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My Linux box appears to not be working properly.


It works well enough most of the time, except that various programs randomly segfault and die. Firefox will die after a few hours (regardless of activity); video transcoding processes will segfault before they're finished, and the XAnalogTV screensaver dies with a SIGABRT or similar whenever it runs. Otherwise, it works OK.

This has been going on for a few weeks; at first, I thought it was one of the memory modules (I upgraded it to 512Mb shortly before the problem started). I tried the machine with only one memory module (and I tried both of them separately), but the same problem happened.

Then I thought it could be the CPU. So I went and bought a secondhand Athlon XP 2000 at CeX on TCR. No dice; the same problem.

(The new CPU also only runs with a core frequency of 100MHz and a 12.5% multiplier, which makes it slower than the Sempron 2600 I used before; and from the 1.7GHz speed cited on the label, it looks like I'm underclocking it. If I run it at 133MHz, the video transcoding test dies in a minute, rather than a few hours, and other things die as well, often crashing the machine.)

At this point I'm not sure what the problem could be. A software bug in the latest Debian libraries? (A few apt-get upgrade cycles did nothing to fix it.) A dodgy motherboard? (Hope not; that'd be a pain to take back.) A bad power supply? (Unlikely; I put in a brand-new Tagan power supply a few months ago.) Heat issues? (My room does get hot, but the machine itself is tricked out with large numbers of fans.)

If anyone else has had this problem, any pointers would be appreciated.
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On May 29th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC), bluestate commented:
Could it be the power in your room? Has anyone else got a PC there that's flunky? Other than that, would a complete reinstall help?
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On May 29th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
Could be, though it is plugged in through a surge suppressor.

Everyone else here who has computers uses laptops, which are largely immune to power flakiness. (As, come to think of it, are my laptops.)
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On May 30th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
Ta; I'll give it a go.

The new Kingston RAM modules I've got should, in theory, be fairly reliable.
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On May 30th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
I ran that overnight; no errors whatsoever in 23 or so passes.

I'm suspecting that it may be the mains here being too flaky for my surge suppressor to cope with. Or perhaps some other kind of hardware problem.
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On May 30th, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
I do have a new PSU; I bought one (a Tagan low-noise one) with the new mobo/CPU a few months ago.
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