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Old 02-04-2008, 01:53 AM   #1
trebek
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Periodic stop of typing and graphics


Hello there guys.

I've been having this weird issue on my laptop, kubuntu 7.10. Thing is that it runs fast and everything, but i started to notice that when typing, it stops showing what i am typing, and then several characters later, all that i typed while it was 'frozen' appears on the screen. Also, i noticed that the graphics on amarok stop moving as well, and it happens like every 5 seconds, so like the problem with the characters.

I think it must be something in the system that runs exactly every certian amount of seconds that interrupts the displaying of things properly.

How can i find out, meaning, where can i start looking for the source of this problem?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Last edited by trebek; 02-26-2008 at 10:39 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2008, 06:34 AM   #2
thorgal31
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top

Hello trebek,

did you try running top command in a terminal ? You should consider set the update interval to a low value unsing 's'. '?' will display all control for top.
You should also look in the log files (/var/log/) for any related message.
 
Old 02-04-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
PTrenholme
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And check your CD drive: Sometimes your BIOS will detect a CD state change by asking the drive if it's got a CD in it, and forcing a "wait" 'till the query times out. Putting a CD in the drive often "fixes" the problem. (It doesn't need to be readable or even mounted, just in the drive.)
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:32 PM   #4
trebek
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Thanks a lot, i'll try all those things to see if somethings gotta do with them. I'll post back the results.

Ok, so, i know i should check the files in /var/log, problem is i don't know which one exactly to look at. I also tried the cd rom thing; i put a cd/rw in, but the problem continues, so i guess it's not cdrom related. Apparently, just every restart to another, the problem goes away, for instance, the last two sentences where typed with the problem. I restarted the system and the problem has gone away. I guess that something triggers this 'thing' that periodically does something and paralyzes screen behavior.

Thanks a lot, i appreciate it. I'll post more findings as i run into them.

Last edited by trebek; 02-26-2008 at 10:48 PM.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:06 AM   #5
PTrenholme
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Do a dmesg | tail in a terminal window to see the last ten lines in the dmsg output (which is generated by combining the output of several of the log files). Error messages often (but not always) show up there.

Is you laptop drive "S.M.A.R.T." capable? Are you running smartd to monitor the drive? A HD problem could be what you're seeing if, for example, you're trying to use an unsupported DMA mode on the HD. (I think that the HD buffer file is written to the HD about every five seconds, so -- if my memory is correct -- the timing of your "halts" is, um, suggestive.)

Another HD possibility is that your HD may be approaching "full." Run the df command in a terminal window to see the % of disk space used by your drive.
 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:55 PM   #6
trebek
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Hi, thanks for the reply. Here's what i found.

The output, last few lines, of dmesg:
[ 100.059196] apm: BIOS not found.
[ 100.199084] [drm] Initialized drm 1.1.0 20060810
[ 100.267457] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:05.0[A] -> GSI 16 (level, low) -> IRQ 16
[ 100.268300] [drm] Initialized radeon 1.27.0 20060524 on minor 0
[ 101.877419] agpgart: Found an AGP 3.0 compliant device at 0000:00:00.0.
[ 101.877446] agpgart: Putting AGP V3 device at 0000:00:00.0 into 8x mode
[ 101.877473] agpgart: Putting AGP V3 device at 0000:01:05.0 into 8x mode
[ 102.377675] Failure registering capabilities with primary security module.
[ 102.805845] Bluetooth: Core ver 2.11
[ 102.806118] NET: Registered protocol family 31
[ 102.806125] Bluetooth: HCI device and connection manager initialized
[ 102.806132] Bluetooth: HCI socket layer initialized
[ 102.841892] Bluetooth: L2CAP ver 2.8
[ 102.841902] Bluetooth: L2CAP socket layer initialized
[ 102.901672] Bluetooth: RFCOMM socket layer initialized
[ 102.901920] Bluetooth: RFCOMM TTY layer initialized
[ 102.901927] Bluetooth: RFCOMM ver 1.8
[ 103.140052] [drm] Setting GART location based on new memory map
[ 103.140078] [drm] Loading R200 Microcode
[ 103.140142] [drm] writeback test succeeded in 1 usecs
[ 202.169060] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): ath0: link is not ready
[ 204.062115] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): ath0: link becomes ready
[ 214.605951] ath0: no IPv6 routers present

Regarding the HD problem, it might be a possibility. Of course, it's not every time that i get the problem. For instance, during this post i wrote just now, the problem didn't show up at all. Of course, i understand failures may come and go when the device has not failed utterly.

