Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup
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Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by rkward on Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:32 pm

I have two Raspberry Pi boards that both will freeze or lockup over time when left alone. I think I have narrowed it down to the SD card since it occurs on both boards with that same card. I can't imaging the HW has widespread problems like this without more visibility so I'm guess it is the SD card. Have there been any other reports about problems on the cards that came with the Raspi Startup Kits? The only other ones I happen to have on hand are 2gb which is too small for the Occidentalis image so I can't go any further towards solving the problem yet.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by Nostromo on Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:31 pm

My advice is: Use the SD-Card only for the boot and as a fallback option. After having a corrupted SD-Card twice I installed the Distro (Occidentalis in my case) onto an USB memory key and changed the root to /dev/sda2. Since I've done that, all the problems have been gone, also the entire thingy gets noticeable faster :wink:
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by rkward on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:15 pm

So obviously others have had the same problem then. It sounds like your suggestion is a good choice but still requires the SD card for booting, correct? It is still flash memory, so obviously this is more likely to be the interface that is the issue here? Also, adding another USB device will require more power ... another drawback.

Wonder if a higher quality or higher class SD card would fix the problem? But as for the actual problem why and how are these cards getting corrupted? When using the cards for other forms of storage like photos or other binaries I never seem to have any problems.

I was excited about the possibilities of the Raspi but now I'm wondering if the Arduino is not a better choice to go back to with issues like this, sigh.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by Nostromo on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:06 am

That's correct, you still need the SD-Card with the boot partition. I haven't found any way so far to modify that behaviour.

I was using the Adafruit micro SD card as well as an high class Sandisk one... had problems with both after a while. I took care about a proper power supply, always shutting the Pi correctly down and so on... nothing helped. After the third time this happened something had to change.

By the way, your absolutely not save on an Arduino with these things: A SD-Card is nothing more than some stupid memory, there's not really anthing intelligent on these things preventing them from data corruption (improper power down, power down during write and so on...). The "Secure" in "SD" only stands for one part of the memory where some DRM stuff can be saved.
Windows is also not really able to handle "broken" SD-Cards, it's always a mess to get them going after something went wrong.

The story in cams and players is a fairly simple one: These things just simply give a s*** about the file integrity. If you format a card in a camera it just replaces whatever there is on the card with a plain partition and it's structure (there's an Arduino sketch that does exactly the same by the way). Since most of these devices have a "Soft Power Off" the controller inside can finish any pending access to the card without any issues.

Back to that USB story: It needs some more power for sure, in exchange you get a much more reliable solution and it speeds up things quite significantly :wink:
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by rkward on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:12 am

Also looks like from the Raspi forums that firmware versions could make a difference. However, the whole thing is very discouraging. I'm not sure what others are doing with theirs, but I want and need reliability without having to reboot this thing. From the looks of it all, a watchdog timer would be triggered several times a day as well. I might as well just us a small PC instead.

I'd like to hear what someone at Adafruit has to say about it, but right now I'm considering returning the whole lot (if allowable) and or selling it all unless there is a reasonable fix for it all. I've got one starter kit and one additional Raspi, two Pi Plates, several Zigbee/Xbee adapter boards and a couple of cases. Wish I would have heard of this issue early on.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by rkward on Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:34 am

No responses from Adafruit at this point? Hmm. Also, the http://www.adafruit.com/contact page/form does not seem to work on either (FF, IE, iPad, nor iPhone) browser for direct contact either.

Looks like returns on kits (starter kits too?) must happen within 14 days ... guess I'm potentially out $$ on this one. I certainly don't know what other people are doing with theirs Raspis but I'm not so sure why it has become so popular with this kind of an issue.

I'll look into Beagle Bone boards as being more reliable but at this point I'm too discouraged to try another one at the moment.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by adafruit on Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:17 am

rkward wrote:No responses from Adafruit at this point? Hmm. Also, the http://www.adafruit.com/contact page/form does not seem to work on either (FF, IE, iPad, nor iPhone) browser for direct contact either. Looks like returns on kits (starter kits too?) must happen within 14 days ... guess I'm potentially out $$ on this one. I certainly don't know what other people are doing with theirs Raspis but I'm not so sure why it has become so popular with this kind of an issue. I'll look into Beagle Bone boards as being more reliable but at this point I'm too discouraged to try another one at the moment.


hiya!

we do not see any emails or contact (you can use support@adafruit.com if you are having issues using the contact form). we sell the pi and support it the best we can with our accessories and knowledge, we're not aware of any issues that would cause this - since you have two and it's happening on both it could be a bad SD card(s), power supplies, etc. did you get the power supplies and SD cards from us (ours are tested to work).

also, have you tried posting up in the raspberry pi forums? please visit: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/ if the unit is actually defective let us know and we'll do what we can to best assist you.

cheers,
adafruit support, phil
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Re: Raspberry Pi Freeze/Lockup

by rkward on Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:43 pm

Adding a bit more on this for anyone who is curious ... I have also exchanged emails with Adafruit support.

I think I finally have it narrowed down to the problem but only without an explanation. After testing new and higher class 6 cards it was found to not make a difference and the lockups continued. To make this a bit easier, I created a simple script that walked through 4 LEDs on startup just to show if the unit was alive or not.

This is where it gets very odd. I have an Ethernet cable connection (cat 6 cable), that if plugged in will cause the Raspi to lockup when my computer goes to sleep, is put to sleep, or wakes up through keyboard activity. If I switch out the cable for another Ethernet cable (not even sure this old one is cat 5) it will not lockup at all, ever. I have repeated this dozens of times, and to my own amazement it locks up about 99% of the time. This is all extremely odd and I only noticed it by accident that the LEDs stopped as soon as my computer woke up. As already stated to Adafruit support, my power supply is from them (kit) and not USB from the computer.

How do I always find the most obscure problems like this?
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