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Re: Strange system behavior
On Sep 20, 2010, at 8:09 37PM, Paul Goyette wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Sep 2010, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>> On Mon, 20 Sep 2010 13:21:24 -0700 (PDT) Paul Goyette
>> <paul%whooppee.com@localhost> wrote:
>>> (Resending without most of the original attachments, since that
>>> seems to have exceeded a message-size limit!)
>>> I have a new machine in my farm, and it is exhibiting some very
>>> strange behavior.
>>> Essentially, this machine does nothing more than 'build.sh release"
>>> several times daily for port-amd64. (See  for test results!)
>>> About half of the time, the build fails due to some host utility
>>> receiving a "segmentation fault", and almost always it fails on the
>>> exact same command and at the exact same place in the build! But
>>> re-running the failed command interactively succeeds without any
>> I'm betting you have bad memory. Try running memtest86 for a couple
>> of days on the box and see what happens.
> Memory was my first suspicion. I started with 2x2GB of Kingston. Then I
> added 2x2GB of Corsair memory for a total of 8GB. The problem stayed, so I
> removed the original Kingston memory leaving only the 2x2G Corsair. Doesn't
> seem to make any difference - all three result in the same failure symptom.
BIOS settings, maybe?
On a laptop, I once had two DIMMs. With either alone, the system was fine;
with both installed, I had memory problems. As best I can tell, it was a
capacitance issue; both together drove the system slightly out of spec. I
replaced one of the DIMMs with a higher-quality (and higher-priced) brand and
all was well.
I do agree that your description is unusual for classic memory problems.
Still, if you can spare the time to run memtest, it's a good first step.
--Steve Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb
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