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I'm running Debian Unstable on my laptop. It was running Kernel 2.6.8-11, which was causing udev not to load. Life was good.
After finally doing an apt-get upgrade recently, and installing kernel 2.6.8-14, udev came alive again and demanded that hotplug be purged. Never mind, no more firewire access, but that's not the problem.
The problem is that now when KDE loads, the splash screen gets to initialising peripherals, after which point hard disk access is reduced to several short, sporadic bursts per second. Needless to say, the system is un-usably slow.
The strange thing is that I have 32-bit & DMA hard disk settings on, and there are no error messages or warnings anywhere to be seen in /var/log, nothing. I don't know if it's udev related, but without any error messages I've got nothing to work with. CPU usage is minimal, idling around 5%, and top doesn't provide any clues either, other than ksoftirqd hovering around the top of the list most of the time which I think is normal (?). Disk access is fine right up until that point in initialising KDE.
Has anyone else experienced something similar? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.