server (partly) fails: hardware?

Christian Zachariasen chrizach at
Sun May 4 10:35:19 UTC 2008

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM, Colin Brace <cb at> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have FreeBSD installed on a ~6 year old IBM NetVista box; it serves a
> headless gateway/server/WAP for my home network. I upgraded it from v6 to
> v7 in mid January, building a custom kernel with altq and the new
> scheduler. It has been running fine since early December.
> However, three times during the past few days, it has stop functioning.
> The
> WAN connection dies and I can no longer ssh into the box. However, I can
> still ping it, and I can still ssh from one LAN client to another via the
> FreeBSD box.
> IOW, it seems to be dying, but not freezing, if that makes any sense.
> Alas,
> there is nothing in /var/messages to indicate what happens. I don't think
> it is succumbing to excessive load; it has a 1.6 MHz Pentium IV, 512 MB
> RAM, rarely uses swap, and the load averages tend to be very light.
> At this point, I assume a hardware issue, and I can have the box tested by
> a local whitebox shop later this week, but I am open to other avenues to
> purse as well.
> Thanks in advance for any ideas.
> --
>  Colin Brace
>  Amsterdam
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Can you predict at what point the server will crash? Is it after performing
a specific action, or at a certain time of day?

If you can connect a monitor to the server and actually see what happens and
also if it still accepts keystrokes and stuff, that would probably help in
diagnosing the problem.

Another tip might be to download memtest86 and run it for a while on the
machine, in order to make sure the memory is working correctly. You're
saying the machine has been running stable for a while, but it's nice to get
things like this out of the way so you at least know what isn't wrong.

Christian Zachariasen

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