[conspire] Waah, my little server crashed...

Ed Biow biow at sbcglobal.net
Fri Nov 3 15:08:56 PST 2006

Hi folks,

I have a little Debian Sarge machine that I generally leave on all the 
time, a $107.00 VIA Samuel 2 Asus Terminator jobbie that does yeoman 
work as my local http, ftp and file server, plus light desktop duties. 
(It is a bit pokey despite 512 MB of SDRAM, so it isn't my preferred 
workstation).  But it is handy and very reliable, and hopefully goes 
easy on the juice.  This morning I tried to access it from another box 
and it wasn't responding, so I went downstairs and, lo and behold it was 
off.  It booted up normally and I didn't see anything weird in dmesg.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out why it shut down, whether it is a 
failing component or a OS glitch or just a momentary lapse of power.
I figure the first place to look is /var/log, but I really don't know 
where to look.

'messages' just has this record:

Nov  3 05:51:41 localhost -- MARK --
Nov  3 06:11:41 localhost -- MARK --
Nov  3 06:31:31 localhost syslogd 1.4.1#17: restart.
Nov  3 06:51:41 localhost -- MARK --
Nov  3 07:11:41 localhost -- MARK --
Nov  3 07:31:41 localhost -- MARK --
Nov  3 10:58:34 localhost syslogd 1.4.1#17: restart.
Nov  3 10:58:34 localhost kernel: klogd 1.4.1#17, log source = 
/proc/kmsg started.

So I gather the machine curled up its toes some time within 20 minutes 
of 7:30 AM.

The last thing in syslog.0 was simply:

Nov  3     06:25:01 localhost /USR/SBIN/CRON[15498]: (root) CMD (test -x 
/usr/sbin/anacron || run-parts --report /etc/cron.daily)

What are some other good places to look for clues as to why the system 

Since the system is on all the time I'm thinking maybe the drive is 
beginning to have problems, so I'd like to check drive integrity.
Should I check the hard drive surface using the proprietary utility that 
came with my disk?  Of should I reboot to a live CD and run something like:

fsck -t ext3 /dev/hdaX

Maybe I should complement that with a nice couple of hours round of 
memtest, as well.smb

Or would the path of prudence be to just back up my data and hope it 
doesn't happen again?

Thanks for the buckets of insights,


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