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Old 06-27-2010, 11:46 PM   #1
justinp526
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Whole system very slow and keeps crashing


Not really sure I'd call myself a newbie with Linux, I've been using a few different distros for a little over a year now.. maybe longer.
Though, I'm not very good with terminal just yet. I don't know all the code stuff.

I put this system together about 6 months ago. It's comprised of about 50/50 new and used parts. Everything should be listed in my signature file. All was running just fine when the build was complete. But now it seems every day its getting slower, crashes almost every 30 mins.. USB 2.0 runs very slow and lags to the point it just stops altogether.

I really wish that I could test on Windows, or any other OS for that matter. But I'm down to my last hard drive, a very slow (4k RPM?) tiny (40GB) Maxtor IDE. I don't even want to waste any more of my time trying to install/reinstall any OS to the thing. Don't think my mobo allows for booting from USB flash drives, and still yet with it running USB so slow what would be the point?

I've tried Ubuntu 10.04 and was very satisfied... except that it won't allow any usage of my Azio PCI wireless N card. The light goes on and it flashes as if its trying to connect, but it won't connect to any secure connection.

So here I am back to 9.10 and wondering if my hdd and/or RAM could be causing some sort of problem? Is RAM being a bottle neck? It's DDR333 but CPU clocks it to 320 because of something to do with the 800FSB and whatever stupid Intel chipset is on mobo.

Can someone please give me a suggestion as to where to start? I have no other computer and really need it for school and work. I have no money for new system or even any more parts. It's getting me so peed that I'm about ready to take a 4 pound sledge to it.....

Thanks
 
Old 06-28-2010, 12:59 AM   #2
tommyttt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinp526 View Post
Not really sure I'd call myself a newbie with Linux, I've been using a few different distros for a little over a year now.. maybe longer.
Though, I'm not very good with terminal just yet. I don't know all the code stuff.

I put this system together about 6 months ago. It's comprised of about 50/50 new and used parts. Everything should be listed in my signature file. All was running just fine when the build was complete. But now it seems every day its getting slower, crashes almost every 30 mins.. USB 2.0 runs very slow and lags to the point it just stops altogether.

I really wish that I could test on Windows, or any other OS for that matter. But I'm down to my last hard drive, a very slow (4k RPM?) tiny (40GB) Maxtor IDE. I don't even want to waste any more of my time trying to install/reinstall any OS to the thing. Don't think my mobo allows for booting from USB flash drives, and still yet with it running USB so slow what would be the point?

I've tried Ubuntu 10.04 and was very satisfied... except that it won't allow any usage of my Azio PCI wireless N card. The light goes on and it flashes as if its trying to connect, but it won't connect to any secure connection.

So here I am back to 9.10 and wondering if my hdd and/or RAM could be causing some sort of problem? Is RAM being a bottle neck? It's DDR333 but CPU clocks it to 320 because of something to do with the 800FSB and whatever stupid Intel chipset is on mobo.

Can someone please give me a suggestion as to where to start? I have no other computer and really need it for school and work. I have no money for new system or even any more parts. It's getting me so peed that I'm about ready to take a 4 pound sledge to it.....

Thanks
Looking at your specs I see two things. First, your motherboard uses Award bios which should be capable of booting from usb. The second I notice is that there is only 512MB of RAM. This could cause a problem if the /tmp folder is expanding too much causing continual swapping. Do you see a lot of disk activity when it slows down?

Please post the contents of your fstab
Code:
su cat /etc/fstab(or wherever Ubuntu puts it)
Tom
 
Old 06-28-2010, 01:20 AM   #3
justinp526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyttt View Post
Looking at your specs I see two things. First, your motherboard uses Award bios which should be capable of booting from usb. The second I notice is that there is only 512MB of RAM. This could cause a problem if the /tmp folder is expanding too much causing continual swapping. Do you see a lot of disk activity when it slows down?

Please post the contents of your fstab
Code:
su cat /etc/fstab(or wherever Ubuntu puts it)
Tom
Hi Tom,
I honestly don't remember what it shows when I first boot up the system, but on the board there's a sticker on the bios chip that shows it's PhoenixBios. Maybe same either way, I'd have to look in setup to see about booting from USB then.

Yes I do usually see at least some disk activity when it slows down, but not always. Sometimes no disk activity, but 100% cpu usage. Nothing is running too hot. I can actually touch the heatsinks and they feel cool. I wish I could get some DDR400 but its so expensive for being older type.

