I'm using gnome / Fedora 9. To be precise: Linux foo 188.8.131.52-76.fc9.i686 #1 SMP Fri Jun 27 16:14:35 EDT 2008 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux .
When I try to switch users using the User Switcher button on one of the panels on the desktop, my machine goes into a wierd 'sleep/suspend mode' right after I have entered the password for the new user (which incidentally happens to be the same as the previous user).
I say it's a wierd sleep mode because my keyboard and mouse stop working, the monitor LED starts blinking as if there is no video signal from the CPU! (Btw, if this sleep mode is valid and not wierd, how would I wake the system up?)
I have tried all the function keys to at least get a virtual console, both with the Atl and with the Ctrl-Alt combinations, but no effect. I have also tried Ctl-Alt-Backspace to attempt to restart X, no effect again!
Finally, the machine must be hard-reset.
A related question on hard resetting of a Linux system:
1. Could such a hard reset corrupt my ext3 filesystem? Tradionally, Unices are supposed to be running on UPSes, and are supposed to be gracefully shutdown so that in-memory structures (inodes, etc) are fully and properly flushed to the disk.
2. If not the filesystem, could it corrupt critical application data such as Thunderbird mail files? I understand that, in general, this will vary from app to app... meaning whether or not the app has been designed to be robust enough to survive such sudden hard resets... hence the specific question about Thunderbird mail client.
3. Anything else... that could go wrong because of a hard reset?