Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Stuck with a problem in your code? Seek help here.

Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby evansste » July 9th, 2015, 1:07 pm

I've finally decided to begin transitioning from Windows to Linux. However, I've quickly noticed that Ubuntu 14.04.2 consistently crashes whenever I try to use it.

The crashes happen very often. After installing, and trying to use my new installation of Ubuntu, the result is always the same. It crashes and simply stops working. Exactly when it happens, varies. It usually happens between 2 to 10 minutes after I've booted up. It's also not necessarily specific to any program. The screen freezes, and nothing that I click on will respond. Sometimes, the mouse won't even move. I've had this happen when running the firefox browser, which comes pre-installed with Ubuntu. It's also happened when using Ubuntu's simple text editor. It doesn't seem to matter what I'm doing. It's just a matter of time before the screen freezes, and nothing works. I end up having to hard boot the computer by turning it off and on again.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? I've installed Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (the 32-bit version) on one motherboard multiple times, and have tried installing it on a different motherboard once. Every time, the result is the same. The operating system consistently crashes when I try to use it.

One of the motherboards is an ASUS P4P800-E motherboard. I'm using 3GB of RAM with a 40GB hard drive. The graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce 6200. I'm also using a TL-WN751ND TP-Link wireless PCI card in order to connect to Wi-Fi.

The second motherboard, which I've tried, is a KM4M-V motherboard, which is manufactured by MSI. With that motherboard, I'm using the same hard drive, graphics card, and wireless PCI card that I used with the ASUS motherboard. But with this motherboard, I used 2GB of RAM, which is the max for this motherboard.

http://www.msi.com/product/mb/KM4MV.html#hero-overview

Does anyone know what may be causing Ubuntu to consistently crash? I've installed Windows XP, on this same setup, with no problems.

When setting up Windows XP, I use the CDs, that came with the motherboard, graphics card, and wireless card, in order to install drivers for these devices. However, Ubuntu seems to set these up without me installing drivers from these CDs. Could that be part of the problem? Do I have to get Linux drivers for these devices in order to prevent crashing?

Any information that anyone is willing to provide, will be helpful. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Thanks for your time.
evansste
 
Posts: 99
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby asheets » July 13th, 2015, 1:45 pm

Finally, a question I can contribute to :)

From the information presented, you are trying to install Ubuntu Server x32, latest stable revision. I personally have had no problems with 14.04.2, and would be particularly inclined to look for a hardware cause first. This is because it locks up within a certain, reproducible time-frame. EDIT: Yes, I realize that you've installed XP on the same hardware -- but Linux will stress/use the hardware in different ways and may not be as tolerant of what it sees as WinXP apparently is.

EDIT: I'll deal with some generalities that I'd test for first...

1) The easiest thing to check first would be memory. You should be able to access MemTest86 from your Ubuntu install DVD's boot menu. Otherwise, you can download an appropriate iso for it and burn it to a CD/DVD. MemTest86 is fairly intuitive to use.

2) The next thing I would check is the hard drive(s). Boot a liveCD or liveDVD and run "badblocks" against the hard drives installed. Be careful, as this command can be destructive if the proper switches aren't used.

3) I'd personally bet that either the CPU or (probably) the GPU is overheating. Check fans, heatsinks, and dust buildup.
asheets
 
Posts: 306
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby asheets » July 13th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Another thought just struck me... What CPU are you installing on these MBs, and are you configuring the FSB and frequency multiplier optimally? Have you tried stepping down the multiplier a bit so that things run a bit slower/cooler? This is an old-school trick that might not be applicable anymore, incidentally...
asheets
 
Posts: 306
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby asheets » July 13th, 2015, 2:12 pm

The MSI appears to have integrated SVGA. Can you try your installation without the NVIDIA card? That might narrow down the issue a bit... In any case, a good troubleshooting technique is to build and attempt to run with as little hardware as possible (no NVIDIA, 1 stick of memory, no WNIC, etc.)
asheets
 
Posts: 306
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby evansste » July 13th, 2015, 6:41 pm

Thanks, asheets, for all of the helpful suggestions.

I know what you mean about building from the ground up in order to debug. I would have chosen to use the MSI motherboard's graphics adapter instead of using the NVIDIA card. However, I bought this board used a while back, and the graphics adapter, on the motherboard, doesn't seem to work.

All of your suggestions make a lot of sense, particularly about it possibly being a hardware issue. Not long after my post, I found an older Ubuntu DVD that I burned years ago. I forgot I had it. It's a 12.04.4 LTS version. I chose to install that, and it hasn't crashed once. I have noticed that it seems to run a bit slower than I'd like. It sometimes takes a while to navigate through open windows while looking for files. So I was considering the idea of installing an even older version of Ubuntu, which should be less demanding in terms of system requirements. Do you think that may speed things up?

I know for sure that the MSI motherboard isn't overclocking the CPU. The board came without a CPU. When I installed the CPU, I specifically remember setting it up so that it wouldn't overclock. As for the ASUS board, I have seen messages, from time to time, about the CPU being hot when booting up. This happened when I was running Windows XP. It doesn't happen often, but your question about overclocking made me think about it. Maybe that, too, could be a factor, now that you mention it.

I should probably also mention that one of the memory sockets for the ASUS board doesn't seem to work. I have 4GB of memory plugged in, but bios only shows 3GB. I've tried re-seating the memory modules multiple times, but that doesn't seem to change anything. The memory modules seem to be okay since I used the same ones in the MSI board.

