Ubuntu freezing on Via EPIA 10000 M

ubuntu_logo.1edt085urikkokgoc0c880s8g.17ldmg3f9ou8088wk04c40sgo.thI recently tried installing the latest version of Ubuntu on my Via EPIA 10000 M board, to use it as a Media Center. But I experienced some strange behavior.

After about 30 to 60 minutes of use, my system completely locked up.
All I could do to get the system back up, was perform a hard reboot.

This happened regardless of what I was doing. Even if the system was just sitting idle for a longer period of time.
I found that I could provoke the lockup to happen, if I played some high-resolution video.

At the time of writing, Ubuntu is version 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), which is the version I was using.

I had a hard time finding any clues in the system log files, but after a thorrow walkthrough of the /var/log/syslog file, I found something suspicious.

May 31 22:50:06 TV kernel: [    8.464149] Marking TSC unstable due to TSC halts in idle

The easiest way to find this line is by typing "cat /var/log/syslog | grep unstable".

I searched far and wide on Google, to find out if this is was what was causing my problem and I finally found something useful.

It seems that “TSC”, which stands for “Time Stamp Counter”, is a kernel module and that it was somehow responsible for making my Ubuntu system unstable. Don’t ask me why 🙂

I found a solution though, by completely disabling “TSC” in my boot-loader options.
By adding the statement “notsc” to the end of the “kernel” option, in the file “/boot/grub/menu.lst“, i managed to solve the problem.

Like this:

title Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-11-generic
uuid 242651e6-751d-46e5-8d85-2684c78940a3
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic root=UUID=242651e6-751d-46e5-8d85-2684c78940a3 ro quiet splash notsc
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic
quiet

I rebooted the computer, ran a couple of CPU excessive commands and played some video with MPlayer to test it. No more lock-ups.

I’m not sure if this problem is present in any other version of Ubuntu.

Please leave a comment with your experiences.

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2 thoughts on “Ubuntu freezing on Via EPIA 10000 M”

  1. Thanks for posting this, it seems to have solved my issue with instability on my EPIA mythtv frontend system.

    Cheers,

    Darren

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