[mythtv-users] A plea for help

Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Mon Sep 24 00:25:57 UTC 2007

On Sun, Sep 23, 2007 at 06:09:01PM -0600, Brian Wood wrote:
> Ben Davis wrote:
> > Hi all.  I have been a happy MythTV user for roughly 3 years now, and
> > have loved it.  I've recently upgraded my entire mythtv setup to an HD
> > setup,  and have begun to notice that my mythtv box crashes from time to
> > time during recordings.  And when say crash, I mean hard-crash:  no
> > network, keyboard control, display output, nothing.   I am never able to
> > see any type of error on the screen (probably from X blanking the
> > screen).   Anyways, because I don't want to spend a ton of money
> > replacing each bit of hardware until something works, I'll list out as
> > many facts as I can here.  I'm hoping for someone here to be able to
> > help me figure this one out. 
> Check the obvious. Test your RAM, look into power supply problems.
> Often random crashes can be thermally-related, make sure you have
> adequate cooling (proper heatsink mounting with thermal compound).

On Sun, Sep 23, 2007 at 08:10:48PM -0400, Sam Varshavchik wrote:
> The first order of business is to run memtest86. You claim that you've 
> tried different Linux distros and versions of MythTV. That pretty much 
> rules out a software problem, or, rather, given that, a software issue is 
> very unlikely.

What they both said.  memtest86 is always the first order of business;
if you installed linux from a commercial distro or a liveCD, it's
probably in the boot menu; if not you can download an ISO and burn it.

Let it run overnight, at least.

Remember that the internal temp of your box is usually roughly 20F
hotter than ambient; 30+F hotter if your box's cooling sucks.  How hot
is the room?

You might want to find the DPMS switch in your X config and turn screen
blanking off with it; alernative, SSH into the box and say 

# tail -f /var/log/messages

(from some other PC) and see what's left when it crashes.

And yeah, power supplies are cheap: go buy a *good* one (Antec makes
some great ones, including a new model with a 120mm fan ; if you spent
less than $75 you're playin' with it), and don't forget: PC power
supplies are happiest around 80-85% continuous rated load; don't buy a
750W monster if your machine only draws 350 watts...

-- jra

Jay R. Ashworth                   Baylink                      jra at baylink.com
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates     http://baylink.pitas.com                     '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA      http://photo.imageinc.us             +1 727 647 1274

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