Before getting hung on Hardware Issues Check.
The Schedule for Your Cron or Update schedule for RPM look up and Scan Intervals.
The system when set-up default has a schedule that pretty muchs runs all the time.
Also a feature of the Cron as set-up is it runs Silent. That converts to never seeing direct
program access in task list. The first thing to check the Messages log and look for
actions of Cron. Login as root and Modify The schedule down to something other than
run taks at about every 45 minutes, which was the default for both suse 9.2 and 9.3.
Access to CRON is under system tools when logged as root.
The cron schedule is not part of system menu tools when logged in as normal user.
The only schedule control is ability to create user and not change root schedules.
To heck for messages related to the problems use the command below.
While logged in as root Enter the following.
tail -400 - f /var/log/messages
for the above the number is lines to look at in the log.
This will give the last actions for the current session.
To get out of the listing mode press the Control and C.
If you think some kind of hardware problem exists check the warn log.
The log could show disk access errors. Linux does monitor and report such things.
The log is accesed as root
tail -400 -f /var/log/warn
The other action you can do if hardware is an issue is start the
SMART Tools from root
The action is /etc/init.d/smartd start
You may have to edit the smart.conf file to indicate which drive or drives to
From the command prompt you can manually get a drive status and error list
at prompt /etc/init.d/smartd status
I personally monitor drive health using the WEBMIN remote tool. I then can check status
for the three linux boxes on out network with out have to hand check all the time.
Hope that you find it is software and not hardware as a problem.