Linux Mint "Super Freezes"

js10

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Hello. First post here in the linux.org forum, but I've been using Linux (as in Linux Mint XFCE) for a few years now (previously I've asked my questions about it at another forum, but was told about this one and wanted to start asking in a forum actually dedicated to Linux).

My question is about what I describe as "super freezes." Basically I mean freezes from which there is no apparent recovery without manually rebooting by holding down the power button. The clock stops and no keys or clicks create any kind of response.

There are a few other variations as well. One is when the pages just freeze and the "page unresponsive" box starts to pop up, but the problem is that even that never loads completely enough for the option to shut down the problematic page to display. Another one is a bit different. In this scenario, when the screen goes to sleep after 10 minutes or so (or I just lock it myself), when the screen goes black, it's impossible to get it to respond again.

Regarding the first two variations at least (I don't see how it could apply to a completely black screen), I know with Windows there's Ctrl + Alt + Delete to kill problematic processes. Is there really no equivalent with Linux OS's? I like Linux much more overall, but this seems like kind of a black mark unless there's a better way of dealing with it. That is, I guess you could say that things usually go well, but when things go bad, they go really bad! Windows errors, so far at least, simply seem easier to recover from.

Any thoughts would obviously be appreciated! Thank you.
 


KGIII

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When that happens, you can try the REISUB trick. See:


That should help you reboot safely.

Now, the next step I'd take it installing ksystemlog - and then using that to go through the logs to see if you can find what's causing the problem.

Next, a question or two:

Is this a new symptom? And, if so, what changes have you made recently?

Are you doing anything in particular at the time, or does it happen more randomly? Like, are you browsing at the time?
 

Lord Boltar

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Are you running NVIDIA Drivers 460?
They are known to fail on boot, which causes everything to lock up -
Try this method to load the Nvidia kernel modules a little earlier in the boot process.
Use this command to open the modules file:
Code:
xed admin:///etc/modules
Add this at the bottom:
nvidia
nvidia-drm
nvidia-modeset

If that is not running NVIDIA Drivers 460 then you might want to run Memtest - Turn on or restart your system and hold down the ‘Shift’ key to access the GRUB menu then select Memory Test it will check your RAM
 

kc1di

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Hello js10,
Welcome to the Forum.
I'm a long time Mint user and What you describe is normally related to Nvidia Graphics cards if your machine has Nvidia graphics you need to follow the instruction found here to correct the problem.
Scroll down to the section on solving freezes during boot and follow the instructions given.
Also though this is a great forum it's a general Linux forum and if you have specific Mint only questions you may get quicker answers on Mint's forum. found here.
But do come back here this is a great place to learn Linux and seek help when needed.
 

VP9KS

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Could you tell us what hardware you are running it on? It may make it easier to troubleshoot the problem. Also, have you made any changes in the hardware/software just before the freezes started?
 

kc1di

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Could you tell us what hardware you are running it on? It may make it easier to troubleshoot the problem. Also, have you made any changes in the hardware/software just before the freezes started?
VP9KS de KC1DI 73's :)
 
OP
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js10

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Next, a question or two:

Is this a new symptom? And, if so, what changes have you made recently?

Are you doing anything in particular at the time, or does it happen more randomly? Like, are you browsing at the time?

Thanks for your response. It looks like those downloads might be just what I'm looking for and the type of thing I was hoping to get out of this thread! We'll see.

As for how long it's been happening, it certainly wasn't when I first installed Linux (I'm dual-booting, by the way, for whatever that's worth), but it seems to be progressing, I guess you could say, which is obviously not great. It's certainly not a brand new problem -- I would say within the past few months or so. I probably should have registered here and created this thread earlier, but I guess I've been kind of putting it off for some reason. As for making any changes, no, not that I can think of or that I've made intentionally, at least!

As for when it happens, admittedly there are usually warning signs first which I just kind of hope will go away. That is, it usually starts slowing down ("hanging" is, I guess, the proper term) before it totally stops. That's for the first scenario I described. For the others, including the unresponsive page box, that's a bit more random.
 
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js10

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To everyone asking about hardware and Nvidia cards, first of all, please let me make it clear that I am hardly a "techie" -- I just happen to use a Linux OS based on suggestions from others that it's a closer replication to the earlier Windows OS's, which I like. Basically, to avoid having to use Windows 10, I guess you could say. But this is still not really "my thing" -- I'm not using Linux for the sake of using Linux.

Along those lines, the computer was actually custom built for me using a variety of parts (and unfortunately that guy is nowhere to be found now). As for the card specifically, I THINK it's an Nvidia card, but even that I'm not quite sure of. Is there any way to tell definitively? But the one thing I can tell you with certainty is that there have been no changes made to the video card or any other hardware, so if that's the problem, I have to wonder why it's suddenly acting up now.
 

kc1di

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Along those lines, the computer was actually custom built for me using a variety of parts (and unfortunately that guy is nowhere to be found now). As for the card specifically, I THINK it's an Nvidia card, but even that I'm not quite sure of. Is there any way to tell definitively? But the one thing I can tell you with certainty is that there have been no changes made to the video card or any other hardware, so if that's the problem, I have to wonder why it's suddenly acting up now.
Yes, Go to a terminal and type this command inxi -G that is inxi(space)-G
Then post the output here.
We are just happy you have chosen to use Linux and want to be of help to make it work for you.
 

KGIII

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As for when it happens, admittedly there are usually warning signs first which I just kind of hope will go away.

Does it happen when you're browsing, or anything consistent like that?

You can also check for errors in the system logs. You can do that manually through the terminal. You can also use something like ksystemlog and check them graphically. I prefer the latter, actually. The terminal is great, but processing large amounts of complicated text is easier in a GUI (for me). So, again, have another link:

 
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js10

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Yes, Go to a terminal and type this command inxi -G that is inxi(space)-G
Then post the output here.
We are just happy you have chosen to use Linux and want to be of help to make it work for you.
That's very nice, thank you! As for the output, here you go:

Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RV370 [Radeon X600/X600 SE]
Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 )
drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
Resolution: [email protected]
OpenGL: renderer: ATI RV370 version: 2.1 Mesa 18.0.0-rc5

It looks like I was wrong! It may have been Nvidia when it was first built but then replaced with this one after that (but before Linux was installed). Or maybe I'm just thinking of something else, I don't know.
 
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js10

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Does it happen when you're browsing, or anything consistent like that?

You can also check for errors in the system logs. You can do that manually through the terminal. You can also use something like ksystemlog and check them graphically. I prefer the latter, actually. The terminal is great, but processing large amounts of complicated text is easier in a GUI (for me). So, again, have another link:


Yes, definitely when I'm browsing, and almost as if it's the cumulative effect of browsing. Like the more I browse, the more likely it is to going into freeze mode like that. Once I reboot, I'm usually okay for a while.
 
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js10

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What browser are you using?

That one's easy. Chrome. Well, actually not that easy. Chromium, to be exact. If I remember correctly, I think it had something to do with my system being 32-bit and not 64-bit. But as I understand it they operate pretty much identically anyway. Still, I figure I better be as precise as possible. Hope this adds another piece of the puzzle.
 

kc1di

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Ah, Now you see that may be the problem. In Chrome or Chromium (FF also) they have this setting called Hardware Acceleration. That you can turn on and off. I would say you would need to make sure it is off. Since your hardware is quite old. I don't have Chrome or Chromium installed at the moment but there is a setting to do that. This page may be of help:
 

Fanboi

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Has anyone wondered if it may be the HDD? That's an old card, so it may be an old machine. Could be OP's HDD is very full and that ever-growing sometimes nearly 500MB cache may be the last straw. Remember Mint installs on one single partition, no swap partition for "beginners" i.e. default. On that thought, maybe it's the system memory. I never realised how much Chromium uses until I saw my usage go from 3% (desktop, background processes -- system's and mine) to 8% with only about 6 tabs and my system is 16GB so that's roughly 800MB! So if it's running out or there's a few bad blocks towards the end and only Chromium is pushing the memory use high enough to hit said nasty blockies, well a slowly-dying (or die-ing -- get it? lame? yeah, number 2) memory module may account for the perceived "cumulative effect". As would running out of HDD space. Remember that unless PAE is enabled, a 32bit system is limited to 4GB memory.

Seems like a wild shot, but I have seen a 64GB storage notebook running a browser freeze because it was nearly full and browser cache was the proverbial last straw. OP may wanna clear cache, delete some files, and setup disk quotas. Or in the off chance it's badblocks of RAM, mark it so in the GRUB entry. If it's running out of RAM, add a swap partition that's bigger than 4GB.

.Maybe it's a GPU/CPU dying (or overheating coz their heatsinks are clogged or cooler fans dying) -thing cozza the "cumulative" effect OP mentioned.

Just my 2c. The 32bit was a flag to me, as was the "cumulative" part.
 

KGIII

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Now you see that may be the problem.

Yup. That's what I was leading to. It's very, very likely to be HA.

Be sure to restart the browser for the changes to take effect.
 

Lord Boltar

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You are showing
drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)

Unloaded means that x.org originally launched a driver (in this case ati:radeon) then "unloaded" or stopped running it in favor of a different driver, in your case modesetting. Modesetting is basically a generic fallback driver if the other ones don't work. So to me it looks like you need to add the correct graphics drivers see
scroll down to Linux x86_64 and grab those drivers
 

kc1di

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You are showing
drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
To me this means that ati.radeon is loaded and being used what is unloaded is modesetting.fbdev and vesa. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Though he may benefit from a different driver not sure haven't delt much with ATI or Radeon drivers.
One way to tell is to use this command in a terminal
Code:
lsmod
 
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