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

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.

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.



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