Steve Shim on 27 Mar 2017 13:54:03 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Need Troubleshooting Help

Sounds like a bad hard drive. Maybe.

Steve Shim

On Mar 27, 2017, at 4:52 PM, Casey Bralla <> wrote:

This is a very weird computer problem that has me flummoxed, and I was hoping
that someone could offer troubleshooting suggestions.


My screen has gone crazy. Menus take a second to open, screens don't update
immediately, and then update only part of the screen. Even terminal sessions
(under KDE) display weird behavior with the cursor jumping forward and



Here is a short video of the problem:



Here's the backstory:


I'm running Gentoo stable, with KDE desktop on a dual monitor nVidia/nouveau
system. The system is about 6 years old (AMD Phenom) with 8 GBytes of RAM on
an Asus motherboard.


Recently, one of the monitors abruptly died (pure white screen, no monitor
setup menu). After cursing, I dug out an older DVI monitor and got back to
work. But then I noticed something odd. (NOTE: The first monitor dying may
be irrelevant... that's part of what I find confusing.)


I noticed that after about 10 minutes of use, the screen would start to act
flaky. This was very apparent when I'd switch from one KDE virtual desktop to
another. The new screen would not immediately be shown like it normally
would. Also, activating the KDE menu would sometimes be slow. Also also, the
screen would often "flash" around the updated portions.



I assumed that the dying monitor had taken the video card with it, so bought
another nVidia card, but got the same effect. Since then, I've done the
following tests, all with negative results:


1. Removed the video card and run the built-in nVidia graphics adapter on the motherboard.
2. Ran memtest (no problems)
3. Removed half the RAM and swapped all the DIMMs around.
4. Unplugged and powered-down an extra hard drive, case fan, and DVD burner to reduce the load on the power supply.
5. Shut down every application, including akonadi.
6. Rebooted with an older kernel that had never had a problem.
7. Recompiled the Gentoo "sytem" files ("emerge -e system")
8. Ran a quick SMART diagnosis on my SSD.


I figured I probably blew the motherboard somehow, but then I discovered this:



*** If I run a live version of Mint Linux (KDE) it works fine! ***



So while I had thought this must be a hardware problem, the fact that a live distro runs fine seems to negate that hypothesis.



Anybody got any suggestions of what to try? Any idea how this might happen.


Casey Bralla
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