Here is output I get in terminal. The fstab file is there if I go look through gui.
Code:
justinp526@justinp526-desktop:~$ su cat /etc/fstab
Unknown id: cat
justinp526@justinp526-desktop:~$ sudo su
root@justinp526-desktop:/home/justinp526# su cat /etc/fstab
Unknown id: cat
root@justinp526-desktop:/home/justinp526#
Thanks,
Justin
 
Old 06-28-2010, 07:07 AM   #4
RockDoctor
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No need for su - just
Code:
cat /etc/fstab
 
Old 06-28-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Is this your motherboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinp526 View Post
Not really sure I'd call myself a newbie with Linux, I've been using a few different distros for a little over a year now.. maybe longer.
Though, I'm not very good with terminal just yet. I don't know all the code stuff.

I put this system together about 6 months ago. It's comprised of about 50/50 new and used parts. Everything should be listed in my signature file. All was running just fine when the build was complete. But now it seems every day its getting slower, crashes almost every 30 mins.. USB 2.0 runs very slow and lags to the point it just stops altogether.

I really wish that I could test on Windows, or any other OS for that matter. But I'm down to my last hard drive, a very slow (4k RPM?) tiny (40GB) Maxtor IDE. I don't even want to waste any more of my time trying to install/reinstall any OS to the thing. Don't think my mobo allows for booting from USB flash drives, and still yet with it running USB so slow what would be the point?

I've tried Ubuntu 10.04 and was very satisfied... except that it won't allow any usage of my Azio PCI wireless N card. The light goes on and it flashes as if its trying to connect, but it won't connect to any secure connection.

So here I am back to 9.10 and wondering if my hdd and/or RAM could be causing some sort of problem? Is RAM being a bottle neck? It's DDR333 but CPU clocks it to 320 because of something to do with the 800FSB and whatever stupid Intel chipset is on mobo.

Can someone please give me a suggestion as to where to start? I have no other computer and really need it for school and work. I have no money for new system or even any more parts. It's getting me so peed that I'm about ready to take a 4 pound sledge to it.....

Thanks
The memory specs for the MB are;

Quote:
excerpt from motherboard;
Main Memory Dual Channel Mode
DDR400 [PC3200]
DDR DIMM
64/128/256/512MB & 1GB
Max Memory : 4GB
Newegg.com has the DDR400 starting at $40 for 1GB.

I would first make sure the memory is not an issue by using memtest86+.
Your current bottleneck could be the use of the older HDD that you have chosen to use. Heck, new drives are available for under $100, I've seen some recently for around $69 for 1TB.

I do suggest that you get a LiveCD for testing the system & peripherals. Check out 'UBCD' & 'SystemRescueCD', both have memtest86+ and other useful diagnostic tools.

Looking at the specs, your MB should support booting from a USB. Your USB issues may be inherent to the present hardware configuration.

To trouble shoot the system I would first test the PSU for valid load and power supply rail. Do you still have the original PSU that came with the case, if not what are the PSU specs? Test the memory via the memtest86+ with a long term series. After that if you must use older hdd then test one that you have that is the best choice. Swapping to a older hdd will be a big problem with slower speed & smaller cache along with a small memory footprint. So a new hdd with a 7200rpm speed and a big cache will provide better access. Increase the RAM.

Your MB is not that old but marrying older hardware to it is your big problem that can cause some unwanted issues.

The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

 
Old 06-28-2010, 03:00 PM   #6
justinp526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockDoctor View Post
No need for su - just
Code:
cat /etc/fstab

Got it now, thanks!

Code:
root@justinp526-desktop:/home/justinp526# cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
# for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
# devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=25d5a22b-6fd1-43a0-999d-167f87b3f910 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=cc9467b8-35eb-4a08-95a7-605ceae70a42 none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/scd1       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0
root@justinp526-desktop:/home/justinp526#
 
Old 06-28-2010, 03:26 PM   #7
justinp526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,

Is this your motherboard?



The memory specs for the MB are;

Newegg.com has the DDR400 starting at $40 for 1GB.

I would first make sure the memory is not an issue by using memtest86+.
Your current bottleneck could be the use of the older HDD that you have chosen to use. Heck, new drives are available for under $100, I've seen some recently for around $69 for 1TB.

I do suggest that you get a LiveCD for testing the system & peripherals. Check out 'UBCD' & 'SystemRescueCD', both have memtest86+ and other useful diagnostic tools.

Looking at the specs, your MB should support booting from a USB. Your USB issues may be inherent to the present hardware configuration.

To trouble shoot the system I would first test the PSU for valid load and power supply rail. Do you still have the original PSU that came with the case, if not what are the PSU specs? Test the memory via the memtest86+ with a long term series. After that if you must use older hdd then test one that you have that is the best choice. Swapping to a older hdd will be a big problem with slower speed & smaller cache along with a small memory footprint. So a new hdd with a 7200rpm speed and a big cache will provide better access. Increase the RAM.

Your MB is not that old but marrying older hardware to it is your big problem that can cause some unwanted issues.

The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

I'm not 100% certain that's the same board, specs look to be the same but photo of board doesn't show up on my screen at that site. Looking at my board (which I bought used to start with) model # is MX4SGI-4DN2

I have a .pdf of the manual for this mobo, it says I can use DDR333 but when using a cpu with 800FSB the RAM will be clocked to 320.

