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My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults
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My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults

by pfliegster on Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:14 pm

Hello,
I bought my Raspberry Pi Zero W from Adafruit on 4/10/2019 Order ID # 2030960-5252029834, delivered on 4/17/2019.

I have experienced frequent segmentation faults and just freezing up on this little board just while trying to get it set up (I've tried to set it up a few different ways now, detailed below), and think the board is defective.

In the same order I have also purchased and received a RPI3B+ and that board is working great ... I have not experienced the same issues.

Here are some pix showing the board and connections:
IMG_1938.JPEG
My Pi Zero W with adapters connecting to power, HDMI monitor, and Logitech wireless kbd/mouse combo
IMG_1938.JPEG (140.15 KiB) Viewed 104 times

IMG_1949.JPEG
Topside of Pi Zero W
IMG_1949.JPEG (202.96 KiB) Viewed 104 times

IMG_1950.JPEG
Back of Board
IMG_1950.JPEG (210.65 KiB) Viewed 104 times


My first attempt was to load Raspbian from the NOOBS 8GB SD card that came with my starter pack. This seemed to fail during almost immediately while loading the GUI NOOBS environment (connected to HDMI monitor). It just froze while 3 dots were in the center of the monitor (sorry I didn't grab a screen capture of this). So, suspecting something was wrong with the pre-installed NOOBS, I downloaded the latest NOOBS 3.0.1 (4/8/2019) and burned it to the SD card, following your instructions for using the SD card formatter and copying the unzip'd files over (this was the same approach I took for my Pi3B+, which worked fine). And this failed too. I attempted this approach multiple times and it failed each time in a slightly different way and place during the installation process. My last attempt doing it using the NOOBS GUI for the install is show here, giving me segmentation faults:

< Sorry, I just noticed that I can only attach 3 photo attachments, but I will describe what I see on the screen & I can send additional photos via email or followup if requested>

After selecting "Raspbian Full [RECOMMENDED]" in NOOBS and setting up my WiFi connection, hitting "Install" and the hitting "Yes" at the confirmation dialog box, it appears to start performing the install, but then quickly pops up an Error Dialog Box like this:

Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
Error
Error downloading or extracting tarball
Segmentation fault
./start_x.elf: Truncated tar archive
bsdtar: Error exit delayed from previous errors.

CLOSE <button>


So, then after hitting that CLOSE button, the GUI looks like it is going back to the NOOBS main screen, it draws the big box on the screen where the selections of OS are normally shown, and then just stops. It seems to freeze & stays there forever. I then power-cycled the board (leaving it off for a while to make sure something wasn't overheating) and went through a similar process and again, just as it is starting to install the OS again, I get another Segmantation Fault with an error dialog box, similar but slightly different:

Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
Error
Error downloading or extracting tarball
Segmentation fault

CLOSE <button>


So I then took a different approach, instead downloading Raspbian Lite Stretch (2019-04-08) ZIP and created the SD Card using Etcher as described on your tutorial here: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-raspberry-pi-lesson-1-preparing-and-sd-card-for-your-raspberry-pi/making-an-sd-card-using-a-windows-vista-slash-7

Then running from the console command line, Raspbian Lite seemed to load just fine and I could do some limited things on it. However, I continued to run into problems with freezing up unexpectedly (e.g. once while trying to edit a text file using "sudo nano") and running into segmentation faults (where the console window was then over-run with a register or memory dump, making it difficult to see what happened). Another attempt let me get much further into the process and let me get through running "rasp-config" to setup my environment and wifi connection" ... only to then freeze up again in the middle of doing the upgrade (it got to about 83% complete when running "sudo apt update" and then "sudo apt upgrade"). It just hung ... I left it sitting for about 20 minutes, just to make sure it wasn't just taking a long time to untar something, but I never got control of the PI again. One other attempt with Raspbian Lite gave me a segmentation fault in the middle of running the raspi-config setup program and my grey menu on top of the blue background screen (on my HDMI monitor) was just completely overwritten by red error text (STDERR pipe?) scrolling up from below where it appeared yet another seg fault with a memory dump scrolled up the screen and then the PI just froze again.

During my numerous attempts I did manage one time to get connected from my laptop using SSH (I followed your instructions to set it up as a headless PI in your tutorial for configuring a Pi Zero W as a Pi-Hole ad blocker), where I setup the wpa_supplicant.conf, empty ssh file, and edited the config.txt file (all in /boot/ on the SD card before installing in the PI and powering up). During this one attempt I was able to successfully able to get past the "sudo apt update" and "sudo apt upgrade" process and it all seemed fine and I could edit files using nano. However, during my next power-up cycle of the PI, unfortunately it had frozen again while typing some command on the keyboard (attached to console) and couldn't reconnect via SSH or even PING the PI (no response).

Note: for most of the attempts described above, I either just power cycled, but in some cases re-flashed my SD card again from scratch using etcher. I also tried different SD cards to make sure it wasn't' just the one SD card giving me problems. In every trial, it eventually froze or gave a segmentation fault (and also just froze).

