[plug] interesting hardware? oddity

Tomasz Grzegurzko tomasz89 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 9 11:45:46 WST 2008

On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 11:39 AM, Denis Brown <dsbrown at cyllene.uwa.edu.au> wrote:
> Hello PLUG list members,
>  One for the memoires I suspect :-)
>  An old IBM chassis Pentium 4 with previously reliable hardware.   Nuked it
> and loaded openSuSE 10.3 for use as a dhcp server.  Bare bones - just ssh,
> dhcp and little else.   BIOS set to allow it to run headless.
>  All seemed fine for a while but it then started to "reject" ssh attempts.
> By "reject" I mean that it presented the "logon as:" prompt and accepted and
> displayed the (valid) username and a newline.   But it then "froze" and did
> not present the password request.   At this time, direct console access was
> also inoperative - no amount of key pressing would get it to "wake up" nor
> were any kernel panic light patterns present on the keyboard.
>  I faffed around with it for a while, made sure updates were A-Okay, etc.
> There were no outward signs of distress and nothing in the logs to indicate
> unhappiness.
>  Distro unhappy with the hardware for some reason??   Nuked it and loaded
> Debian Etch.   This time I added Apache as much for PHP experimentation as
> anything else.
>  Lo and behold, after about 12 hours the same deal - ssh logons present
> username request, echo the typed characters but no subsequent password
> request.   I could, however, get Apache to show its test "It works!" page.
> And a small script running phpinfo also runs.
>  I must have gotten to this one "early enough" in the failure mode because
> the keyboard was active.  Able to log on (as root) and found I was able to
> do df, ps but - wait for it! - not top.   Nothing that I can see is flaky in
> the logs.
>  I have grabbed the latest memtest86 (inspired by several threads on memory
> here recently) and will hit it with that but it does not "feel" to me like a
> memory fault.   Especially because Apache/PHP are active.
>  Why would "top" not run, I wonder?????
>  Suggestions appreciated.   Maybe I'll just toss this one in the dumpster,
> but I am intrigued.   CPU failure of some bizarre nature?
>  Denis

On the other hand, I need a P4, so perhaps throw it my way (or at
least in a dumpster near me)..



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