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System freeze / hang, ping responding, can connect but no service answers


I got a very weird problem with a RedHat-server. Occasionally (can't 
even say that its under "high load" or something like that) the 
system freezes / hangs. It's possible to ping the machine (responds 
normal) and you can even connect to ports like pop3 (110) which were 
open before. The connection is established but no service responds. 
The same for mail in general, ssh, http etc. Nothing! Even console 
doesn't work anymore until reboot.

The PC consists of a ASUS-P4B533-V-board with 2 Maxtor-HDDs and a cd-
drive. Machine is running regular redhat 8.0 (kernel etc.), with all 
RHN-updates applied, running latest apache 1.3.xx ...

It's a server in a serverhousing-farm and it's there for production 
use. So I can't simply take it off for a few days to play around with 

Had the same problems with another server, different board, running 
RedHat 7.3 with all updates applied. After looking for every possible 
problem-solution I thought maybe it's a hardware defect. So I changed 
from Athlon-cpu to a Intel P4 with different board, also installed 
RedHat 8.0 (instead of 7.3) new from scratch. But problem still 

Only common thing: Both computers using same Maxtor-harddisks. But 
could this be the problem? Unfortunately (as described above) I can't 
simply take the computer down, change harddisks etc. ... not 

Did anybody experience such problem?

PS: After the last freeze / hang on the console was printed:
     "Spurious 8259A Interrupt: IRQ7"
But I can't tell for sure if the message was there before the crash 
because I mainly work from remote.

Hope to hear from you URGENTLY. Yours faithfully,
 Stefan Neufeind

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