OpenSUSE 11.0 boot freezes at "Setting up hardware clock"

I’ve got an OpenSUSE 11.0 machine that’s been working fine for quite some time. Today it wasn’t responding at all to HTTP or SSH requests, so I power-cycled it. Now it’s freezing up during boot at “Setting up hardware clock”. I can’t get past it in the boot-up, whether I use the default or the failsafe boot options.

I’m able to fire it up with a 11.3 install DVD and enter the rescue mode. From there, though, I’m not sure what to do next.

I can’t use YAST – can’t boot that far. Most of the threads I’ve found on this topic via Google recommend doing something in YAST, so I thought I’d nip that in the bud.

I did check the BIOS clock, and it was about a month slow. I reset it manually – hopefully I haven’t screwed myself completely.

Any assistance would be hugely appreciated. This box is running as a server for a few websites, and the users would like them back.

AFAIK this is OpenSUSE 11.0, 32-bit, but I could be mistaken. It might be 64-bit. Where would I check that prior to attempting to boot?

You might check the respective logfiles via an external system.

Or even better just shut this machine down for good. You don’t seem to have the necessary expertise to run a server at all (hint: →openSUSE lifetime). I know this may sound destructive, but a server being run this way is even more so. Consider a managed server.

When I boot up with an 11.3 DVD, I’m able to mount the drives. When you say “check the respective logfiles”, which ones? I’ve had a look at /var/log/boot.log (empty), /var/log/boot.msg (nothing appears relevant – can’t find any reference to “starting the hardware clock” in the last six months), and I’m not sure what others might be “relevant”.

As you note, I’m not a sysadmin by trade, so there may be some hand-holding here.

The plan is to move everything off this machine to a newer one, but with a small IT group time is tight. In a perfect world this would’ve already happened, but I don’t live in a perfect world.

This world might not be perfect, but the point is you are responsible for whatever happens due to this server, like for example it being hacked and used to spread spam, malware, illegal content etc. To prevent a server system being hacked one must have good knowledge about networking issues, where to find logfiles (/var/log/messages being the most obvious one, /var/log/ntp and /var/log/warn being other possible candidates - these are basics one should know when handling servers), security issues in general, how to keep a system up to date and the like, if not the respective system will most likely be attacked and took over successfully. Not maybe, but most certainly.

Have you considered a managed server? Honestly, I feel a bit uneasy to provide further help. I’d prefer you shutting this system down.

In my (limited) experience - management philosophies apart - there is a slight degradation in hardware of systems that stay on for long periods that only manifest themselves after the system is shut off/rebooted.

If you have the ability, give the hardware a one-over, re-seating the memory boards and cables and dusting. On the software side rum memtest from the install DVD.

Also, unless your system is in a closed environment you really should consider upgrading, if not to 11.3 the at least to 11.2 which is really stable now and still supported for 6-8 months more. This is specially true as your server is open to the internet.

Something else you might consider is running some of the hardware tests and benchmarks you find in the Parted Magic Livecd. It may help you rule out (or confirm) hardware problems.

Actually, the solution, in the end, was to upgrade to 11.3. Then I spent half an hour trying to track down a mysql problem… But it’s working now, thanks to the upgrade.

(We eliminated the possibility of it being a hardware issue by swapping the HDD into another box, which had the same problem.)

Thanks for the help, brunomcl. Much appreciated.

You’re welcome. :slight_smile: