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fresh 11.04, FF crashes every minute, applications refuses to start. memtest say ram is ok, segfaults often (apt-get)

found bad charachters in some files, still fsck reported only one error. MB (gigabyte h55n) bios settings to "safe".

Is it MB or HD? How to find out?

(s.m.a.r.t say everything's fine)

regards, /t

share|improve this question
Did you do a md5sum check on your CD to confirm its integrity before you installed? – fossfreedom May 18 '11 at 20:15
To be honest, no. Installed from USB-stick. iso downloaded on OSX (*nix tcp). And Windows was previously installed on same machine, also behaved very odd with random reboots, mostly at startup. (the bar chars I've found is in /var logs) – user8302 May 18 '11 at 20:36
will post back if problem nailed. – user8302 May 19 '11 at 9:08
Well, three years later but still: It was a bad MB. – user8302 Jun 10 '14 at 13:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sounds like a very broken installation to me. Probably caused by a bad CD media, or a corrupted download. I would redownload the .iso, check it's md5 hash (as suggested by fossfreedom) and burn it to a new CD (again verifying the CD once completed). Then do a fresh reinstallation.

edit: I just re-read your question and noticed that you were asking if it was the motherboard or hard disk. I would not suspect the motherboard. Slight possibility of it being the HDD, but again, my theory is a broken installation due to bad media or a corrupted download.

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thanks, I'll give it a try with a new hdd. – user8302 May 19 '11 at 9:08
new HD and everything's fine afaik after one day usage. No FF crashes, everything flows well. Obviously HD's can break down in many ways. One of the logs in /var/cache had a [space] replaced with a $. Thats &0b00100000 -> &0b00100100. Those little bits... – user8302 May 19 '11 at 17:25
Glad to hear everything's running smooth now :) – zookalicious May 19 '11 at 18:39

I would test again with a different iso and see if the problems persist. If they do (and I suspect that they will, since you report similar problems with Windows) then I would suspect the motherboard, since the SMART test did not report errors.

Unfortunately I don't know of any good tools for testing/reporting that deal with motherboard hardware. A quick search turned up Phoronix Test Suite but that appears to be more focussed upon benchmarking rather than troubleshooting. I will try it out and report back later.

I have a fairly flaky motherboard on my desktop machine. It's caused lots of problems over time, but I found that replacing some power-hungry components and installing a better PSU has rendered it a great deal more reliable. In any case of mysterious errors like those you're experiencing I recommend reviewing your machine's power budget.

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Hmm I missed the comment which stated that Windows was affected too. – zookalicious May 19 '11 at 1:31
phoronix-test-suite is available from Ubuntu repositories. In order for the GUI interface to work, it needs the php5-gtk package, which is available from - and probably other sources as well. It's basically a frontend for loading and running other benchmarks / tests (and for uploading results to Phoronix Global, whatever that may be) and does not appear to offer any tests that would be specifically useful for motherboard testing. – koanhead May 19 '11 at 2:05
thanks for the phoronix link, should nail any bad MB against the wall, and later the trashbin. @zookalcious, thanks too, added comment after your post. – user8302 May 19 '11 at 9:06

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