Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

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Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

MR ZenWiz
My partner is running Xubuntu 18.04 on her main computer, a Dell
inspiron 17" laptop we bought new a little over a year ago.  Every
once in a while, usually about once a week, the system simply freezes
up and stops responding for more than five minutes at a time.

Last night we were running a Zoom test between my desktop and her
laptop, and her system froze.  Usually it's when she has too many
Chrome tabs open and one of them locks up the machine.

When this happens, sometimes the mouse will respond to movements, but
clicking on the various items on the screen does nothing.  The
keyboard does not respond either.  I usually give it at least five
minutes before I give up and reboot the machine.

Another oddity with the Dell is that it doesn't always respond when
the laptop is closed and the screen was locked unless we open the
laptop.  It also sometimes does not reboot properly and has to be shut
down to get rebooted.

This almost never happens on my desktop, my HP laptop or her older HP
laptop (which is painfully slow but it functions any time we use it -
the Dell was a replacement for this HP).

Is there any indication that Dells have a problem like this?  I never
see it on HPs or my home-made custom desktop.

Mark

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

Chris Green
On Sat, Nov 07, 2020 at 11:00:30AM -0800, MR ZenWiz wrote:
> My partner is running Xubuntu 18.04 on her main computer, a Dell
> inspiron 17" laptop we bought new a little over a year ago.  Every
> once in a while, usually about once a week, the system simply freezes
> up and stops responding for more than five minutes at a time.
>
> Last night we were running a Zoom test between my desktop and her
> laptop, and her system froze.  Usually it's when she has too many
> Chrome tabs open and one of them locks up the machine.
>
Can you ping the Dell or ssh into it?  I.e. is it a just a GUI hang?

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

MR ZenWiz
On Sat, Nov 7, 2020 at 12:31 PM Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
:
> Can you ping the Dell or ssh into it?  I.e. is it a just a GUI hang?
>
Great question.

I could neither ping nor ssh to the machine in this state - last
night.  I haven't always remembered to try this, although I do recall
at least one other time it was inaccessible externally as well.

Thanks.

Mark

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

Ian Bruntlett
In reply to this post by MR ZenWiz
Hi Mark,

On Sat, 7 Nov 2020 at 19:03, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:
This almost never happens on my desktop, my HP laptop or her older HP
laptop (which is painfully slow but it functions any time we use it -
the Dell was a replacement for this HP).

Is there any indication that Dells have a problem like this?  I never
see it on HPs or my home-made custom desktop.

For the Computer Wombling Project I volunteer for, I have never seen this on Dells or anything else. I would suggest running memtest86+ to exhaustively test the memory of the affected computers. Someone I know fixed a "did not boot" problem by removing and re-inserting the computer memory for a different make of laptop. Is that an option for you?

BW,


Ian

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

Liam Proven
On Sat, 7 Nov 2020 at 21:55, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> For the Computer Wombling Project I volunteer for, I have never seen this on Dells or anything else. I would suggest running memtest86+ to exhaustively test the memory of the affected computers.

I endorse this.

> Someone I know fixed a "did not boot" problem by removing and re-inserting the computer memory for a different make of laptop. Is that an option for you?

It's also useful sometimes, yes. The contacts on DIMMs can be
carefully cleaned using a pencil eraser, if they do not look nice and
shiny.

I also recommend checking that the system firmware is up to date.

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

ubuntu-users mailing list
On Sat, 7 Nov 2020 23:55:19 +0100, Liam Proven wrote:

> On Sat, 7 Nov 2020 at 21:55, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> For the Computer Wombling Project I volunteer for, I have never seen this on Dells or anything else. I would suggest running memtest86+ to exhaustively test the memory of the affected computers.
>
> I endorse this.
>
>> Someone I know fixed a "did not boot" problem by removing and re-inserting the computer memory for a different make of laptop. Is that an option for you?
>
> It's also useful sometimes, yes. The contacts on DIMMs can be
> carefully cleaned using a pencil eraser, if they do not look nice and
> shiny.
>
> I also recommend checking that the system firmware is up to date.

Also check for cat hair and processor over temp.

