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Old 11-18-2003, 08:27 AM   #1
karl_herrick
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Mason, MI
Distribution: Mdk 9.2, Fedora, Knoppix
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Angry Redhat 9 / Fedora Hard Drive Light Flashing


Currently, as my computer sits in Gnome... or even KDE my hard drive light will come on... come off... come on... come off. It is in regular intervals and stays lit for only 1/2 a second, and then waits 2 seconds and comes on again. I have no programs running, and the screensaver is even off. The system monitor shows nothing running, and I have shut down all of my daemons. I had Redhat 9 installed and then switched to Fedora, but I am finding no relief from this problem. These are fresh installs after I installed all of the updates to each of the OSes... has anyone else had this problem... or does anyone know how to fix it?

My computer is:

Motherboard: Asus P4PE
CPU: Pentium-4 2.4ghz 512k cache
Memory: 512 mb pc2700
Hard Drive: 40gb... I think it is 100m/s

Okay, and here is what I have come up with so far. While I am in Gnome or KDE... if I su to root, and run /sbin/init 3 it will take me to a terminal only... and the hard drive light will stop consistently blinking. I think it might by an X-windows deal... not sure though. Oh, when I am in KDE the light blinks like twice as fast... instead of a 2 second interval, it's a 1 second interval.

I am going to list the services I have running, but keep in mind, these services are also running when I am in terminal mode (when the hard drive does not have this problem) I have also shut down each and everyone of these before with the same problem still resulting:

acpid - I didn't have this one running in RH9
anacron
atd
autofs
crond
cups
cups-lpd
gpm
hpoj
ip6tables
ipchains
iptables
irqbalance - I didn't have this one running in RH9
kudzu
mdmonitor
messagebus - I didn't have this one running in RH9
microcode_ctl
network
portmap
privoxy
random
rawdevices
sgi_fam
smartd - I didn't have this one running in RH9
syslog
xinetd
 
Old 11-18-2003, 04:28 PM   #2
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Linux Mint 17, Debian 8
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"or does anyone know how to fix it?"

This is normal behavior by the disk cache routine. When you are doing nothing the cache catches up on writes that have not been written to disk to yet.


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Old 11-19-2003, 08:52 AM   #3
karl_herrick
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Mason, MI
Distribution: Mdk 9.2, Fedora, Knoppix
Posts: 25

Original Poster
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That seems funny to me however... Because it does it 24-7... I go to bed, and wake up in the morning and it is still blinking...

It also only happens in X-Windows... Whether in Gnome or KDE... and when in KDE it blinks faster than in Gnome... Does anyone know if X-Windows has weird disk caching operations going on in the background while I am logged in?
 
Old 11-19-2003, 09:27 AM   #4
jailbait
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"That seems funny to me however... Because it does it 24-7..."

That is weird. If the machine is completely idle then the cache should catch up within a few minutes at most and then go idle.

Do you have some sort of crontab job that fails? This could be a problem that a crontab job fails and then is retried in a few minutes, fails again, etc.



___________________________________
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http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 11-19-2003, 09:39 AM   #5
karl_herrick
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Mason, MI
Distribution: Mdk 9.2, Fedora, Knoppix
Posts: 25

Original Poster
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Well, I shut off crond... should that stop all cron jobs?
 
Old 11-19-2003, 03:32 PM   #6
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Linux Mint 17, Debian 8
Posts: 7,863

Rep: Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311
"should that stop all cron jobs?"

I think so. Did it stop the disk activity?

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 11-19-2003, 03:34 PM   #7
karl_herrick
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Mason, MI
Distribution: Mdk 9.2, Fedora, Knoppix
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
No it didn't... On my first post I described shutting down all daemons before... still flashing...
 
Old 11-19-2003, 10:01 PM   #8
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Linux Mint 17, Debian 8
Posts: 7,863

Rep: Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311
"still flashing..."

Another possibility is swap. When you sit idle for a while swap will sometimes copy a large program to swap simply as a head start in case in the future you start to swap. You might see a little of this but not the pattern that you are seeing.

You could see if swap is the culprit by typing in the swapoff command. With 512M swapoff should have no effect on your system performance. If the disk activity stops then you could investigate swap further.


___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 11-20-2003, 02:38 PM   #9
karl_herrick
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Mason, MI
Distribution: Mdk 9.2, Fedora, Knoppix
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I can't figure this out... and you are right, the swap doesn't sound like my problem... because it does it all the time. While I am working, and as soon as I stop working with it.

I am completely bummed out about it too... because I like Redhat 9, Fedora C1... A fresh install of Redhat 9 won't do this, but after updating it it will... I can't remember about Fedora C1 because I updated it as soon as I installed it...

But, I resolved the matter in my own head, because I installed Mandrake 9.2 lastnight, and there is no longer a problem... no more flashing... I feel better now. It's not a big switch... but there is some weirdness after I have used Redhat for so long... :-)

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