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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 06-07-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
stf92
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Do new desktops continuously access the hard disk?


Motherboard: GA-H61M-S1
Hard disk:
Model Number: ST500DM002-1BD142
Serial Number: W2AKBY71
Firmware Revision: KC45
Transport: Serial, SATA Rev 3.0
Kernel 3.2.29, Slackware 14.0

Hi:
What I observe is that the hard disk LED turns on every 1 or 2 secs. Without having started X. The output of 'iotop -o' is
Code:
Total DISK READ:       0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE:       0.00 B/s
  TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND
  219 be/4 root          0.00 B      0.00 B  0.00 %  0.00 % [sync_supers]
 1319 be/4 root          0.00 B      4.00 K  0.00 %  0.00 % [flush-8:0]
(iotop refreshes the screen several times per minute. This is a screenshot)

I have looked for sync_supers and flush-8 with locate but could not find them. Anyways, is this, that the disk be continuously accessed normal behavior?
 
Old 06-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
jefro
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Yes they do.

A very simple linux might not do it too much but newer kernels and base installs may have a lot going on. Run top and you'd see stuff moving up and down all the time.
 
Old 06-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
stf92
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Then what is the use of 'hdparm -S240 /dev/<the_hard_disk>'? It supposedly puts the disk in stand-by after 20 minutes of disk inactivity. But with processes accessing the disk all the time, the disk will never have an occasion to spin down!
 
Old 06-08-2013, 02:55 AM   #4
H_TeXMeX_H
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Disks (especially for laptops) are often rated by the number of times they can spin up and down. Thus, it wears out the disk, and quite quickly. I make sure to turn it off on all my laptops.
 
Old 06-08-2013, 04:00 AM   #5
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Disks (especially for laptops) are often rated by the number of times they can spin up and down. Thus, it wears out the disk, and quite quickly. I make sure to turn it off on all my laptops.
Well, IF you can. Because some laptop drives ( and some "GREEN" desktop ones too) have built-in power management. This cause them "clicking' every few seconds. The clicking sound comes from the heads being parked and un-parked ("load/unload cycle count" in SMART statistics).

Additionally these built in power management functions are not standardized, meaning that hdparm cannot turn them off. Even on more "normal" drives hdparm values are not standardized, so hdparm -B 254 doesnt always turn off power management.
 
Old 06-08-2013, 04:16 AM   #6
OctavioPang
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If you have a new desktop than for few days of its run new desktops does access hard disks..so as to ensure everything is running smoothly and after sometimes it stops doing that so don't worry..the issue will be solved within a matter of days.
 
Old 06-08-2013, 04:56 AM   #7
stf92
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OK. But does anyone know what these programs or processes do?:
Code:
Total DISK READ:       0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE:       0.00 B/s
  TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND
  219 be/4 root          0.00 B      0.00 B  0.00 %  0.00 % [sync_supers]
 1319 be/4 root          0.00 B      4.00 K  0.00 %  0.00 % [flush-8:0]
 
Old 06-08-2013, 05:53 AM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Well, IF you can. Because some laptop drives ( and some "GREEN" desktop ones too) have built-in power management. This cause them "clicking' every few seconds. The clicking sound comes from the heads being parked and un-parked ("load/unload cycle count" in SMART statistics).

Additionally these built in power management functions are not standardized, meaning that hdparm cannot turn them off. Even on more "normal" drives hdparm values are not standardized, so hdparm -B 254 doesnt always turn off power management.
Well, I never buy "Green" drives (or anything if I can help it).
 
Old 06-19-2013, 09:29 PM   #9
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In my experience, that could be accumulating system messages in the system log.
Some device could be spewing system messages. Usually happens with a failing drive and read errors. Check that possibility first.
See /var/log

I think flush is the disk cache flush facility.
My home-brew Linux sits quietly, but an older HP machine will not.
It could be BIOS disk security checking sector 0, or some such.

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 06-19-2013 at 09:35 PM.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 12:09 AM   #10
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updatedb runs after an install and populates the slocate database. It doesn't usually take that long to complete after a new install, but if you connected one or more drives with many files, it could.

If you are using KDE and you leave the Nepomuk file indexer active, it could also run for a long while if you have a lot of data to be indexed.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
stf92
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I ask a simple question: if I leave the computer turned on and do not use it for several hours (days if you like), what is the use of the CPU being continuously working? I think the CPU should halt or be put in a low power mode. But it does not seem to do that in my machine.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
szboardstretcher
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Amazon builds images that work like that.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
jpollard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stf92 View Post
OK. But does anyone know what these programs or processes do?:
Code:
Total DISK READ:       0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE:       0.00 B/s
  TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND
  219 be/4 root          0.00 B      0.00 B  0.00 %  0.00 % [sync_supers]
 1319 be/4 root          0.00 B      4.00 K  0.00 %  0.00 % [flush-8:0]
Yup. sync_supers keeps the superblocks up to date, the [flush...] syncs dirty data out of the system to either swap or the appropriate disk.

Both are kernel processes in that they are part of the kernel, but given a user mode contingent to permit them to participate in the normal scheduler operation.

You will notice that they don't do that much I/O when the system is idle.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
stf92
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Thanks. The thing is that my system is never idle. The hard disk LED is always blinking. Also, I quote myself:

Quote:
I ask a simple question: if I leave the computer turned on and do not use it for several hours (days if you like), what is the use of the CPU being continuously working? I think the CPU should halt or be put in a low power mode. But it does not seem to do that in my machine.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 11:00 AM   #15
Soadyheid
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Quote:
what is the use of the CPU being continuously working? I think the CPU should halt or be put in a low power mode.
I don't think the CPU is going to stop working. There are background programs which run to scan the keyboard to see if you want to "wake it up" if you've left it doing, er..., nothing, for a while. There may also be environmental sensors being monitored, temperature checks, fan speed, etc. Even if it goes into hibernation there may be stuff running albeit with the CPU clock greatly reduced.

Anyway... My

Play Bonny!

 
  


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