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I think this might be a hardware question, so I'll ask it here. I have a Linux box which I built about 6 months ago, running an Athlon XP 2600/256 ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Linux box - Occasional boot failure


    I think this might be a hardware question, so I'll ask it here. I have a Linux box which I built about 6 months ago, running an Athlon XP 2600/256 RAM/60 gig Maxtor HD and old Quantum Bigfoot 4GB HD/ECS K7S5A Mainboard.

    Dual booting SuSE 8.2 Professional and Knoppix 3.2. SuSE is on the big Maxtor drive, Knoppix on the tiny (and much older) Bigfoot drive which I cannibalised from my old computer.

    The way I boot is this: if I want Knoppix I hit <Delete> at boot time and change my BIOS to IDE drive 1. If I want to play with SuSE I do the same and change it to IDE 0. I wonder if this is a good idea, but I do it anyway

    The problem: every 15 boots or so the system hangs during start-up. It gets so far, counts the memory and then the screen freezes and I have to reboot. It never gets as far as starting the actual OS when it freezes, and always works fine when I restart the machine.

    Any ideas what might be causing this? It's an occasional but annoying problem.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  2. #2
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    It could easily happen if a hard drive was starting to behave badly. That could make the IDE auto-detection go on for virtually forever.

    Also, I guess it never hurts to test your RAM with memtest86.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the idea. I'll let ya know what happens (this may take me a couple of days)
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    A bit of follow up for anyone who might be interested. Ran the memtest utility from the command line (I feel like less of a newbie now). Never used it before, so this was a voyage into the unknown: 'memtest all --l'. This is supposed to produce a log. Yeah right, like Xmas is supposed to produce Santa Claus

    Cooked dinner... herrings and boiled potatoes!! Went to sleep with swollen belly.

    Checked the computer the next day... memtest was still running and had run through my memory system 46 times or so. It was obviously passing the test with flying colours so I quit out of the thing.

    Moral of story: don't worry about occasional boot problems
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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