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Randomly crashing Pi

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:47 pm
by BigYinUK
Hi all.

I'm new to the Pi (but not to Unix / Linux).

I bought a Pi 2 Model B just before Xmas to run a couple of apps on: (1) a program to access a ISO 7816 USB smart card reader and (2) Apache for my home website (only a few Mb).

The Pi has been crashing randomly every few days (every 2-14 days). Its a hard crash, usually the activity LED is on but telnet/ping etc no response. Messages and syslog files show crons running hourly up to th epoint of the crash - but there's nothing to indicate a problem was encountered, just the last cron message then the boot up messages.

I'm at my wits end with it really - I can't see it being my ISO 7816 program as I've been running that for years on an Ubuntu Intel box, its been pre-complied for Raspian and no-one else has been complaining of crashes, plus I'd expect a program hang (not that I ever had one in 5 years on the Linux box!) but not a completely solid dead box.

Things I've tried / replaced:

1. The Pi - yes this the second Pi 2 Model B that I'm having issues with.
2. 2 SD cards - One 8Gb and one 32Gb.
3. 2 different images - the 8Gb card has Noobs on it, the 32Gb has Raspian Jessie on it.
4. 3 different 5V USB power supplies.

A question first:

Can the SD card become so corrupted when the Pi just hangs up that the media is unusable even though the Pi appears to boot up OK?

Any thoughts / suggestions of how I can narrow down the cause etc would be much appreciated?



Re: Randomly crashing Pi

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:48 pm
by Navyscourge
Try opening a terminal window (are running the X GUI?) then run "top" in it. When it hangs, leave it a while and try to switch to the 'top' display (this shows memory used and running programs). If you can see the 'top' display it might give you some clues

It might be a lack of usable memory, or a misbehaving program and top will identify that or rule it out

This sort of thing is often difficult to pin down :)