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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Mouse Freeze problem on Dell Dimensions E521 (solved)
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 02:05    Post subject:  Mouse Freeze problem on Dell Dimensions E521 (solved)
Subject description: Affects all Linux OS. Bigpup, master detective found the smoking gun. Dell guilty. Case closed
 

Seems to lock up maybe 5 minutes after activity starts, mostly browsing. Mouse freezes. On newer puppies I can reboot using F12 key to bring up main menu but otherwise just have to turn off the machine. Restarting X server has no effect.

PC details hopefully visible in the sig section, originally I was using 4.2.1 to 'preserve' the use of the old Compaq and would now like to start using Puppy on the newer Dell the same way - boot from CD, swap file and .sfs on stick.

Any thoughts how to diagnose/ fix this problem?
Thanks in advance.


Edit: Forgot to mention - my setup includes left handed wheel mouse, Dvorak keyboard

Edit. All Puppy, Pussy and all Linux OS affected. See last post by Bigpup - hardware needed. No soft solution possible.

Note - Beneficial Byproduct - how to navigate using keyboard only. Some suggestions but could be improved.

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN


Last edited by canbyte on Tue 06 Mar 2012, 01:46; edited 3 times in total
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Barkin


Joined: 12 Aug 2011
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 02:26    Post subject: Re: Crashing problem on Dell/XP PC trying various Puppies
Subject description: 4.2.1 4.3.1 5.2 5.3.1 tried/failed
 

canbyte wrote:
Seems to lock up maybe 5 minutes after activity starts, mostly browsing.

Puppies can require a specially compiled version of the Firefox browser ...
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=606087#606087

Otherwise if you encounter a website which uses Adobe flash* everything freezes.

[ * or is it javascript ? ]
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 14:37    Post subject:  

Thanks Barkin, but at the moment I'm trying to focus on 5.3.1 which uses default Seamonkey. It did note on startup that it was old version and did I want to upgrade. I said no because I had no idea if simply cliking would work on puppy or how to install from scratch. How easy is it to upgrade Seamonkey?

Maybe I should ask before continuing if 5.3.1 is the best puppy to be running on this machine or if I should be using something else. I would really like to try the easiest/ best fit. I read that 5.3.1 is for slackware and 5.2.8 is for ubuntu but what does a newbie care about these? I can't imagine using linux apps as all I do is browse and write - taxes and spreadsheeting is done on Windoze. But thoughts welcome - Puppy can be a handful at times!

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN

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Jim1911

Joined: 19 May 2008
Posts: 2460
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 14:55    Post subject:  

canbyte wrote:
Thanks Barkin, but at the moment I'm trying to focus on 5.3.1 which uses default Seamonkey. It did note on startup that it was old version and did I want to upgrade. I said no because I had no idea if simply cliking would work on puppy or how to install from scratch. How easy is it to upgrade Seamonkey?

Maybe I should ask before continuing if 5.3.1 is the best puppy to be running on this machine or if I should be using something else. I would really like to try the easiest/ best fit. I read that 5.3.1 is for slackware and 5.2.8 is for ubuntu but what does a newbie care about these? I can't imagine using linux apps as all I do is browse and write - taxes and spreadsheeting is done on Windoze. But thoughts welcome - Puppy can be a handful at times!
Lucid Puppy 5.2.8 is very stable and has what you need. http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=554253#554253 It should work well on a CD or optionally a usb flash drive if your Dell bios supports booting from usb.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7642
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 15:22    Post subject:  

Quote:
boot from CD, swap file and .sfs on stick.

Where is the save file located? What size?
How big is this swap file?
What size is the USB flash drive?
How many tabs open in browser, when freezing happens?
Are you watching any videos?

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 16:35    Post subject:  

Sorry - post deleted (dublicate). I'll try the 5.2.8, Thanks for the suggestion)

Edit - 5.2.8 just crashed as per other versions, plus I see that Iron browser doesn't seem to be able to import bookmarks - serious issue for me. Will it really not import a standard html bookmark file?

Per Bigpup's questions, there were only two tabs open at the time, Puppy opening page plus the Iron setup page.

The USB drive is a 2G divided into 2 partitions with about 700 mb for the swap file and 1.2 mb for the Vfat partition that contains the _save file. The save file is the 560mb standard - in this case I used the ext3 (?) for the fail safe altenative.

TIA

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7642
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 18:54    Post subject:  

Some possible causes that have to be asked.
Usb flash drive is working OK?
USB drive is a freshly formatted and clean(no other old files), before using for 528?
Computer Ram good?
("memtest86" can be used to check condition, download from internet)
Made save file before installing programs?

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 19:50    Post subject:  

Hi Bigpup
The flash drive is old and holds my other save files (421, 431) so I'll have to wait till I get a new flash drive this weekend. Somehow though I doubt it could account for the problem since (and will retry) crashes in ram only and with no flash drive (no interference).

Re Q. Made save file before installing programs?, I did do a reboot right after setting keyboard and LH mouse, making a _save file in the process so yes, it was before installing the Iron program. Is that what you mean? Thanks.

Edit - I just tried 5.2.8 pfix=ram. Set LH mouse, Dvorak keybd. Started Geany. Crashed after only a few minutes of mousing around various menus. Never got to the browser although somehow, the browser install menu came up. Also noticed that the F12 key no longer brings up the Menu so the only shutdown is with the main power button. THere was still some cursor control, tab key and F4 did something. Wish Puppy had a ctrl-alt-delete routine to abort whatever is running. Sigh.

So, after restarting with USB stick in place, I opened Geany and crashed it within seconds. Was in the menu so was able to exit but got no further. Again, F12 does nothing. Hmm. Hope someone has an idea.

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN

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Barkin


Joined: 12 Aug 2011
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Fri 02 Mar 2012, 20:56    Post subject:  

canbyte wrote:
... Wish Puppy had a ctrl-alt-delete routine to abort whatever is running.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=76322
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7642
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Sat 03 Mar 2012, 01:25    Post subject:  

Bad flash drive was just an idea. If you have other save files on it that work OK with (421, 431). It is probably OK.

If you boot with pfix=ram
Make no changes to mouse or keyboard or anything.
Just open and use programs you have with basic Puppy528.
What happens?

Are you using the latest version of Lucid 528.004?
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=70855

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Sat 03 Mar 2012, 02:31    Post subject:  

Hi Bigpup, thanks for hanging around!
Starting with pfix=ram, I forgot not to change anything, changed the time and it hung before I was able to close that window.
After restarting in same way, I changed nothing, moused around, opened Geany, typed a few characters, minimized the window then it hung.

Prior, I had even got desperate enough to try running Pussy. It lasted a bit longer, ran a few things but eventually froze so maybe there's something in a Dell that isn't being addressed. I've heard that Dell's stuff is proprietary so....... ??? Well, I'm sure someone else would have found such a problem by now. Arrrg...

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7642
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Sat 03 Mar 2012, 20:01    Post subject:  

Something to eliminate so you know what does work.

This is really looking like a classic example of what will happen if a section of memory is going bad.
I would run Memtest86 and see if it finds anything.
Memtest86 is a self booting program, you can download, and put on a bootable CD or USB drive.
It does a very good job of checking condition of memory.
http://www.memtest86.com/download.html

Some boot options that may help:

puppy acpi=off

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Sun 04 Mar 2012, 01:33    Post subject:  

Hi Bigpup - all's well on the memory front. That was a cool little program you suggested and thankfully it gave me a pass. Unfortunately it looks like I cooked the optical drive on the older Compaq which will make it difficult to burn any more iso disks unless I can get rid of the crashing (or download something for XP).

I seem to recall that the acpi by default is off so I tried a run with it on with no better results. This problem is driving me crazy. Just found this old post with a few suggestions for old kernels - an indication that others have the problem, & with the exact same PC. Seemed like a dead end though.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=13146&sid=cd6e636bcfa4c244231ea68d2d61bbc9

I wondered if the mouse was moving too fast or reversing too fast, hardly seems possible but there is definitely some kind of conflict. Does Linux use all those IRC and other settings that I seems to recall from my windoz days? I wonder if something can be changed in bios?

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7642
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Sun 04 Mar 2012, 04:56    Post subject:  

Looking in bios is a good idea.
May find setting wrong.
Not sure about Dell, but most bios have a setting that will be something like, reset to default settings. That is the first thing to do, when troubleshooting bios issues.
Is this a USB mouse?
If yes. Try a different USB port.
Same for keyboard if USB.

A long shot, but could be issue with video driver.
Lucid Puppy 528 tries to pick the best driver at initial boot and auto set for use.
Sometimes it does get it wrong. Especially on older hardware.
The vesa driver is the one that has support for all video cards. It is default driver so something works. All video cards support it.

Boot with option puppy pfix=nox.
At prompt type xorgwizard.
Run xorgwizard.
Choose vesa driver.
Finish xorgwizard.
Type xwin at prompt to finish booting.

_________________
I have found, in trying to help people, that the things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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canbyte


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 266
Location: Hamilton, Canada

PostPosted: Sun 04 Mar 2012, 13:50    Post subject:    

Hi Bigpup
Thanks for those hopeful suggestions. I'm trying the front USB ports which are ok for XP. I'm reluctant to reset the bios to default since the XP has been running ok and I can't risk anything now we are entering Tax season - already way behind Sad Really i shouldn't be fooling around on this stuff but, well, you know how engaging a Puppy is!!

When I tried to load commands at the # prompt, all I got was

-sh: xorg wizard: command not found

same for xorg, vesa

is there a path name it needs?

I'll be out for the day but will check in later or tomorrow.

Thanks

_________________
1. Dell Dimension E521, AMD Athln 64, 2 GHz 1.93GB ram,
Puppy 533 on CD, accesses flash drive only,
FFox Nightly12.0
2. Compaq P3 733Hz 375RAM
Printer: Oki C3400 > LAN

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