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Old 09-21-2004, 06:49 PM   #1
blackize
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Default WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

Some of you already know about this after reading my chat in the ZMD chat room on IRC. For those of you who don't, here it is:

Last night (Monday), I come home from work and head up to my loft. Before I change out of my work uniform, I turn the power strip in my loft "on" and then proceed to power on my monitor and my computer. I leave the loft and change clothes, only to return and find that the computer has not posted. This happens sometimes when I turn the PC on after I turn on the power strip, I guess it gets an insufficient amount of power or something technical like that. Anyway, I reboot the computer and...nothing. I reboot again, and again, and again, and...still nothing. Ok, so I decide to turn it off. I let it sit for a few minutes before I turn it back on. w00t! It posts and proceeds to boot Linux.

But, it's too early to celebrate. Linux boots into the console, not the graphical environment that is KDE. I log in under the normal user account, and attempt to manually load X by typing, "startx". Ok, the screen goes black, perhaps it is loading KDE? Nein! The text console is brought back up on my crappy Gateway EV700, but this time it brought with it a boat load of error messages. I was like, "What the fuck?" and then proceeded to log out and log back in as root. "StartX" and the fiasco begins again. No KDE, No X, but plenty of error messages. This really baffled me as the previous night (Sunday) my computer worked flawlessly. X was automatically started and KDE was loaded automatically, all without interaction from me. Hell, KDE logged me in automatically as I had set it up to do. I could whatever I want, burn CDs, surf the Internet, talk with my asshole friends through Gaim, good times were had by all. When it came time to turn off the computer, I simply chose "logout" and then "turn off computer" and Linux began to terminate all services and applications before powering down the PC. It was a normal shutdown, something I've done many times before. Once the computer was turned off, I switched off the power strip, something I do every night before I go to bed, "just in case".

Fast-forward to Monday night and nothing seems to work. So I proceed to load my Mandrake 10 CD into my computer and I choose to install Mandrake again. Before I begin to select which packages to load, I erase my current partitions (there was nothing important on the hard drive), create two new ones (one 256 MB for swap and the rest of the drive for "/" formatted with the ext3 file system) and then format both partitions. On to the package selection screen, and I choose the usual - KDE, OpenOffice, XMMS, K3B, etc, etc. 45 minutes later, Mandrake Linux is again installed on my PC and then I proceed to configure the firewall (allowing only the Ping, or echo request, to be open to the Internet), configure my Internet connection (I chose LAN over the Cable setting and manually configure the gateway, IP and DNS addresses), and then fiddle with LILO (ACPI=FORCE, that sort of thing). I save my configuration, decline to download available updates, eject the CD and reboot my system.

The familiar boot screen appears as I load Linux with the default kernel. KDE loads and I log in as the blackize. I make a few changes here and there, mostly to the UI and log-in manager (so I could access the root account through KDE rather than having to log out and go through the console, then start X manually). As root, I copy my HOSTS file from a CD and then install Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. I log out, log in as blackize and then load Firefox.

When I try to check my e-mail (I use the http://tribalectic.mail.everyone.netTribalectic-branded</a>), I could not enter the site after submitting my account information. In Firefox's status bar, it continually read "waiting for tribalectic.mail.everyone.net" before timing out. "Ok," I thought, "maybe the server's down for maintenance." I knew that a few auctions I was bidding on ended that night, so I visited eBay in hopes of being able to contact the seller and obtain the final value for the auctions and contact information for seller, since I was unable to read my e-mail. I submit my log in information through the secure sign-in on eBay. I am greeted with "Welcome to eBay, ..." and then I click on "My eBay." Like my e-mail provider, the operation times out. I cannot log in to my eBay account. "Maybe work's being done on the eBay servers, I'll check back in the morning," I thought, then I went to bed.

I go on-line this morning, and I am able to log-in to my e-mail account. I have a few messages from the sellers of the auctions I bid on. I open one of them and try to send a message to the seller. I click "submit" and like the previous evening, the operation times out. I try it again, times out. I try it once more, and once more it times out. I visited eBay in hopes of being able to sort things out through that web site, since my e-mail wasn't working properly. Enter my information, hit submit, "Welcome to eBay, ...". I click on "My eBay," and it times out. I try it again. Timed out. I switch to the standard log-in, and it times out. I switch to Mozilla 1.6, and both my e-mail and eBay time out. I switch to Konqueror, and again everything times out. I delete my HOSTS file thinking this was causing everything to time out. I try all three browsers again, and everything still times out.

At this point, I'm pretty fucking pissed off. I log out, log in as root and try again. Again, the web sites time out. But, I can visit other web sites and even download files. I thought this was a unique problem, so I bring up Zophar's Message Domain, log in and navigate to Tech Talk. I proceed to type a message describing what was going on, similar to this post. I hit "Continue," and it times out. I uncheck the box marked "I want to preview..." and click "Continue." It times out. I log out of Mandrake and reboot my computer. I insert my DSL (Damn Small Linux) Live CD and load that. Once loaded, I open up the two browsers, Dillo, and a hacked version of Links. But since this is a LiveCD and these two browsers are capable of very basic Internet use, I cannot log in to any web sites (since they do not save cookies). Argh. Reboot my PC and then I proceed to install Slackware Linux. To make a long story short, everything I experienced with Mandrake regarding web sites timing out occurs with Slackware. I was so pissed I kicked my chair across the room.

Then, I had an idea.

I load DSL again, and this time I run the IRC client. It's text only but I still manager to connect to the #zophar channel. I describe what's going on with my PC, and Parasite (or Parasyte), thinks it is either a hardware problem or a DDoS attack on my system. I log off IRC and close down DSL. I don' t know what to do. Then I remembered that I have another Live CD, this time it's the XFCE demo CD. I remember that it had Mozilla 1.6 and a few other modern browsers installed (unlike DSL). I fire up Mozilla 1.6, log in to Zophar's Message Domain, navigate to Tech Talk, and here I am.

I don't know if this will post, but I hope it does. I apologize for such a long post, but I really need your help. What's going on with my system? Is it a hardware problem, a DDoS attack like Parasyte suggested, is it my Internet connection, or is it something else? I need help diagnosing and correcting the problem. I cannot stand using a Live CD, it's too damn slow and I cannot download anything (files are stored on a ramdisk for the session, and they're deleted when I log off). I am expecting a barebones PC from Wal Mart on Thursday, and I will set that up with my spare 80GB hard drive and install Linux. All I have is Linux. If I had Windows, I would have installed Windows to see if the problem happened under Windows. So, if this PC dies or something is seriously wrong with it, I have a backup arriving in a few days. So, if I can't fix this PC it's no big deal, but I'd like to have some level of functionality rather than running a slower-than-shit CD. Please, please, please, help me!

Oh, to clarify everything, the problems occur with web site forms.
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Old 09-21-2004, 06:53 PM   #2
blackize
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

I don't know why, but when I disabled the SSL protocols in Mozilla 1.6, I was able to post my previous message to Tech Talk. When SSL was enabled, the post wouldn't go through (the operation timed out). But this leads to me wonder why when SSL is enabled, the connection times out when I submit information through a web form, but when SSL is disabled, everything works.

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Old 09-21-2004, 08:59 PM   #3
packardmelan
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

Call your ISP, I guess. If you've used several different copies of Linux and experience the SAME problem with them, it implies that it's either hardware (maybe your ethernet card/port) or your ISP. And SSL is software encryption, so I figure your ISP's sending you through some sort of proxy that won't let you use secured pages.

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Old 09-21-2004, 10:29 PM   #4
blackize
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

I'm going to get in touch with them either tonight or tomorrow after work. After further investigating the SSL solution, it appears as if the TLS protocol is causing the problem. Under Mozilla 1.6, I enabled SSL version 2 and SSL version 3, but I disabled TLS and I was able to visit the web sites that I had difficulty viewing before AND I was able to forms without further difficulties.

But it really is strange that my system started to malfunction so suddenly. That's why I thought I might have been the victim of an Internet attacker. I am behind two firewalls, the Linux firewall and my router's internal firewall, so an attack is improbable (especially since I stay away from P2P networks).

What's even stranger is that after I partitioned and formatted my hard drive, and installed Mandrake Linux again (I just finished about fifteen minutes ago), everything is working perfectly, knock on wood. I even have TLS enabled. I have some luck when it comes to computers.

EDIT: I changed the default kernel to the 2.6.3.7 during the LILO configuration section of the distribution's installation. Perhaps this updated recent fixed my problem. I have no way of confirming this without switching back to the 2.4.X.X kernel, and I really don't feel like doing this.<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by blackize on 09/21/04 07:20 PM.</FONT></P>
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:26 AM   #5
SirDaShadow
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

*Scratches head*...where is TheOtherMoogle? This is excellent flamebait material <img src=smilies/banghead.gif>

Dude WAKE UP. DO NOT switch a power strip on and off. You are sending surges to the computer (especially if the power strip is 2 yrs or more old!), messing up the ram/HD/whatnot. What baffles me is the fact that you know how to mess around with Linux, yet you obviate one of the most simple reasons for failure on ANY computer or OS!!!! <img src=smilies/banghead.gif><img src=smilies/banghead.gif><img src=smilies/banghead.gif>

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Old 09-22-2004, 03:39 AM   #6
MooglyGuy
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

Erhm, I somehow doubt that he's turning the computer off with the power strip, and if he's just turning the power strip on and then the PC (which he kind of has to do, unless it's a shit-ass-old computer that doesn't have an ATX-style power supply), then he's really not doing much of anything wrong.

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Old 09-22-2004, 03:55 AM   #7
SirDaShadow
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>


Erhm, I somehow doubt that he's turning the computer off
with the power strip, and if he's just turning the power
strip on and then the PC (which he kind of has to do, unless
it's a shit-ass-old computer that doesn't have an ATX-style
power supply), then he's really not doing much of anything
wrong.


<hr></blockquote>
eh...a complete reformat of his HD doesn't give you a hint of corrupted data? I know there is a chance that the power strip may not be a factor, but something happened to either the HD or the mobo...

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Old 09-22-2004, 01:35 PM   #8
MooglyGuy
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

> eh...a complete reformat of his HD doesn't give you a hint
> of corrupted data?

To me, him reformatting his HD of his own volition, reinstalling Mandrake, and having the same problems indicates no such thing.

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Old 09-22-2004, 10:11 PM   #9
blackize
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Default Re: WTF? Linux/Internet Problems

I always turn off the computer and monitor before I even touch the power strip. I'm not that retarded. But hey, everything's working fine. I believe that the kernel I was using was causing the problem to occur. Anyway, my new PC is coming tomorrow so I could care less if this fucking piece of shit were to explode.

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