[CentOS] Server hangs on CentOS 5.5

Lamar Owen lowen at pari.edu
Wed Mar 9 16:53:47 UTC 2011

On Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:48:29 am m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
> Lamar Owen wrote:
> > Heat and airflow are two others.

> Hmmm... has the a/c been changed lately? Or maybe stuff outside the rack
> been moved, and so obstructed the airflow?

To followup a little, I had a motherboard one time, with a factory-installed CPU, heatsink, and fan, that would not run for more than four or five hours before hanging.  This motherboard was in a system that was donated to us as being 'flaky' so I don't know the warranty status or what the original owner had or had not done, but it did have a factory seal sticker strip between the heatsink and the CPU and the motherboard socket, and that sticker was tamper-evident type, and there had been no tampering.

I decided I would refresh the heatsink compound, and, since even if it were still covered by the warranty that would have only been valid for the original purchaser.  So I pulled the sticker strip, which left little 'voids' on things, and pulled the heatsink.  At that point I laughed so hard I cried, as the heatsink still had the clear plastic protector film between the CPU and the heatsink compound.  From the factory.  I pulled the film, reinstalled the heatsink, and that system is and has been for several years rock-solid stable.

The issue of dust buildup follows from the heat and airflow.

There is another potential culprit, though, especially if this system has been in a raised floor environment, that some might find odd.  That culprit, or, rather, those culprits, are zinc whiskers.  Also, the metal components in the electronics themselves can exude whiskers; see the wikipedia article on the subject for more information ( https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Whisker_%28metallurgy%29 )

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