PC freezes randomly - only the music keeps playing

My PC freezes at seemingly random moments.
It could not be random, because it's usually when I'm working on something or opening a new window.
Everything stops working, including mouse, except for the music playing.

$ inxi -Fxxxz --no-host
System:    Kernel: 5.4.18-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 9.2.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 tk: Gtk 3.24.13 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Manjaro Linux 
Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: ASRock model: J4105-ITX serial: <filter> UEFI: American Megatrends v: P1.40 date: 08/06/2018 
CPU:       Topology: Quad Core model: Intel Celeron J4105 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Goldmont Plus rev: 1 L2 cache: 4096 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 11984 
           Speed: 1509 MHz min/max: 800/2500 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 2003 2: 2373 3: 1843 4: 1520 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel UHD Graphics 605 vendor: ASRock driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:3185 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.7 driver: intel unloaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,vesa 
           resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz, 1920x1080~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel UHD Graphics 600 (Geminilake 2x6) v: 4.6 Mesa 19.3.3 compat-v: 3.0 
           direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel vendor: ASRock driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:0e.0 chip ID: 8086:3198 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.18-1-MANJARO 
Network:   Device-1: Intel driver: iwlwifi v: kernel port: f000 bus ID: 00:0c.0 chip ID: 8086:31dc 
           IF: wlp0s12f0 state: down mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet vendor: ASRock driver: r8169 v: kernel port: e000 
           bus ID: 03:00.0 chip ID: 10ec:8168 
           IF: enp3s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 223.57 GiB used: 44.55 GiB (19.9%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: LITE-ON model: PH4-CE240 size: 223.57 GiB speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> rev: 1.0 
           scheme: GPT 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 223.27 GiB used: 44.55 GiB (20.0%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/dm-0 
           ID-2: /home size: 223.27 GiB used: 44.55 GiB (20.0%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/dm-0 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 55.0 C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 210 Uptime: 14m Memory: 7.43 GiB used: 2.50 GiB (33.6%) Init: systemd v: 242 Compilers: gcc: 9.2.0 
           Shell: bash v: 5.0.11 running in: xfce4-terminal inxi: 3.0.37 
$ free 
                            total       utilisé     libre       partagé    tamp/cache  disponible
Mem:                        7612        2166        248         365        5198        4798
Partition d'échange:        2047        46          2001

try kernel 4.19 or 5.5 instead of 5.4 and see if the freezing stops.

3 Likes

It was present when I was using kernel 4.19 as well.

Have you tried with a different keyboard and mouse? A faulty mouse caused me 700 euros in new computer parts, believing the motherboard was fried.

1 Like

Have you tried a live ISO?
I like to keep a secondary OS Windows on my computers in order to detect or exclude hardware faults.

Still playing music could be an indicator of a still running machine if it doesn't loop strangely. Might just be a graphics problem.
Are you able to ping or ssh into the machine from another device?
Does the machine still react to power button and/or keyboard input?
Did you try to switch to tty via ctrl+alt+f2? If this works, try switching back again via ctrl+alt+f1.

1 Like

Are you able to ping or ssh into the machine from another device?

I'll try that next time it happens.

Does the machine still react to power button and/or keyboard input?

Yes and mostly no.

Did you try to switch to tty via ctrl+alt+f2? If this works, try switching back again via ctrl+alt+f1.

That only worked once and after switching back again it was completly frozen with exception of the power button.

If hardware faults be the cause, could it be my solid state disk?
I think it's the oldest piece of hardware in my computer at the moment and it has been acting strange at least once last month, saying I had 0 bytes free space, even though it clearly wasn't full.

It could be just about anything. Hardware faults move in mysterious ways. Have you tried a live ISO on a USB stick?

1 Like

My computer crashes like once or twice a day.
I'd have to use a live ISO for at least a day?
And how do I know it's not due to software?
Or does it mean when it doesn't crash for 3 days it's not due to hardware?
What if it's the SSD?

Have you tried with a different keyboard and mouse?

If it was a faulty mouse I would think the keyboard would be still working.
But I'll try inserting a different keyboard/mouse next time it happens.
(it just happened five minutes ago of writing this post)

Troubleshooting is to patiently test the system from many angles in order to step by step hone in the cause by confirming and excluding faults, whether hard or soft.
Running a live ISO for multiple days quite tedious, so try the easy things first. Kernel 4.14?

1 Like

I think I'll try doing a BIOS update via a temp windows 10 on my new SSD.
Because I did that a few weeks/months ago via linux, but now I'm looking at my motherboard's instructions for BIOS updates and it recommends updating it via Windows only.
And then I'll write manjaro over it.

That's probably the safest thing to do, because the latter I was planning to do the latter anyway.

You can have two systems on one drive, you know? Install Windows first, update the Bios, use Manjaro live USB to shrink Win 10 partition to its minimum (approx 50 Gb), then use the remainder of the drive for Manjaro. It is a straightforward process, and leaving a Win partition helps troubleshooting of issues in the future.

My suggestion would be:
run lsblk and find your disk drive path. For me it is: nvme0n1.

Then try running sudo smartctl -a /dev/nvme0 <- of course the drive might be different /dev/sda is popular in SATA devices.
It should print a buttload of information about the drive and in the end we have:
Error Information (NVMe Log 0x01, max 128 entries)
No Errors Logged

I know SMART is not all-knowing and sometimes it doesn't report errors when they're there, but if something pops up here I would suspect the drive itself.

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