[techtalk] Random serious freezes

Michelle Murrain mpm at norwottuck.com
Sun Mar 11 15:52:52 EST 2001

Hi Folks,

I've got a laptop (HP Pavillion N5195) which I adore, and have been using as 
my do-everything plus development box. 

Once in a while (like once every 2 weeks, although it is random, so it might 
go for weeks w/o this, then do it 3 times in one week), always while I'm in X 
(I run KDE 2.0 at the moment), it will just freeze. The mouse sticks, can't 
go to different consoles, can't even ssh in. If I've got an ssh session 
going, I can sometimes go to that box and kill X, but it doesn't always help. 
If I'm not already logged in, I can't ssh in after the freeze. I generally 
have to unplug and yank out the battery - Control-Alt-Delete doesn't work, 
nor does the power switch. 

It's only annoying because I've gotten so used to rock-solid stability and 
never crashing, that it seems a pain (even though my non-linux boxes seem to 
always crash).

I'm almost always either in netscape or K-Mail. It never happens when I'm 
looking at a console window, or in other programs. Mind you, probably, since 
this is my everyday machine, and the development I do is web development, I 
spend 60% of my time in one or another of those programs, so it might just be 

Any thoughts? I'm going to upgrade to KDE 2.1 momentarily, and also go to 
Mozilla, or at least Netscape 6. I've also thought about trying Opera. Do you 
think this is a hardware problem, an XFree86 problem or a KDE problem? I 
don't spend enough time in other window managers to know whether it crashes 
using those - maybe that's something to try. I am running XFree 3.x rather 
than 4, because the driver I have for the laptop video card only works with 
3.x - and 4 is supposed to have the drivers, but it doesn't work.

Michelle Murrain, Ph.D.
Norwottuck Technology Resources
mpm at norwottuck.com

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