#289 Libreboot X200 freezing up

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opened 5 months ago by plantroon · 10 comments

My Libreboot X200 freezes up when I use it for long periods. This did not happen before Libreboot. I have no way of getting any logs, it just freezes up. Sometimes the Caps Lock LED flashes, which I presume is a kernel panic, that I could catch somehow. I have to restart the laptop every 3 days just to keep going, I call this unusable because it happens in the most unfortunate circumstances.

My Libreboot X200 freezes up when I use it for long periods. This did not happen before Libreboot. I have no way of getting any logs, it just freezes up. Sometimes the Caps Lock LED flashes, which I presume is a kernel panic, that I could catch somehow. I have to restart the laptop every 3 days just to keep going, I call this unusable because it happens in the most unfortunate circumstances.
Swift Geek commented 5 months ago
Collaborator

Are you using suspend? Are you using newest version of libreboot there? What kernel version?

Are you using suspend? Are you using newest version of libreboot there? What kernel version?
plantroon commented 5 months ago
Poster

I am using the newest version (20160907) and I updated the EC firmware prior to flashing.

Happens on any OS (including BSDs), any kernel version, it is libreboot-specific as it did not happen before.

My primary OS is Parabola. I am using suspend, the laptop is in suspend mode most of the time. That's how I imagine any computer should work. Reboots should be only for important kernel updates. Rebooting is unacceptable in 2017.

Basically I am just asking if this is a known problem or if others are experiencing it.

I am using the newest version (20160907) and I updated the EC firmware prior to flashing. Happens on any OS (including BSDs), any kernel version, it is libreboot-specific as it did not happen before. My primary OS is Parabola. I am using suspend, the laptop is in suspend mode most of the time. That's how I imagine any computer should work. Reboots should be only for important kernel updates. Rebooting is unacceptable in 2017. Basically I am just asking if this is a known problem or if others are experiencing it.

I'm pretty sure it's a known problem. My X200 also has sporadic crashes, though their frequency has decreased dramatically after re-flashing the newest version of libreboot. It used to hang as often as you report; after reflashing it hangs about once every couple of weeks.

I urge you to download a fresh copy and re-flash.

Can you get any other details gathered? Microcode? Type and capacity of RAM?

I'm pretty sure it's a known problem. My X200 also has sporadic crashes, though their frequency has decreased _dramatically_ after re-flashing the newest version of libreboot. It used to hang as often as you report; after reflashing it hangs about once every couple of weeks. I urge you to download a fresh copy and re-flash. Can you get any other details gathered? [Microcode](https://libreboot.org/docs/hardware/x200.html#ram_s3_microcode)? Type and capacity of RAM?
Swift Geek commented 5 months ago
Collaborator

Suspend does not work yet for x200, use hibernate if you need similar functionality which is also more secure

Suspend does not work yet for x200, use hibernate if you need similar functionality which is also more secure
plantroon commented 4 months ago
Poster

So even without suspending for 2 weeks and swapping RAM sticks, it still managed to freeze up on the 3rd or 4th day of the power cycle.

I have 2 Samsung RAM sticks of the same kind: M471B5673EH1-CF8

One more interesting questions, do you use the graphical version of Grub payload or the text mode? I am asking this because I think this has to do with graphics.

So even without suspending for 2 weeks and swapping RAM sticks, it still managed to freeze up on the 3rd or 4th day of the power cycle. I have 2 Samsung RAM sticks of the same kind: M471B5673EH1-CF8 One more interesting questions, do you use the graphical version of Grub payload or the text mode? I am asking this because I think this has to do with graphics.
plantroon commented 4 months ago
Poster

Another update. The laptop went fine for 10 days (that's a record uptime on Libreboot for me). I noticed that this might be related to RAM speeds somehow, as I notice a huge slowdown of graphics on Libreboot as well. I do not know what triggers it. For example, glxgears then goes like 20 FPS. Anyone having these problems on an X200?

