Cinnamon window frames freeze


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Apr 17, 2023
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From /proc/version:
Linux version 5.4.0-146-generic (buildd@lcy02-amd64-026) (gcc version 9.4.0 (Ubuntu 9.4.0-1ubuntu1~20.04.1)) #163-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 17 18:26:02 UTC 2023

I have been using Linux Mint/Cinnamon on a Dell Lattitude laptop for about a year with NO issues until very recently (Last 4 days). I am getting random desktop lockups every 5 to 10 minutes with the following traits:
1) Existing windows keep running, e.g. Firefox playing a YouTube video, System Monitor, a few terminals.... Everything within the current window seems to work e.g. play another video.
2) Whatever window was in focus acts normally except that the frame is unresponsive. Can't use the close button or move the window, or any other window.
3) The taskbar is unresponsive as well, except the time and sensors widgets still update.
4) This happens with a bare minimum of two terminals open. No other apps running.
5) It is acting like the mouse pointer is focused inside the window and can't switch. One observation is that the pointer icon (Arrow, cursor, or Grab hand) does not change when leaving the current window.
6) Htop shows 1-3% CPU utilization and no processes that looks out of the ordinary.
7) Every now and then (5-15 minutes) for a few seconds to a minute things return to normal and all appears and works correctly, and then it starts again with whatever window is active at the time.

I can regain control by suspending the laptop and un-suspending again but it only lasts for a minute or two before seizing again. (I am posting this while frozen and cannot leave this window.)
Recent activity that could have precipitated this:
- Installed Google Chrome and Chromium browsers. (Now uninstalled)
- Installed readPST, pst-utils to convert Microsoft .pst file to mbox format for Thunderbird

Question: I create BackInTime backups, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't contain the OS files. Since this is my every day machine, is there a way to replace the kernel files without losing everything else?
Has anyone seen this type of behavior before?

Petski wrote:
is there a way to replace the kernel files without losing everything else?
When one updates and upgrades, nothing is usually lost unless the user specifically removes packages or enables automatic removals of one sort or another. In the case you describe, the first thing I would try is to upgrade everything which will provide an updated OS, kernel and X which may resolve the freezes. That may involve upgrading the "generics" in that kernel if that is significant in your case. If the freezes continue after that, then one might look more closely, in the first instance, at graphics drivers, but there are a few other things that could be implicated too.
For clarity sake and a beginning, which version of Mint are you using?

You can share the output of lsb_release -a if that's easiest.
Linux Mint/Cinnamon
Which one?.....which version?

Re your question...backintime etc....I use a combination of Rescuezilla and Timeshift.
That covers absolutely everything.....and it works beautifully
Welcome to the Forum,

As others have said...the more info the more we can help.

We can't guess what your problems are as it could be anything...I've never had these problems running I would be guessing too.

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