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Thread: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

  1. #1
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    Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Hey community,

    I just did a total fresh installation of Ubuntu 9.10. Runs great

    But I'm concerned about my hard disk. It's got one bad sector, with no spares left. This means the average read/write speed has dropped a little bit.

    Since reinstalling, my hard disk has been "thinking" non-stop for over 4 hours straight. There's nothing even running in the background.

    EDIT: The drive isn't failing. I don't hear the "click of death", everything on the drive is still there. Its had this 1 bad sector for over 8 months with no troubles.

    Output of Top:
    Code:
    5418 root      20   0  195m  38m  16m S   11  1.9   2:26.81 Xorg               
     7452 jake      20   0  512m  75m  27m S    5  3.8   0:44.68 firefox            
     1984 jake      20   0 34932 2204 1644 D    3  0.1   5:20.02 gvfsd-metadata     
     6990 jake      20   0  199m  16m  10m R    2  0.8   0:04.17 gnome-terminal     
     7011 root      20   0 10756 2036 1016 S    1  0.1   0:09.85 powertop           
     5711 jake      20   0  175m  11m 8916 S    1  0.6   0:03.36 gtk-window-deco    
     5630 jake      20   0  200m  15m   9m S    0  0.8   0:02.12 notify-osd         
     5707 jake      20   0  450m  35m  16m S    0  1.8   0:16.78 gnome-panel        
     8879 jake      20   0 19132 1352  980 R    0  0.1   0:00.24 top                
        1 root      20   0 19428 1672 1188 S    0  0.1   0:00.77 init               
        2 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd           
        3 root      RT  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 migration/0        
        4 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:07.23 ksoftirqd/0        
        5 root      RT  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 watchdog/0         
        9 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:01.51 events/0           
       11 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 cpuset             
       12 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 khelper
    I have firefox and a terminal running. Is there some hard disk setting that isn't set up correctly? It's hard to believe it needs to be on this much.

    I have 4 GB of swap and 2GB of RAM.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by asuastrophysics; November 2nd, 2009 at 09:29 PM. Reason: grAmm8r
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    Ubuntu Registered User #29486

  2. #2
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    I don't know much about this stuff, but I know of an app called iotop that might help.

    Try it out:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install iotop
    and run it
    Code:
    iotop
    It's like top, it just shows apps using your disk instead

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Quote Originally Posted by aktiwers View Post
    I don't know much about this stuff, but I know of an app called iotop that might help.

    Try it out:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install iotop
    and run it
    Code:
    iotop
    It's like top, it just shows apps using your disk instead
    output of iotop:
    Code:
    Total DISK READ: 0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE: 447.75 K/s
      TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND        
     1984 be/4 jake        0.00 B/s   79.01 K/s  0.00 %  0.00 % gvfsd-metadata
        1 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % init
        2 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kthreadd]
        3 rt/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [migration/0]
        4 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksoftirqd/0]
        5 rt/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [watchdog/0]
     5640 be/4 jake        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % sh /usr/bin/compiz
        9 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [events/0]
       11 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [cpuset]
       12 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [khelper]
       13 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [netns]
       14 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [async/mgr]
       15 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kintegrityd/0]
       17 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kblockd/0]
       19 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kacpid]
       20 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kacpi_notify]
       21 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kacpi_hotplug]
       22 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ata/0]
       24 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ata_aux]
       25 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksuspend_usbd]
       26 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [khubd]
       27 be/3 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kseriod]
    Something appears to be writing to the disk all the time... gvfsd-metadata seems to be causing part of it.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    Ubuntu Registered User #29486

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    If you only have one relocatable sector left, I'd start backing up my important data and be checking out hard drive prices. Hard drives don't always start clicking before they die, one of these days you will start your system and it just won't boot.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Swappiness has been upped to 60 in /etc/sysctl.conf

    It's killing my hard drive! Every now and then for the past 8 months, it's made this weird metal grinding sound intermittently while "thinking". It's doing it a lot now because it's always on. (The noise isn't a concern, like I said I have backups)

    If this doesn't stop Ubuntu is going to run my hard drive into the ground for good. It's getting really hot working nonstop for 6 hours.
    Last edited by asuastrophysics; November 2nd, 2009 at 09:39 PM.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    Ubuntu Registered User #29486

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Quote Originally Posted by cariboo907 View Post
    If you only have one relocatable sector left, I'd start backing up my important data and be checking out hard drive prices. Hard drives don't always start clicking before they die, one of these days you will start your system and it just won't boot.
    Everything has been backed up. I make several backups every day.

    Something's wrong though. Ubuntu is using 0% of my ram and just using the hard disk as virtual memory. (you can see from iotop above). This is putting unnecessary wear on the drive.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    Ubuntu Registered User #29486

  7. #7
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Oh, what do you know???

    I just issued
    Code:
    sudo killall gvfsd-metadata
    Problem solved!

    This is definitely a full-blown BUG though. Whatever gvfsd-metadata is, it's got a bug and it's making hard disks work like prisoners in a chain gang. (non stop, till you die)

    I'm definitely going to report this on launchpad. anyone know what gvfsd-metadata is?
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    Ubuntu Registered User #29486

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    I have no idea what it is.. all I could find was this:

    This daemon singleton handles updates to metadata stores. All clients that wishes to write metadata should talk to it via dbus.
    http://mail.gnome.org/archives/svn-c.../msg06280.html

    Sounds important?

    Its not bugging here, but a bug report might be good, if your system is fully up-to date.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Quote Originally Posted by aktiwers View Post
    I have no idea what it is.. all I could find was this:


    http://mail.gnome.org/archives/svn-c.../msg06280.html

    Sounds important?

    Its not bugging here, but a bug report might be good, if your system is fully up-to date.
    heh, seems to be running OK without it
    Just shows how stable Linux is. It can function even with an essential piece of software missing. I'll never go back to windows!
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    Ubuntu Registered User #29486

  10. #10
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    Re: Hard Disk Spinning Nonstop

    Haha true
    GVFS seams to be explained here

    And bugs related to GVFS here:
    https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gvfs/+bugs

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