Here's the output of the df -h command (neither partition is close to being full):
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda2 15G 3.4G 11G 24% /
varrun 569M 260K 569M 1% /var/run
varlock 569M 0 569M 0% /var/lock
udev 569M 72K 569M 1% /dev
devshm 569M 0 569M 0% /dev/shm
lrm 569M 34M 536M 6% /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/volatile
/dev/hda3 59G 17G 39G 30% /home/pun1sher/hda3

Just to make sure, i downloaded 'smartmontools' and performed smartctl --test=long /dev/hda on my hard drive. Perhaps it'll enlighten whatever problems my device might have.

Thanks for the reply, i hope we find the problem soon.

Last edited by trebek; 02-28-2008 at 11:28 PM.
 
Old 02-29-2008, 12:33 AM   #7
chrism01
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You could try running
top
continuously in an xterm, and
tail -f /var/log/messages
in another and check them when it slows down.
 
Old 02-29-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
trebek
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Testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
You could try running
top
continuously in an xterm, and
tail -f /var/log/messages
in another and check them when it slows down.
Hi there, tried that exactly as you put it: i had top -d 3 running on one terminal, and tail -f /var/log/messages on another; so i opened a small but wide kate window so i could just press down a key and see if it lagged. Guess what, it didn't!!! I could hold it down for as long as i wanted and it didn't show that weird behavior i've been explaining here.

I know that it comes and goes, that is, sometimes i can write just fine and sometimes i just have to reboot the computer so that it goes away. So perhaps that happens after an update or just after some applications does something wrong or interferes with the normal operation of the system. I guess i need to run these things when i am getting the problem.

I'll write back with the findings.

Last edited by trebek; 03-02-2008 at 07:52 PM.
 
Old 03-02-2008, 08:45 AM   #9
PTrenholme
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Somewhat off topic, but there's a nice gkrellm plug-in that will show you the top two or three processes, and the gkrellm monitor output is displayed in a small window on your screen, so you don't need the terminal windows open. The packages are in the repositories, and work quite well in Kubuntu. The only "problem" I have is that the gkrellm themes aren't in the repositories, and I, personally, don't like the "default" theme. (I'd tell you where to find the themes, but I've just been copying them from an old Fedora system since they are also no longer in the Fedora repositories.)
 
Old 03-02-2008, 08:37 PM   #10
trebek
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Those tips are always good to know. Thanks a lot dude.
 
Old 03-07-2008, 06:54 PM   #11
trebek
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Update

Hey there, i've got an update on this problem.

I managed to recreate the problem, don't know how, but a weird combination of firefox and kaffeine did the trick. So, i opened up a couple of consoles and typed in the top and tail commands as our friend suggested. Well, nothing was displayed during the occurrences of the problem. Neither /var/log/messages nor top displayed a weird program or error line.

Are there other log files and options i should be checking where errors and information are logged? One other thing, if i reboot the machine, the problem goes away.

Thanks for the help.
 
Old 03-07-2008, 10:35 PM   #12
PTrenholme
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What did top have to say about memory and swap usage? (Or, what does your disk drive operation light look like when the "slow down" is happening?) Since it is occurring when two high memory usage programs (Firefox and Kaffeine) are running, your problem could be a result of the programs forcing your system to use the swap drive.
 
Old 03-07-2008, 11:16 PM   #13
Slokunshialgo
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I had a similar problem a couple years ago, with the weirdest explanation one might have thought of. if you have Superkaramba running, some themes, whenever they redraw, will stop KDE from being able to draw anything. I would keep getting it no matter what logs, whatever, I checked. Just a thought.
 
Old 03-07-2008, 11:17 PM   #14
Slokunshialgo
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I had a similar problem a couple years ago, with the weirdest explanation one might have thought of. if you have Superkaramba running, some themes, whenever they redraw, will stop KDE from being able to draw anything. I would keep getting it no matter what logs, whatever, I checked. Just a thought.
 
Old 03-08-2008, 01:11 AM   #15
mattyoly
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Hey there. To tell you the truth, i'm not entirely sure why it's lagging, but something must be running in the background that requires lots of memory by the looks of it. Another thing that could be, is the way your memory is being accessed by the system, or certain background processes . Have you tried looking into your processtable see how much memory is being used? There is also the question of what kind of memory you have you know that some DDR2 sticks need to be installed in pairs. Or it might even be that you need to add "irqpoll" to the /boot/grub/menu.lst after the lines that start with "kernel" this sometimes solves the lagging problem of a keyboard. Also look in your bios, and try increasing the AGP to somewhat higher than 8x if possible. And also maybe, tell us a bit more about your system. Because since you can't find any error messages int the log files, that means it isn't an error, it's just something out of place, working wild the way i would call it.

So maybe look into some of these things, and let us know what's up, til' then the best of luck.
 
  


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