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Thread: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

  1. #1

    Default Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Hello All,

    My computer (openSUSE 11.3 64 KDE, Intel Quad 2.33, ATI 4350 with propriety drivers installed, 4 Gigs of RAM) frequently freezes, especially after I turn it on or reboot it. Sometimes it freezes completely and at other times just slows down to a crawl. At times I can write my name on the screen because the icon of the program I'm trying to open leaves a trail of copies of itself behind it as I move the cursor. Windows will become unresponsive or close unexpectedly. Dolphin is especially prone to crashing unexpectedly. I can't send in the crash reports for that because I can't seem to find the necessary repositories or install the right software. I try to follow the instructions given after Dolphin crashes, but do not achieve a satisfactory result.

    As a long time MS Windows user none of this behavior is new to me. I was hoping to avoid it on my Linux install, and mostly and until recently I have. At least with native Linux programs. Gaming under wine is another issue. And most of the time these symptoms disappear after about 5 or so minutes. Whatever was causing the problem goes away. I usually don't have to wait that long for a window to become responsive again or the graphics system to fix itself. I bothers me but doesn't completely frustrate me.

    I realize too that there multiple, multiple reasons why these various symptoms could be happening. It could be the graphics drivers, flash, Firefox extensions or a maybe a hardware or corrupt installation problem. Some of these issues, such as graphics drivers being substandard for gaming when compared to Windows, are just part of the price of using OSS and free software. I dual boot openSUSE and Windows 7 and try to do as much as possible in openSUSE. Windows 7 has its share of freezing on me, in some ways worse than openSUSE, which is why I wonder if I have a hardware problem.

    This is perhaps a lengthy way to ask a question: How do I see what's running on my comp under Linux? In Windows 7 I can start the task manager and get a sense of what's running, what's using the cpu, and how much memory it has. It will even give me a graph for each of my 4 cpu's. I have found a widget in openSUSE that gives me a graph of how much RAM and the CPU are being used. But nothing I know of tells me, for example, how much of the cpu Firefox is using. It's the main culprit for freezing, followed closely by digiKam. Is there something I can run that might tell me what is clogging up my system when these symptoms occur? Any particular insights into any of them?. I keep my system up to date with system updates etc. Thank you for your attention.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Berlin
    Posts
    2,061

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    'top' in a terminal is pretty useful. I also strongly recommend to run a memtest on your RAM (package 'memtest86+', after the install you should find an entry in your bootloader, let it run for about six hours).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West Virginia Sector 13
    Posts
    15,760

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Open a console window and type top

    This will show what processes are consuming resources.

    This sounds like graphics problems for the most part. The current kernels have been having problems with this across most distributions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    4,654

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    gogalthorp wrote:

    >
    > Open a console window and type *top*
    >
    > This will show what processes are consuming resources.
    >
    > This sounds like graphics problems for the most part. The current
    > kernels have been having problems with this across most distributions
    >
    >

    I prefer also top in a console, but there is of course a fancy gui. In KDE
    simply press simultanously [CTRL][ESC] and a gui with the processes comes
    up. You can also choose in the upper left corner to have a tree view.
    There is a similar gui in gnome but I forgot where it is.

    --
    openSUSE 11.3 64 bit | Intel Core2 Quad Q8300@2.50GHz | KDE 4.5 | GeForce
    9600 GT | 4GB Ram
    openSUSE 11.3 64 bit | Intel Core2 Duo T9300@2.50GHz | KDE 4.5 | Quadro FX
    3600M | 4GB Ram

  5. #5

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Thanks for all the help. I've learned a few more things. It does indeed seem to be xorg that's frequently at the top of the list when problems start, but the numbers it's showing don't seem to be overwhelming, at least not what I would expect to see in MS Windows when a program is clogging things up. I'm not sure what is happening. I've run a memory tester recently through Windows 7 and it didn't indicate any problems. But I will run it again with Linux. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    If this is a new install, your HARDLOCKLIMIT may be set way to low.

    have a look at this

    Unreviewed How To and FAQ

    cheers
    Desktop: CPU: AMD Ryzan 4 core, RAM: 32 GB, SSD 120 GB OS, SSD 480 GB Raid, HD 500 GB , OS: 15.1
    Laptop: Toshiba, AMD 4 core, 8 GB RAM, SSD 500 GB, OS 15.1
    Printer: Brother Color laser , Scanner Epson V370. Main application: Ardour, Jack

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Desktop: CPU: AMD Ryzan 4 core, RAM: 32 GB, SSD 120 GB OS, SSD 480 GB Raid, HD 500 GB , OS: 15.1
    Laptop: Toshiba, AMD 4 core, 8 GB RAM, SSD 500 GB, OS 15.1
    Printer: Brother Color laser , Scanner Epson V370. Main application: Ardour, Jack

  8. #8

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Thanks for the info. I have changed it to 512. I'll see if that makes a difference. Last night for some reason the computer was really acting up. But this evening it's been smooth. No problems whatsoever. Not sure why but I'll take it as it comes. The system activity window was at times telling me my disk was sleeping during times I was making serious demands on it and it was freezing a lot. That didn't make sense and I'm going to research it a bit. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Thanks for the info. I have changed it to 512. I'll see if that makes a difference. Last night for some reason the computer was really acting up. But this evening it's been smooth. No problems whatsoever. Not sure why but I'll take it as it comes. The system activity window was at times telling me my disk was sleeping during times I was making serious demands on it and it was freezing a lot. That didn't make sense and I'm going to research it a bit. Thanks again.
    You are welcome !

    Be careful with this setting !!!! If it works for you now, leave it as it is. Let us know how your are going with your computer. eg is it stable now, no more freezes etc ?

    cheers Otto
    Desktop: CPU: AMD Ryzan 4 core, RAM: 32 GB, SSD 120 GB OS, SSD 480 GB Raid, HD 500 GB , OS: 15.1
    Laptop: Toshiba, AMD 4 core, 8 GB RAM, SSD 500 GB, OS 15.1
    Printer: Brother Color laser , Scanner Epson V370. Main application: Ardour, Jack

  10. #10

    Default Re: Computer freezing: Trying to find the source of the problems.

    Ok, it's started acting up again. I'm not sure what's doing it but I have a few suspicions. I think the "Search Service" is slowing things down. I get lots of "disk sleep" entries in the System Activity window when it is running. I think the search service running is associated with regular "grinding" noises from my hard disk. It's noticeable because it's so repetitive and regular. I'm also transferring 13 gigs of pictures to a flash drive at the same time. I think that would slow things down too.

    I've researched the disk sleep problem and it may be something that can be stopped by changing the power management settings. This seems the wrong way to solve the problem. I don't understand how that would work unless it's just buggy. I will try to see what changes I can make there. But I don't want to waste electricity.

    I'm also going to check out my Firefox plugins to see if there are too many there. My system definitely doesn't like flash such as Youtube. I may remove or disable a few following a suggestion I found on the forums. Thanks again.

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