Author Topic: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD  (Read 1906 times)

scotland60b

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Hi all,

Hope someone can help because I am about ready to call it quits. 

Installed 0710 RC2 via the DVD, several times.  No real problems with installation.  I use 32-bit although both core and MD have Athlon 64X2 processors.

Watching stored media on the hybrid core in the basement works fine, absolutely no problems with stored media.  TV is another issue but I don't think it will be a big one, and until I get the stored media working I think it will be a moot point.

However, when using video or audio stored on the core from my MD in the living room, it will play well for a minute or two, freeze up for 20-30 seconds, then continue from where it would have been.  It does this at random intervals making playback futile and irritating.  While the media is frozen, the UI is accessible via the MEDIA button on my gyro mouse, but selected commands don't do anything until the media unfreezes.

I have troubleshot the network, replaced components, and even tried direct-connecting the MD and the core.  Same result every time. 

Here's my specs, as much as I can remember because I'm not going down to the basement one more frickin time today.

Core:
DFI Lanparty nf4 UT SLI-DR mobo (with onboard Vitesse PHY and Marvell PCI Gigabit LAN controllers)
Athlon 64X2 3800
2GB RAM
I forget which graphics card, but it works fine.
add-on Intel PCI Gigabit NIC using e1000 driver (Vitesse is used as eth0, Intel NIC as eth1)


MD:
Shuttle SN27P2 integrated MOBO with onboard NIC (Marvell)
Athlon64X2 3800
2GB RAM
add-on Intel PCI Gigabit NIC using e1000 driver (eth0)
I've also forgotten this video card, but I used this as a standalone hybrid at first and the video card had no issues.

Network:
Cat6 cable
Basement Switch:  HP Procurve 1400
Office Switch (not in the LMCE loop yet) Netgear GS105

I have tried adjusting network speed and increasing and reducing the frame size on all components with no appreciable result.

I am not that strong with Linux, so if you want me to report something you will probably have to give me the command line to do it. 

Please help.  Been pulling my hair out for several months now after several months of planning prior to that.  Thought I had planned a good system but it's about to go on the junk heap.  It's sad, because the core works really well and the MD does too - when it's not frozen.

Cheers
Scot

« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 07:47:44 am by scotland60b »

totallymaxed

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 04:37:09 pm »
Hi all,

Hope someone can help because I am about ready to call it quits. 

Installed 0710 RC2 via the DVD, several times.  No real problems with installation.  I use 32-bit although both core and MD have Athlon 64X2 processors.

Watching stored media on the hybrid core in the basement works fine, absolutely no problems with stored media.  TV is another issue but I don't think it will be a big one, and until I get the stored media working I think it will be a moot point.

However, when using video or audio stored on the core from my MD in the living room, it will play well for a minute or two, freeze up for 20-30 seconds, then continue from where it would have been.  It does this at random intervals making playback futile and irritating.  While the media is frozen, the UI is accessible via the MEDIA button on my gyro mouse, but selected commands don't do anything until the media unfreezes.

I have troubleshot the network, replaced components, and even tried direct-connecting the MD and the core.  Same result every time. 

Here's my specs, as much as I can remember because I'm not going down to the basement one more frickin time today.

Core:
DFI Lanparty nf4 UT SLI-DR mobo (with onboard Vitesse PHY and Marvell PCI Gigabit LAN controllers)
Athlon 64X2 3800
2GB RAM
I forget which graphics card, but it works fine.
add-on Intel PCI Gigabit NIC using e1000 driver (Vitesse is used as eth0, Intel NIC as eth1)


MD:
Shuttle SN27P2 integrated MOBO with onboard NIC (Marvell)
Athlon64X2 3800
2GB RAM
add-on Intel PCI Gigabit NIC using e1000 driver (eth0)
I've also forgotten this video card, but I used this as a standalone hybrid at first and the video card had no issues.

Network:
Cat6 cable
Basement Switch:  HP Procurve 1400
Office Switch (not in the LMCE loop yet) Netgear GS105

I have tried adjusting network speed and increasing and reducing the frame size on all components with no appreciable result.

I am not that strong with Linux, so if you want me to report something you will probably have to give me the command line to do it. 

Please help.  Been pulling my hair out for several months now after several months of planning prior to that.  Thought I had planned a good system but it's about to go on the junk heap.  It's sad, because the core works really well and the MD does too - when it's not frozen.

Cheers
Scot



Well based on what you have described I would suggest it could be the Marvell NIC's... obviously on your MD your Marvell is used for LAN side accesss... is that the same at your Core? ie is the Marvell used on the LAN or WAN side of your Core?

We never use Marvell NIC's on the LAN side of systems as they seem to always cause problems such as the one you describe here. It has to be said that there are many reasons that could cause the problems you describe...however I would say that your Marvell NIC's are very likely to be the problem.

All the best

Andrew
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scotland60b

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 05:06:46 pm »
Hi,

Thanks for the quick reply.  I have replaced the NICs in the internal network on both ends with the Intel Gigabit NICs.  So, the internal network is served by an Intel NIC on the Core and an Intel NIC on the MD.  I had high hopes for this after reading about the problems with certain drivers, but I have the same symptoms with the Intel NICs on both ends.