Aside from the mobo being a used part, so is the hard drive and memory. Both are being "borrowed" so to speak, from a Dell Dimension 2350. I do have another stick of 512MB DDR333 from the Dell, but it tested bad. This one that's in use now tested out just fine. The only other memory I have on hand right now is some RDRAM from a Dell Dimension 8100.

I don't use the Dell systems any longer as they have already killed 3 hard drives on me in the past 6 months. 2 were WD 5400 RPM and a Samsung Spinpoint 7200 RPM.

This case did not include PSU. I'm using one that a family member bought for me. Probably a ticking time bomb.. it's just labeled as Blue Star Gold Mirror Edition 650W SATA fan ATX power supply. It's got dual fans in it, 2 SATA power connectors, 1 floppy power connector, 6 4-pin molex peripheral power connectors and the P4 and 20+4 ATX power connectors.

I've tried:
System -> Administration -> Disk Utility
This tells me the hdd is ok and no SMART errors.

Guess I'll have to save up a bit more and just buy couple new hdd's and RAM.
 
Old 06-28-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
onebuck
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Hi,

Get the LiveCD that I posted an run some memtest86+ along with the hdd diagnostics.
 
Old 07-01-2010, 06:47 PM   #9
justinp526
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I don't understand the directions that are given for how to download and burn the LiveCD. Is wget preinstalled with Ubuntu 9.10? One says to use something called wodim.. never heard of it. I have the stock installed Brasero and that works fine for me.

I've been running Ubuntu for at least a year now and still have no idea how to work with so much of it. I've tried asking on many forums on where to learn it, everyone just tells me to google it. Google is no help and seems to slow down my browser.

At this point, I'm one very aggravated dislexic who is about to just throw the computer in the garbage.
 
Old 07-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #10
mazinoz
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Hi Justin

I'm in the process of reloading this machine and only have Windows installed at the moment, but downloaded the firefox*.tar file. Try

tar -xvf firefox*.tar

This should untar the file for you and hopefully yield a file in the format with an .iso extension. Can't test this though because using Windows. Then just burn the file as an image file. If you have trouble with this maybe try k3b which is a more complex burner program. Also xcdroast is another.

If this doesn't work try to download a Knoppix live cd which is also excellent.

Excellent help is being offered by Onebuck btw.

As an alternative if really fed up you could probably scavenge your machine as parts and get more money than actually selling a whole machine. If you are working you may be able to do a deal to buy a working machine on a pay by the week plan from a merchant. This may be a viable option saving you a lot of time and stress. Perhaps you could look at a netbook which retail for a bit less than a laptop, some of which come preloaded with linux. Nevertheless it sounds like you have learned a lot from your exercise. Take a break, go for a walk, relax then try again. You may find a solution that way! Hang in there.
 
Old 07-01-2010, 11:09 PM   #11
justinp526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazinoz View Post
Hi Justin

I'm in the process of reloading this machine and only have Windows installed at the moment, but downloaded the firefox*.tar file. Try

tar -xvf firefox*.tar

This should untar the file for you and hopefully yield a file in the format with an .iso extension. Can't test this though because using Windows. Then just burn the file as an image file. If you have trouble with this maybe try k3b which is a more complex burner program. Also xcdroast is another.

If this doesn't work try to download a Knoppix live cd which is also excellent.

Excellent help is being offered by Onebuck btw.

As an alternative if really fed up you could probably scavenge your machine as parts and get more money than actually selling a whole machine. If you are working you may be able to do a deal to buy a working machine on a pay by the week plan from a merchant. This may be a viable option saving you a lot of time and stress. Perhaps you could look at a netbook which retail for a bit less than a laptop, some of which come preloaded with linux. Nevertheless it sounds like you have learned a lot from your exercise. Take a break, go for a walk, relax then try again. You may find a solution that way! Hang in there.
Yes Onebuck offered excellent help, and I really do appreciate it. Matter of fact I even clicked the Thanks button and it did nothing.

I really wish I could afford any new computer. But I can't, which is why I've had no choice but to piece together what I could.

I just really would like to know where/how everyone else learns it.
 
Old 07-01-2010, 11:34 PM   #12
craigevil
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Ubuntu System Requirements - Community Ubuntu Documentation - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...emRequirements
Ubuntu Desktop Edition

* 1 GHz x86 processor
* 1 Gb of system memory (RAM)
* 15 GB of hard-drive space (although this can be split onto 2 drives, a 5Gb / and a 10Gb /home fairly easily)
* Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024 by 768
* Either a Cd/Dvd-drive or a Usb socket (or both)

Try installing a lighter desktop environment like lxde, or go even lighter with a window manager like openbox or fluxbox.And make sure you are using the proper drivers for the video card.
 
