What caused my box to die?

Raphaël Marmier raphael at computer-rental.ch
Thu May 29 14:09:50 PDT 2003

You might want to take a look at http://www.memtest86.com/ for a tool 
to test RAM.


Le Jeudi, 29 mai 2003, à 21:49 Europe/Zurich, Adam a écrit :

> Well, I'm just about done rebuilding my box after a major crash and
> burn. Now that things are slowing down, I'd like to get some input on
> what might have caused the crash. I'm wondering if I stumbled on some
> obscure bug, or maybe a known bug that hasn't ever been fixed. Let me
> describe the scenario before and after the crash:
> I had 3 machines on my LAN at the time. The network config is simple:
> DSL Modem --> Gateway (also my workstation) --> Switch --> Laptop and
> test machine
> My gateway was running FreeBSD 4.7. Just before the crash, I was 
> copying
> movies via FTP from the gateway to the laptop. At the same time, I was
> copying a single movie from the test machine to the gateway. I looked
> over at the test machine and noticed the transfer had died, and tried 
> to
> reestablish connection with the gateway. The LAN link was dead on both
> the test machine and the laptop, which I found to be extremely strange
> (this had never happened before).
> So, I went over to the gateway (which was still running), and I decided
> to check to see if the gateway was even on the internet. I typed 'ping
> ftp.cdrom.com' and pressed Enter. IMMEDIATELY after I pressed Enter, 
> the
> box completely froze up. I waited about 60 seconds to see if it would
> unfreeze, but it was no use. I hard reset the box, and upon reboot the
> machine was unable to boot from /. In addition, several of my 
> partitions
> on ad0 were completely hosed.
> At this point I got pissed off and just powered down all machines and
> decided to wait until the next morning to mess with fixing anything.
> However, the next morning, the test machine wouldn't even turn on. This
> is the 2nd time its done that, so I have a feeling it's just a bad
> coincidence. After removing the internal cables and plugging them back
> in, the machine started back up and worked fine.
> The only change to the machine that I can think of is I added 1gb of
> Kingston Value RAM to the box a few days prior. However, the RAM had
> been working perfectly for a few days before the crash, and for a few
> days since I rebuilt the machine. Is there a port to thoroughly examine
> the RAM and make sure its OK?
> The fact that I had 2 large file transfers going at the time of the
> problem really seems strange to me, because thats the first time I had
> even done that with this gateway (the laptop is brand new). Perhaps
> something went wrong with my ipf/ipnat?
> Anyhow, if you took the time to read this entire message and have some
> theories, I'm all ears. I'd like to do whatever I can to avoid this
> problem in the future. I'm now running FreeBSD 4.8 on the box with a
> custom kernel. Seems to be working perfectly.
> Thanks.
> -- 
> Adam <blueeskimo at gmx.net>
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