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To determine whether the hang responds to an external interrupt, attempt a ping test, checking for a response. If a keyboard is attached, perform a test by simply pressing the Caps Lock key to see whether the Caps Lock light cycles. If you have console access, determine whether the console gives you line returns when you press the Enter key. If one or more of these yields the sought response, you know you have an interruptible hang.

From

Cover of Linux
  • 2. System Hangs and Panics
  • from Linux
  • by Gregory L. Tinker, Christopher L. Tinker, David Carmichael, James Kirkland
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Released: April 2006

Note

If any of these attempt results in an is hang you know the interrupt caused by your activity is the culprit.