Another update. The laptop went fine for 10 days (that's a record uptime on Libreboot for me). I noticed that this might be related to RAM speeds somehow, as I notice a huge slowdown of graphics on Libreboot as well. I do not know what triggers it. For example, glxgears then goes like 20 FPS. Anyone having these problems on an X200?
Swift Geek commented 4 months ago
Collaborator

Have your ran memtest? (Not including broken test 7, block move)

Graphics issues are related to your distro and chosen drivers

Freeze and kernel panic are very distinct failures here so pay attention to leds that indicate it.

Have your ran memtest? (Not including broken test 7, block move) Graphics issues are related to your distro and chosen drivers Freeze and kernel panic are very distinct failures here so pay attention to leds that indicate it.
plantroon commented 4 months ago
Poster

Is there any way to run memtest on the vesafb version of Libreboot? I also have a gut feeling that using txtmode will make these problems go away.

Is there any way to run memtest on the vesafb version of Libreboot? I also have a gut feeling that using txtmode will make these problems go away.
thum commented 2 months ago

While I haven't been looking into this deeper than just to observe behavior, my observations with a handful of X200 laptops on GNU/Linux are that using txtmode won't help with the "sporadic crashes". Neither will swapping RAM, using less RAM, using coreboot or using the latest stock boot firmware (!). It also seems to be independent of vram size.

Every configuration I've tested crashes sporadically. Sometimes four times a day, sometimes only once in two weeks. This happens when idle, though it's more likely that it will occur when watching a movie (e.g. with mpv, vlc) or under full load.

Again, those are my observations, yours may vary.

glxgears will likely run at a similar fps rate than your display refresh rate. Use $ vblank_mode=0 glxgears and you should get a lot more fps. vblank_mode tells the graphic card to ignore the refresh rate of your monitor.

While I haven't been looking into this deeper than just to observe behavior, my observations with a handful of X200 laptops on GNU/Linux are that using txtmode won't help with the "sporadic crashes". Neither will swapping RAM, using less RAM, using coreboot or using the latest stock boot firmware (!). It also seems to be independent of vram size. Every configuration I've tested crashes sporadically. Sometimes four times a day, sometimes only once in two weeks. This happens when idle, though it's more likely that it will occur when watching a movie (e.g. with mpv, vlc) or under full load. Again, those are my observations, yours may vary. glxgears will likely run at a similar fps rate than your display refresh rate. Use $ vblank_mode=0 glxgears and you should get a lot more fps. vblank_mode tells the graphic card to ignore the refresh rate of your monitor.
plantroon commented 2 months ago
Poster

@thum, thank you for sharing your experience. You are right, that is exactly the problem I am having.

In the meantime, steps I did in order to solve this problem:

  1. suspected faulty RAM, so I bought 2 RAM sticks of the same kind and left memtest run for 24 hours. No errors found.
  2. Tried removing one RAM stick, didn't help. Thinkpad froze up after 2 days.
  3. Switched to txtmode. This didn't help either, as @thum noted.

I found that it happens at completely random times but the machine can be used fine for work and entertainment. It is my only computer and for now I learned to live with it.

You mentioned that "using the latest stock boot firmware (!)" didn't solve the problem. What do you mean ? The original BIOS the computer came with? Because mine worked fine with that. I have not changed my computer use patterns in the last year and my Thinkpad X200 was fine and 100% reliable on the original BIOS (my uptimes were as long as 60 days and I only rebooted becuase of bigger kernel updates)

@thum, thank you for sharing your experience. You are right, that is exactly the problem I am having. In the meantime, steps I did in order to solve this problem: 1. suspected faulty RAM, so I bought 2 RAM sticks of the same kind and left memtest run for 24 hours. No errors found. 2. Tried removing one RAM stick, didn't help. Thinkpad froze up after 2 days. 3. Switched to txtmode. This didn't help either, as @thum noted. I found that it happens at completely random times but the machine can be used fine for work and entertainment. It is my only computer and for now I learned to live with it. You mentioned that "using the latest stock boot firmware (!)" didn't solve the problem. What do you mean ? The original BIOS the computer came with? Because mine worked fine with that. I have not changed my computer use patterns in the last year and my Thinkpad X200 was fine and 100% reliable on the original BIOS (my uptimes were as long as 60 days and I only rebooted becuase of bigger kernel updates)
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