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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 03-07-2007, 08:33 PM   #1
nrodrigo
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Registered: Mar 2007
Distribution: Fedora Core 6 i386
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Laptop is Super Slow


I just wiped my laptop clean with a fresh install of Fedora Core 6. Windows was painstakingly slow so I decided to get rid of it entirely. After installing FC6 (I used the Office option so my system doesn't get weighed down with all of the server software, etc.), I logged into KDE and ran firefox. My load runs at around 2.8-6.0??? So I'm pretty certain that the slowness is caused by hardware.

What could it be?
Bad memory?
Bad hard drive?

Specs:
Acer Aspire 1691WLMi
80GB HDD
512MB DDR
Intel Pentium M, 1.5GHz

Symptons:
  • Apps run slow
  • Once in a while when booting, the HDD is missed completely and proceeds to network connection to find something to boot on (maybe 10% of the time)
 
Old 03-07-2007, 09:24 PM   #2
Brian1
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Location: Seymour, Indiana
Distribution: Distribution: RHEL 5 with Pieces of this and that. Kernel 2.6.23.1, KDE 3.5.8 and KDE 4.0 beta, Plu
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I am guessing the drive from the info I see.
If you check the logs using the ' dmesg ' command after it is running for a while it might be posting smart errors. Smart is a feature of IDE drives and others that can report errors on the fly. Now depending on the install smart may or may not be installed. To check run the command ' rpm -qa | grep smart '. See if it installed. If not then on the cd there should be an rpm called smart*****.rpm. Lets see what you have before going further.

If installed check to see if running using this command as root ' /sbin/service --status-all | grep smart '. If not running run the command as root ' /sbin/service smartd start '. Let it run and see what happens. To start from boot use this command to enable it in runlevels 3, 4, and 5. ' /sbin/chkconfig --level 345 smartd on '

Brian
 
Old 03-08-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
nrodrigo
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Didn't see anything specific to smart in dmesg. Here's my output:

Code:
[root@localhost ~]# dmesg | grep smart
[root@localhost ~]# rpm -qa | grep smart
smartmontools-5.36-3.2.fc6
[root@localhost ~]# /sbin/service --status-all | grep smart
capi not installed - No such file or directory (2)
Device not specified in /etc/sysconfig/diskdump
JAVA_EXECUTABLE or HSQLDB_JAR_PATH in '/etc/sysconfig/hsqldb' is set to a non-file.
Server address not specified in /etc/sysconfig/netdump
smartd (pid 2860) is running...
[root@localhost ~]#
 
Old 03-08-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
Brian1
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Just run the command dmesg by itself after is up for a bit to see if any errors appear. Other than that no idea as to the problem.

Brian
 
Old 03-08-2007, 06:56 PM   #5
Electro
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Back up the valuable data and use hard drive disk utility from the hard drive manufacture to check the drive. I do not suggest being dependent on S.M.A.R.T. To tell a hard drive is failing, use your hearing and smell to figure out how the life span. If the hard drive makes a lot of noise than it used to, there is a good chance the drive is failing. If you get to the smell state, the hard drive is history and data may be too hard to retrieve.

Notebook hard drives fail a lot sooner than desktop hard drives even though they have +1 million MTBF. In my personal book, MTBF stands for Mean Time Balonne Factor.

Describe your slowness because telling us that Linux is slow is very repetitive at this forum. Linux does not load any libraries that Windows does, so at first it will be slow. As you start using Linux, at the end of the day, Linux will be a lot better loading programs. Linux works better with more RAM because it caches and buffers data more than Windows.

KDE is very bloated (memory and processor resource hogger). Try using XFce4 with Rox or iceWM.
 
Old 03-09-2007, 02:11 AM   #6
nrodrigo
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The output is extensive but I posted the last portion which shows errors with hda.

Code:
hda: dma_intr: status=0xd0 { Busy }
ide: failed opcode was: unknown
hda: DMA disabled
hdb: DMA disabled
ide0: reset: success
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
atkbd.c: Unknown key pressed (translated set 2, code 0xb3 on isa0060/serio0).
atkbd.c: Use 'setkeycodes e033 <keycode>' to make it known.
atkbd.c: Unknown key released (translated set 2, code 0xb3 on isa0060/serio0).
atkbd.c: Use 'setkeycodes e033 <keycode>' to make it known.
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
hda: lost interrupt
[root@localhost ~]#
I also found the following but doesn't look like it's related to my problem:

Code:
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 7 of bridge 0000:00:1c.0
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 8 of bridge 0000:00:1c.0
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 9 of bridge 0000:00:1c.0
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 7 of bridge 0000:00:1c.1
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 8 of bridge 0000:00:1c.1
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 9 of bridge 0000:00:1c.1
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 7 of bridge 0000:00:1c.2
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 8 of bridge 0000:00:1c.2
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 9 of bridge 0000:00:1c.2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian1
Just run the command dmesg by itself after is up for a bit to see if any errors appear. Other than that no idea as to the problem.

