Fedora 36 install randomly freezes/crashes/black screens on external SSD

Well I ran some stability tests with… GIMP! (Creating a max size image and filling it with random pixels) and sometimes the test passes. Sometimes GIMP repeatedly crashes, then my other apps start crashing, until the whole shell freezes. After a minute of everything freezing up, I can’t even move my mouse! The ram wasn’t even 80 full and the temps were about 75c when System Monitor froze. Before this, they were weird bugs, like the inability to drag a window or to access the app library. The notifications panel was the last thing working. Why does high load cause such instability? On windows running a benchmark doesn’t make it BSOD.

Sorry but I have no more clues and I have finals soon so I couldn’t help in the near future. I hope someone else with more knowledge than me helps you out to sort the issue. (Or maybe take a shorter path and try another SSD?)

You can try disabling all powersaving features of USB buses, maybe it is entering a low power state and not resuming properly?

The SSD I bought was acquired for this purpose. I originally had a 120gb SSD. Thanks for helping me!

I actually found a “solution”: switch to LXDE. I tried generating fractals in GNOME but GIMP kept crashing. In LXDE it works fine.

The question has nothing directly linked to software, just connection of hardware between motherboard and distant local storage … external SSD usually have simple USB connection as used for data storage, not fast enough, try something else like USB-C.

My SSD is connected using a 5gbps usb type c cable, on a USB 3.2 gen 1 port. Anyways, slow storage is not the cause of this instability. I get 400 mbytes per second sequential read speeds. I suspect that my problem could be the sata to USB adapter not liking constant random read/writes. It also gets noticeably warm, even if 5mm of air and 1mm of plastic separates the chip from my finger.

Edit: I strongly suspect that the USB to sata link is the problem, as I tested the SSD on another computer, this time directly to a sata cable, and no crashes occured in 3h.

USB-C is different from USB 3, an operating system needs to read and write from the storage device used, different from containerized instance in memory, normal hardware setup uses SATA connection. Specific tailored software system used in IoT devices will work, completely different from full blown Linux desktop what ever apps installed.

When connected via usb C did you have additional power to the SSD or was it powered solely from the USB? It is possible that the USB to SATA adapter interface required more power than was available directly from the usb C port and thus was occasionally dropping out.