A long, strange FC3 problem

Summer Brooks brooksj at wildhorse.com
Fri Dec 3 05:52:04 UTC 2004


Bear with me... this is a long explanation of a strange problem
with my home machine.

I have an issue with FC3 with my monitor locking up.  Actually,
there are two separate issues, but while the first is one I can
work around, the other one isn't.

System: generic Intel P4 2.4GHz
Monitor: Viewsonic VX900-2 19" LCD
Graphics card: nVidia GeForce 440 MX
using the SVGA interface on the monitor, since this card doesn't
have DVI output

First issue is my monitor locks up when switching from text
mode to graphical mode during boot up.  Locks up to the point
where none of the buttons work, not even the power button...
I have to unplug it to reset it.  It happens once when switching
from text to the graphical startup screen, then again when it
switches from that screen to the login panel.  Once it's plugged
back in, the login panel is there, waiting for me, and I can login
just like normal.

This never happened during the year-plus it was running RH9...
has anyone else seen behavior like this?

The other problem is harder to pin down, but similar in symptoms.
Initially, I'd just done an upgrade from RH9 to FC3, and afterwards,
applied all the updates available at the time.  Within about 30
minutes of setting up my desktop, firing up a browser or 3 and
my favorite email client, exmh, my desktop locked up.

The mouse could still move across the screen, but I couldn't select
a terminal window or application and work in it.  At first, I thought
it was a problem with Firefox, since I'd been playing on a WordPress
data entry screen for a blog I help out with, so I switched back to
Mozilla after a hard reboot.

The problem didn't happen within that first half-hour, but I also
hadn't fired up exmh that session.  Nothing happened for a while,
and I chalked it up to being a Firefox glitch.

The next morning, when I turned the monitor on to continue working,
it was locked up in the middle of a screensaver design, and I started
the process all over again, with the lock-ups happening so frequently
while actually working that I did a fresh install of FC3 and waited
to see what would happen.  I even changed xscreensaver to do a single
non-3D, non-GL pattern, just to be on the safe side.

To make a long debugging story short, for two days, the system didn't
lock up while I used Firefox or Mozilla.  I added a RH9 rpm of
nmh-1.0.4-20 and used the terminal commands to do email for a day,
and that was fine.

Tuesday, I added exmh-2.7.0 from it's tarball, and used it in
conjunction with Firefox, and had no problems over the course of a
few hours, including repeating things I'd been doing in Firefox before
when I'd experienced a lockup.   I thought "problem solved"...

On Wednesday, I added the RH9 rpms sharutils-4.2.1-14 and metamail-2.7-28
(only after failing to get an FC3 rpm built from metamail-2.7-28.src.rpm
or metamail-2.7-29.src.rpm), to get the full MIME related functionality
in exmh.   Within an hour of adding those rpms, I started to experience
the desktop lockups again, even when not running exmh.

What makes things worse is that I did the exact same procedure -- an
upgrade from RH9 to FC3 -- on my system at work, and everything still
worked fine, the exmh and everything.  The system at work is a 2.8GHz
Dell Precision, with 17" LCD, but it's using the DVI connector from
whatever video card is in there (I think it's a newer nVidia, but I'm
not 100% sure right now).

So color me stumped.   Right now, I've removed the metamail rpm from
my home machine to see if that resolves the lockups, but if it does,
that makes exmh crippled, which makes me an irked camper.

I'm open to suggestions here.  I'd be happy to get metamail built
from source and see if it locks things up again even with a native
build, but the source rpm build vomits, and I haven't been able to
find sourcecode source for the current version.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summer Brooks, WildHorse.com Staff      I will choose a Path that's clear
brooksj at wildhorse dot com		I will choose Free Will




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