Random reboots

Nate Eldredge nge at cs.hmc.edu
Mon Dec 17 13:43:47 PST 2007

On Mon, 17 Dec 2007, Jordi Espasa Clofent wrote:

>>  That would be especially helpful, since from this information we don't
>>  know whether the cause is a kernel panic or a hardware problem.  Is your
>>  kernel configured to reboot automatically on panic?  Also, are you by any
>>  chance using the watchdog?
> Yes Nate, I'm working on this way. The idea is attach another HD and expand 
> the /swap value and get a coredump file.

Great.  I got your other message where you mention this just after I sent 
mine.  Not trying to hound you :)

> Besides of that, I was looking at watchdog but I don't understand their 
> operation yet. It's a time question.

The reason I ask is that I've run into a couple of issues where the 
machine hangs.  If you were using a watchdog, that would cause the system 
to reboot.  So as far as debugging goes, it's just as well that you aren't 
using it.

I have run into some issues with snapshots, are you using them?  You might 
also check the SMART data on your disks since FreeBSD has some bugs where 
failing drives are not handled gracefully.  See the smartmontools port.

One other idea: you might configure a serial console so you can see any 
messages the machine generates as it's dying.  (These wouldn't necessarily 
appear in the log files, since the system is too dead to write to them.) 
You could connect the serial port to another machine which logs it.

Nate Eldredge
nge at cs.hmc.edu

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