User avatar
Windowsfree
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:40 am
Location: USA

OS or Hardware issues?

Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:07 pm

Greetings,

I have a RPi4 (4gigs of RAM) running the latest Raspbian OS. The OS occasionally "freezes". I have timed it and the freeze lasted 10 minutes. I could not even open a terminal. If I power off with the hardware power switch and turn it back on - the Taskbar will occasionally miss things like the clock, or the laptop battery icon appears when it was never installed or the bar will resize it itself. There is no data loss, but just OS changes mainly related to Taskbar. Desktop icons do get moved also. Any suggestions ?
~Bob

BeauSlim
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:02 am

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:31 pm

Laptop battery icon? It sounds like you are getting the low power warning. Make sure that your power supply is at least 3A (3000mA).

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Posts: 3378
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:59 pm

BeauSlim wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:31 pm
Laptop battery icon? It sounds like you are getting the low power warning. Make sure that your power supply is at least 3A (3000mA).
It sounds more like the Pi top battery indicator. The low power indicator is a lightning bolt.



Where did you download your OS from? Something about it doesn't sound right. Desktop shortcuts don't just move themselves.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

bjtheone
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 11:28 pm
Location: The Frozen North (AKA Canada)

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:34 pm

Windowsfree wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:07 pm
Greetings,

I have a RPi4 (4gigs of RAM) running the latest Raspbian OS. The OS occasionally "freezes". I have timed it and the freeze lasted 10 minutes. I could not even open a terminal. If I power off with the hardware power switch and turn it back on - the Taskbar will occasionally miss things like the clock, or the laptop battery icon appears when it was never installed or the bar will resize it itself. There is no data loss, but just OS changes mainly related to Taskbar. Desktop icons do get moved also. Any suggestions ?
Just to confirm, you are running Buster with the default desktop (LXDE)? What are you running at the time of the freeze and is there any pattern (after so long, when you run X, if you open Y, etc)?

Please explain "hardware power switch". If it is an inline switch on the USB C power cable that is _NOT_ a safe way to shut down the Pi, as it does the same thing as just unplugging it. An inline switch is a convenient way to power down the 5V supplied to the PI. You need to either shut it down via a software command, or via a switch attached to the GPIO pins and a monitor program.

RossDv8
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:35 pm

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:59 pm

Using a Pi 4 with Raspbian Buster and I have noticed the same thing occasionally, the most recent was yesterday. So I understand Windowsfree writing 'If I power off with the hardware switch.' because the Pi forces me to do that often. I just watch to make sure there is no activity on LEDs before pulling the power.

In my case I am NOT using a lower Amperage power supply, mine is 5V 4.8A, although probably only delivering about 4A. Booting microSD and Running SSD, and using the 64-bit kernel, although it was freezing occasionally on the 32-bit kernel and with the 3.5A power supply.

Along with the Pi 4 not being able to do a 'reboot', except for a few weeks between firmware updates, I assumed the occasional freeze was a normal teething problem..

As for the occasional missing desktop icons or rearranged panel icons, I can add that I got so used to his happening, that I have a desktop icon that runs a script just for this problem. Except that even it disappears occasionally :-)

It might seem silly having a script, when I can just open a Terminal and type lxpanelctl restart.
BUT I was having to do it so often before I started running off the SSD that I was sick of openig a Terminal every time it happened.
And it was not 'just a corrupted microSD card'. I swapped several brand new microSD cards in just to test that idea.

The Desktop icon script that lives in my Bash-Scripts folder and is copied to my Desktop folder (and appears on Raspbian Desktop) :

RELOAD-Panel.desktop

Code: Select all

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Terminal=false
StartupNotify=true
Name=RELOAD-Panel
Comment=Reload the Panel if Icons disappear
Exec=/home/pi/BASH-scripts/Reload-Panel
Categories=Application;
Icon=/home/pi/Custom-Icons/Reload-Panel.png
Name[en_AU]=Reload-PANEL

And the script that it runs. lives in my Bash-Scripts folder:

Reload-Panel

Code: Select all

!#/bin/bash
lxpanelctl restart
Remember, nobody is listening to you
until you fart ...

bjtheone
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 11:28 pm
Location: The Frozen North (AKA Canada)

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:51 pm

RossDv8 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:59 pm
Using a Pi 4 with Raspbian Buster and I have noticed the same thing occasionally, the most recent was yesterday. So I understand Windowsfree writing 'If I power off with the hardware switch.' because the Pi forces me to do that often. I just watch to make sure there is no activity on LEDs before pulling the power.
Weird.... I have a 4 GB Pi 4. It is running Raspbian Lite with Mate, used as a desktop machine, and stays up 24x7. It might get rebooted once every 2-4 weeks if I am mucking about doing something with startup settings. It also typically has open office spreadsheet, calibre, xchat, and chromium running on it, along with other odds and sods. I am efficient (lazy) and leave everything open/running to maximize my carbon footprint. Typically have around 8-10 tabs open, 2 of which autoupdate. It does not freeze, it does not need to be rebooted to stay stable. I have never had to resort to pulling the power on it. In is running off an SSD, with the default 100 MB swap. This is the same behaviour I get on all my other Linux boxes. Reboots are for changing kernels, and startup stuff. It should run issue free between those events.

