LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 08-14-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Slow OS, suspecting issue in hardware


Hello,
My Computer is slow and I believe I've pretty much ruled out the possibility of heavy software being the reason, but let's take a look first:
It's a desktop PC from Acer I bought in 2006, 2GB RAM on a AMD Athlon 64 X2 CPU, NVidia GeF 6100 on-board graphics. The specs here aren't totally accurate, but you get the picture more or less.
The RAM may be a bottleneck, as it's only DDR @333 or 400 MHz I think, and the motherboard is a cheap, no-name component. I bought it with Win XP, which is now excruciatingly slow even after a fresh install (but I don't remember whether or not it was like that from the start and maybe I've just gotten used to more speed after my first Linux and a newer, second PC).
I have Linux Mint Debian Edition on this machine with LXDE desktop running off of a second, new harddrive.
To compare, my other PC (not the one I'm worried about) is an unexpensive, 11,6" sub-notebook with a Pentium U5400 dual core unit at 1,2 GHz, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. Both Win 7 and Lubuntu 12.04 run much faster and more smoothly on it, but I'd kinda expect the old desktop to perform better or at least equally. Opening applications usually has a few seconds delay, even the Terminal or Thunar file manager take 1-3 seconds
That is in LXDE, and it has me suspecting one or the other hardware component might be failing, or ripe for replacement anyway - if it's still worthwhile.

I'd appreciate it if someone could help me narrow it down, or if you think that kind of sluggishness is normal for a PC like that...
 
Old 08-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Hanover, Germany
Distribution: Main: Gentoo Others: What fits the task
Posts: 15,592
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047
Especially with LXDE a PC in that performance class should run just fine. Slow downs have from my experience mostly two issues:
1. Problems with the harddisk. Easily testable with the manufacturer's diagnosis tool.
2. Overheating. Every PC, even in the cleanest rooms, will accumulate dust in its cooling system. So the cooling system needs maintenance and has to be cleaned from dust from time to time (I usually do that every 5-6 months on my systems). An overheating system causes the CPU to clock down and reduce the voltages to cool down, which can cause a sluggish system.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
wpeckham
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat, DSL, Puppy, CentOS, Knoppix
Posts: 781

Rep: Reputation: 174Reputation: 174
add one ...

I have also seen symptoms of apparent slowness when IPV6 was enabled but not in use. I would check your network settings, and if you are not using IPV6 disable it. This may or may not help, but cannot hurt.


BTW: This has been observed in several distributions of Linux, as well as four versions of Windows. Something I find quite disturbing. It seems inconsistent, as two machines on the same network, same hardware, and same distribution may not both exhibit this behavior.

Last edited by wpeckham; 08-14-2012 at 08:40 PM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-15-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Especially with LXDE a PC in that performance class should run just fine. Slow downs have from my experience mostly two issues:
1. Problems with the harddisk. Easily testable with the manufacturer's diagnosis tool.
Grrr, the diagnostic tools from Western Digital are only available only for Windows, and Win can't see my HDD because it's entirely ext4.
Any chance I could test it with a Linux tool?

Quote:
2. Overheating. Every PC, even in the cleanest rooms, will accumulate dust in its cooling system. So the cooling system needs maintenance and has to be cleaned from dust from time to time (I usually do that every 5-6 months on my systems). An overheating system causes the CPU to clock down and reduce the voltages to cool down, which can cause a sluggish system.
I've thought of that too, and I did remove a quantity of dust from the cooler fan. I may not have gotten to what actually makes th CPU heat up though. There is a cube of long fins/lamellas sitting on top of it (like the ones in the attachment), and they're so long I couldn't get only halfway down with my brush, so there may be still some dust left in there right on top of the CPU. I tried to remove the lamella cube, but it seems to soldered on there, or else, I wasn't able to unhinge it. is it supposed to come off? Could it be the residual dust in there is slowing me down?
Thanks, Ben
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 800px-AMD_heatsink_and_fan.jpg (152.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg acss2000220.jpg (11.1 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by bennypr0fane; 08-15-2012 at 09:09 AM.
 
Old 08-15-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
I have also seen symptoms of apparent slowness when IPV6 was enabled but not in use. I would check your network settings, and if you are not using IPV6 disable it. This may or may not help, but cannot hurt.


BTW: This has been observed in several distributions of Linux, as well as four versions of Windows. Something I find quite disturbing. It seems inconsistent, as two machines on the same network, same hardware, and same distribution may not both exhibit this behavior.
It seems The IT world is not ready yet for entirely switching to IPv6 just yet, it seems lots of hinderances still in the way.
How do I find out whether it's enabled on how do I switch it off in Linux Mint/Debian and Win XP?
 
Old 08-15-2012, 09:18 AM   #6
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Hanover, Germany
Distribution: Main: Gentoo Others: What fits the task
Posts: 15,592
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047Reputation: 4047
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennypr0fane View Post
Grrr, the diagnostic tools from Western Digital are only available only for Windows, and Win can't see my HDD because it's entirely ext4.
Any chance I could test it with a Linux tool?
Bootable ISO image here: http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...sid=30&lang=en

Quote:
I've thought of that too, and I did remove a quantity of dust from the cooler fan. I may not have gotten to what actually makes th CPU heat up though. There is a cube of long fins/lamellas sitting on top of it (like the ones in the attachment), and they're so long I couldn't get only halfway down with my brush, so there may be still some dust left in there right on top of the CPU. I tried to remove the lamella cube, but it seems to soldered on there, or else, I wasn't able to unhinge it. is it supposed to come off? Could it be the residual dust in there is slowing me down?
You can try to clean it from dust with carefully using a vacuum cleaner (on the lowest power setting), but better would be to get a can of compressed air to blow the dust out.
Normally you should be able to remove the heatsink (the "lamella cube"), there should be a lever that has to be moved, but you should do that only if you are familiar with cleaning up the thermal paste and applying new one. At first I would just clean out the dust, boot the system and have a look at the temperatures.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
This diagnostic tool say I need to get a different version of Data Lifeguard (no idea which one) and should contact WD support to do so. I submitted a support ticket but haven't heard back in a week (their goal is supposedly to respond in 1 day). :-(
Can you recommend Linux tools for diagnosing the harddisc? Which parameters should I try to check?

Quote:
You can try to clean it from dust with carefully using a vacuum cleaner (on the lowest power setting), but better would be to get a can of compressed air to blow the dust out.
Normally you should be able to remove the heatsink (the "lamella cube"), there should be a lever that has to be moved, but you should do that only if you are familiar with cleaning up the thermal paste and applying new one. At first I would just clean out the dust, boot the system and have a look at the temperatures.
I managed to blow out some more dust with a bike pump.
I think I'll leave the heatsink in place for now and try it last if everything else is inconclusive, given that I have no idea about the thermal paste.
About the CPU temperature, how can I tell if a measured value is too high (i.e. will cause the CPU to clock down)?
I've looked around in my distro's repos and also tried some tools I had installed, but no "conclusive results" yet.
Thanks, Ben
 
Old 08-22-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 27,469
Blog Entries: 54

Rep: Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900
Anything else? Like any interesting in 'dmesg' or /var/log/* after booting the machine?
 
Old 08-23-2012, 03:27 AM   #9
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
Anything else? Like any interesting in 'dmesg' or /var/log/* after booting the machine?
here's the output from dmesg, I have no idea if it's interesting though
What exactly should I look for in /var/log/* ?

Last edited by bennypr0fane; 08-23-2012 at 03:28 AM.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 04:13 AM   #10
business_kid
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Ireland
Distribution: Slackware & Android
Posts: 6,498

Rep: Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570
Just looking at dmesg, the irq messages look seriously weird. Can we see the o/p from
Quote:
cat /proc/interrupts
 
Old 08-23-2012, 05:47 AM   #11
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 27,469
Blog Entries: 54

Rep: Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennypr0fane View Post
What exactly should I look for in /var/log/* ?
Warnings, errors and anything anomalous in /var/log/syslog, /var/log/kern.log, /var/log/messages. If you don't like to wade through those manually then running your logs through Logwatch will present you with an easy to read report highlighting whatever Logwatch thinks needs addressing.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks everyone for looking into this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Just looking at dmesg, the irq messages look seriously weird. Can we see the o/p from
Voilą:

Code:
cat /proc/interrupts
http://pastebin.com/r0VQp2S2

Last edited by bennypr0fane; 08-23-2012 at 10:43 AM.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #13
bennypr0fane
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2012
Location: Central Europe
Distribution: Linux Mint 16, Kubuntu 14.04, Uberstudent 3.0
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
Warnings, errors and anything anomalous in /var/log/syslog, /var/log/kern.log, /var/log/messages. If you don't like to wade through those manually then running your logs through Logwatch will present you with an easy to read report highlighting whatever Logwatch thinks needs addressing.
I'm not sure if I used it the right way (i.e. if all the relevant logs are included... etc.), but here's the output logwatch gave me: http://pastebin.com/0JHvKKtJ
It's not that I don't like to read through stuff, it's just that I don'z haver the knowledge of what's normal and what I have to consider anomalous
 
Old 08-23-2012, 12:07 PM   #14
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 27,469
Blog Entries: 54

Rep: Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900Reputation: 2900
Thanks. The report is free of any errors as far as I can see. Please revisit earlier posts and ensure you answered all their questions and that you've gotten an answer to all your subsequent questions.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
business_kid
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Ireland
Distribution: Slackware & Android
Posts: 6,498

Rep: Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570Reputation: 570
@bennypr0fane:

I don't know what to make of it - for disks you have sata_via, sata_nv and ata something.
What's your chipset? Is there 2 disk controllers?
 
  


Reply

Tags
cooling, cpu, harddrive, performance


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The server is loosing connection. Is it a hardware issue or a software issue? THpubs Linux - Networking 6 02-12-2012 03:51 AM
Test hardware? Slow boot up, difficult hardware detection, internet is slowing down. justinp526 Linux - Newbie 4 06-01-2011 10:36 PM
Suspecting bad sectors, how can I tell? fedetxf Linux - Hardware 1 06-23-2009 05:14 PM
OpenGL problem, suspecting HW flaw Hiper Linux - Hardware 1 12-17-2005 06:08 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:18 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration