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Old 05-17-2007, 05:47 AM   #1
hcgrant
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Disk Accesses Suse10.2 64 bit


Hi Folks
Just setup Suse10.2 64 bit on an Asus motherbord. (see below of details of hardware )
The new system is much quieter than the previous one, so much so that I'm being irritated by constant disk accesses, a buzzzz (1/2 sec) every 2 secs or so. This may sound very trivial but its really getting on my nerves! So..
(1) is there something I can install which will monitor disk accesses and tell me whats going on? partition accessed by what program / process
(2) does anyone know whats going on and are there settings I can change to reduce the problem?

When I kill the GUI ( KDE ) the accesses stop almost completely. Firefox browsing seems to be the worst offender, but only marginally.

Any suggestions greatfully received

Hardware details
Asus M2N32-SLI Delux motherboard (wireless)
x4 1Gb memory cards
AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 4800+
HDA SAMSUNG SP2514N 250 Gb
SDA SEAGATE ST3400620AS 400 Gb

Software
Linux version 2.6.18.2-34-default (geeko@buildhost) (gcc version 4.1.2 20061115 (prerelease) (SUSE Linux)) #1 SMP Mon Nov 27 11:46:27 UTC 2006

fstab
/dev/sda2 / ext3 acl,user_xattr 1 1
/dev/hda5 /windows vfat users,gid=users,umask=0002,utf8=true 0 0
/dev/hda12 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/sda1 swap swap defaults 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs noauto 0 0
debugfs /sys/kernel/debug debugfs noauto 0 0
usbfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs noauto 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts mode=0620,gid=5 0 0
 
Old 05-17-2007, 11:08 PM   #2
vtel57
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Well, if you formatted your / (root) partition using a journaling file system (ext3, Reiserfs, etc.), my guess is that the drive is activating so the journaling log can be kept up-to-date.

Just a guess...
 
Old 05-19-2007, 06:39 AM   #3
hcgrant
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Thanks .. sounds interesting .. yes root partition is ext3. Any way of monitoring that or changeing the frequency?
Hugh

Last edited by hcgrant; 05-19-2007 at 06:40 AM.
 
Old 05-19-2007, 01:16 PM   #4
vtel57
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Hi, Hugh.

What I suggested in that previous post may or may not be what you're experiencing. Either way, I'm sure there are some disk monitoring apps out there in the OpenSource world that will allow you to keep an eye on things. Do a search here or at Google for "disk monitoring Linux".

Luck!
 
Old 06-15-2007, 05:03 AM   #5
hcgrant
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Think I've found the cause DoH!!
In solving an other problem I was watching memory use, and noticed that the disk cache was constantly increasing and each time it went up the drive buzzes! Linux will use any spare RAM to use as a disk cache, so its presumably loading files which the kernel thinks I will be using (Any comments?) and with 4 gbytes of RAM this can take some time.
Hugh

Last edited by hcgrant; 06-15-2007 at 05:05 AM.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 12:30 PM   #6
vtel57
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RAM use will never "take some time". That's the wonderful thing about RAM. It operates at the electron level. There's no slow down or mechanical lag. RAM operates at nearly the speed of light. Where you're limited is how much data transfer your processor and buss can handle.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 01:27 PM   #7
hcgrant
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Yes, I've not been very clear here ..what I meant was that it takes quite some time for the kernel to load up the RAM cache.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 03:00 PM   #8
vtel57
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If your cache is set small, the OS will constantly have to write over existing cached info as different apps load up and operate. As far as Firefox being the worst culprit, you can adjust your FF cache and how pages are updated in the FF preferences. On my system, FF is set to have a 1Gig cache. I rarely see FF writing to cache unless I've recently cleared it.

I'm just tossing around suggestions here, Hugh, because I really haven't a clue as to what is accessing your disk so often. Have you run top yet to see what activity is going on?

Code:
$ top
Sometimes, top can be very helpful in figuring out what is eating up clock cycles and resources on your system.
 
  


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