"failed to execute child process" "Input/output error"


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Thread: "failed to execute child process" "Input/output error"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    3

    "failed to execute child process" "Input/output error"

    I have a Dell laptop running Linux Fedora Core 7 Moonshine. I am running Gnome desktop. I get very strange errors from time to time, of the type:

    Failed to execute child process: [process-name] Input/output error

    where [process-name] has happened up until now to be:
    * gnome-screensaver - this used to happen a lot after I was booting. It annoyed me so I disabled the screensaver. However, the problem is not solved, read on...
    * gnome-terminal - I try to open a new terminal, and I get the above-mentioned error.

    I also mention that, after this error is displayed, I notice an important degratation is system response time: any GUI interaction is seriously delayed( 1-2 minutes ), and also from the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+F1) keyboard input is very slow.

    Any suggestions regarding this behaviour?
    Uname info:
    Linux 2.6.23.17-88.fc7 #1 SMP i686

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    14,947
    Shortly after this happens, what does dmesg | tail -n 20 say? Is it complaining about stuff that looks like a hard drive might be dying, or an IDE cable is bad? (E.g., BadCRC errors are almost always due to a problematic cable, not a dying drive. But not quite always...)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    113
    If you suspect a failing hard drive, you should check it with the manufacturer's test utility. The easiest way is to download and burn the Ultimate Boot CD. It contains all of them and every freeware diagnostic they could find. Boot with it, and navigate through the menus to the one you need. If you don't know which brand you have, UBCD has hardware ID utilities.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    3
    I don't suspect a HDD error. I/O is not only HDD. And besides, when this happens, the keyboard response is really, really sloow - I tried opening a terminal and it's hell.

    I suspect it has something to to with some driver or smth, but i don't know where/how to check, that's why I post here, maybe someone can help me trace the source of this problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    316
    It could still be an HDD (or CD) error. If the system keeps trying to access the drive in the background it can slow everything else to a crawl and, in my experience, you get no error report unless you're looking at a console.

    I've had that happen at least twice, the first time it was a software problem, the second it was a drive starting to die. I usually get one or two error messages repeated ad nausiem on the terminal, making it hard to type anything, and the same messages show up on dmesg|tail.

    If it is a drive problem, make friends with the hdparm command. Some older systems behave better if you disable DMA, for example, and I once cured the problem by using the "forbidden" -w switch.
    We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.
    --Russel M. Nelson, apostle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    3
    k, I'll look into it. 10x!

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