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Linux Mint freezing to death...


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#1 RJNB

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 03:55 AM

Hello everyone,

 

I am running Linux Mint 17.3 MATE from an external hdd (my internal hdd has Windows XP)...Some great people here had helped me set it up on the external(the exact procedure is here: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/583407/from-xp-to-linux/?p=3770311)

 

To be frank,I have not used Linux much...But now,I know that I must as XP is getting tougher to use as Firefox will be ending its support sooner or later(the exact date will probably be disclosed in September this year)...

 

However,for some reason,Linux often freezes(quite literally)...Just a few days ago,I was browsing and suddenly,firefox disappeared and so did everything else(except for the desktop background and the mouse pointer,the latter was responsive)...

 

After a few seconds,the pointer disappeared and the screen turned black...And this is probably the third time this has occurred...The USB cable is alright and it was not moved by anything or anyone...

 

I have no idea as to what might be wrong,but I suspect that it might be related to the hard disk itself or my USB port or my installation...Either way,I am going to need a lot of help...

 

Will update my specs in my signature soon...

 

Thanks

RJ



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#2 cat1092

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 04:19 AM

RJ, something you may want to consider, is moving all of your important documents, photos, videos, etc, onto an external & after imaging the drive for safety, install the latest version of Linux Mint on the internal drive, it won't use a lot of space, 40GiB is plenty for a basic Linux Mint install that'll run circles around XP, plus be able to do a lot more, and most important, securely. :)

 

I'd imagine that by now, your paid for security isn't updating to the latest version possible, making an already bad situation even worse. There's no security in this world that'll make up for all of the non-patched components of XP & it's going to get a lot worse. Google has already dropped support for XP (& Vista while still supported), Java did on Day 1 of EOL, soon Flash won't upgraded to the latest, it's like this. The Internet cannot remain modern & secure while retaining backwards compatibility for years on end for EOL OS's (this includes Linux/Mac ones also). 

 

Fortunately, Linux Mint is one of the few OS's that retains support for non-PAE equipped computers, so you're good there. 

 

That's my suggestion, nuke XP for good & install Linux Mint instead (there's an option for this with the installer). :)

 

While you may need to think this over, that's the best solution that I can offer. XP is a virtual death trap at this point, I wouldn't check my email with the OS, let alone make a transaction. 

 

Good Luck! :)

 

Cat


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#3 RJNB

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:00 AM

Hello,
 

 


That's my suggestion, nuke XP for good & install Linux Mint instead (there's an option for this with the installer). :)

 

While you may need to think this over, that's the best solution that I can offer. XP is a virtual death trap at this point, I wouldn't check my email with the OS, let alone make a transaction.

 

While what you say is utterly true,I would prefer to keep our setup as it is if possible-that way,I can take Mint anywhere with me :)

Moreover,I think Linux would run better on this 250 GB hdd than the 40 GB one,right?

 

As you might think,I am quite reluctant to 'nuke' XP- I won't use XP but to get it off my hdd is a bit difficult for me :|

 

So,I suggest that we leave that for later,if nothing else seems to work. So,could we instead try to find out what the problem might be?

 

Thanks for the quick response!! Hopefully,we will get this sorted...

RJ



#4 Al1000

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:12 AM

I have no idea as to what might be wrong,but I suspect that it might be related to the hard disk itself or my USB port or my installation...Either way,I am going to need a lot of help...


Hi RJ,

I agree that the problem is likely to be related to the external hard drive. External USB hard drives are not intended to be replacements for internal hard drives.

Moreover,I think Linux would run better on this 250 GB hdd than the 40 GB one,right?


What makes you think that?

#5 MadmanRB

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

Hard drive space means nothing where linux is concerned.

I once ran linux off a 40GB HDD no issue even with windows XP eating up a good chunk of the space.

I say its the type of system you are running it on that may be the cause of your woes, while yes its possible to use linux to make a computer run like news again if its old sometimes the distro can matter plus the hardware.

What are your specs?


Edited by MadmanRB, 04 April 2017 - 09:42 AM.

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#6 The-Toolman

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:31 PM

 40GiB is plenty for a basic Linux Mint install. :)

 

Cat

Most of my Linux computers run 40GB internal hard drives without problems as I have a wealthy stash of unopened new old stock 40GB hard drives laying around from my Windows XP days.


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#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:56 PM

Of course, you can run Puppy from a 4 GB flashdrive.....  :P

 

But I agree with the others, as far as Mint's concerned. 40 GB is more than enough.

 

If you're running Mint from an external HDD, are we talking about a portable? If so, I assume it's USB 3.0 (though you you may be running it through a USB 2.0 port). It'll more than likely have this type of connector at the drive end:-

 

YL7Z0F8.jpg

 

A 'micro-B' doesn't make the best connection, I've found. There's definitely 'wiggle-room' there (especially given that USB 3.0 cables tend to be thicker & heavier than USB 2.0; there's more wires inside it!), and if it wiggles too much, you will momentarily lose your connection.....which is sufficient to upset a traditional Linux 'full' install, since it expects the OS to be constantly 'there'. 

 

(There's an awful lot of stuff continuously going on in the background; reads/writes to & from system files, etc...)

 

My external lives on the top of my tower; held in place with sticky pads, and a very large lump of Blu-Tak moulded around the drive connector, specifically to prevent any kind of movement.....for this very reason.

 

 

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Edited by Mike_Walsh, 04 April 2017 - 07:22 PM.