Old 07-01-2010, 11:46 PM   #13
justinp526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigevil View Post
Ubuntu System Requirements - Community Ubuntu Documentation - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...emRequirements
Ubuntu Desktop Edition

* 1 GHz x86 processor
* 1 Gb of system memory (RAM)
* 15 GB of hard-drive space (although this can be split onto 2 drives, a 5Gb / and a 10Gb /home fairly easily)
* Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024 by 768
* Either a Cd/Dvd-drive or a Usb socket (or both)

Try installing a lighter desktop environment like lxde, or go even lighter with a window manager like openbox or fluxbox.And make sure you are using the proper drivers for the video card.
I have everything listed there except for the memory. Though, I did have 1GB RAM.. Dell system killed the other stick of 512MB so I'm now left with only 512MB.

I don't have money for parts!!! Must be nice to have money for anything.

Matter of fact never mind cause I can't deal with this any more, it's going to the garbage. I'll just do without a computer. It's something that I've heard all my life that I should learn how to do and now that I WANT to learn it I'm not ALLOWED to. Forget it, I give up!
 
Old 07-02-2010, 09:18 PM   #14
justinp526
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Ran Memtest86+ v4.10 and it found no errors. It found this info:

Pentium 4 (0.13) 2806MHz
L1 Cache 8k 20334 MB/s
L2 Cache 512k 18340 MB/s
L3 Cache NONE
Memory 512MB 1330 MB/s
Chipset Intel i848/i865 FSB 200MHz PAT Disabled
RAM 160MHz (DDR320) CAS 2.5-3-3-7 / Single Channel (64 bits)

Wall Time: 1hr Cached: 512M RsvdMem: 12k MemMap: e820 Cache: on Test: std
Pass: 3 Errors: 0

Hardware Detection Tool 0.3.6 (bluelabel) gave the following:

Memory = 510MB Detected
CPU = 26 Cores -- Seriously? 26 cores!?! I think something is wrong there!!

HDD test resulted in:
Time Spent: 00:23:44
AVG 27454 kb/s
ACT 18299 kb/s
<3ms: 2464
<10ms: 304185
<50ms: 13

For mobo: BIOS version 6.00PG dated July 26 2004

So obviously I need more RAM, preferably PC3200 DDR400 to take full advantage of all hardware and performance.

What if I change distros? Maybe Slackware? What is good lightweight distro that is recommended?
 
Old 07-02-2010, 11:11 PM   #15
browny_amiga
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Hi

Well, it sounds like you got yourself an interesting configuration. I guess putting so many different pieces together can be tough to know what is causing problems.

So just a few questions and tips that you might try:
1. The wireless card did work in 9.10, just not in 10.04? The newest Ubuntu releases are notoriously buggy. There is very little beta testing and set release date causes bugs that are not resolved at release time to spill over into the final release.
2. The ram gets overclocked right now, did I hear you correctly about that? I would make sure you set the default config in the BIOS (load default), so no experiments are being done there. Wrong settings (too aggressive) in the BIOS can mess up so many things.
3. Your Harddisk is going to be very very slow, I know these 40 gig ones, and you have to have patience with them. And when we are talking anything slower than 7200 RPMs, even worst. (I remember having 40 gigs that did 7200 and THEY were slow)
4. install htop, when you can find it for your distro (Ubuntu has it) It is a fabulous advanced version of top, with colors and a easy to use user interface (high tech stuff ;-) it will show you what is slowing down your machine. If the CPU is maxed out, you can see which program is sucking so much power and the load average is also interesting (LoadAVG): if you get numbers higher than 1, you can bet that your system is lagging (depending on how many CPUs (cores) you have) so 1 Load AVG is ok full load for one CPU and 2 if you got a dual core.
Htop allows you to sort the display for example for CPU usage and you can scroll down with the cursors and watch was is running on your system. Htop still runs in the console, but it is very comfortable for that.
5. Also check out dmesg, it shows what the kernel spits out. I have seen for example that it will complain at times when a SD card is faulty and produces tons of read/write errors or when the kernel is having beef with a failing Harddisk.
6. the smart test you did was probably the short one (taking a few seconds) and that one is totally worthless, I never had that bring any faulty HD to light. It is pretty much like a doctor that shakes hands with a patient and looks at him 3 seconds and then diagnoses him to be fine. If the patient is then dead 1 week after, because the doctor did not take time to examine closer, it is no surprise. Pretty much any condition, if not deadly already for the HD will be missed by the short Smart test.
There is a long one though and there is a cool GUI tool that does it, I love it. It is called Gsmartcontrol or something, go check it out and let the long test run on it (the HD should support it) and see what it spits out (it will take about an hour and makes the HD jump through all kinds of hoops and loops.)

Just a few pointer and questions.

Cheers

Markus
 
  


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