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Old 06-03-2004, 11:58 AM   #1
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hard disk activity

My PC configuration is AMD Athlon 2000, 256 MB DDR, 20 GB HDD with Win XP and Red Hat 7.3 in separate partitions. When I boot to RH, it just happens that after 20 – 30 minutes from boot, there’s sudden hard disk activity though I am not running any new programs, I can feel the Harddisk spinning, the HDD light glowing full and this slows down the PC for another 2 – 3 minutes. This keeps on happening even thereafter at random intervals. What could be the reason? As such no much concern with hard disk activity, but what surprises me is that it just slows down the PC (practically I have to stop working) for another 2 - 3 mins!
Old 06-03-2004, 01:08 PM   #2
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Try running:

Then press "P" to sort by cpu usage - you may get to see which process is doing all the work. My guess is that it will be "updatedb". This is used to index your system and create a database of files for use with the locate command.
Old 06-03-2004, 01:21 PM   #3
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Try hdparm to tweek your settings. You should be able to lessen the impact of hard drive access on your system.

This explains it in detail, you may want to search for other info on hdparm.
Old 06-03-2004, 09:40 PM   #4
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It is a possibility that all of your ram has been allocated and it is accessing swap memory. What window manager are you using or desktop?
Old 06-04-2004, 12:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for your inputs, I ran top command and yes it was updatedb consuming around 40 - 50 % CPU usage!! RAM utilization was around 70%. I am using KDE 3.
So is there any way updatedb can be disabled? or should I kill that process if I find that PC is slowing down too much. Thanks..
Old 06-04-2004, 01:00 PM   #6
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If you never use the search app "locate" then you can remove it. The problem seems to be that your disk activity is slowing your system down more than it should. You should be able to use your system normally while disk activity is going on.

You could setup updatedb to run when you will not be at your computer or set it's nice level. Check to see if it's in /etc/cron.daily


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