Subject: Re: Total system freeze (i386) [addendum]
To: =?UTF-8?B?UHJ6ZW15c8WCYXcgUGF3ZcWCY3p5aw==?= <>
From: Gilles Gravier <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/12/2007 13:14:30

Przemysław Pawełczyk wrote:
> On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:28:37 +0200
> Gilles Gravier <> wrote
>> Have you looked at the status LEDs on your hard drive?
> Nop.
Have a look. You never know. It may be a hard disk hard error. Or it may 
be doing a very long write / cache flush.
>> Could it be that your system's stuck on an IO? Does it stay
>> completely on?
> With sound similar to "frozen" CD player like dadeda, dadeda,
> dadeda,... at finitum.
That's common with modern sound cards, You send them "sound phrases"... 
and it plays one after the other. If you stop sending phrases, it 
repeats the last one ad nauseum while there is power on the sound 
controler (works with modern ones that have an on-board CPU).

>> Does it turn off and stay off?
> System is blocked.
Mouse doesn't move? Or does it? (i.e. does it respond to IRQs)?

Hve you tried Ctrl-Alt-F1 (F2, F3, F4...) ?

>> How long have you waited when it freezes?
> 10 or 15 seconds. It's not for the first time. The same
> phenomenon occurred when I tried OpenBSD two years ago. Then I switched
> to NetBSD. The freezes occurred but less frequently. All with the same
> "CD Player's Repetitive Sound Syndrome". :-)
Was that other system (OpenBSD) using the same hardware?
>> Maybe it's just a looooooooong flush of the hard disk cache...
> Perhaps. I'll see to it in this way. Remembering your remarks. Thanks.
Another possibility is an IRQ conflict. You might have 2 devices on the 
same IRQ (say, audio controler and disk controler)... and the drivers 
might not be fully re-entrant.

For example, you might have your sound card on a PCI slot... and that 
slot might use the same IRQ than the disc controler... or the mouse 
controler... or something like that.

You could try moving one of your PCI cards to a different slot and see 
if that changes the behavior.

Just out of curiosity, do you actually HAVE PCI (or AGP graphics, or, if 
your system is really old, ISA or EISA slots)? Do you know what IRQs 
they are mapped to?


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