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Re: System Quits Responding-Swap Issue Or What?

On Wed, Jul 26, 2006 at 10:13:03 -0700, Leonard Chatagnier wrote:
> Kent West <westk@acu.edu> wrote:
> > Leonard Chatagnier wrote:

> > > Runing unstable on a Dell dimensions XPS T450 with 128
> > > Mb Ram and 384 Mb Swap Partition on a 13 Gb HD. I run
> > > KDE with usually 4 or 5 session Konsole windows open
> > > and the Mozilla browser and perhaps an embedded modia
> > > player open-nothing else. Before a few minutes pass (<
> > > 5 min.), the HD starts making noise, reading and
> > > writing, then the mouse becomes unresponsive(clicking
> > > anything wont respond for several minutes) and may
> > > even disappear(pointer) for a minute of so. After
> > > several minutes pass(maybe 15-20 min.) the system
> > > begins to respond normally again after the HD slows
> > > down it's read/write activity.


> > > Please copy my email address as I'm not subscribed. 
> >
> > I'd start by seeing if it happens with another user.
> > In a different windowing environment.
> > In a simple X session (twm or icewm, etc)
> > In console without X running at all.
> > In single-user mode.
> > 
> > Then I'd post the results here.


> Hope this answers all, if not, be glad to try more
> with more specific how tos. In, short, once the HD
> activity stopped after about a hour, it hasn't
> restarted. Took about 3 hours to compose this reply
> mostly due to the delay during the HD activity.

Do you have logrotate and anacron installed? In that case your symptoms
might be due to the log rotation process which is started by anacron 5
minutes after boot, combined with a DMA problem which makes hard disk
access very slow. (Under these conditions the problem should only occur
after the first boot on every day, or if you leave the computer on
during the night.) Other cronjobs such as mandb updates could also
contribute to the problem.

I would boot into single user mode and check the hard disk access speed.
Post the output of the following commands (assuming your HD is /dev/hda):

hdparm /dev/hda
hdparm -tT /dev/hda


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