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Re: Incredibly slow to boot - any ideas?

On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 23:19 +0100, N.Pauli wrote:
> On Thu, 30 Mar, Philippe De Ryck wrote:
> > On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 11:45 +0100, N.Pauli wrote:
> > > Dear All,
> > > 
> > > All of a sudden my machine has become incredibly slow to boot up and to launch anything - boot up took over 5 minutes and launching an app like Mozilla or OpenOffice can take just as long. All the while
> > the harddisk drive light is burning constantly. It is as if there is some process that never completes, takes a long time to time out and restarts itself whenever I launch an app. Once I'm in, apps seem
> > to run fairly normally. I've looked at 'top' and can't see any culprit there. I had this happen once before and it was solved by making sure that nothing was plugged in to a usb port while booting up or
> > even logging on. The last significant things I have done prior to this happening do a normal update and upgrade using Synaptic and install Liferea.
> > > 
> > > Can anybody give me any clues on where I can start looking to resolve this? The machine is a 1100 Mhz Intel Celeron with 256 Mb RAM so it shouldn't be struggling. I'm running Debian GNU/Linux testing
> > / unstable and the 2.6.12-1-386 kernel.
> > 
> > Just an idea, but you might look into HDD-trouble. See what "hdparm
> > -tT /dev/..." says. See what "smartctl -a /dev/..." says (good
> > explanation can be found here:
> > http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6983).
> > 
> > Maybe a monitor for disk activity can be useful too (gkrellm for example
> > shows activity and speed).
> > 
> > Good luck
> > 
> > Philippe De Ryck
> > 
> > 
> Philippe,
> That article on SMART Control was worth the price of admission alone! I'm going to run the short test over night and see if that brings up anything because all the other signs are healthy - yet the disk hangs for minutes on end at the slightest provocation. I tried to run the short (2 minute) test during the day but gave up after 40 minutes.
> Nigel


I found the article very useful too! 

You say your disk hangs but all the attributes indicate a healthy disk.
One way to know this for sure is to put your disk in another machine. If
it works fine, you can exclude the disk. If it still hangs, you probably
know for sure that the disk (or the content) is screwed.

I've had some bad experience with an NVIDIA nforce2 chipset (incredibly
slow) but since you haven't changed anything important on your setup,
that wouldn't be the case. It might be another component that's failing.

What does 'hdparm -tT /dev/hda' say? Are the speeds reasonable?

Good luck


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