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2002 Apr 13 12:01

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] not sure what to call it
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Re: [vox-tech] not sure what to call it

On Apr 13, 2002 Patrick Stockton wrote:
> When sitting at a text login at the actuall box for example I'll enter the
> username and password and it'll stop moving.  So I'll hit ALT+F3 to get a
> different terminal and I get a black screen, no prompts.  So I hit ALT+F7 to
> get to my X windows and still get the black screen.

That's one of the worst things that can happen! 

Does the caps-lock light on the keyboard blink
when you press the capslock key? If it does, 
/something/ is still running in there. 

The "magic sysrq" key is your friend when the screen
is blank. It's not hard to set up and use.  You could
at least sync the filesystem before rebooting. Check out
sysrq.txt in /usr/src/linux/Documentation.

Maybe the last bufferfull of the system logs
has important clues but sadly are gone  by the time you
can get the system restarted. 

Some people hook up a serial console to get at these
messages. Sometimes the serial console keeps talking
even after vga-consoles and network access are dead.
Docs for setting it up:
You can make a 2nd system pretend to be a serial
terminal for example using a null modem (it's just
a cable) and minicom. Maybe someone can lend you
a small linux box for a few days.

Getty (or mgetty) could be freaking out? I've spent
many hours tracking down getty problems, but I can't
remember anything that would help without a live

Ingo Molnar used to have a crash-dump patch to the
kernel, might even be incorporated with newer 
kernels? (kmsgdump if memory serves)

Lastly, you might be able to tweak the log-level
of messages that show up on the console.

Best of luck.

Code seen in the rear mirror may look better than it is.

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