I have had to pull the power on my 3B+ when it wandered into the weeds with browser issues and I got tired of waiting, though usually I can ssh in and reboot it.

User avatar
Windowsfree
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:40 am
Location: USA

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:54 pm

Thanks to all who responded.
I am using the Raspberry Pi recommended power supply and issue continues. I download Raspbian Buster from the Raspberry home page link. I am running that image with no modifications or changes. I usually have Chromium with 2 or 3 tabs open. Nothing else open. I noticed my pi4 is not running hot as it is at 48 degrees Centigrade.

The last 2 days I installed Manjaro Arch for ARM and have not experienced the issue. I am going to use it a few more day for testing. I will go back to the original image.
~Bob

RossDv8
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:35 pm

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:27 pm

The last 2 days I installed Manjaro Arch for ARM and have not experienced the issue. I am going to use it a few more day for testing. I will go back to the original image.
One of the neat things about the Pi is that with the relatively low price of good quality microSD cards these days, you can quickly write a new OS to a card and just swap and boot from warious cards for testing, and easily make a copy of your main /home/pi to use on the test card - or just run your Documents and some other folders from a USB device.

Makes testing and comparing operating systems quick, easy and convenient.

Not like most other computers where we usually have to rewrite a hard drive partition...
Remember, nobody is listening to you
until you fart ...

RossDv8
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:35 pm

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:48 am

After writing the reply above, I got curious and wrote the Pi 4 version of manjaro ARM to a spare 64GB microSD card and have been trying it out.
Now, this is NOT bashing Raspbian. I Love Raspbian. But running manjaro, I found a lot of stuff that simply wasn't working on Raspbian, like decent analog audio for example, just works in Manjaro.

Raspbian had me trying to find all sorts of stuff to install to get my volume up to a level that allowed my Logitech speakers to work. And the only way to do that was to install pulseaudio. And yes, I did try lots of ALSA bits first, but eventually, pulse was the only option to get some gain.

Then once the volume was up enough, the sound output was scratchy. And for some reason the Analog output doesnot have any stereo capability, so obviously I broke comething.

On Manjaro, pulseaudio is default, and unlike adding pulseaudio to raspbian, manjaro seems to have it simply 'working perfectly' without the distortion, and with left and right channels operating.
Again though, I believe I probablyt broke something trying to get the combination of ALSA and pulseaudio to work.

BUT !!!
Some stuff in manjaro does not work well, On Raspbian, 4k video can play in Chromium using the youtube-dl server that is part of the kweb suite. And SMtube also uses youtube-dl if you choose it.
The only way I can get a 4k YouTube video to look like a 4k video in Manjaro is to copy the link and paste it into the Open Network Stream (CTRL+n) in VLC. But I cannot see if it is actually 4k.
Opening an actual 4k video file in either Raspbian or manjaro in VLC has so far failed.

Back to the original post about OS or hardware issue.
I can say that this 64GB card is one that I had freezing problems with Chromium and some desktop lockups before I went to running raspbian on SSD.
And although it is early days yet (well, an early day yet) - so far there has not been a single freeze or lockup while scrolling Chromium or on the desktop.

But that might change :D
I'm getting used to a lot of the little things I used to enjoy about XFCE and wondering if XFCE is in the Raspbian repository. And whether one would have to look for lightdm as well...
Remember, nobody is listening to you
until you fart ...

User avatar
Windowsfree
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:40 am
Location: USA

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:46 pm

I am enjoying Manjaro also. It is using a bit more ram than Raspbian, but not having any issues so far. I ordered another Pi4, so I can run side by side to test.
I have been using Manjaro on my laptop since 2016 and it has totally stopped my distro hopping.

Thanks for your input.
~Bob

alphanumeric
Posts: 2383
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:35 pm

Just a FYI post. I get the Pitop battery indicator on installs done to my Pi zero's and 3A+'s. I just remove it / uninstall it.

