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Old 02-05-04, 03:34 AM   #13
zander
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It is possible that this is a NVIDIA driver problem and I'm sure NVIDIA will be investigating it, but it is also possible that you're suffering from a kernel bug. If you were able to reproduce the problem with the nv driver (without nvidia.o loaded), then this would've proved that the problem is NVIDIA unrelated; no conclusion can be drawn from the observation that the problem doesn't seem to reproduce with nv, however: the nv driver has little in common with the nvidia driver in terms of overall system interaction.
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Old 02-05-04, 07:06 AM   #14
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just for the kicks of it, i'm currently running X with the VESA driver, and sure enough, the scrolling-panic does NOT happen at all. and that's with the nvidia kernel module still loaded - it just does not handle 2d acceleration.

also, my girlfriend experiences similar stability problems on our home computer; i can seldom manage to get her off it so that i can use it, so i have no real first-hand impressions - only know that it kernel panics too, but have no idea if it is caused by scrolling, she claims it happens often when switching between X and console, which i do not do at work and have no idea if it causes the same crashes. the problems at home started when i upgraded from geforce2 to geforce4 ti4200. this problem was NOT present with geforce2, running with the same kernel, with the same NVidia driver. note that my card at home and my card here at work are completely different (geforce4 mx440 vs. geforce4 ti4200, different manufacturers, etc) and still experience the same problem. it has been proved that the nvidia drivers are hardware-sensitive (for example, the long-standing bug with the whole machine locking up when switching video modes with TV-out enabled, working fine without TV-out; i believe it was fixed at some point, but it was widely discussed on this forum for many months and several driver versions were released during this time without fix for this HUGE bug). i'm sorry, but it will be hard to convince me that the problem is not caused by NVidia's drivers.
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Old 02-05-04, 10:25 AM   #15
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zander, I see what you are saying but I suppose it is a little more likely that the nvidia driver is the cause and not the kernel itself. In any case, those two versions don't play well together on my hardware.

lanzz, it sounds like you are have the same kind of crashes I was having. I know that it happened when I was scrolling sometimes, but at least once it happened when I wasn't even touching the computer - I came back later to find it had died.

If I had to guess, I would say that the kernel gets corrupted first (somehow) then after that sometime later a crash will result when the corrupted memory is accessed. If this is true, then this kind of bug is not easy to track down since the cause is disjoint from the effect. When I get a chance, I will upgrade my kernel, and try nivida again to see if that helps.
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Old 02-05-04, 12:05 PM   #16
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Whoa - I stand corrected! I just got another crash (same kernel BUG at vmscan.c:545! crash), and I am still using nv, not nvidia. Or at least I thought I was. In my /etc/X11/XF86Config I set the driver to "nv" instead of "nvidia" and I no longer get the nvidia splash screen, so I assumed I had sucessfully switched drivers.

But when i look at this:

# modprobe -l | grep nv
/lib/modules/2.4.20-8/kernel/drivers/char/nvram.o
/lib/modules/2.4.20-8/kernel/drivers/net/nvnet.o
/lib/modules/2.4.20-8/kernel/drivers/sound/nvaudio.o
/lib/modules/2.4.20-8/kernel/drivers/video/nvidia.o

it seems that the nvidia module is still loading, even though I am not using it. How can I stop it from loading at all?

Interestingly, today, it crashed about 30 minutes before Xwin noticed and hung.
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Old 02-05-04, 01:03 PM   #17
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Unless the NVIDIA kernel module is explicitely loaded (e.g. from a boot script), it won't be loaded if you use the XFree86 nv driver. Make sure it is not loaded before you start X and double check that nv is being used (see /var/log/XFree86.0.log).
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Old 02-05-04, 01:44 PM   #18
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I checked /var/log/XFree86.0.log and it was loading nv, but it was also loading the NVIDIA glx module, so I commented Load "glx" out of /etc/X11/XF86Config, restarted, and now it is gone. We'll see what happens...
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Old 02-07-04, 01:05 PM   #19
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I got another crash with nv - so it seems that it is not nvidia related after all. Who knows what it is. I am going to upgrade my kernel in the hope that that might help...
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Old 02-20-04, 12:46 AM   #20
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I found the problem. I have memory errors. I ran memtest86 to check the memory and I have errors during test#5. In the memtest docs it says this:

"There have been numerous reports of errors in only tests 5 and 8 on Athlon systems. Often the memory works in a different system or the vendor insists that it is good. In these cases the memory is not necessarily bad but is not able to operate reliably at Athlon speeds. Sometimes more conservative memory timings on the motherboard will correct these errors. In other cases the only option is to replace the memory with better quality, higher speed memory. Don't buy cheap memory and expect it to work with an Athlon! On occasion test 5/8 errors will occur even with name brand memory and a quality motherboard. These errors are legitimate and should be corrected."

...so there you go. Not driver related at all.
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Old 02-20-04, 02:50 AM   #21
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I was seeing similar problems with an Intel Pentium 4C system at some point; the installed i865 based Asus P4P800 mainboard failed to operate reliably with the advertised memory acceleration technologie enabled (altough recommended Kingston DDR memory was used). Symptoms were random crashes in user- and kernel-space under heavy load and single bit errors at varying offsets in random memtest86 tests.
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Old 02-24-04, 04:48 PM   #22
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lachlan, thanks for you insight. After reading your post I memtested my system, bad results. I slowed the chip frequency down and no errors, and no lock ups (so far).

As the system's completely new I'm going to try to get an upgraded DDR, if I get good results I'll post back.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-01-04, 02:34 PM   #23
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Just an additional.

Got a new memory stick and replaced the cheapo one.
System now runs at full rated speed with no lockup.
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Old 03-02-04, 11:09 AM   #24
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Yes, just to follow up. I changed my memory the next day from Shika to Kingston and ran memtest86 again and everything was fine. Now I no longer have the kernel crashes when I run at full speed.

aside: If I was running Windows, I never would have bothered to track this down - I would have just assumed it was a Mircrosoft bug and lived with it.
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