Before installing the 14.04.2, I did run it as a live CD first, and it didn't crash. However, I also don't remember using it for very long. So maybe it would have crashed if I had used it more extensively.

Because the 12.04.4 hasn't crashed, do you think it could still be a hardware issue for 14.04.4? Will the two versions use the hardware differently?

Thanks again for your response.
evansste
 
Posts: 99
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby asheets » July 14th, 2015, 11:37 am

evansste wrote:Thanks, asheets, for all of the helpful suggestions.

Because the 12.04.4 hasn't crashed, do you think it could still be a hardware issue for 14.04.4? Will the two versions use the hardware differently?
.


Strangely enough, I do think it is still hardware, and am even more convinced now that the NVIDIA card is at fault. There was a significant change at 12.04 involving the Unity desktop, which was significantly refined at 14.04. I'm not surprised you find Unity slow -- so do I, to the point where I rip it out and replace it with a more traditional GNOME desktop when I can.

From Ubuntu.com, here are the minimum hardware specs for Unity:

* 1000 ΜHz processor (about Intel Celeron or better)
* 1024 MiB RAM (system memory)
* 3D Acceleration Capable Videocard with at least 256 MB
From experience, we all know that it is recommended to have 2048 MiB RAM to properly run a day to day Ubuntu.


The NVIDIA card just barely qualifies.

Of course, there's an easy way to prove me wrong -- upgrade from 12.04 to 14.04! Instructions found here: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2014/04/upgr ... 4-04-12-04

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Having said all that, I'm actually going to steer you toward using Fedora 21. I've been installing it lately on all my junk laptops that I set up for the neighborhood kids. I know I said I had no problem with Ubuntu -- and I don't -- but I also am primarily a terminal user on the systems I have Ubuntu on (my web server in particular). For the machines where I actually (shudder) have to use a GUI, I'm getting used to Fedora 21's GNOME3 presentation style. It is different from the typical GNOME Classic that CentOS and RedHat use, but it isn't resource intensive.
asheets
 
Posts: 306
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby asheets » July 14th, 2015, 3:37 pm

I shared your tale with some of the gang in my cube farm, and one consensus they came up with is that for less than $100, you can get a workstation far more capable of running Linux satisfactorily than the hardware you are trying to use now.

An eBay auction that I would target if I were in the market for another unit is 31554389002 (though I would probably spring for a bit more memory).
asheets
 
Posts: 306
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby evansste » July 15th, 2015, 11:24 am

Thanks so much, asheets. You couldn't have been more helpful!

I'll definitely check out Fedora 21. What's ironic is that the first Linux distribution, that I ever installed, was a Fedora distribution. This was several years ago, and I was just becoming aware of the existence of Linux. As you know, Ubuntu has become one of the most popular distributions now -- My guess is because of how much it looks like Windows. I frequent a computer lab that has Linux installed on their computers, and all of them have Ubuntu. So when I thought of installing Linux, I jumped to the idea of Ubuntu without really thinking of the other flavors that Linux has to offer.

I really appreciate your suggestion since I'd much rather use something that is more tailored to my needs and hardware, rather than simply use what everyone else is using.

I also want to thank you for the suggestion of a hardware upgrade. It always amazes me how quickly computer hardware becomes obsolete. When I bought the ASUS motherboard (several years ago) and installed 4GB of RAM, the RAM alone cost me $1000. I bought the RAM from a local dealer, and they were commenting on how fast the computer would be with such a large amount of RAM and a 3GHz processor. I was trying to build the best computer that I could get my hands on, at the time. This was several years ago, of course, because 4GB of RAM is nothing special today.

I'm still relatively new to Linux since I've never seriously tried to transition to it until now. So I greatly appreciate your suggestions as an experienced Linux user. Your help, and input, is exactly what I needed.

I also want to thank you for the suggested Ebay auction. Unfortunately, I think it may have been bought, or something, because I was unable to find it by searching with the auction number that you mentioned. Thanks anyway, though. I could use a hardware upgrade, but would rather switch to a more suitable operating system for the hardware that I already own. So Fedora 21 is definitely worth a shot. Thanks again.
evansste
 
Posts: 99
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby asheets » July 15th, 2015, 11:56 am

evansste wrote:Thanks so much, asheets. You couldn't have been more helpful!

I could use a hardware upgrade, but would rather switch to a more suitable operating system for the hardware that I already own. So Fedora 21 is definitely worth a shot. Thanks again.


You might also want to look at PuppyLinux for that older hardware. It is supposed to be designed with older hardware in mind. I have it running on an old HP Harmon/Kardon P4 multimedia laptop that had trouble running late-model CentOS, Ubuntu, and Fedora. It runs great, but I don't like the desktop as it uses single-clicks for everything instead of double-clicks. It also has some other quirks that make it less-than-ideal from my POV. But somebody is bound to mention it (Puppy is popular), so I thought I'd bring it up.
asheets
 
Posts: 306
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Re: Linux Ubuntu consistently crashes

Postby evansste » July 16th, 2015, 10:36 am

Thanks, asheets. Once again, the information is very helpful.

I had heard of Puppy Linux, but I wasn't aware that it's designed to work on older hardware, nor had I heard of the single-click quirk. So thank you very much!
evansste
 
Posts: 99
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 8:19 am


Return to Help Me! Software

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest