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Old 5th January 2020, 01:54 AM   #1
novaphile
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Mystery Computer Glitch - Potentially Solved

Well, this is a bit of fun.

My computer has been "freezing" i.e. nothing works except for the mouse pointer, clicking on things doesn't help.

I wasn't able to log in from another device on the network.

Being linux, I was able to force a clean reboot via the magic key combination Alt+PrintScreen+(R,E,I,S,U,B).

Checked all the logs*, nothing.
Re-installed the BIOS, no change.
Added extra monitoring on the hard drives, nothing except for a slightly higher than usual temperature. Oho!

So, I pulled the case apart and found that there was evidence of air being pulled in, in odd places. The filter meshes on the front case fan were absolutely filthy. So I cleaned them.

The computer is now running much quieter, and I haven't had a freeze since.

Hmm...

So I guess something has been overheating, maybe the video card.

Time will tell I suppose.



* You would not believe how many logs linux has, they all just go silent when the freeze happens, except for the results from the magic keys.
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Old 5th January 2020, 08:08 AM   #2
alfaniner
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I recently installed Core Temp for my Windows 10 laptop. Maybe there's a version for Linux.
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Old 5th January 2020, 02:23 PM   #3
novaphile
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Good thinking,

I've just installed Psensor, which is now monitoring temperatures for the:
video card (Radeon RX480);
CPU; and,
Hard drives.
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Old 8th January 2020, 07:05 AM   #4
a_unique_person
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The CPU will automatically protect itself when it overheats.
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Old 9th January 2020, 01:17 PM   #5
novaphile
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It's been five days since I cleaned the air filters, and no glitches since...

Given that it was happening every day before that, I think I've hit the primary cause.

One thing that was very odd though, I'd get the "freeze" once after cold booting the computer, but it would run fine after that.

This makes me think that something was changing mode, so that it could run cooler. Or it was a transient problem when things were heating up.

Very interesting...
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