If you ready my previous post, you already know that I’ve had frustrating issues with lock-ups in Ubuntu 12.04 on my new Dell OptiPlex 9010, and perhaps related oddities with errors reported in memtest86+. I opened a support ticket with Dell, and they shipped me a replacement system, which arrived today. The spoiler: it didn’t fix my problems. However, in the course of determining that fact, I may have further isolated the issue.
My memtest86+ runs were all turning up clean to start out, and I was getting uncharacteristically optimistic. I ran a couple times with the included RAM, then tweaked various BIOS settings, and had another clean run. I installed my 16 GiB of Crucial RAM, and ran a few more memtest86+ passes (from cold boot, with Ethernet connected) that turned up clean. Finally, I swapped the hard drive and SSD from the original system into the new machine, and was going to boot into the OS.
Upon my first boot, though, I realized I needed to enable UEFI in the BIOS in order to boot into Ubuntu, since that’s how I’d installed. That came with the [un]fortunate realization that another variable had just simultaneously changed in my grand experiment, but I was off to run memtest86+ again. I was crushed to see the same errors appear upon that first run that had plagued my first system (~245 MiB). That did, at least, give me a grand idea for an additional experiment, though: I switched the BIOS back to the
Legacy setting (from UEFI), and re-ran memtest86+. Lo and behold, the errors went away. I ran it again from a cold boot to be sure, and the errors were still gone. I switched back to UEFI, and the errors came back.
I don’t really understand all this, but I thought that UEFI being enabled in the BIOS shouldn’t really matter for memtest86+, since it’s not UEFI-enabled/aware, as far as I know. In my mind, anyhow, this really points at a Dell BIOS/UEFI bug. What do you think the chances are that they’ll acknowledge that and actually be able to fix it?
Since that fix could take quite a while (maybe arrive approximately…never?), I still want to try to move forward. Armed with this new finding/hypothesis, my current plan is to leave the system in
Legacy boot mode, replace my EFI partition with a bios_grub partition, replace grub-efi with grub-pc, and see if the system is more stable like that.
Any other thoughts?Tags: Dell OptiPlex 9010, error, linux, ubuntu