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Old 02-04-2007, 05:06 AM   #1
banjo1
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Random slow performance on Mandriva 7 Free


Got a question. What would cause mandriva to get into a state where the mouse and keyboard performance is suddenly terrible. When I first boot in its fine... but at some point I'll have done something and the mouse pointer is suddenly jerky and almost impossible to move it to a specific point on the screen with any accuracy. When I type keystrokes in a console window, there is a huge delay after each keystroke and it will often display 2 characters for every key typed. I (painstakingly) try PS and/or top to try to what process is hogging the resources but I can never seem to find it, and the only real remedy is to reboot the whole damned thing. I'm using Gnome because for some reason I can't get the fancy 3d thing to work at all (though I I'm pretty sure I have a powerful enough graphics card!)

Can anyone think of what might be causing it to behave this way?
 
Old 02-04-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
Junior Hacker
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Well, hardware specs do help troubleshooting you know,

Did this just happen out of the blue?
Or was this present since day one?
etc. etc. etc.

What's the scoop?

Don't just open the can of beans, spill the beans!

Last edited by Junior Hacker; 02-04-2007 at 07:20 AM.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 07:51 AM   #3
banjo1
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What specs do you need? Its an AMD Athalon 1.2 Ghz 1.5 GB RAM.. I have a NVidia FX 5900. A linksys Wireless card which (and I'm losing hope I'll ever get that to work with Mandriva) The mouse and keyboard work just fine for about the first 15 minutes and then something happens... something kicks in and then its like the worst user experience ever..The numbers look OK in TOP but something seems to be making the mouse and keyboard sit and wait in the back of the line for what seems like every clock cycle .. and it doesn't seem to make any difference if I bail out of X into a console text only. Since I can't get the linksys WMP54G wireless card working I have to give up and reboot and come back into windows XP to get to this forum. I use to have RedHat a few years ago and I swear I never saw linux behave this badly. Is it really a 100 ton gorilla?
 
Old 02-04-2007, 08:52 AM   #4
Junior Hacker
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WOH woh now!
Don't get into a technological knot here.
First of all, the video card needs a legacy driver as it is considered to be out of date. How the hell do you get 1.5 GB of ram?, Either you have two sticks of 512 mb ram equaling 1GB or what?. Dram needs to be either one stick or two equal make, model, and size sticks, unless you have a "special mobo" that can handle an odd configuration of dram (you did not specify what mobo, what ram). Based on what I see in front of my eyes, there is a memory problem here. Don't compare to Windows. Windows is Windows, Linux is Linux, Solaris is Solaris. If you are willing to calm down, you can have exception power in your hands, I know people need/want a quick fix nowadays but that's not a reasonable approach when dealing with a complex Operating system.
Do you want more, or do you want average?

Look at the first result of a simple Google search, look at the first link.

http://www.google.ca/search?q=linksy...en-US:official
 
Old 02-04-2007, 03:50 PM   #5
banjo1
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Question

Sorry, I was getting a little frustrated late in the early morning! When I had linux before I seemed to remember that problems - especially problems after in install - were usually pretty quickly resolved, but I've got a couple of tough nuts to crack here. The most frustrating one is this mouse/keyboard issue, its exceedingly annoying and makes a task that would normally take a few seconds into a marathon. Maybe XP is inaccurate or perhaps sloppy, but a simple right click on "my computer" shows:

Code:
AMD Athlon(tm) Processor
1.24 GHz 1.50 GB of RAM
Here is what "msinfo32" tells me it has (in XP mind you):

Code:
Total Physical Memory	        1,536.00 MB
Available Physical Memory	786.93 MB
Total Virtual Memory	        2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory	1.96 GB
Page File Space	3.61 GB
As I recall, I had one 512 MB stick in it and wanted to bump up the RAM, So I went to a Fry's and when they learned the kind of RAM I had (Kingston - I think its DDR333 PC2700) they assured me that as long as the RAM was the same type and speed it would not be a problem if I had two sticks of different size (I know that didn't use to be the case but I'm pretty sure the kind I have treats each RAM slot as a single bank and does not involve Multiple "banks" like the old days), so I bought a 1 gig stick and have not had any problems since.

I just googled a blurb confirming this:

"Note that only dual-channel DDR RAM modules have to be installed in pairs. You do not need to install DIMM (SDRAM or DDR RAM) modules in pairs. Modern motherboards are also often much more forgiving about which DIMM modules can be fitted - they do not all have to be of the same capacity. - A 64MB module can be installed with 128MB and 256MB modules."


I even had RH (don't remember the version though) and I didn't see this weird behavior. The oddest thing about it is the fact that the problem doesn't manifest till a certain time after reboot. Its perfectly smooth and performance is great for some time after boot. I haven't measured it but I'd guess about 15 minutes.

Oh... here's some MOBO info:
Code:
System Manufacturer	ECS
System Model	K7S5A
System Type	X86-based PC
Processor	x86 Family 6 Model 6 Stepping 2 AuthenticAMD ~1244 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date	American Megatrends Inc. 07.00T, 4/2/2001
SMBIOS Version	2.3
Again, I can't access the internet at the moment in Mandriva (till I get this wifi card working) but I could take a screenshot of a TOP session and store it on my windows partition (I think I can.. haven't tried that yet ) I'm rather rusty - what's the key combination in Gnome for taking a screen shot? Would that help? I can't remember what the optimal numbers should look like.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 04:30 PM   #6
wildar
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I suggest monitoring CPU/memory with "top". It'll sort PID and command by %CPU. Perhaps there's a process using a lot of CPU time.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 05:41 PM   #7
Junior Hacker
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It's just that I am in the repair business, I do benchmark testing before and after, and have found mismatched memory had significantly lower read/write speeds compared to removing the larger stick and matching the smaller one with exact same make and model. Less memory, but better speed.
 
