[SOLVED] Laptop randomly hangs

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[SOLVED] Laptop randomly hangs

Postby joshm » 2016-11-20 23:32

Hello everyone.

I've been recently running into problems with my laptop freezing. The keyboard is unresponsive, so switching to a tty is not possible. I also cannot ssh into my laptop from a different computer (it doesn't even respond to pings!). Even after waiting for hours, the system will remain frozen; I have no other choice except to hold the power button.
I'm not doing anything that intense (in my opinion) before these freezes occur: I'll usually have a Virtualbox sql server running in the background, as well as Eclipse and Firefox ESR. I've done a lot worse to this laptop before without any problems so I'm fairly confident that it's not overheating... And as far as I know, I'm not running out of memory or disk space.
The kernel I'm currently using is: x86_64 Linux 3.16.0-4-amd64 (I've tried updating to the latest 4.x kernel, however that seemed to lead to more hangs).
Everything else is up to date, I'm using the stable/non-free update repos

The Laptop I'm using is an Asus X553MA with 1TB disk space, 8GB of RAM, Intel N3530 2.16GHz processor.
Output of lspci:
Code: Select all
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series SoC Transaction Register (rev 0e)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display (rev 0e)
00:13.0 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Device 0f23 (rev 0e)
00:1a.0 Encryption controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Trusted Execution Engine (rev 0e)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series High Definition Audio Controller (rev 0e)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 0f48 (rev 0e)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 0f4a (rev 0e)                                                                 
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 0f4e (rev 0e)                                                                 
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series USB EHCI (rev 0e)                             
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Power Control Unit (rev 0e)                       
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation Device 0f12 (rev 0e)                                                                       
02:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)                                       
03:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device 5286 (rev 01)
03:00.2 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller (rev 06)


The strange thing is that I used to have the same problem a few months ago when I had Opensuse installed on this laptop. Switching to Debian seemed to work, and for a few months it worked flawlessly until around late October, when my laptop began freezing again every few weeks or so. Now my laptop seems to freeze randomly, after a day or so of uptime or even within the span of a few hours. I have been accumilating journalctl logs for the past few weeks, however nothing in these logs seem to indicate anything abnormal before a freeze occurs.

I've also played around with BIOS settings after each crash; turning off secure-boot / fast-boot doesn't seem to have any effect.

Any advice is much appreciated
Thanks!

**********************************
EDIT: marking as solved, cstate seems to have worked
**********************************
Last edited by joshm on 2016-12-10 00:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby dasein » 2016-11-21 00:51

Genuinely intermittent freezes usually indicate a hardware problem, often but not always heat related.

There are a ton of existing "random freeze" threads on here. Unless you imagine that your issue is truly unlike any other, it'd probably worth reading them.
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby joshm » 2016-11-21 02:00

dasein wrote:Genuinely intermittent freezes usually indicate a hardware problem, often but not always heat related.

There are a ton of existing "random freeze" threads on here. Probably worth reading them.


Ok, I've just gotten sensord up and running, I'll periodically check disk temperatures with hddtemp as well.

I'll continue searching through the forums as you suggested, but just in case I've also activated sysreq as per this post: viewtopic.php?p=432168#p432102
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby Thorny » 2016-11-21 13:13

I agree with dasein, hardware problem but in this case probably not heat related.

Your problem seems to be the problem with the so called "Bay Trail"processors. The N3530 in your system is one of the "Bay Trail" processors.

The "Bay Trail" processors and MBs that have them embedded often need to disable one of the power saving features in order to not have those random freezes. The kernel developers are working on the problem. https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=109051

Some BIOS have a setting where you can disable the cstates and you could do it there if your MB will allow it. Remember what you have done so you can restore it once they deal with the problem.

You might try adding intel_idle.max_cstate=1 to the GRUB line that boots your system.

You could make a one time test to see if the freezes stop by editing the command line when GRUB boots with that, intel_idle.max_cstate=1 if you know how to do that.

Test if your edit worked by opening a terminal and entering,
cat /sys/module/intel_idle/parameters/max_cstate, it will return a number.
If "1" then run the system like that and see if the freezing stops.


It will make your system use a bit more power and thus likely generate a bit more heat but not a huge difference.

Remember what you have done so you can remove it once they deal with the problem. It is supposed to be fixed with the 4.8 kernel but I haven't verified that, maybe someone else here has and can confirm.
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby joshm » 2016-11-22 01:16

Thanks for the detailed reply Thorny!

I have configured grub and now /sys/module/intel_idle/parameters/max_cstate returns 1 (before it was set to 9).
I'll keep an eye on the bug report, and will continue using the 3.16.0-4 kernel with the cstate set to 1.

If I don't experience any freezing within 3 weeks I will mark this thread as solved.
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby dynastyteam » 2016-11-23 05:53

i also have the same problem someone can help me???
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby sunrat » 2016-11-23 23:53

dynastyteam wrote:i also have the same problem someone can help me???

The advice above seemed to help the OP. If it doesn't help you, it's not the same problem and you should start a new thread with complete details of you hardware and symptoms.
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Re: Laptop randomly hangs - 8.6 Jessie, KDE 4.14.2, Asus X55

Postby joshm » 2016-11-24 05:39

I actually froze again recently, however I found in the BIOS settings that I had some energy saving options enabled. I disabled them and now I'm using the 4.7.0-0.bpo.1-amd64 kernel again with the cstate still set to 1. So far so good...

dynastyteam wrote:i also have the same problem


I agree with sunrat; unless you're using the same hardware that I am and have tried following the same advice then it is probably best to create a new thread. One thing I'd suggest doing is enabling your sysrq keys as I did in my second post. This enables you to at least reset your machine gracefully by using the alt+sysrq+r+e+i+s+u+b key combination if your machine locks up again.
Or if you're trying to alter your grub settings such that intel_idle.max_cstate will be set to 1 then you can try following this guide as I did: https://askubuntu.com/questions/749349/ ... 371#749371
(You'll just have to remember that you've done this)
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