k7-smp kernel help

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Sun Jun 18 02:42:00 UTC 2006

On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 22:14:18 -0400 Kenny <kenneth.l.armstrong at us.army.mil> 
>Kenny wrote:
>> Matthew Kuiken wrote:
>>> Kenny wrote:
>>>> OK, I have been at this for about 6 hours now.
>>>> I have an AMD X2 4400+ dual core processor. I have been trying to 
>>>> use the k7-smp kernel so that I can actually use both of my cores. I 
>>>> went into synaptic package manager, and of course it automatically 
>>>> chooses all of the latest pieces needed, including the appropriate 
>>>> restricted modules (I have 2 7800GTX's in SLI mode, so I need the 
>>>> Nvidia drivers).
>>>> It all downloads and installs fine (the kernel that it defaults to 
>>>> download is But after about 2-5 minutes of use after 
>>>> I boot into this kernel and log in, my entire computer locks up. 
>>>> Mouse doesn't move, keyboard shortcuts don't respond. I have to 
>>>> manually reboot with the power button. Reminds me of the days of 
>>>> Windows 3.1.
>>>> So I thought that I would step it back and get the previous kernel 
>>>> (2.6.15-23-k7). But when I try to download it, synaptic wants to 
>>>> automatically put all of the latest software with it that depend on 
>>>> the newer kernel. I couldn't get it to cooperate, so I figured, what 
>>>> the hell, I'll try it.
>>>> I reboot, choose the older kernel, and after the Ubuntu loading 
>>>> screen, I get the X failure screen telling me that it couldn't start 
>>>> X. I figured that this was because the restricted modules wanted to 
>>>> work with the newer kernel and not this one.
>>>> So I reboot again, this time to the newer k7 kernel (2.6.15-25-k7) 
>>>> only to find that after the Ubuntu loading screen, nothing gets sent 
>>>> to my monitor. My LCD power light goes orange dictating that it is 
>>>> no longer recieving a signal from my video cards.
>>>> The only way I can work in Ubuntu is to use the latest 386 kernel, 
>>>> and that sucks because I'm running on only half of my physical cpu 
>>>> hardware.
>>>> Is there a better way to do this? I've tried the sudo apt-get, but 
>>>> it does the same exact thing as synaptic, getting all of the latest 
>>>> stuff, not letting me have anything older.
>>>> Suggestions?
>>>> Kenny
>>> You may want to try the 686 kernel.  It also has SMP enabled.  It may 
>>> not be as optimized for your processor, but it should still allow you 
>>> to use both.  Hopefully it will be a bit more stable.
>>> HTH,
>>> -Matt
>> Thanks, I gave it a shot but unfortunately it was even less stable 
>> than the k7 version.  What's up with dual core in Linux?
>Wow, I'm even more sad than before.  Just for grins and giggles I tried 
>the regular k7 kernel, and it locked up as well but I was able to move 
>the mouse.  It appears that I may have something else going on here.  
>The only kernel that I can use that doesn't cause a lockup is the 
>regular 386 one.  Where do I begin to try and figure out what's wrong?
If I were in your position, I'd be thinking about the potential for 
hardware issues.

Are you overclocking at all?

If you boot to your BIOS settings, can you check CPU temps?  Are the 
reasonable for K7 (I wouldn't know)?

I'm particularly wondering about CPU thermal issues.  IIRC, AMD CPUs freeze 
when they overheat.  I'd also iimagine they run cooler on one core instead 
of two.

The earlier suggestion about running a memory test was a good one, I think.

I'm running the latest SMP kernel on dual Pentium IIIs, so I don't think 
it's fundamentally broken.

Scott K

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