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Lately my desktop has been freezing solid and needing to be hard reset [power off/on]. While frozen the cursor will move but nothing else happens. I have tried a number of ways to reset or get information about this condition without a hard reset. I have tried the set of commands which are referred to as “raising the elephant”. This sometimes works without the need to power off the computer. But sometimes it doesn't. I am running Ubuntu 18.04.1.

I have an output from the hwinfo command here. And below is the output from the lshw -c video command.

  *-display                 
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: GK208B [GeForce GT 710]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: a1
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
       resources: irq:27 memory:fd000000-fdffffff memory:f0000000-f7ffffff memory:f8000000-f9ffffff ioport:e000(size=128) memory:c0000-dffff

This latter because I believe that this may be a video driver problem.

What I would like are some suggestions for things, such as commands to try or logs to look at, that can be done after a hard reset to help debug this problem.

  • Have you tried the Nvidia driver? – ajgringo619 Nov 14 '19 at 19:17
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I've had this problem quite a few times.

One thing I've done, assuming your keyboard still works, is go to my console (Ctrl-Alt-F12), kill the server and restart it. In most cases, something in the X server go bonanza and it stops displaying things. I've had that happens a lot in 16.04 (but I upgraded many times since like 10.04 or so... instead of a brand new install—for my 18.04 install, it's brand new).

The one thing I noticed toward the last year or so of 16.04, I would get the screen to freeze, go to the console, maybe kill my browsers and come back (from the console, you do Alt-F7 and it comes back to X-Windows) and things would work again. In my case, this was probably due to a bad loop taking too long for the rendering to happen or too much RAM being used.

Also on that version, for this to work better, I made it so that my system would boot in the console. Otherwise the X server will fight you in various ways when you attempt to kill it.

If you have the problem quite a bit, it's going to be a pain, though...

Now, if the keyboard still works, the Ctrl-Alt-Del is better than a hard Power Off. It will at least try to unmount your hard drives cleanly.

P.S. For Ubuntu specific questions, you may want to consider using askubuntu instead.

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