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This freezing issue has been reported by others over the past few months but no clear answer has been provided. Some have attributed it to Banshee or other music players but this is incorrect since I have this problem and never while using anything other than perhaps Firefox. (I am not sure if it is necessarily due to firefox). Logging out and logging back in seems to remedy the problem. However, it would be nice to fix things once and for all. This problem began in the past 3 weeks. I alway have all Mint updates implemented.

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Unfortunatelly I don't have a "key in hand" solution but only some Tips to troubleshoot computer freezes under Linux:

The first step in troubleshooting is to get the data.

Suggested tool: System profiler and benchmark (hardinfo packet)

1. RAM: Check the memory with memtest86 (memtest86+ packet)

2. Hard disk: check the s.m.a.r.t data with GSmart Control (gsmartcontrol packet)

3. Overheat: sensors utilities for heat and fan speed: (lm-sensors, fancontrol, libsensors4, sensors-applet packets). Clean the dust if needed.

4. Graphic Card: If you have a Nvidia graphic card take a look at nvidia-settings packet. If you have an ATI Radeon, check for non-free drivers (search for flgx packets like flgx-control, etc)

5. BIOS: Check and keep note of the actual BIOS settings, Reset bios to the default setting. Finally check with the PC manufacturer if firmware is up to date

6. Power Supply: Your PSU may not be powerful enough or defective. Check for overheating, noises or weird smelling...

7. External devices: Sometime a faulty external devices is the source of the problem. Disconnect all the USB devices and see what's happen (or not). Check with another Keyboard/Mouse and see if that make any difference (not the same brand/model).

8. And last but not least: check with another user account...

Hope this help. Let us know. :)

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Also: if you still have a Windows partition, boot under Windows and try to reproduce the problem. If the problem is still there may be it's an hardware issue (including overheat or external devices), if not may be a Linux Mint 12 driver problem... You're using Firefox. Mozilla recntly discover problems with hardware acceleration and some graphic cards. May be a problem similar to the one you have. – climenole Feb 14 '12 at 22:46

Unless all programs are crashing randomly, or there's smoke coming out of your computer, it's extremely likely that it's a software problem. Since moving from Ubuntu 11.10 to Mint 12 64-bit in December, there are three major crashing issues:

  • ATI display driver (but the ones from nVidia are just as bad in my experience). Try the opensource driver if you're not using it.
  • gnome-shell segfaults several times per day on my desktop, but never on my laptop. When it does you can restart it by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1, logging in, running DISPLAY=:0 gnome-shell --replace and pressing Ctrl-Alt-F7.
  • plugin-container (Flash container for Firefox) usually crashes within a few minutes if displaying a Youtube video in fullscreen, and every few hours when browsing normally (on both the desktop and laptop). This may or may not be related to Flashblock, but without it browsing would be unbearable.
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