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Chris Schembari
Lives in Darien, IL USA
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Chris Schembari

Help Needed  - 
 
Help Needed

One of my personal homebrew computers has a big hardware problem. Are there any Linux software tools for testing my CPU and motherboard components so I can see or narrow down what's causing it? Something that can log unusual events to the hdd, so I can look for error codes later?

This is a PC I built myself from parts over 10 years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't assemble the parts and fire it up for the first time until several months after I bought them, so no returns to the store. This problem has been present since the beginning. The system often freezes on me, not responding to any kb/mouse input and can only start over by pressing the case's Reset or Power buttons. Or sometimes it spontaneously reboots. It can run reliably for hours at a time, or it can freeze or reboot like this after just a few seconds or minutes of uptime. It's my fastest pc, best at 3D gaming, my only x86_64 box, and not needed for anything critical, so I've just put up with it over the years. If I need to do anything important, I have other very reliable x86 boxes I use. I want to see if there's a free fix out there so I don't have to throw money at it. First I need to diagnose it.

By freezing, I mean the on-screen graphics are frozen, sometimes with patterns of little brightly-colored pixels visible. If I happen to be playing any audio before a freeze, then a roughly quarter-second loop of that sound plays continuously over the speakers. The cooling fans and hdd continue humming without interruption or odd noises. The rarer problem is the sudden reboot, which I don't think I need to explain.

I tried switching the mobo/cpu and psu from one case to another, to rule out any conflict there, with no luck [a weak theory, I know]. I used to run the original bios that came with the mobo since I put it together, but I recently saw that there was an update to it released a few months after I purchased it. Just the other day, I successfuly upgraded the bios with flashrom within Linux, and it runs much like it did before. Unfortunately, this problem was not fixed by that. I've only run Linux on this box, no Windows, but had this problem through multiple other distros and older versions of Kubuntu that I was running at the time.


AMD Sempron LE-1150 - 2.0 GHz
Elitegroup (ECS) GeForce6100SM-M2 (v.1.0A) motherboard
2 GB (2x 1GB) ddr2-800 sdram - tested with memtest86+ standard tests, no problems evident
All expansion slots (PCIe x16/PCIe x1/PCI) are empty.
80.0 GB WD Caviar hdd
Kubuntu 14.04 LTS with all updates applied.
1
ANANTHAKRISHNAN GOPALAKRISHNAN's profile photoChris Schembari's profile photoMax Wachtel's profile photoThomas Seaton's profile photo
10 comments
 
If one's bad, the rest are bad. If you're comfortable with a soldering iron, it's a fairly easy but time consuming job. They're all through-hole components and can be had for cheap at http://www.digi-key.com . No minimum order from them. Otherwise I'd advise doing what I did with my old machine: finding an old ASUS or other better known manufacturer's board. If you plan on repairing that board though, dont' use it anymore until you do. Dirty power can mess up analog systems, it can very easily mess up digital systems. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you luck.
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Hi, all,
I'm using Kubuntu 14.04 LTS on an old P4-based desktop with a 40gb eide hdd. Space on my linux partitions is tight, and I want to change my partition layout and directory organization to make use of wasted drive space. I still have the Kubuntu liveUSB stick with which I set up this install, and of course I'll back up everything, but I'd like to do this without having to wipe all my files and reinstall everything fresh. My question is how do I do this, exactly?

My /usr dir is by far the biggest storage hog, using 10+ GiB out of sda2's 16+ GiB. I just shrank sda1 and created a new sda4, so right now I have the following. All of the below 4 are primary partitions:
sda1 - 7.95 GiB ntfs - win xp pro
sda4 - 5.00 GiB ext4 - empty, unmounted
[unallocated space] - 5.92 GiB
sda2 - 16.07 GiB ext4 - / (includes whole dir tree)
sda3 - 2.33 GiB swap

I want to use a scheme like what PC-BSD does, with a separate /usr partition occupying the rest of the drive. I think this maximizes space efficiency by allowing my userland files and my home folder to share whatever free space is left. To do this, I'd:

1. Boot from my Kubuntu liveUSB and mount my hdd's partitions.
2. Move most of the files/directories in sda2 [/.kde, /bin, /boot, /cdrom, /dev, /etc, /lib, /lib64, /libx32, /lost+found, /media, /mnt, /opt, /proc, /root, /run, /sbin, /srv, /sys, /tmp, initrd.img, initrd.img.old, vmlinuz, and vmlinuz.old - about 2.3 GiB] to the new 5 GiB partition, leaving behind /home, /usr, and /var in sda2.
3. Move the "front" end of sda2 to fill that 5.92 GiB of free space.
4. On sda2, move all contents of "usr/" (including any hidden files/folders) up one level to sit alongside the old and undisturbed "home/", "usr/", and "var/" folders.
5. Once empty, delete the old "usr/" folder.
6. Tell linux to mount sda4 as / and sda2 as /usr.
7. Create sym-links in the new / to point to /home and /var in their new location within /usr/.

Alternatively, I could use my liveUSB to back up my whole directory tree onto a separate blank flash drive, do a fresh install on the hdd with larger partitions the way I want them, delete the freshly-installed files, then replace them with my backup copies. But I'm not sure how to preserve each file and folder's ownership and permissions. I wouldn't want all my files and directories to be labeled "root access only"!
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Stephen “Radha Santadharma” Kawamoto's profile photo
 
Make a 512 mb /boot partition since this présents the ability redo the partition if it gets corrupted. Though you have to know how to fix the mbr to dual boot. That is, ubuntu knows how to dual boot.
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Chris Schembari

Help Needed  - 
 
Hi, all,  [SOLVED]
My question is how do I move /home and /var into /usr, then link  to these folders from / to their new locations, without breaking my system and having to reinstall everything again? Can I do this only by booting into a root console, or can I do it from a logged-on system with "sudo" or "kdesudo dolphin"? Should I use hard links or soft-links? How do I make sure that each file and folder's ownership and permissions are preserved. I wouldn't want all my /usr/home files and directories to be labeled "root access only"!

I just did a fresh reinstall of Kubuntu 14.04 LTS on an old P4 (i686) desktop with a 40gb eide hdd. Space on hdd will soon be tight, and I changed my partition layout to make better use of space. I mounted /usr on a large partition separate from /, and I want to move /home and /var into /usr. PC-BSD automatically at install puts those two dirs (and maybe 1 or 2 others? don't remember) inside of /usr, so that all "the usual suspects" of storage-hogging are contained in one partition that occupies the bulk of the drive, leaving / on a small bootable partition. I think this maximizes space efficiency by allowing my userland files and my home folder to share and grow into whatever free space is left.

I manually set up the following in this install. All of the below are primary partitions:
sda1 - 7.63 GiB ext4 - / (includes everything but /usr)
sda2 - 27.26 GiB ext4 - /usr
sda3 - 2.38 GiB swap
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Andrew Woodhead's profile photoMarkus Kary's profile photoAndreas Grois's profile photoChris Schembari's profile photo
22 comments
 
Well, I did it this morning. So far, so good.
Running Kubuntu off hdd the other day, I backed up all files.
I used 'kdesudo dolphin &' and went to /etc/, opened /etc/passwd w/ kate (still as root) & saved 2 copies as /etc/passwd-old and /etc/passwd-new .
In /etc/passwd-new, I added '/usr' to the front end of '/home/chris' and saved.
I searched for a kde version of rsync. There is krsync, but apparently not in Kubuntu's own repos, so I chose grsync instead.

I rebooted into my Kubuntu liveUSB stick, mounted sda1&2, installed grsync and used it to copy all data. Then rebooted again back into my install.
I forgot to delete /home from sda1 while in live mode, so I did that within 'kdesudo dolphin &'. There was a momentary hiccup when I clicked on Firefox from my panel's quicklaunch bar and Firefox failed to launch, citing there being no "/home/chris/yada-yada-yada". So I invoked 'kdesudo dolphin &' again and used Dolphin's "Create new...> Basic link to file or directory..." in the context menu to create a "home" sym-link pointing to /usr/home/ . Now Firefox launches OK (and other apps, too).
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Have him in circles
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Rodrigo Urbina's profile photo
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Owen York's profile photo
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