Two problems causing X freezes and hard lockups
I decided to create this thread to attract attention on two problems that follow me since I first installed nVidia drivers in Linux. Those two problems are quite serious since they cause hard lockups of my system, which then requires rebooting since I can't access it through ssh.
This problem occurs after playing an OpenGL game (Quake 3 in my case), then logging out, loggin in, and starting a video file with either mplayer or xine. This will cause X to simply restart when opening the video file, and the problem can be prevented by restarting X before logging in. After the problem, if I try to repeat the process without restarting X, Quake 3, mplayer or xine will generally freeze, and nothing can be done locally with the system except alt-sysrq-s/u/b (restarting X via ctlr-alt-backspace or changing virutal console doesn't work). Various logs don't show anything of interest. This has happened since v. 2960 (the first time I installed nvidia drivers) and still happens with v. 4349. Otherwise, I have no problem whatsoever running Quake 3. The problem can't be repeated of course with the default nv driver since it doesn't support hardware acceleration.
This happened to me more recently. I simultaneously upgraded to drivers 4349 from 4191, and from Mozilla 1.1 to Mozilla 1.3. Randomly it seems, but *always* when Mozilla is open, and *always* when I'm either typing in the mail client, a text box, or scrolling a window, X would completely freeze. The problem doesn't occur if Mozilla is open but not used. Running top in batch mode while redirected to a file shows that X uses 98-99% of CPU (the rest being used by top, Mozilla being idle) after the freeze. Ctrl-alt-backspace doesn't work for restarting X, ctrl-alt-del doesn't work for rebooting, and I can't change virtual console either. Rebooting is the only remaining solution since I can't log in remotely and kill X. Curiously, the problem remained present when going back to Mozilla 1.1, upgrading to Mozilla 1.4a, and even going back to 4191 drivers. The problem is not present while using the default nv driver and folks at mozilla.bugzilla.org are 100% sure that such a lock-up can't be caused by Mozilla. There was no other recent change in my system that could have triggered the problem (since it was not happening before), except maybe the use of ntpd for networked time synchronization. Absolutely nothing interesting shows up in the various logs, even with verbose 5 X logging.
Vidcard: Generic GF2 MX400 64 MB
Mobo: Asus A7V266-E
Processor: Athlon XP 1800+
System RAM: 512 MB DDR
OS: currently Linux Mandrake 9.0
I will happily give you more information if asked; however as I said before, nothing anomalous was found in the system logs after both problems.
Thanks for any help or hint.