random FreeBSD panics

Masoom Shaikh masoom.shaikh at gmail.com
Sun Mar 28 08:28:30 UTC 2010

Hello List,

I was a happy FreeBSD user, just before I installed FreeBSD8.0-RC1. Since
then, system randomly just freezes, and there is no option other than hard
boot. I guessed this will get solved in 8.0-RELEASE, but it was not :(

Many times I get vmcore files, not always. I have dumpdev set to AUTO in my
rc.conf. Almost every time it just fsck's the file-system on reboot. I have
not lost any files though. This is a Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptop with 1GB ram,
Intel Core2 Duo T5500 with ATI Radeon X1400 card. The installation in
question is KDE4 from ports, with radeon/ati driver.

I felt the problem is with wpi driver, then suspected dri driver of X. Then
I observed system freezes even if none of this is installed. e.g. if it is
under some load, like building a port and simultaneously fetching something
over network it hangs, and hangs hard. This persuaded me to think something
is wrong in kernel scheduling itself. May be it is lost in some deadlock,
etc... Thus last weekend I thought I would see how immediate previous
version i.e. FreeBSD-7.3-RELEASE would behave.

I reinstalled FreeBSD7.1 from iso images, svn up'ed FreeBSD7.3 source, did
the normal buildworld, buildkernel, installkernel, installworld cycle.
Unfortunatly this kernel is naughty as well ;-), it also freezes with same
stubbornness. But difference is this time I happen to catch something

It panics on NMI, fatal trap 19 while in kernel mode. Loaded the vmcore file
in kgdb and got the backtrace. I obtained vmcore files on two occasions. I
have attached both the back traces. This error most likely suggests hardware
error in RAM, but Windox7 and XP boot just fine and never caused any errors.

To verify if I have errors in my RAM I let run sysutils/memtest86+
overnight, to double verify I also executed Windows Memory Diagnostic test
for four times. None of them reported errors. Can anyone here suggest any

Masoom Shaikh
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