Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Compaq R4000 laptop with 2GB of RAM, running Ubuntu Linux 9.10. It is randomly locking up on me, approximately once every two days. I have a second partition with Windows XP Home installed, and I have had the system lock up in XP as well, meaning I believe this is a hardware issue. I have run two passes of Memtest86+ with no errors.

The system has a fan that has died, so I initially suspected overheating. However the system just locked up on me while I was in the middle of typing a script to warn me / shut down if the temperature was too high. When the lockup happened the temperature was 88°F, so I am now starting to believe that may not be the issue.

When the system locks up, I cannot SSH in nor ping it. Nothing shows in syslog when I reboot. I have configured it to send syslog messages to a local server as well and no messages appear on that server when the lockup happens. I am open to any and all advice!

EDIT1: I have been running memtest86+ v2.11 on it all night and all day, it's completed 11 passes so far with no errors...

EDIT2: Memtest86+ completed 22 passes with no errors. I have it running test#9, the bit fade test now. So far 2 passes, no errors. But it looks like RAM is ok...

share|improve this question


P.S: Maybe


prints something useful?


I also suggest playing around with a fresly installed linux, because it might be software/and or drivers? If it is a critical hardware(CPU/Cache/Motherboard/Memory) problem then I suspect you are screwed because with a laptop you can not replace(cheaply) if the laptop guarantee has expired... (In that case better of buying new /second hand laptop)


If you think it is an hardware issue I suggest removing devices from your laptop/from your bios. Off course you can't remove CPU/motherboard.

Maybe you could (stress)test your Laptop from memory. So do not install linux but run it from disc only. I don't think something like for example your cdrom can make your laptop crash(hopefully disabling from bios is enough in that case).

If it is something critical like CPU, memory, cache.Then my next question is how the hell to fix this. If you still have guarantee then you could return it to where you bought the device.

If not then I think you are better of buying(or maybe second hand from ebay/etc) another laptop because that will be almost as cheap as repairing hardware.

share|improve this answer
Hmmm... Issue is I can't get to dmesg because the system completely locks up. After a reboot dmesg is normal. And sadly this laptop is out of warranty. – Josh Mar 13 '10 at 16:30
Okay that sucks. My advise then is, try it with a fresh install of for example ubuntu. Try disabling as much as devices as possible. Because it is weird that your pc won't crash with memtest. So maybe it is a I/O device or something that's is flakky, but not CPU/MEM which are essentials parts of a PC. – Alfred Mar 15 '10 at 20:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .