SUMMARY: Data Fault

From: Terralyn Vandetta (
Date: Wed Sep 30 1992 - 01:16:37 CDT

Sorry for the delay in posting a summary, but I wanted to wait a week and make sure
the machine wouldn't crash again. Thanks to all who replied.

The one I chose first was to diff my login program with the distribution login. The
two programs were indeed different, and since replacing login the machine hasn't crashed
again. (thanks (Brett Lymn))

I also received some helpful advice about getting crash dumps, so I have
that set up now if my machine reboots again...... (Jim Davis) writes:

You can turn on crash dumping by adding (or uncommenting) the lines

mkdir -p /var/crash/`hostname`
echo -n 'checking for crash dump...'
intr savecore /var/crash/`hostname`
echo ''

in /etc/rc.local. Crash dumps can be pretty big, so you'll want to make
sure /var/crash has enough room. (Or simply choose some other place with
more room for dumps; the name is arbitrary.)

Once you've captured a dump, you can analyze it with adb or /etc/crash. The
latter program is easier to use, and the man page has a pretty good summary
of how to use it. Getting a traceback is perhaps the most useful thing --
it will try to point to the particular place where the crash occurred. You
can also get a good idea of the overall state of the machine at the time --
what else was running, overall system load, process's state, etc.


The next thing I will try if that doesn't help will be a suggestion I received
from montjoy@thor.ece.uc.EDU (Robert Montjoy). He makes reference to a Sun Patch 100359-04

Patch-ID# 100359-04
Keywords: panic assertion failure, machine freeze, console printf hangs, jumbo
Synopsis: SunOS 4.1;4.1.1;4.1.2: streams jumbo patch
Date: 6/January/92
SunOS release: 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2
Topic: Streams Jumbo Patch
BugId's fixed with this patch: 1068158 1044100 1044888 1047355 1058097 1061174

Architectures for which this patch is available: Sun3 Sun3x Sun4 Sun4c Sun4m


I also received a paper "Building and Debugging SunOS Kernels" by
Hal Stern ( at Sun Microsystems, Northeast Area Consulting Group
which should prove helpful in the future.

I even received one response from who suggested it
may be a hardware problem.

Thanks again for all your help,

Terralyn Vandetta
Computer Sciences Corporation
Environmental Research Laboratory
Corvallis, Oregon

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