whole system so thoroughly. <sigh>
>>> So I'm struggling to identify which component(s) of my system are causing
>>> the instability.   Here are the things I've tried, with very limited
>>> success:
>>>  - run memtest86+.  (Sometimes shows errors, but sometimes can run
>>> overnight without any problems)
>>>  - Removed half the 4 memory chips. [I had 8 GBytes, so could spare the
>>> RAM] (This helped, but not 100%)
>> Sure sounds like the RAM is your problem.
>> So throw out that RAM, and buy all new. It's cheap, and less frustrating.
> But wouldn't RAM issues to isolated to individual chips?  

Not if more than 1 stick had a problem. :-)

> It bothers me that I can remove half the RAM and the problem gets better, but doesn't completely go 
> away.

Perhaps you have intermittent problems in the remaining sticks, which is 
why I recommended just trying all new.

I have seen flaky power supplies cause weird issues. I've come to the 
conclusion that having more power than what the ratings say is needed, 
is never a bad idea .. I'd buy a good quality PS. You might try that 
first, rather than the RAM.
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
Announcements - http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug-announce
General Discussion  --   http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug