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Old 08-06-2004, 12:48 AM   #1
TexasDex
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random disk activity on SuSE 9.1


I have a strange problem with SuSE 9.1

My typical work setup uses FireFox, GAIM, KDE, Konqueror, Kweather, JuK/XMMS, and that finty little binary clock tray applet on a self-built AMD Athlon XP 2500+ with 512MB RAM, 120GB Samsung HDD, Lite-On 52x DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive.

I have a strange problem where every few minutes the entire GUI seems to freeze up, and only the mouse and the desktop paging works. At the same time the HDD light stays on constantly. These pauses last for about 3-5 seconds, then it reacts to my keystrokes and mouse clicking that I did during the freeze and goes back to normal operation without any other problems. What I need to find out is what is using the HDD.

Is there any way I can pause the whole system and see what process is reading/writing to the disk? or perhaps set it to record what programs use the disk, so I can see what is causing this?

Recent changes I have made include adding the official NVIDIA drivers, but I think that was after it started. I also tried switching the DVD-ROM to DMA in an attempt to fix choppy DVD playback. I set that back to the way it was but no luck.


Thanks in advance!
 
Old 08-06-2004, 03:02 AM   #2
windowsrefugeeX
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try removing the NVIDIA driver, also did u check ur logs?
 
Old 08-06-2004, 05:20 AM   #3
mhollstein
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1. open a console window or even better: swich to a text-oriented screen
2. start top command (yourprompt> top)
3. twiddle & watch what the output will tellyou when the hdd light is on
 
Old 08-11-2004, 10:05 PM   #4
osbie
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I'm running 9.1 on a thinkpad for @ a month now. I had the same problem (i.e. every @5 seconds mouse(screen) freeze for a sec and excess HD activity.) Fortunatly after about 3hrs of up time the freeze would stop.
Now I no longer have the problem. Why, you ask? Well due to to much fiddling,I did a new install and the problem has disappeared.

I wish I had a specific answer for you other than try a re-install. Fortunately Suse's an easy install .
 
Old 08-14-2004, 12:46 PM   #5
TexasDex
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I think the top command will come in useful. As I have finally gotten it all configured just how I want it I think I will hold off on the re-install for now. I'll be checking the kernel logs and such also.

Thanks!
 
Old 08-16-2004, 05:22 PM   #6
windowsrefugeeX
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so tell us, did u find the problem yet?
 
Old 08-30-2004, 05:15 AM   #7
TexasDex
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Sorry for not getting back for so long. I havn't actually solved it, but I have just lived with it for the past few weeks because I was busy. I just now found out by accident that if I don't use GAIM then the freezes don't happen at all. They only seem to happen when Gaim is open, and I don't know why.

My first thought is that this has something to do with the sound server, partly because I've had problems with artsd before. Gaim is set up right now to use the artsplay command. I like to use arts, because that's the only way (only way that I know of at least) that I can have two programs use the card at the same time. But the freezes don't happen with Juk or XMMS either, so I don't think that's at fault.

EDIT:

Ok, I installed a new version of Gaim, but no luck, it still causes the disk activity, and I don't know why.

Any ideas?


Last edited by TexasDex; 08-30-2004 at 05:17 AM.
 
Old 08-30-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
mikedeatworld
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Try Kopete instead? If you can live without sound, try cutting off all sound options in Gaim...

Last edited by mikedeatworld; 08-30-2004 at 09:37 AM.
 
Old 08-30-2004, 03:55 PM   #9
TexasDex
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Sound isn't the problem actually. I turned it to "console beep" and it still did that.

Also, the new version of GAIM suddenly quits completely (crashes?) when I instant message a certain buddy who is using btlbee as their AIM client. That's the only thing I can think of that's unusual about that one person, and I can IM anybody else.

I like GAIM, and Kopete is giving me other problems (rate limit?).

Also: Over time I have noticed that the pauses are not entirely random in their occurence.

I've noticed that they happen when I do something, especially click on a window that I havn't used for a while, or a new browser tab. It almost seems as if Gaim is causing some sort of delay sometimes when the disk is accessed... does that make any sense?
 
Old 08-30-2004, 10:19 PM   #10
windowsrefugeeX
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well 2 be honest i've also encounter that proble (where 2 programs can't use the sound card at the same time) what's up with that?? is it the kernel or the drivers ?? anyone??
 
Old 08-31-2004, 08:11 PM   #11
TexasDex
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As far as I know, most sound cards (especially old ones) can have only one program using them at a time. Newer soundcards don't have that problem, but for some reason OSS and esound don't support it. ALSA does I believe, but you may not be using that sound library. Plus when one OSS or esound program is running ALSA can't start. I think artsd actually uses the soundcard and mixes all of the clients that use it.
 
Old 10-25-2004, 11:00 PM   #12
TexasDex
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HDD power settings. Stupid me.

I had set the hard disk power settings to "acoustic" mode a while ago in order to hopefully save a bit of noise from my box, which is otherwise a wind tunnel. It apparently caused the hard disk to sleep after a set amount of time, and the disk wasn't well suited for that sort of sleep/wake cycling.
 
  


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