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Old 06-22-2005, 12:47 PM   #1
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Stopping the constant disk access under ext3 and reiserfs??

I recently installed MandrivaLinux (formerly MandrakeLinux) and am back to having Linux access the hard drive every 5 seconds due to the journaling that these file systems normally do.

Thing is that it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!! The disk access I mean. My computer is open and I have noisy hard disks. Every five seconds like clockwork the hard drive gets accessed.

I know there is a way to stop it doing this but I can't for the life of me remember how to do it. Previously under Gentoo I stopped all the disk accesses and was no worse off for it - even after a number of hard reboots where I did not gracefully shutdown.

Given a choice between potential system instability and difficulty of recovery and the crazy disk accesses I will take the former any day.

Anybody got any suggestions as to how to turn off the constant and very irratating disk accesses under both ext3 and reiserfs?

My /boot partition is ext3
All others are reiserfs.
My swap is swap of course.


Old 06-22-2005, 03:56 PM   #2
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The noatime and nodiratime option in /etc/fstab will turn off writing to the disk when reading files (including the journal file), which I think is what you probably want here. The only caveat being that the last-accessed time (which nothing ever uses as far as I know) isn't updated.

If you have lots of money, then you might also want to look at solid-state nvRAM-disks; they are noiseless, much more reliable than magnetic disks, and very expensive.
Old 10-27-2005, 12:39 AM   #3
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Hi rjlee,

Ok i am having this problem as stated also with those kinda disk access noise pollution problem. Was searching for it quite a bit and found out this thread might help but the noatime should i include it only on my /dev/hda* mountpt or all the entries in fstab like /proc /sys etc? cos i added onto the /dev/hda3 which in this case is LABEL=/ doesn't seems to eliminate the problem.


LABEL=/ / ext3 noatime,nodiratime 1 1
/dev/devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
/dev/shm /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
/dev/proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/sys /sys sysfs defaults 0 0

/dev/hda1 /media/winXP ntfs ro,defaults,umask=0222 0 0
/dev/hda5 /media/fat32Drive ntfs ro,defaults,umask=0222 0 0
/dev/hda6 /media/fatDrive vfat uid=altair,umask=0002

/dev/hdc /media/cdrecorder auto pamconsole,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
Old 10-27-2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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You need to add the option to all mounted physical disk partitions. pts, shm, proc and sys are all virtual devices and do not have physical disks, so there's no need to change these.

You will have to restart your computer or remount the devices with the mount command; for instructions type:
man mount
You will also get “noise pollution” if you are swapping a lot of memory; see /proc/meminfo for details of your memory usage.
Old 10-27-2005, 03:50 PM   #5
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here is my /etc/fstab line for reiserfs3 i did it for speed but it might also server noise polution troubles
/dev/hda6      /          reiserfs defaults,noatime,nodiratime,notail      0      0
Old 10-28-2005, 01:54 AM   #6
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my /proc/meminfo

MemTotal: 506564 kB
MemFree: 110108 kB
Buffers: 12756 kB
Cached: 191392 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 202440 kB
Inactive: 141872 kB
HighTotal: 0 kB
HighFree: 0 kB
LowTotal: 506564 kB
LowFree: 110108 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 108 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
Mapped: 196364 kB
Slab: 17532 kB
CommitLimit: 253280 kB
Committed_AS: 581980 kB
PageTables: 3812 kB
VmallocTotal: 516088 kB
VmallocUsed: 5160 kB
VmallocChunk: 510452 kB
HugePages_Total: 0
HugePages_Free: 0
Hugepagesize: 4096 kB

awww i am using ext3, will reiserfs reduce overhead, and can i just change? will it affect the filesystem structure? i understand both are journaling filesystems...meaning will no doubt give overhead...but when they commit and log is what i am concern as i doubt linux kernel crashes that easily so don't think there is a need to journal every read write

well.. will this constant stop and start spinning of harddisk create bad sector / damage my disk head? i mean if not i just have to get by it i guessed anyway mine is a hitachi notebook hdd....

Actually i went thur quite a bit of search on this and was also recommended to do a remount increasing intervals journaling with

mount /dev/hda1 -o remount,commit=3600

yes it does remove the kjournald from writing to disk but calls up pdflush() to write to disk block instead dan.....same ticking..

I need all the help i can get, thanks
Old 10-28-2005, 08:07 AM   #7
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Acutually there are plenty of things that use atime, so don't go disabling it unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing! Carefullness when tampering with filesystems is never a bad idea...


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