[mythtv-users] 0.20 crashing problem (newbie)

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Sat Dec 16 19:27:37 UTC 2006

On Dec 16, 2006, at 11:58 AM, NathanKell wrote:

> Some years ago I posted regarding a saa7134 tuner in FC3; our  
> mythbox, with that and using 0.18, had been running pretty good  
> (albeit the frontend crashed some, but never so destructively I  
> felt like trying to fix it...); recently I took the plunge and  
> upgraded to .20.
> First I tried a brand-spanking-new FC6 install; but that had the  
> issue of the sound being muted on every channel change (so I used  
> Neale Pickett's cronjob to unmute every 5 seconds). That worked,  
> but the system locked up disturbingly often--which I thought might  
> be related to that hack. So I went back to my FC3 setup, and did a  
> dist-upgrade (since only update'ing mythtv kept erroring out). At  
> first it worked fine, but recently it's been locking up again, with  
> increasing frequency.
> So I'm here, begging for help. :]
> The lockup usually occurs during the night, which made me think it  
> might have to do with mythfilldatabase, but that's set to run when  
> zap2it tells it to, so it may not be run then. Unless it's a  
> problem unrelated to mythtv, of course; but then, mythtv and its  
> prereqs is all we run on the box...
> Now, I'm afraid I'm enough of a newb to not even really know what  
> logs to check (or how) to see what might be relevant...
> Anyway, hoping for answers--or at least relevant questions that'll  
> tell me what to look at... ;)

Intermittent lockups are one of the more "fun" things to diagnose on  
a PC. They can be caused by any number of things, including power  
supplies, bad RAM, loose connectors and many other things.

Without pretty expensive equipment the main method of troubleshooting  
is by substitution of suspected parts.

My experience has been that a lot of such problems are caused by low- 
quality power supplies, especially the no-name types sold with  
inexpensive cases.

I'd guess your problem has nothing to do with Myth, but rather your  
hardware. I would start by booting something like the the Universal  
Boot CD and running some diagnostics, I'd start with the RAM. Go to:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/  To get the disk image.

If you have bad RAM these tests will tell you. You can also test some  
other things.

Make sure all connectors are tight. Best to remove and re-seat them  
rather than simply push them tight. Do this with your RAM and any PCI  
cards as well.

Make sure your fans are working and that airflow is unimpeded. Clean  
all dust out of the case and any air filters. Thermal problems often  
cause the type of problem you describe.

You might also find some useful info in the /var/log/messages file,  
but with this sort of problem it's unlikely.

Good luck, but even experienced techs groan when a customer complaint  
starts out with "after it's been on for a while..." :-))
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