[WBEL-users] Determining the Cause of a Kernel Panic

Daniel J. Summers danieljs@knology.net
Sun, 05 Sep 2004 08:26:52 -0500

Randy Kelsoe wrote:

> Daniel J. Summers wrote:
>> How does one determine the cause of a kernel panic (when the computer 
>> freezes, and the caps/num/scroll lock lights blink)?  I've had a 
>> couple this morning, and they seem to go away with a reboot (although 
>> I did get one during a boot).  I'm suspicious of my network setup, 
>> but without knowing how to find a log or dump or something like that, 
>> I don't know what's causing it.  Thanks...
> General system logs are in /var/log/ and you should start with 
> 'messages'.
> A freeze is not a panic. A lot of times with a freeze, you will not 
> see anything in the logs. There are also different kinds of freezes, 
> or lock ups. If you have another machine on the network, you can try 
> to ping or ssh into the box when it appears locked up. You can also 
> try a 'Ctrl-Alt-Backspace' to restart X.
> Which mobo are you using? Have you updated your BIOS to the latest 
> version? What other hardware are you using? Are you using a stock WBEL 
> kernel, or have you compiled your own?

Yes - I would get freezes with FC2, but never saw the lights blinking.  
I'll keep that Ctrl-Alt-Backspace sequence in mind.  As best as I can 
tell, I've got the latest BIOS.  I'm not running anything outlandish - 
PS/2 keyboard and mouse, Via integrated sound card, Riva TNT AGP video 
card, IDE CD-ROM, DVD/CD-RW, 20GB and 2GB hard drives, and an iBlitzz 
wireless LAN card (not on the HCL, which is why I'm using ndiswrapper).  
I'm using the stock WBEL kernel, and the only module I've compiled for 
it is ndiswrapper.

> Have you tried running memtest86 on the machine? If not, you can get 
> the Ultimate Boot CD at:
>    http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
> boot from it and run memtest86 overnight if possible. If you have a 
> flaky memory dimm, it will probably find it. If you get no errors with 
> memtest, you might also run the disk diags for your hard drive and see 
> if that finds anything. If you sill don't see any errors, reboot, and 
> try the dmesg command. See if you can find anything unusual there.

Thanks for the tips - I'll give that a shot this afternoon.  :)  As you 
probably saw in the previous message, this machine has had, shall we 
say, stability issues.  I was just so happy to finally have a lock-up 
where I might actually have a log!

*Daniel J. Summers*
E-mail - 	danieljs@knology.net <mailto:danieljs@knology.net>
*Web Sites:*
Personal - 	http://www.knology.net/~mopsmom/daniel 
Sunday School - 	http://www.knology.net/~mopsmom/sundayschool 
My Linux Adventure - 	http://www.knology.net/~mopsmom/daniel/linux.html 

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