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Re: Malfunctioning system



On Sat, 2004-05-08 at 21:06, Eitan Bonderover wrote:
> Dear all,
> 
> I recently put together a computer. It's an Athlon 64 3000+ with 512 MB 
> of RAM, an AOpen AK86-L mobo, NEC DVD+/-RW, 160 GB SATA drive and some 
> older ATI graphics card. I've had no end of problems with this system 
> and I'm asking for some advice here mostly because Fedora (FC1 for x86 
> 64) is the only distro that I managed to install successfully.
> 
> The first problem I had was that the memory was flaky. This was solved 
> by moving the RAM module to the next slot.

Moving it to another slot is generally not going to fix it, unless it
just wasn't seated properly.  If it's flaky, it's flaky.  Replacement is
probably in order.  If you can test with a known good stick of memory,
so much the better.

> Memtest usually works for a couple of passes but then usually crashes 
> due to an "unexpected interrupt".

You may want to check/slow down the memory timing in the bios.  Make
sure you've got decent airflow through the case, if I'm not mistaken,
these suckers run quite hot.

> Currently I had some issues with the fan, it was rubbing up against some 
> power cables, not good at all. Ever since that Fedora won't boot. It 
> tries to set the hostname and seems to hang.

If the /etc/hosts file doesn't contain at least the following entry,
it'll be very cranky.

127.0.0.1       localhost.localdomain   localhost

> When I boot knoppix I have issues. It complains about the USB modules 
> but my USB mouse and keyboard seem to work fine. The CD seems to have 
> errors in it (occasionally during the boot process there will be a read 
> error but the boot will continue) when I start up but the same CD has no 
> problems when I run it on my IBM Thinkpad.
> 
> In short, the system is unstable. Fedora used to work on it, but had 
> problems (at some point my DVD drive was not autodetected. In fact, 
> there appeared to be no cdrom device at all, which I find very confusing.)
> 
> Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do before I start 
> replacing parts?

It definitely sounds to me like you've got hardware issues with that
machine.  I've seen all kinds of weird unexplained behavior when memory
gets flaky and/or the machine gets too hot.  Also, be absolutely sure
that all cables and connectors are seated and oriented properly.  Yes,
unfortunately I've seen people ram connectors in the wrong way, thinking
it was just a tight fit.  Don't do that :)

Eliminate those as possible causes and come back to us, we'll most
likely be able to help from there.

Ron



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