Jonesy


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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

ubuntu-users mailing list
On Sun, 8 Nov 2020 01:03:44 -0000 (UTC), Jonesy via ubuntu-users wrote:
>Also check for cat hair

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphynx_cat

"Rotary Razor Mini Shaver Hair Removal" "link it to the laptop with USB
cable, no need to download the driver/app" -
https://www.amazon.com/Cxtiy-Portable-Electric-Removal-Shaving/dp/B07ZBBN6GG

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

Colin Law
In reply to this post by MR ZenWiz
On Sat, 7 Nov 2020 at 19:03, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> My partner is running Xubuntu 18.04 on her main computer, a Dell
> inspiron 17" laptop we bought new a little over a year ago.  Every
> once in a while, usually about once a week, the system simply freezes
> up and stops responding for more than five minutes at a time.

Do you mean that sometimes it freezes but then recovers?  If so is the
disc light flashing continuously?  If so then you have probably run
out of RAM and it is continuously swapping memory onto disc.
Run top or the system monitor and keep an eye on swap, if it starts
using a significant amount then you need more RAM.

Colin

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

MR ZenWiz
In reply to this post by ubuntu-users mailing list
On Sat, Nov 7, 2020 at 5:05 PM Jonesy via ubuntu-users
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
:
>
> Also check for cat hair and processor over temp.
>
No cats here, bu thanks for the laugh.

How can I check the CPU temp without going into the BIOS?

Thanks.

Mark

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

MR ZenWiz
In reply to this post by ubuntu-users mailing list
On Sat, Nov 7, 2020 at 5:31 PM Ralf Mardorf via ubuntu-users <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Sun, 8 Nov 2020 01:03:44 -0000 (UTC), Jonesy via ubuntu-users wrote:
> >Also check for cat hair
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphynx_cat
>
> "Rotary Razor Mini Shaver Hair Removal" "link it to the laptop with USB
> cable, no need to download the driver/app" -
> https://www.amazon.com/Cxtiy-Portable-Electric-Removal-Shaving/dp/B07ZBBN6GG
>
Thanks for the laughs, Ralf.  😁


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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

MR ZenWiz
In reply to this post by Colin Law
On Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 1:15 AM Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, 7 Nov 2020 at 19:03, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> My partner is running Xubuntu 18.04 on her main computer, a Dell
> inspiron 17" laptop we bought new a little over a year ago.  Every
> once in a while, usually about once a week, the system simply freezes
> up and stops responding for more than five minutes at a time.

Do you mean that sometimes it freezes but then recovers?  If so is the
disc light flashing continuously?  If so then you have probably run
out of RAM and it is continuously swapping memory onto disc.
Run top or the system monitor and keep an eye on swap, if it starts
using a significant amount then you need more RAM.

I'll find that light and check it next time this happens.  I don't think that was showing, and the disk was silent.

I don't recall this ever recovering by itself after the five minute delay on rebooting.  Other times when it hung up for less time, it recovered, and I suspect Chrome's memory hogging per tab - she often has a great many tabs (>10 in more than one window) open at the same time.  We're working on that one.

However, IMNSHO lots of open tabs in a browser should not cripple the system.  That's a sign of poor programming in the browser, and Chrome is the worst offender in this particular regard.  Brave is better, but it has other demerits and I stopped using it for them (check the web if you're curious - it's not anywhere near as privacy-protective as it claims).

Thanks.

Mark


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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

Ian Bruntlett
In reply to this post by MR ZenWiz
Hi Mark,

On Sun, 8 Nov 2020 at 21:24, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:
How can I check the CPU temp without going into the BIOS?
There is a package - lm-sensors - which installs the command "sensors".

Here it is on my system...

$ sensors
coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0:  +43.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:        +41.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:        +43.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

BAT0-acpi-0
Adapter: ACPI interface
in0:          12.60 V  
curr1:         0.00 A  

thinkpad-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
fan1:        1961 RPM

acpitz-acpi-0
Adapter: ACPI interface
temp1:        +44.0°C  (crit = +98.0°C)

HTH,


Ian

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Re: Oddball occasional freeze on Dell Inspiron

MR ZenWiz
On Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 1:34 PM Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Mark,
>
> On Sun, 8 Nov 2020 at 21:24, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> How can I check the CPU temp without going into the BIOS?
>
> There is a package - lm-sensors - which installs the command "sensors".
>
Thanks, yes - I had completely forgotten that one.  I'll add it back
into my set of packages to keep up.

Update:

The Dell has no (zero) lights on the outside.  None.  Not even a power light.

I re-ran the memtester for 10 loops on 5G of RAM (the Dell has 8, but
6 and 7 got kicked out) and it ran without any errors.

I'll see if I can hear or feel any activity next time it hangs.

Thanks.

Mark

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