FreeBSD crashes

Richard Morse remorse at
Wed Dec 22 13:53:11 UTC 2010

Hi! A while back I wrote about some problems I was having with FreeBSD crashing randomly. I then disappeared for a while, due to a variety of issues, but I'm still having problems.

The computer in question is a general-purpose server -- it runs listservs, websites, databases (both MySQL and PostgreSQL), and Amanda to back up a few other computers. None of this is high volume -- load averages are all less than 1.

It has two Intel Xeon processors, with a total of 16 virtual cpus. It runs FreeBSD 8.1, using the amd64 branch in order to access 12G of RAM. It has an Adaptec 5805 RAID card, and is using the Adaptec aac driver 2.2.9-17911 (which is also the flashed BIOS version), and has one array, which is a RAID 10 array. Note that I'm not using the aacu driver, but most of the crashes happened when I was.

Based on the randomness of the crashes, I suspect that it's a hardware problem. I have tried to enable core dumps, but it has never succeeded in actually writing one out -- it looks like it has a second crash when it tries to save the core. This leads me to suspect that it might be a problem with the RAID card, but I'm not sure.

Is there some way that I can use the information provided during the kernel panics to determine where the problem is? I have photographs of almost all of them. There are a few crashes that didn't result in kernel panics; instead there were a few gibberish characters (from the >128 ASCII codes) on the screen. I have pictures of these as well.

Thanks for any suggestions,

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