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#8 cat1092

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 03:44 AM

 

 

If so, I assume it's USB 3.0 (though you you may be running it through a USB 2.0 port). It'll more than likely have this type of connector at the drive end:-

 

Mike, that's when I purchase my own metal or aluminum based USB enclosures, will avoid the type with this connector. :)

 

Got burned once, it won't happen again. Was one of those BYTECC enclosures with an external power cable, if needed. Nice case though, if only I could find a replacement board w/out that connector, otherwise a solid one. At first, the disconnects were random, now the cable is dead (a friend used a multimeter to test it). Am not spending more for a replacement cable than I did the entire kit when on a Newegg promo for $10 shipped, these are more expensive, and 50x more fragile than a standard USB 3.0 cable. Those 'slim' ones were intended to be replaced on a regular basis. :lol:

 

I feel for those who purchases the newer backup drives with this connector, if the end on the drive itself goes, one's backups, photos, whatever goes with it. :(

 

That's why there's so many refurbished models for sale. 

 

May be wrong, I recall that at one time, RJ was using a USB 2.0 backup drive, an older model found in the attic with a needed backup image, though still worked fine. :)

 

I dual booted both Linux Mint 13 & Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for over a year on a powered USB 2.0 drive, on my older Dell Latitude D610, with a 1TiB WD Caviar Black inside, running at 7,200 rpm & having a 32MB cache, was running circles around my internal IDE HDD. :)   While the internal also ran at 7,200 rpm, had only a 2MB cache, no way was it going to keep up with the WD Caviar Black, even on a USB 2.0 port.  :thumbsup:

 

Maybe RJ should go for a clean install, however if he does have that same cable you posted, that's likely the problem at hand. In that case, the older externals can be carefully opened & installed in a better  metal or aluminum based enclosure to keep the drive much cooler (these cooks in a plastic one with extended usage) with standard USB 3.0 cable on both ends, which is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 & 1.1. :)

 

Cat


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#9 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 05:58 AM

Maybe RJ should go for a clean install, however if he does have that same cable you posted, that's likely the problem at hand. In that case, the older externals can be carefully opened & installed in a better  metal or aluminum based enclosure to keep the drive much cooler (these cooks in a plastic one with extended usage) with standard USB 3.0 cable on both ends, which is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 & 1.1.  :)

 

 

My portable external (a 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion) always runs at around the 28-30C mark.....but then it is strictly for data storage. That's all it's used for.

 

I do occasionally use my spare portable (500 GB Seagate 'Expansion') for running the odd Puppy from.....but then, as we all know, Pup is not constantly writing to/reading from its partition, since in normal operation it runs in RAM. It's only with very old, seriously 'RAM-challenged' hardware that we recommend a 'full' install, as opposed to the usual 'frugal' one, since in that situation Pup actually runs better.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 05 April 2017 - 06:05 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

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#10 RJNB

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:36 AM

Hello,
 
 

Moreover,I think Linux would run better on this 250 GB hdd than the 40 GB one,right?


What makes you think that?

Well, as far as I know,the external is probably faster than the internal one and has not been used as much...
 
The external is connected by a 2.0 USB cable,but it differs slightly from Mike's image...It looks like this
USB2HAUBYX.C.jpg
 
However, I don't think that connector might be a problem-it was very loose,so I had glued it to the hard disk case :wink:
I have a feeling that this has something to do with the hdd itself or the USB port,but I don't know how to verify that...
 
Another thing flashed across my mind a while ago...Could the external be shutting down due to elevated temperatures?? It has been very hot here these days with the mercury climbing upto 40 degrees...
 
By the way,here are my specs:

 
Thanks
RJ

Edited by Al1000, 05 April 2017 - 09:57 AM.
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#11 Al1000

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:02 AM

Hello,

Well, as far as I know,the external is probably faster than the internal one and has not been used as much...


Hi,

Because of the USB port, acting as a "bottleneck," it'll actually be the other way around. The internal HDD should be much faster than the external one.

I've removed the attachment from your post for your protection, because it shows your IP address. Is the computer in question, the same computer for which you have a Speccy link in your signature?

#12 RJNB

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:20 AM

Hello,

Thanks Al1000...I had no idea that the specs had my IP...Yes,it's the same laptop...But those specs in my signature are outdated, I'll update them soon...

 

Because of the USB port, acting as a "bottleneck," it'll actually be the other way around.
 
So, is there no way to fix that bottleneck? Like I have said before,I would prefer to use Linux via USB and keep XP on the internal...If nothing else seems to work, then we could probably go for that...
 
Thanks
RJ


#13 Al1000

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:31 AM

Unless you have changed the hardware in your computer, the specs will be up to date in that respect.

Unfortunately USB 2.0 speed is what it is; nothing can be done to make it faster.

It should be quite possible to keep XP, and also install Mint. I have a laptop with a HDD the same size as yours. I dual-boot AntiX and Linux Puppy, and have an 18GiB partition for storage.

mountpoint_zpsx7bdwsxj.png

Edited by Al1000, 05 April 2017 - 10:40 AM.


#14 RJNB

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:47 AM

Hello,

 

Unfortunately USB 2.0 speed is what it is; nothing can be done to make it faster.

I understand...However,I guess I am fine with that speed...What I would like to focus on is the connectivity/hard disk issue...

 

What really puzzles me is that the screen goes black even when the USB cable is not moved even a tiny bit...Anyone has any clue as to what might the cause be?

 

Now that you mention that, I think that it could be possible to get both XP and Mint on that internal...However, wouldn't both the OSs be short of space then??

 

Thanks

RJ


Edited by RJNB, 05 April 2017 - 10:52 AM.


#15 Al1000

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:07 AM

I understand...However,I guess I am fine with that speed...What I would like to focus on is the connectivity/hard disk issue...


I believe that the connectivity/hard disk issue, is caused by the speed of the USB port.

37GiB is more than enough space for XP and Mint, and a swap partition. Neither OS should be short of space.




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