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Date:      Sat, 05 Jul 1997 14:41:57 GMT
From:      dburr@POBoxes.com (Donald Burr)
To:        freebsd-hardware@freebsd.org, freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   what is wrong with my machine??!
Message-ID:  <33c05876.34863358@mail.inreach.com>

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Hi there.  Remember me?  I posted a few days ago with a strange
problem i've been having with gcc.  Still don't remember?  Let me
refresh your memory...

-----
From: Donald Burr <dburr@POBoxes.com>
Subject: weird gcc bug?

I've been having some weird problems with GCC lately.  This is on a
stock FreeBSD 2.2.2 system.  The GCC version is 2.7.2.1.  I usually
compile with "-O2 -m486"  The machine is a clone 486DX2/66 I slapped
together out of spare parts.

Anyway, here is the problem:  When compiling large programs, the
compile sometimes stops with an error.  usually the error is something
like "parse error before '}'" but I remember one time when it was
something else (can't remember what the error was at that time,
though).  The weird thing is, there IS no error (when I read the file,
it looks like perfectly good C syntax to me), and, if I run 'make' and
recompile that file WITHOUT CHANGING IT, it works fine!

Other than this, the machine is working perfectly.  I often have it up
and doing stuff for hours, sometimes days at a time, and there haven't
been any other errors to speak of.

So is this a gcc bug?  Is anyone else having this type of trouble?  Is
there a patch for it?

Please let me know, pref. by email.  Thanks
-----

Anyway, yes I am still having that problem.  And now I've just started
having another one.  Last night I was in the middle of some rather
cpu-intensive stuff (manipulating graphic images), when the system
just up and rebooted.  It rebooted in a "dirty" manner because the
system had to fsck the disks.  So this looks like a crash of sorts to
me.

Now I'm beginning to suspect that gcc is not the problem, and that my
hardware is.  But what part(s) of my hardware could be at fault?
Hmm... let me do some thinking:

* Overclocking.  My friend (whom I bought this machine from) said he
  ran the cpu (a 486DX2/66) as an 80.  I think the board is still set
  up that way too.  Could this be causing this spurious behavior?  The
  funny thing is that when my friend still owned it, he ran Linux and
  never showed any oddities.  (then again, maybe FreeBSD is more
  "demanding" on the motherboard/CPU resources than Linux is :) )
* Bad memory.  The memory is brand new and of a reputable brand, yet
  it still could concievably be defective.  How can I test if this is
  true?
* PCI.  This is a PCI system (yes, a 486 PCI system -- they exist).  I
  know absolutely nothing about PCI.  I only have one PCI card in
  there (a cheap clone video board based on a Cirrus Logic chip).  But
  the board has IDE controller built-in (but I don't know if this IDE
  controller is built into the PCI bus or is an ISA device?).
* BIOS settings.  Being a PCI machine, this machine has WAY too many
  BIOS settings.  And I don't know the meaning of a lot of them!  (and
  the manual don't help...)  I have things set up using the "BIOS
  defaults" -- but maybe the BIOS's idea of defaults is screwy?  It's
  an Award modular BIOS, is there any documentation somewhere that
  tells what all of these settings mean?  Or, in general, which
  type(s) of settings should I be checking?

So.  Can anyne tell me which of these is probably (likely to be) the
cause of my problems?  How likely, etc.?  And most of all, what steps
should I go about in further isolating or fixing the problem?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!
-- 
Donald Burr <dburr@POBoxes.com> - Ask me for my PGP key | PGP: Your
WWW HomePage: http://DonaldBurr.base.org/  ICQ #1347455 | right to
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Phone: (805) 564-1871    FAX: (800) 492-5954            | USE IT.



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