I’ve been using rsync to copy a whole old drive over to a new one so have left my computer on overnight with caffeine to stop it turning off. 3 times now I’ve come back to my computer and the screens have frozen hours ago. I can’t seem to change virtual terminals and all I can do is hard reboot and since the drive is ntfs it gets errors that I then need to fix on a windows install. Any tips for next time this happens or how to track down this issue?
You need to have a look at the logs to find what the problem could be.
Linux is designed to run 24/7. As an example, here’s the current uptime for my laptop:
[joe@barrayar ~]$ uptime 10:23:02 up 15 days, 16:28, 1 user, load average: 0.30, 0.27, 0.20
Servers are expected to run for weeks, months or even years without rebooting. If your computer can’t even stay running for 24 hours without freezing, you have a major problem. My suggestion is that if checking the logs doesn’t give you the answer, open a terminal and run
top in it. Then, if the computer freezes again, you can see what was running, how much CPU and memory was in use and what the load average was.
Are you sure it froze or did maybe just the display didn’t wake up from standby?
What’s the thing you are saying about caffeine?
The screens were turned off themselves but the pc never went to sleep. When I turn the screens back on they displayed the wrong time (assumably when it crashed). I have it set up to not suspend but just to be sure I was using the caffine extension for gnome. Maybe that somehow locked up the OS?
What video card do you have (and video driver)? In my experience that’s one of the most lockup-prone subsystems (because it’s so complicated and so varied) — otherwise, it’s almost certainly an actual hardware fault. One thing you could try is putting the system in non-GUI multiuser mode while you do the transfer.
You have logs until 06:37 in the morning. What time was shown on the Lock Screen?
Besides GPU and driver issues, extension have the potential to make Gnome crash.
So, in addition to mattdm’s comments,remove all extensions and try again.
If you are patient, you could run a memtest over night (takes quite long)
The problem might be related to power management.
You should probably run
rsync with suspend inhibited:
gnome-session-inhibit --inhibit suspend rsync ...