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Old 10-05-2003, 08:19 PM   #1
rosslaird
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What's accessing the hard disk?


I have configured noflushd to spin down the hard disk after a period of inactivity, but it spins right up again after a minute or two (sometimes less). Something is accessing the disk periodically -- I can see it happening in KDE System Guard. I have disabled almost all logging, so I don't think that's the problem. How do I find out what's doing this?

Thanks.

Ross Laird
 
Old 10-05-2003, 08:49 PM   #2
320mb
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open a term window and type.....ps aux and see what processes are being run........
 
Old 10-05-2003, 09:02 PM   #3
rosslaird
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disk access

There are lots of proesses running, but none of them tells me exactly when it's accessing the disk. In KDE I can look at the status of each one (running, sleeping, etc.) but this hasn't seemed to help.
(The list of running processes is too long and boring to reproduce here.)
 
Old 10-05-2003, 10:03 PM   #4
coolamit78
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Hi.!

As soon as you see that 'something' is accessing your hard disk, open a terminal immediately and give the command:

top

This command will show the processes running in the background at real time. You can kill the specific process that you may want and check which is the 'offending' process.

Even I have the same issue, when suddenly 'something' starts accessing my hard disk.....But in my case, that command was the 'updatedb' command.....

Regards,

amit
 
Old 10-05-2003, 10:08 PM   #5
coolamit78
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Ok....another thing that I would like to add :

When you issue the 'top' command, check the column with heading 'N' ...... This will show the priority with which the process is running...

The Lowest priority is -20
and highest is 19

that means, if the process is running suddenly, it will have a high 'nice priority level'.

Just check for the process on top of the running processes list, that has the highest priority number ( in my case updatedb was running with priority 19)
 
Old 10-06-2003, 11:39 AM   #6
rosslaird
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disk access

Thanks for the help. The disk access is only for one or two seconds, so it's not enough time for me to open the console and get top running, but I'll leave a console open with top running and see how that works (it seems to refresh itself every couple of seconds).
 
Old 10-06-2003, 06:13 PM   #7
bluefire
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Mandrake has a "services" GUI front end that lets you review which daemons are set up to run (in the rc system). If your distro has the equivalent, read through them, and (after researching!) disable the ones that aren't necessary.

Also review your cron folders, and see what is being periodically run, and if you can either reduce the frequency or remove them completely.

One potential disk churner is slocated, which is akin to Microsoft's Find Fast. It is often set up to run daily, but really most people can get by with running it weekly.

If you're running a desktop, you can remove most of the server daemons (there are a few exceptions, however.)
 
Old 10-06-2003, 06:49 PM   #8
rosslaird
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disk access

Thanks for the tips. slocated does run on my system, once daily. cron seems OK (just my backup).
I'm running Debian, but I'm sure there's an equivalent "services" type feature. I can see which daemons are running in KDE, and I can kill them, but I'm not sure how to specify which ones are loaded at startup. More research...

Also: I've been watching "top" in the console, and it seems like the KDE services are the ones with the highest priority. And when I get my little two-second disk hit, nothing on the list changes.
 
Old 10-06-2003, 11:17 PM   #9
bluefire
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Hm, I wonder whether it is KDE itself (perhaps causing a dip into disk based memory?) I had horrendous performance on my PC running KDE. Try running one of the lighter frontends - IceWM or Blackbox - and see if the same thing happens. You can with a little tweaking get either of those window managers to give you all of the niceties of KDE without the heavy resource load. (I recommend plugging Rox Filer into them).
 
Old 10-07-2003, 02:20 AM   #10
rosslaird
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disk access

Yes, I think you're right: KDE is always at the top of "top", with these services:

XFree 86
kdeinit
kmail
keventd
ksoftirq_CPU0

(plus a few others lower down).

I'm not familiar with other window systems, but I'll check them out. Also, I'll try to boot into "Expert mode" (it's one of the options that LILO gives me on my Xandros bootup) which does not load KDE, and will see if the problem persists without KDE running.

Where would I find out about the "tweaking" I'd need to do with the other window systems?

Thanks for the help.
 
Old 10-07-2003, 11:33 AM   #11
bluefire
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If you go with IceWM, download the Ice Windows Control Panel. That'll do 95% of what you need to customize it. Blackbox or (other) will have similar configuration utilities.

XFree86 is XWindows, which is the basis for graphical linux systems.
 
  


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