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Old 01-05-2004, 04:23 PM   #1
TSloth
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Unhappy Possible disk problem - system unresponsive


I've recently installed Mandrake 9.2 onto a brand new Maxtor hard drive.
No problems until today, but today I'll be typing away in Evolution and the characters stop appearing for 2-3 seconds, then all show up at once. When I watch 'top', there is nothing that is taking up more than a few percent of the CPU. Any ideas how to find out what the problem is?

The nearest I've come to symptoms like this when a disk was having trouble seeking, and eventually had to be replaced. If the disk is the problem now, where would the error messages go? there are no disk errors reported in dmesg.

BTW, / and /home are ext3, both (and swap) are on the same disk.

Thanks,
- TSloth
 
Old 01-05-2004, 06:50 PM   #2
wapcaplet
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Does it do similar things in other programs, or just in Evolution? Might just be a problem with Evolution... Unless it occurs in other programs, I doubt it's a disk problem.
 
Old 01-05-2004, 11:44 PM   #3
TSloth
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I tried to duplicate the problem with kwrite and by
$ cat > a.a
followed buy furious typing but didn't have any problems, but I can still reproduce it in an evolution new message window. Perhaps cat and kwrite don't updatte or save occasionally or ...?

I downloaded and ran Maxtor's PowerMax diagnostics and it finds no problems with the drive.

I didn't have this problem in the Evolution that came with Mandrake 9.1.

- TSloth
 
Old 01-17-2004, 12:32 PM   #4
TSloth
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Evolution compose still hangs while typing

I'm still having problems typing messages in Evolution -- every now and then the characters I'm typing stop appearing, then they all appear a few seconds later.
I think it's not the hard drive because I don't have problems in other apps.
I've disabled spell check and disabled checking for new messages to eliminate those as the problem.

Is anyone else having this problem?
Any suggestions on where to look?

- TSloth
 
Old 01-17-2004, 03:14 PM   #5
wayback
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I recently experienced similar typing delays after installing a 2.6 kernel, but the problem went away when I finally figured out how to turn on the fast modes (dma, multi-sector, etc.) for the disk driver. (Actually, more like getting it to use the right driver instead of the generic one.)
 
Old 01-17-2004, 10:51 PM   #6
TSloth
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Evolution unresponsive

Interesting...

Can you provide some more details for me? for instance, I didn't know there was a choice of disk drivers, modes, etc ...

- TSloth
 
Old 01-18-2004, 02:08 AM   #7
wayback
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Yes - building a 2.6.1 kernel, I ended up turning off (in configuration) all ide drivers except the one for my chipset (via); it had been using a generic driver before. This was 90% of the fix, then put a call to hdparm -c3 -m16 in my rc.local for more tuning. Not sure why this stuff was affecting terminal response but it was. Also if you don't want to build a kernel I'm sure there's a way to specify (modules.conf?) which driver module gets loaded but I'm still just learning about modules.
 
Old 01-18-2004, 04:55 PM   #8
TSloth
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Is there a program which tests hard drive performance? so I can if these mods help (other than me banging on the keyboard watching characters appear!)

Thanks again,
- TSloth
 
Old 01-18-2004, 05:10 PM   #9
wayback
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Yes, use hdparm -tT. And look at this article:
http://linux.oreillynet.com/pub/a/li...29/hdparm.html
 
Old 01-19-2004, 01:25 AM   #10
TSloth
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# hdparm /dev/hdb reported
multicount=16 (so hdparm -m16 is already set)
IO_support=1
unmaskirq=1
using_dma=1
keepsettings=0
readonly=0
readahead=8
These are the same as for /dev/hda. Both are ATA133 form different manufactuers (hdb is a 40 GB Maxtor, hda is Western Digital.)
I logged out and logged back in as root in safe mode and did
# hdparm -tT /dev/hdb
and got 57.81 MB/sec
# hdparm -c3 /dev/hdb
# hdparm -tT /dev/hdb
and still got 57.81 MB/sec, so the -c3 isn't helping, and the -m16 is already set.

I tried evolution again, just for fun, and timed it more accurately. It hangs for 5 seconds every 60 seconds. This is very repeatable. It even happens every 60 seconds if I type only a single character into the compose window. I think it's a software bug, and will pursue it that way.

Thanks for all your help, I learned a lot!

Oh, by the way, the Western Digital 60GB ATA133 drive got only 40 MB/sec!

- TSloth
 
Old 01-29-2004, 09:16 PM   #11
mooreted
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I am getting exactly the same problem with evolution and MDK 9.2 with a stock kernel. On my system this does not occur in any other application. If anyone has the solution, let us know.
 
Old 01-30-2004, 12:20 AM   #12
TSloth
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All,
Thank you for your suggestions. I got the solution to my problem on the evolution@lists.ximian.com mail list. :-) The solution is to add your host name to the first line in /etc/hosts, for example:
127.0.0.1 localhost myhostname

Here's the problem statement, and the answer, so that Adolfo Bello gets the credit:
____________________
On Sat, 2004-01-24 at 01:34, Adolfo Bello wrote:
> > On Wed, 2004-01-21 at 03:30, J Black wrote:
> > > Hello.
> > >
> > ...
> > > Whenever I'm editing a message and typing away, the compose window
> > > freezes for about 5 seconds every 60 seconds. The cursor stops
> > > blinking, and whatever I type doesn't appear until the 5 seconds is up.
> > > (It's done it twice just typing these sentences!) Even typing a single
> > > character into the message window is enough to trigger this behavior.
> > >
> > > I don't notice this in other apps like Mozilla or OpenOffice, and I
> > > didn't have this problem in Mandrake 9.1 (don't know which version of
> > > Evolution.)
> > >
> > I had a similar problem with Evolution (from red-carpet) in Mandrake
> > 9.1. I solved adding to /etc/hosts the line:
> > 127.0.0.1 myhostname myhostname.mydomainname
> >
> > HTH
> >
> > Adolfo
 
  


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