The Geekly Guy

This blog contains information regarding all things Linux, although any computer technology subject matter fits within the realm of this blog.

Saturday, December 07, 2002


Today I lost 32 days of uptime on my Slackware box. I knew I had a lockup issue with the box but thought I'd sorta knew what was causing it. Whenever I listen to mp3 files on that particular box, there seems to be a 30% chance that something associated with listening to mp3s will lock up the system. And I mean a hard ssh'ing into the faulty box to correct the error. Well, I forgot about another issue that seems to lock up this box. When I ftp large files from one box to another, I get lockups. Today I'd decided to move some files from ~/ (3GB dir) on the Slack box and store them onto the new Debian install. Well, I'd forgotten that I had stored some hefty video files in the particular directory I was file was 120MB in size and this is the file that choked the box. It had transferred 50MB of that file before it seized. This also seems to happen when I DCC Receive files in XChat. This only happens on the Slack box.

My intention was not to use anything associated with the lockups...hence, no mp3s or large file transfers. I'd forgotten that I had large files in that directory....grrr.

The last two days, I've been reinstalling Debian 3.0 on the 500mhz machine. When I originally installed the 120GB drive in the box, I'd only formatted one 20GB partition. I'd put Debian on that and left the rest as free space. Well, two days ago, I decided I wanted to partition and format the rest of the space.

Fdisk and cfdisk wouldn't access the drive and I'd figured it was because I'd had to install EZ-Drive to even use the hard disk. This motherboard, a Tekram P6Pro-A5, was purchased back in May 1999. When I installed the 60GB Maxtor last year, I'd reflashed the motherboard's BIOS ROM so the Maxtor would work with the system...everything was fine. However, when I installed an 80GB WD drive two months ago, it gave me problems. I returned it because I thought it was bad...they didn't have another 80GB WD so I went up to a 120GB drive instead. I put it in the system and it did the same thing as the 80GB drive. I couldn't understand this, because the system sees the 60GB drive fine. Well, I installed EZ-Drive and the system saw the drive...I'd also had to use a weird drive jumper setting. I let the drive software install and set up default settings, then I used Partition Magic to edit the partition layout. Partition Magic now keeps reporting errors, but only on the very first primary partition....something about an 'overlapping error.'

Two days ago when I partitioned and formatted that free space, PM started whining about my Debian partition. Instead of leaving well enough alone, I wanted to fix the 'errors', so I deleted the was tough though, as, although the Debian partition was in an Ext3 format, which is essentially Ext2 (it shows as Ext2 in PM), it didn't recognize the filesystem enough to let me delete it. So, I went to an alternate partitioning software package I had: Paragon's Hard Disk Manager. It deleted the partition, I cleaned everything up (had to do each partition one step at a time with Paragon's software), then checked for errors with Paragon's package...looked fine. With PM, however, the same error returned. WTF.

So, I reinstalled Debian 3.0 yesterday afternoon. I'm making this post from Debian 3.0 Unstable:

ron@debian:~$ uname -a
Linux debian 2.4.18-bf2.4 #1 Son Apr 14 09:53:28 CEST 2002 i686 unknown

ron@debian:~$ df -H
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hdc5 21G 1.4G 18G 7% /
/dev/hda1 10G 6.4G 4.0G 61% /dos1
/dev/hda5 10G 3.4G 7.1G 32% /dos3
/dev/hda6 10G 74k 10G 1% /dos4
/dev/hda7 10G 74k 10G 1% /dos5
/dev/hda8 10G 74k 10G 1% /dos6
/dev/hda9 9.0G 74k 9.0G 1% /dos7
/dev/hdc6 21G 17k 20G 1% /dos8
/dev/hdc7 21G 17k 20G 1% /dos9
/dev/hdc8 21G 17k 20G 1% /dos10
/dev/hdc9 21G 17k 20G 1% /dos11
/dev/hdc10 13G 8.2k 13G 1% /dos12

I'm also build a kernel as I type this, as I want to be able to play PC games in Linux on this box, games like Q3A, UT, and Castle Wolfenstien. I've also Flight Gear. I coerced the box to use radeonfb to get X to work with my Radeon 7500. I want to use real Radeon drivers though, so I downloaded the DRI source. The DRI source won't work until after I've compiled a working kernel, so that's why I'm compiling one now.

Tomorrow, I should be able to get the soundcard working in Debian, a SoundBlaster16 ISA card.



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