RossDv8
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:35 pm

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:14 am

I had the battery indicator appear in a fresh install of Buster, but haven't seen it in recent installations. Anyway, I just used the Add and Remove panel Items right click menu when i was setting up my Panel I didn;t bother uninstalling it.
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:46 pm

I am enjoying Manjaro also. It is using a bit more ram than Raspbian, but not having any issues so far. I ordered another Pi4, so I can run side by side to test.
I'm still using Manjaro on a spare microSD card, and simply swap to my boot microSD to run Raspbian on the SSD. I deleted the .config/Chromium folder from the Manjaro microSD card then copied my .config/Chromium folder from the SSD to the Manjaro microSD, then I did a fresh install of Chromium. That gave me all my bookmarks and login stuff - BUT since I don;t 'sync' Chromium or other software, it will not keep anything I change in Chromium in Manjaro.

Raspbian is still able to do some stuff that Manjaro cannot do, like plaiying smooth video in Chromium, using Guenter's youtube-dl server Bookmark hack.
But that is easily simulated by opening VLC, doing CTRL+n (open network stream) and pasting a video link in VLC. Although, because it doesn't use the youtube-dl server, it is still no as effective as the Raspbian method.

The areas I've found Manjaro better than Raspbian, are:
The lack of freezing / lockups (I have no idea why)
The far superior audio output (so far) from Manjaro, using puleaudio, pulseaudio-equalizer and LADSPA sink.
E D I T
A Major problem I found with Manjaro is that it WiFi is slow. I checked and it had loaded my 2.4Ghz WiFi, It did not even see my 5GHz,
I added 5GHz manually, and it showed up in 'Hidden WiFi' but still would not connect.
The slow WiFi might be part of the reason video in streaming is so lousy compared with Raspbian.
I burned a fresh image to microSD, but the problem persists - NO 5GHz WiFi.

So I'm back to Raspbian on the SSD and just some experiments with Manjaro on a MicroSD.

For overall video performance though, Raspbian is smoother. Now if I can only find a way to get Manjaro audio quality and Raspbian video playback out of one Pi 4 !!!
AND - while I have not had any freezes/lockups on Manjaro on the microSD, I did have them on Raspbian on the microSD.
BUT - I have had NO freezes / lockups running Raspbian on the SSD (which is good news for me as that's how I prefer to run Raspbian,,)
Last edited by RossDv8 on Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Remember, nobody is listening to you
until you fart ...

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5252
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:26 am

Windowsfree wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:07 pm
Greetings,

I have a RPi4 (4gigs of RAM) running the latest Raspbian OS. The OS occasionally "freezes". I have timed it and the freeze lasted 10 minutes.
I have not experienced that on my 4B2 or 4B4, but I have seen such behavior on older models, and it was usually caused by swapping (the system paging large amounts of RAM to the SD card will kill performance to the point where it seems like it has locked up, but if you wait long enough it will eventually start working again).

If I power off with the hardware power switch and turn it back on - the Taskbar will occasionally miss things like the clock, or the laptop battery icon appears when it was never installed or the bar will resize it itself.
That problem and your following statement are conflicting.
There is no data loss, but just OS changes mainly related to Taskbar. Desktop icons do get moved also. Any suggestions ?
Yea, don't power off without a proper shutdown. Something is obviously getting lost, since the taskbar and desktop don't rearrange themselves.

But as I said, I have not experienced that on either of my Pi4 computers. If you are doing something particularly RAM heavy at the time, then it's probably just your system getting caught in swapping hell (heavy paging of memory data in and out of swap).

Try leaving an SSH or serial console session open on another computer, and when the problem happens, see if you can run top, or otherwise determine what is killing your system (at least you may be able to shutdown or reboot cleanly).

If you have a keyboard directly connected, you could also try the Magic Sysreq keys.

Hold down Alt+SysReq(PrtScr) and hit the following keys in order, waiting a few seconds between each key, R E I S U B which should cleanly reboot your system (substitute O for B to shutdown the system instead).

A handy mnemonic to remember that is:
Reboot
Even
If
System
Utterly
Broken

EDIT:
If it is a RAM/swap problem, you could try adjusting the "swappiness" value. Look up Linux swappiness, or vm.swappiness for more info.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

User avatar
Windowsfree
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:40 am
Location: USA

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:34 pm

Hi,

Thank you for all that information. I have changed swappiness to 10.

Reboot
Even
If
System
Utterly
Broken

Really neat if this works. I almost wish it would freeze up so i can try it.

Thank you for the info. I am back on Raspbian today.
~Bob

User avatar
Windowsfree
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:40 am
Location: USA

Re: OS or Hardware issues?

Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:27 pm

Back on Raspian, only using Chromium, clicked on Other Bookmarks and OS "froze". Waiting 45 seconds, made several attempt to move mouse or select Enter and Space on keyboard. Attempted
Reboot
Even
If
System
Utterly
Broken

Nothing worked. Waited a total of 7 minutes. Took a shot, powered off by switch and powered on and was able to login without issue and no problems yet. OS is running 24/7 so I will keep track of "OS freezing"
~Bob

Return to “Beginners”