system freezes due to hdd problem?


My system (SUSE 11.1, but happened under 11.0 with the same hardware) sometimes becomes uncontrollable slow (I cannot even log into a character terminal) and I have to reboot. I have no idea why, but I worry about the hdd. There are always these smartd error messages in /var/log/messages before it happens, but they are always followed by an npviewer.bin[5122]: segfault
message. I have no idea what that means. I guess it is not overheating problem of the HDD, because after immediate reboot, the system works normally again. What could it be?
Here is a corresponding section of /var/log/messages

Mar 26 09:35:54 linux-izts kernel: npviewer.bin[5122]: segfault at b5517030 ip 00000000b7847560 sp 00000000bfbb8620 error 4 in[b7840000+16000]
Mar 26 09:45:47 linux-izts smartd[4254]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], SMART Prefailure Attribute: 1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate changed from 253 to 100
Mar 26 09:45:47 linux-izts smartd[4254]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], SMART Usage Attribute: 1
90 Airflow_Temperature_Cel changed from 184 to 145
Mar 26 09:45:47 linux-izts smartd[4254]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], SMART Usage Attribute: 1
94 Temperature_Celsius changed from 184 to 145
Mar 26 09:45:47 linux-izts smartd[4254]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], SMART Usage Attribute: 2
00 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate changed from 253 to 100

The npviewer.bin is used to use 32bit flashplayer on 64bit systems. I’ve done a little search, and found some posts where people stated the problem was solved by installing the 64bit beta-flashplayer. I’m using that one myself and can say it’s an enormous improvement, pretty stable and doing a much better job than any previous 32bit version.
The slowing down of systems was described as well.

All this does of cause not mean you hdd is absolutely without failures, but i’d try this first

Knurpht wrote:
> but i’d try this first

everyone is welcome to their own opinion…mine would be to
immediately backup (to a different drive/cd/dvd/etc):

/?/? all collected/created documents, photos, music, etc not in /home


The S.M.A.R.T messages are to give warning of an impending failure. The npviewer.bin segmentation fault could well be a symptom of that. If you notice other programs failing or your system randomly freezing, backup any data you care about today.

Thanks. I will try that (even though I have not used the flash player this last time at all). Actually I remember having done some test on the hdd with negative results (so that it is alright) and it is also puzzling that the logs indicate decreasing error rate and temperature. Nevertheless there are always these warnings in /var/log/messages before a crash, so I should perhaps really backup asap.

I recalled now that I ran the smartmontools tests also in the past. I repeated them now, they show no error whatsoever. I don’t know when the system freezes, say, once a month, the hdd checks are repeated by smartd because something triggers them, or it is really hdd failure, which makes the system freeze.

If you are using proprietary video drivers, try using alternatives, ie nv,radeon, etc… Unload as many other modules as you can and see if you still have trouble.