Brian
 
Old 03-09-2007, 02:39 AM   #7
nrodrigo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro
Describe your slowness because telling us that Linux is slow is very repetitive at this forum. Linux does not load any libraries that Windows does, so at first it will be slow. As you start using Linux, at the end of the day, Linux will be a lot better loading programs. Linux works better with more RAM because it caches and buffers data more than Windows.
Every time I run a command from the terminal, it seems to hang anywhere from 10-30 sec, sometimes minutes even. Windows was the same way. In linux, cold start versus page frames loaded in memory didn't seem to make much of a difference since the problem appears to occur almost consistently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro
KDE is very bloated (memory and processor resource hogger). Try using XFce4 with Rox or iceWM.
Thanks for the tip.
 
Old 03-09-2007, 03:44 AM   #8
r00tb33r
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Not really sure if it would help, but try disabling Intel SpeedStep from BIOS and see what happens. Perhaps it fails to raise the speed or something. Also I would check the PIO mode of the hard drive and stuff like that...
Run a live-cd distro such as Knoppix and see if its slow. That would rule out the hard drive perhaps. If you still think its the drive, pull out the hard drive, and boot from the CD by itself. That would definitely determine if the hard drive has anything to do with it.
 
Old 03-10-2007, 09:11 AM   #9
Brian1
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This is out on a limb here but in the bios if it has Plug and Play and is yes check as no.

Brian
 
Old 03-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #10
dxqcanada
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Sounds like a problem with the settings of the hard drive.
Run hdparm to see what settings your controller is set to:
Code:
# hdparm -i /dev/hda
# hdparm -cuda /dev/hda

Last edited by dxqcanada; 03-10-2007 at 09:33 AM.
 
Old 03-10-2007, 04:44 PM   #11
nrodrigo
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I booted using Knoppix and the performance was excellent. I'm almost convinced that my HDD is the problem. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by r00tb33r
Not really sure if it would help, but try disabling Intel SpeedStep from BIOS and see what happens. Perhaps it fails to raise the speed or something. Also I would check the PIO mode of the hard drive and stuff like that...
Run a live-cd distro such as Knoppix and see if its slow. That would rule out the hard drive perhaps. If you still think its the drive, pull out the hard drive, and boot from the CD by itself. That would definitely determine if the hard drive has anything to do with it.
 
Old 03-10-2007, 04:55 PM   #12
nrodrigo
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Here is my output running hdparm:

Code:
[root@localhost ~]# hdparm -i /dev/hda

/dev/hda:

 Model=IC25N080ATMR04-0, FwRev=MO4OAD4A, SerialNo=MRG40HK4K85YZH
 Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4
 BuffType=DualPortCache, BuffSize=7884kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
 CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=156301488
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes:  pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
 DMA modes:  mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
 UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 *udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5
 AdvancedPM=yes: mode=0x80 (128) WriteCache=enabled
 Drive conforms to: ATA/ATAPI-6 T13 1410D revision 3a:  ATA/ATAPI-2 ATA/ATAPI-3 ATA/ATAPI-4 ATA/ATAPI-5 ATA/ATAPI-6

 * signifies the current active mode

[root@localhost ~]# hdparm -cuda /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
 IO_support   =  0 (default 16-bit)
 unmaskirq    =  0 (off)
 using_dma    =  1 (on)
 readahead    = 256 (on)
[root@localhost ~]#
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxqcanada
Sounds like a problem with the settings of the hard drive.
Run hdparm to see what settings your controller is set to:
Code:
# hdparm -i /dev/hda
# hdparm -cuda /dev/hda

Last edited by nrodrigo; 03-10-2007 at 05:14 PM.
 
Old 03-11-2007, 04:43 PM   #13
nrodrigo
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New HDD and RAM upgrade

Well, I spent about $180 to install a new hard drive and add more RAM. So far, performance has been outstanding. I guess nowadays we can really only count on laptops being productive for about 2 to 3 years. Thanks to all for the advice!
 
  


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