[PlanetCCRMA] FC5+P.CCRMA: Various Problems with Stability

Bill Polhemus bill@polhemus.cc
Sun Mar 11 08:52:01 2007

I have mentioned previously that I had some "system freezes" (more 
precisely, I think they are "GNOME desktop freezes") in my homebrew AMD 
dual core system.

I want to elaborate a little more, in case this helps others, and 
perhaps to gain more insight into how to proceed.

First, I removed 1GB of the 2GB of memory I had installed. I'm not sure, 
but it seemed like perhaps the ones I removed were a bit "slower" DIMMs 
than the (newer) ones I left installed. I say "I'm not sure" because 
they were sort of "generic" DIMMs without much in the way of identifying 
info. I had picked them up at a computer repair "dive" here locally that 
has since gone out of business, whereas the remaining DIMMs were 
purchased from Fry's Electronics and are "name brand".

The different DIMM types were installed in separate banks, and they 
seemed to interoperate, but they may also have been the source of the 
instability--at least in part.

Since I did that about a month ago, the system ran better, but lately 
I've noticed the "freezes" recurring, though not as frequently. They 
seem to crop up if the system has been idle for a long time--such as if 
I leave it running in the morning and go to work; I often find it 
"frozen" when I get back to it that evening.

Twice now, the resulting hard-reboot to recover from the "freeze" has 
left garbage on the disks that FC5 insists must be cleaned up before 
proceeding. This occurred again yesterday, but this time the system 
refused to boot at all, and claimed all sorts of "hard disk errors" that 
appeared to be unrecoverable.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the HDs are "twin" Western Digital 
160GB SATA units, that Anaconda set up as a single logical volume. 
Again, these are brand new drives, purchased at Best Buy, and they are 
reported to be highly reliable.

Finally, last night I grew tired of nursing the thing, and just did a 
complete reinstall of FC5 from the DVD-ROM, wiping all partitions and 
starting over again. This time, the system rapidly rebooted into the new 
configuration, and I am in the process today of rebuilding the Planet 
CCRMA system on top of it. I'm not sure if I've fixed what ailed it, but 
so far, so good.

While I was at it, I disabled the onboard audio system (Realtek), so 
Linux only saw the Delta 66 card. Sound came right up.

I'm hoping I can finally get this thing on the road. I've spent a LOT of 
time and money on the "non-computer" aspects of my recording studio, and 
I REALLY need for Planet CCRMA (and my homebrew PC) to start doing its 
share of the work.

Thanks for listening.