Hardware or OS problem? System Crashing...
Joseph Koenig (jWeb)
joe at jwebmedia.com
Thu Jan 6 11:33:55 PST 2005
>> On 1/5/2005 at 09:14 Joseph Koenig (jWeb) wrote:
>>> We have a system that is currently giving us some trouble. The system
>>> FreeBSD 4.9. It's a 2 GHz system with 1MB RAM and (here's the kicker)
>>> RAID 1 ATA drives. The system serves as a web/database server
>> dedicated to
>>> site. Daily the system goes out and downloads real estate listings
>>> shell scripts and cURL) and processes them (via PHP into MySQL). Also,
>>> nightly the system downloads a zipped set of images (probably around
>>> 400-500) and processes them into thumbnails (PHP scripts calling
>>> ImageMagick). Over the last week or two, the system is crashing and
>>> rebooting into single user mode. It's not consistently during updates,
>>> resizing of images, or anything like that. Yesterday, it crashed with
>>> processor idle and load averages of 0.00 0.00 0.00 -- I was watching a
>>> when the machine died. When it boots into single user mode, an fsck
>> must be
>>> run, which identified a few corrupt JPEG files -- however, the
>> sysadmin who
>>> reboots it never tells me which files they are. The sysadmin is
>>> is a FreeBSD problem and says that Linux will not crash because of a
>>> file and if it does, will not boot into single user mode and he will
>>> to access it remotely to do the fsck. About 3-4 weeks ago, one of the
>>> in the mirror set crashed and had to be replaced. I'm not convinced
>>> drives are not to blame for these issues. Is there any way to verify
>>> Is it possible a corrupt JPEG on the drive could cause the system to
>>> randomly? What can I do to correctly identify the problem so that we
>>> it and not change the OS? Thanks,
>> The sysadmin has no clue about either linux or freebsd!
>> A corrupt JPEG cannot cause a crash of the OS, for any real OS. (If it
>> does, it is a bug in the OS, but I doubt one exists) Real OS includes
>> Windows XP, linux, and FreeBSD.
>> However, an OS crash can cause a corrupt JPEG!
>> Either linux or FreeBSD may boot into single user mode when the
>> filesystem is corrupt. What your sysadmin means is that with one of
>> the newer filesystems Linux uses journeling, which is much less likely
>> to enter this situation, but it still can happen. With soft updates
>> FreeBSD is in the same situation as linux, but softupdates is
>> (generally, there are exceptions) better than journeling. There is
>> softupdates in Freebsd 4.9, but I'm not sure how to enable it, or how
>> good it is. (in 5.3 it is awesome!)
>> I suspect hardware.
>> I'd burn memtest to a CD, and run that for a few hours to see if
>> something is identified. Memtest won't catch everything, but it does
>> a pretty good job.
>> Also look at other factors. Does the HVAC kick in when this happens?
>> Is someone hitting the panic stop switch? Situations like that have
>> happened, and they can take a while to debug. They are not likely, but
>> don't rule them out.
>> FreeBSD 4.9 is fairly old at this point. You should seriously
>> consider upgrading to 4.11 (due out in a few weeks), or 5.3 (my
>> recommendation, but a much more involved upgrade).
> In addition, to the original problem stated above, we are seeing a number of
> problems like "...in free(): warning: modified (page-) pointer" and "...in
> free(): warning: chunk is already free". I have them admin running a memtest
> today, but wanted to make sure these errors were not indicative of something
> else going on. Thanks,
Well, the sysadmin tells me that memtest passed. Any one have any
suggestions as to what could be causing the crashes? Thanks,
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