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Old 03-18-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
cwizardone
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Linux File Systems


When using windoze XP (and all previous versions of windoze and dos) when I fire up a program I often hear the hard drive reading while loading the application. (Edited out the word, "grinding").
However, I cannot ever remember hearing the same or similar noise when using Slackware (ext3) on the same hard drive (same computer).
Can someone please explain why, in terms an old end user like myself can understand?
Thank you very much.

Last edited by cwizardone; 03-18-2009 at 03:34 PM. Reason: replaced the word "grinding" with "reading."
 
Old 03-18-2009, 03:11 PM   #2
gegechris99
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Are you still dual-booting XP and Slackware?

If so, is the hard drive grinding repeatable when using XP and nothing when using Slackware?

Otherwise, I sometimes have such a grinding sound whether I'm using Windows 2000 or Slackware (dual-boot). And I solve it by gently pushing my box and it stops (it may be some vibrations that get out of control).
 
Old 03-18-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
cwizardone
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Thanks for taking the time to respond, but, perhaps, "grinding" was the wrong word.
The drive doesn't make any "unpleasant" sounds, just the sound I've become accustom to over the years with all hard drives as it reads and load a program.
However, as stated before, I don't hear the same sound when loading an application in Linux.
Thanks, again.

Last edited by cwizardone; 03-18-2009 at 03:35 PM.
 
Old 03-18-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
Ilgar
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But we should compare situations where we are sure that the same amount of data is being read, also the layout of the data on the disk should be similar. For example file fragmentation will cause extra disk head movement and perhaps noise. While reading, the file access timestamps are updated, and the amount of writing would depend on the filesystem being used, however the contribution of such small writes are probably insignificant (for example if you read one big file it certainly shouldn't matter). Finally, the linear speed of the drive is bigger on the outer parts of the disk, therefore the reading is faster in those parts. But I don't know if the difference is big enough to make a noticeable change in the noise you hear.

Last edited by Ilgar; 03-18-2009 at 04:00 PM.
 
Old 03-18-2009, 04:04 PM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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It might have to do with increased fragmentation on the FAT filesystems and even NTFS. See here:

http://geekblog.oneandoneis2.org/ind..._defragmenting
 
Old 03-18-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
When using windoze XP (and all previous versions of windoze and dos) when I fire up a program I often hear the hard drive reading while loading the application. (Edited out the word, "grinding").
However, I cannot ever remember hearing the same or similar noise when using Slackware (ext3) on the same hard drive (same computer).
Can someone please explain why, in terms an old end user like myself can understand?
Thank you very much.
Interesting! I ran a fresh install of XP Pro on my computer that I bought at Christmas for 1-2 days. I was annoyed by the level of disk activity, that is, the HD always seemed to be exhibiting some activity even when no applications were running. After a format and clean install of Slackware 12.2 my unit runs smoothly and only increases activity when applications are launched.
 
Old 03-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
disturbed1
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Windows XP has a couple of features that can be enabled by default that could cause excessive hard drive reading. System restore, indexing (forget the exact name), Live Search on some PCs, and it (Windows XP) also does defragmentation on the fly in the background. You or the OEM may have installed Google Desktop which indexes the system as well. Vista has an indexing engine (Live Search), defragmenting, and some other things like Shadow Copy, which may be enabled.

If you want to see Linux excessively read from the hard drives install another distro like Ubuntu which has (had?) Beagle Search indexing engine enabled and running by default.
 
Old 03-19-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
Ramurd
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As Disturbed1 wrote, there are several utilities running on windows that make your harddrive be more active. Another one is the paging file (pagefile.sys it was called if I remember correctly) that can be grown / shrunk depending on the system's needs. Making it's minimum size equal to it's maximum size will reduce workload on your disk very much, which eventually will affect overall performance positively.

Linux needs this feature much less due to: swap space being fixed already and using a very different memory management model.

Apart from this the workload due to fragmentation is much less on ext2, 3 and 4 due to the nature of how the disk is organized so that fragmentation will occur much less. NTFS is a derivation from some Unix filesystem methods, and as such suffers much less fragmentation than the fat16, or 32 do.

Also the indexing, although this should only be noticeable on systems where many things change (eg. new systems that are getting new indexes or busy servers) for the rest if things are more or less static indexing should not affect disk workload as much. (mind: SHOULD :-))

But I'm not a windows guru, I'm happy I can and have all my stuff running on Linux nowadays. I'm a free man now :-)
 
  


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