Occasionally after getting a segmentation fault the PI would freeze, but also sometimes it would still seem to be functional and I've tried to look in the /var/log/messages and /var/log/syslog files (using cat, more, dmesg, and tail at various times) and I could never really figure out why it was crashing at these various times. Again, it seemed to happen at random times, at different stages of the setup and updating processes. In all, this particular PI just seems to be unreliable.

Just to continue my debug process, I then tried a similar thing as above, but instead of flashing the Raspbian Lite build onto the SD card, I instead flashed the Full Raspbian Stretch (desktop with recommended software, 2019-04-08), again using etcher in windows. I was able to get the Raspbian Windows environment cmopletely up and running and I was even able to get through the initial configuration ... however, I again ran into a segmentation fault while trying to update the software using the GUI software updater. In this case, I got an error dialog box reading like this:

Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
Error Checking for updates.
E: Method http has died unexpectedly!
E: Sub-process http received a segmentation fault.

OK <button>


I think the only thing I haven't done yet is to install the header so that I could connect the USB-UART debug cable and possibly capture the console message text (including memory dumps on seg faults) for more complete analysis. But I'm pretty sure something is just fundamentally wrong with this board (especially since I was able to get my RPI3B+ board working so easily). I was hoping to be able to get an exchange for this. Thank you for the help.

- Keith

pfliegster
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:26 am

Re: My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults

by adafruit_support_carter on Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:42 pm

Switching to Raspbian Lite installed with Etcher was a good idea. That's the best option when trying to troubleshoot. I'd suspect the SD card, but you've tried more than one:
I also tried different SD cards to make sure it wasn't' just the one SD card giving me problems.

and got the same thing.

Just as another check to rule out the SD card, try using them in the other Pi.

What are you using for a power supply?

adafruit_support_carter
 
Posts: 11467
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:45 pm

Re: My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults

by pfliegster on Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:51 am

Hi Carter,

Thanks for the help! Sorry, I meant to mention the power supply -> I'm using the 5V/2.5A Switching PS I purchased from Adafruit (PID: 1995):

IMG_1954.jpeg
5V, 2.5A Switching Power Supply used for PI Zero W testing.
IMG_1954.jpeg (138.88 KiB) Viewed 80 times

As for trying the 3 micro SD cards which all failed, on my Pi 3B+, that's a good suggestion, I don't think I had tried that. So I took all three of them (shown below) and re-flashed them all from scratch again to test with the Pi 3B+ and they all seem to work fine:

IMG_1953.jpeg
The 3 uSD card which all failed on my PI Zero W, all work fine on my Pi 3B+.
IMG_1953.jpeg (270.91 KiB) Viewed 80 times

I reloaded the Adafruit 8GB NOOBS SD card with a fresh copy of NOOBS 3.0.1 after formatting with the SD card formatter under windows. After inserting in the Pi3B+ and powering up, it went all the way through setting up Raspbian Full (with Desktop) and I spent a bunch of time after configuring it, download/install all available updates, did some web browsing, desktop tweaks, and command line functions ... everything just worked as expected w/ no freezes or seg faults.

I then reloaded the 16GB Sandisk microSD (new, purchased at same time as my Pi Zero W) with the Raspbian Full Stretch using Etcher on Windows. This too worked fine, configured correctly, I am able to SSH in, web browse, get all Raspbian updates, etc. Again no noticeable freezes or other errors.

Finally, I loaded the 3rd microSD (a slightly older/used 8GB Kingston Class 10) with a fresh image of Raspbian Lite Stretch using Etcher. This worked fine too. I'm able to SSH into it, ran the raspi-config tool, completed all updates using apt, rebooted a couple of times, and followed the tutorial to install the Pi Hole (https://learn.adafruit.com/pi-hole-ad-p ... -pi-hole-2) all the way up through configuring and testing the PADD utility and lightppd server (I haven't gotten to the point of installing the PiTFT module yet), and left it on for a few hours testing ... again, no noticeable errors or freezing.

So, at this point I'm pretty sure each of the 3 cards are fine. Each of them fail on my Pi Zero W, but granted at different, seemingly random stages, but certainly when there seems to be large amount of SD card accesses or network activity (internal memory accessing?). It seems as though something is intermittent enough to work for a minute or two, but then something goes wrong when put under process/mem/network load and I get a hang or segmentation fault to follow. Perhaps a manufacturing issue (processor or SD card slot?). They look fine to my own naked eye, but I don't have the equipment at home to be sure.

Please let me know if there is anything else you'd like me to verify or try. Thanks.

Best regards,
Keith

pfliegster
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:26 am

Re: My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults

by adafruit_support_carter on Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:59 am

Power supply is good. Multiple good SD cards tried. Problem persists. Not sure what it is, but may just be a bad Pi. Let's just replace it. Thanks for all the info and testing.

Send an email to support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread and your order number and they can send you a replacement Pi Zero W.

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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:45 pm

Re: My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults

by DarkAcid on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:16 am

I’m experiencing the same issue with mine.

DarkAcid
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:16 am

Re: My PI Zero W keeps freezing and has many seg. faults

by adafruit_support_carter on Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:32 pm

@DarkAcid Please start a new thread for your issue.

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Posts: 11467
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:45 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.