Phantom Reboots ( WAS : is stable stable yet? )

Daniel danielc at
Tue Sep 16 10:37:44 PDT 2003

On 12 Sep 2003 at 13:39, Mike Tancsa wrote:

> If you cant get crash dumps then try at least hooking up a serial console 
> to it so at least you see the panic saved on your console.  If you are not 
> seeing a panic, or if the panic is in random places, its probably hardware.

I tried this... unfortunately the serial interface on that particular unit is having its own 
(apparently physical) issues...  I've never had any good luck with serial ports actually 
working (and I am using a high-quality null-modem cable ;-) on any of my boxes.  So far (see 
below)... its been up decently "okay" (1d+19h) on a very recent CVSup. 

Not to be petty or anything, but this unit was rock solid before I CVSupped it at some point, 
and handles build/install worlds like nobody's business... I would have a hard time believing 
it was hardware all of a sudden, but trust me, I hear you and haven't ruled that out yet.  I just 
suspect its most likely to be some minor software thing that doesn't/didn't sit well with my 

The motherboard is a PCChips 747, which isn't a particularly good one but I wasn't having 
any notable problems on it up until these reboot issues.  The memory is brand new (well, as 
of a month ago) Micron 128MB PC133 DIMMS (running with a normally-clocked PII-450 at a 
mere 100Mhz FSB).  The NIC is an Intel 10/100 (uses fxp driver, running device polling).  
ACPI is NOT compiled into the kernel, and when I tried it, it caused all sorts of hell on my 
system like the system clock going backwards and all... so I gave up on that. APM *IS* 
enabled though, and doesn't seem to be problematic.  Don't know if I need it but it hasn't 
seemed to ever be a problem before. 

Also, not to jinx it now, but its been up longer now (1 day 19 hours) than it has since the 
trouble started... on a CVSup from Sunday the 14th... seriously hoping it stays this way... (* 
nervously checks to see if its still up now... *). I don't have any $$ for a new mobo.  But if the 
problems persist, I'll do things in this order unless advised otherwise:

1.  Try to add another HDD with additional swap space for a crashdump (have a 4GB from 
another unit on standby -- its a SCSI system and SCSI HDDs don't come cheap for a 
personal machine - hence the reason I don't presently have enough swap space for the petty 
384MB of RAM in it).
2.  When it goes down, get a pciconf for you all (it won't let me right now -- says "access 
denied" -- I'm assuming because I'm running securelevels) and of course other relevant 
metrics if I can get any.
3.  If the crashdump is useful, take appropriate action.  If not, I'm going to try going back to 
RELENG_4_8 to see if that makes any difference. 

Any further suggestions?  

Apologies for all the noise on the list if its just my stupid hardware and nothing useful to 
anybody.  :-)  


 -- Daniel

> At 12:59 PM 12/09/2003, Daniel wrote:
> >My machine has been rebooting silently (no panic or anything) every 24-36 
> >hours since
> >about two weeks ago.  It wasn't doing that before then.

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