Old 02-05-2007, 05:13 AM   #8
banjo1
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Lightbulb Found the problem!

Ok.. I finally got a clue about what is happening, but I'm not sure what to do about it... any help would be appreciated!

So i got frustrated with trying to solve the problem with the terrible mouse and keyboard performance. I decided to just go ahead and reinstall the whole Mandriva 2007 free. This time I set it to boot into KDE instead of gnome. Everything was again fine for the first 15 to 20 minutes.. then bingo! it started again. So I rebooted the machine and it worked fine again for a time (as expected) but THIS time I got a notice... Some process was kind enough this time to pop up a notice that IRQ #11 had been shut down. At that exact moment my keyboard and mouse started the lag behavior again.

So I looked up IRQ's in a book i've got that that talked about doing "cat /proc/interrupts" and I noticed that I have 3 devices on IRQ #11. They looked to me like two USB ports and ndiswrapper. I'd be willing to bet the two USB devices are my keyboard and mouse. My guess is that the keyboard and mouse have to re-open the interrupt after every single event.. or at least they are in contention with ndiswrapper which is wrapped around my wireless card adapter that is probably constantly scanning for SSID's and getting nowhere.

So, now I'm going to going to spend time in XP again... trying to research what to to with bad IRQ behavior... but if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I'd like to know why Linux "shuts down IRQ's". Is this some kind of kernel security issue? I havn't had success yet with the wireless card though modprobe seems to act as if it has registered and has the device listed.

banjoman
 
Old 02-05-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
Junior Hacker
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You can get the same behavior in Windows, IRQ's can be shared but not all hardware make good mates. I wonder if irqbalance is installed as this usually does the juggling of IRQ's, works great in Fedora, the IRQ assinged to my modem is random when I hook up, it is not pre-set like in older Windows OS's.
 
Old 02-05-2007, 09:53 PM   #10
jbuckley2004
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Banjo1, I have to thank you - you solved my problem!
I was experiencing nearly identical symptoms, almost random slowness that occurred for me about once a minute at best, and often lasting for two or three minutes. CPU load often pegged at 100% for no apparent reason. Started when I *up*graded to an athlon 64 3800+, with 1Gig of ram and an old, ATI graphics card. I had been doing better with the old PIII. Like you I kept checking top and ps looking from some process that might be sucking up all the resources.

I saw your post and literally slapped my forehead.

It was the IRQ interrupt sharing, especially with ndiswrapper and the sound card.
All I had to do was move the cards in their slots, and instant relief.

Hope it works out as well for you.
 
Old 02-05-2007, 11:13 PM   #11
Junior Hacker
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That's exactly what I had to do to solve IRQ problems in Mandrake 10.2 when I added a second modem for Fedora, switch slots. I also suspect the ndiswrapper as there have been allot of complaints regarding it. I had downloaded irqbalance but it was not a .rpm, it was a tarball and never did have to install it.
 
Old 02-06-2007, 02:17 AM   #12
banjo1
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Cool going to try that.

Thanks guys! Of course! duh ralph! It didn't occur to me to just switch the cards... I'll try that tonight... (I'll try irqbalance too if that doesn't solve it) If those don't do it, I'll try rolling my own ndiswrapper too... but hopefully I may not have to.

I found an interesting similar thread on this subject:

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=48327

I'll post back on what happens.
 
Old 02-06-2007, 05:03 PM   #13
banjo1
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Eureka!

Yup! that fixed the mouse/keyboard problem! I moved the wireless nic card to a different slot. Now its getting IRQ #12 instead of #11. One problem solved! Now I'm still wrestling with the wireless though. I did get a notice again from the OS (and in my root console) that IRQ #12 was being shut down again. I don't understand why it does that and I'm wondering if anyone knows how to "Open" an IRQ after it has been shut down by the kernel.

Anybody have any idea?

iwconfig shows its there but its not getting any signal... though it works fine under Windwos.

banjoman
 
Old 02-08-2007, 04:03 AM   #14
banjo1
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Cool Hey! I got it!!Hallelujia!

I wanted to thank everyone in this thread for reading and listening to my ranting and raving! I had a long struggle to uninstall and reinstall the ndiswrapper.. for the longest time I couldn't get modprobe to recognize the latest version (1.37) after booting back and forth between windows .. I finally decided to try the boot option "linux - nofb" instaed of Linux. Don't know why but it all just happened smoothly when I logged in. I saw activity on the wireless, changed a few settings and presto! I'm writing this from linux now!

So I'm a bit mystified: does "noFB" mean no fast boot? I noticed that the only difference seemed to be that the bootup was in text not with the flash screen. What else is different about it? Anyone know?

anyway, thanks all!
 
Old 02-08-2007, 05:09 AM   #15
Junior Hacker
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No, I don't, but glad to see that smiley.
 
  


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