System lock up misery

Recently, I started having trouble with my Suse 6.1 distribution. For unknown reasons it would just completely lock up. I thought the problem may have been all the customization that I added to the box, so I formated and reinstalled the base system. The problem didn't go away, in fact it seems worse. I will say that the box worked great for about 2-3 months without a single problem, and now it'll only run for several hours before it crashes. I'm not sure where to start on fixing the problem because there are no errors reported in any of my log files. I'm beginning to suspect a harware problem but I'm not convinced yet. This box is only used for ftp, so I'm not even working on it when it crashes. Usually I find out from some user that they can't reach ftp. Then I have to hard reboot 'cause no key combinations will release deaths grip. Any ideas on how to tackle this problem? Thanks much.
~Jason
jgrajedaAsked:
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biardCommented:
It sounds like bad ram, or, although unlikely, a bad hard drive.  The ram is more likely, but a bad bearing in the spindle on the hard drive could cause that.  The only thing that would make me rule out the hard drive is the fact that, from your description, it boots up fine.  If it always boots, and never fails to give a LILO prompt, etc, then it really sounds like ram.  Pull the ram out and reseat it.  Oh, the other think could be a dead fan, especially the processor fan.
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legacyCommented:
Just to rule out the hardware, I would go to your harddrive manufacturer and download a low-level format utility that usually comes with a diagnostic utility. I agree with reseating or swapping out the RAM, but I would also try a different memory slot and reseat the processor and yes, make sure the fan is running.  If you are overclocking, kick it back some. I've seen plenty of hardlocks from bad drives.  If it makes an unusual grinding, clicking sound, it is the spindle on the drive.  It wouldn't hurt to see if there is a BIOS upgrade for your motherboard.  I would also reseat the cables to the harddrive, power and IDE or SCSI cable.
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biardCommented:
legacy:  I realize you are fairly new to ee but I just would like to query as to why you would post an answer to a question using 99% of the information I had posted in my comment.  Part of the ettiquette we try to use includes not posting something as an answer unless it is guaranteed to be the solution, and it is new information.  If someone else has posted some comments to the same effect as what you are posting as an answer, it does not entitle you to the points.  If what you post as a comment solves the issue, the questioner can choose to accept a comment as an answer.  There is no desparate need to post an answer.  Please try to adhere to this netiquette in the future.  

Also, jgrajeda, you should reject this answer.  Also, post some feedback so that we may COMMENT further and try to solve your problem if necessary.  Also, a low level format is not going to solve your problem.  If fdisk or format were producing errors, it may help to do this, but otherwise, it likely is more trouble than it is worth.
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jgrajedaAuthor Commented:
Here is an update to this problem. When I flicked the monitor on, the system was in a hard lock same as before. But there was an error message on the screen. Here it is : Error. Collect :Cannot write tFTAA05229. Error writing control file tFTAA05229 :input/output. I read your e-mail and decided to check out the memory. The box has two dimms, one single sided 64mb in slot 1 and one double sided 64mb in slot 2. I removed the mem from slot 2 and rebooted. When I checked the memory status in X. It shows that the total memory is 61.54MB. It appears the mem module is bad. I'm going to try the other dimm and see if that works. Thanks alot. I'm new to this so I don't know who should get points but thank you. If that  doesn't solve the problem I'll be back. So maybe the awarding of points should wait? Is there a FAQ or something that explains this whole question posing process?

Thanks again,

~Jason
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biardCommented:
If the ram or hard disk turns out to be bad, I should be awarded the points, because I pointed to each as a candidate first.  However, points should not be awarded until your situation is resolved.  Also, if you find that it is resolved, there is an option on your screen to accept a comment as an answer.  Just select the appropriate comment and hit this option.  

Let me know if you need further assistance.
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jgrajedaAuthor Commented:
I tried the other dimm and it also reports only 61.54 mb or 64524288 bytes for a 64mb dimm. Very curious. Anyway, it hasn't crashed since I switched to only one of the two dimms. Could it be that the single sided and double sided memory were conflicting? I'm going to wait another day or so before I award the points just to be sure the problem is solved. Thank you very much for your help.
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patowicCommented:
Is this system overclocked at all?  Have you checked the case or CPU temperature?

Sometimes, memory will fail to coexist for no other reason than it is cranky--e.g. DIMMS from one manufacturer will crash when used with DIMMS from another manufacturer.
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jgrajedaAuthor Commented:
Turns out that I was using the wrong kernel hd driver. I switched to the older driver and now it works fine.
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