Please let me know if you need any other detail/info.

scotland60b

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 08:02:34 pm »
FWIW, I tried to copy media over the network to the core.  It never makes it through large file xfers - always seems to choke after about 4 or 5 gigs.  I thought this may be network related so I took my drive (internal SATA drive with USB external adapter) downstairs to the core to try to avoid the network and copy directly to core.  Same result.  I also tried booting the core with noapic as an option in GRUB but it didn't make any difference.

totallymaxed

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 09:08:39 pm »
FWIW, I tried to copy media over the network to the core.  It never makes it through large file xfers - always seems to choke after about 4 or 5 gigs.  I thought this may be network related so I took my drive (internal SATA drive with USB external adapter) downstairs to the core to try to avoid the network and copy directly to core.  Same result.  I also tried booting the core with noapic as an option in GRUB but it didn't make any difference.

Hmmm... well all i can say is that this problem is certainly not a general one in anyway. I realise thats not much consolation though.

How are your drives formatted? NTFS, FAT32, EXT3?

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

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scotland60b

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 09:11:06 pm »
The media drives (2x Seagate 1TB drives) are formatted as NTFS.  Not sure if this is necessarily indicative, but the media runs perfectly off of the core.

scotland60b

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 09:27:29 pm »
Two things:  I have watched videos stored on the core over the network using VLC on my Hardy box, with no issues. 

Also, today I tried booting core and MD with acpi=off and noapic but now MD doesn't find the media stored on the core.

scotland60b

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 06:36:43 pm »
Bump pls.  I'm all out of ideas to troubleshoot.  Last thing I tried was to shut off automatic management of IRQs in BIOS on both the core and the MD.  No effect.  I need advice on what logs/dmesg/etc to check to try and nail down why this is happening.  Only thing I see is the CIFS-VFS errors which I am told may not be related to anything serious...Pls Help!

gadget

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 12:46:00 am »
I had similar problem with watching TV on MD. lots of freezing and also couldn't copy large files to/from core. I had to disable APIC in mobo BIOS and that fixed the problem for me. Check your system log file there will probably be a persistent eth0 warning.

scotland60b

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I have solved this issue.  For me, the problem was that my media drives were formatted as FAT32.  I used a Hardy LiveCD to boot up and reformat one of the drives as EXT3, then copied all the media from the remaining drive onto the newly formatted one, and then formatted the remaining FAT32 drive as EXT3.  No more freezes.  I occasionally have some jerky motion while watching video but I am willing to bet that is related to the use of UI2 with blending.  Lately it has not really been noticable, so I am not inclined to change anything.

Thanks to all who tried to help.  Hope this helps someone else out there.

ivanp

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 08:07:13 pm »
If You are willing it would be nice if You made a wiki of Your home setup and write into it Your problem and how You resolved it. That way many potential users can be more prepared for their installations and maybe You can help someone with their problem.

totallymaxed

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I have solved this issue.  For me, the problem was that my media drives were formatted as FAT32.  I used a Hardy LiveCD to boot up and reformat one of the drives as EXT3, then copied all the media from the remaining drive onto the newly formatted one, and then formatted the remaining FAT32 drive as EXT3.  No more freezes.  I occasionally have some jerky motion while watching video but I am willing to bet that is related to the use of UI2 with blending.  Lately it has not really been noticable, so I am not inclined to change anything.

Thanks to all who tried to help.  Hope this helps someone else out there.

Ahhh ok :-)... thats why I asked how your drives were formatted earlier in the thread.

Glad you got the problem sorted out in the end.

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Get RaspSqueeze-CEC Wifi enabled for Dianemo/LinuxMCE: http://wp.me/P4KgIc-7C

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scotland60b

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 06:39:39 pm »
I had always intended to write up a wiki but didn't want to do it until I had gotten the system working reasonably well.  Now that it is useable I will start writing it up.

Incidentally - I recently reinstalled the PVR-500 and now I have some occasional minor freezes.  I am thinking this is due to an interrupt problem, but haven't investigated it.  It is much better than it was - before, the freezes made watching or listening to anything impossible, now it's mildly annoying.  Will look for evidence of interrupt problems (possible APIC?) to resolve this.  But I think changing to EXT3 made the greatest difference - as I recall, I had tried removing the PVR-500 card before I reformatted the disks and doing that didn't fix the major freezes, so I think the disk formatting was the real culprit.

totallymaxed:  sorry to confuse you on the formatting issue, I could have sworn I formatted them as NTFS originally.

rednaxelan

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Re: Recurrent media freezes while watching or listening to media on MD
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2009, 08:34:26 pm »
I hate to raise this one from the dead, but I am having the same issue on both of my MDs. DVD Rips play fine on my core/hybrid and lower quality MP4 movies play fine on all machines, but when playing a dvd rip on either MD I get freezing occur at various times throughout playback. I have read through this entire thread (and a couple others on the subject) and none of the suggestions help. All of my drives are formatted EXT3. I am running GigE throughout my house so I didn't think it could be a networking issue but based on the symptoms thats all I can think of and I have no idea how to tweak it. I am new to Linux, so any help you can give me on checking NIC configurations would be appreciated.