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Thread: Diagnosing & fixing unacceptably slow I/O performance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    678

    Default Diagnosing & fixing unacceptably slow I/O performance

    I've got one laptop which while having a relatively modern HDD, 2GB ram and a dualcore i3 has awful performance when it comes to anything I/O related.

    Opening Nautilus on the home folder takes a fair bit of disk grinding before it shows anything; open the gnome settings for sound takes eons of disk grinding and generally - anything that involves the HDD is unacceptably slow.

    I've ran the I/O PTS test suite on it, and according to this legendless graph, if I'm guessing what it's showing correctly, is confirming that in general the performance is way subpar to what it should be: http://openbenchmarking.org/opc/1207015-AR-HITACHIHT64

    I wanted to compare this HITACHI HTS54505 to others, however it seems to be impossible to select my original test from this page: http://openbenchmarking.org/s/Hitachi%20HTS54505 so that's not feasible.

    The system does have an encrypted home setup using Ubuntu's ecryptfs tech, though according to one of it's authors, it should not be responsible for this big of an impact as I understand it: http://askubuntu.com/a/100833/4918

    Would anyone have any ideas as to what is wrong?

    I've ran the e4defrag utility on the whole HDD, but it said the disk is just shiny and not fragmented at all:

    Code:
    <Fragmented files>                             now/best       size/ext
    1. /var/log/wtmp.1                              13/1              4 KB
    2. /var/log/syslog                              12/1              4 KB
    3. /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority                   11/1              4 KB
    4. /var/log/cups/access_log                      6/1              4 KB
    5. /home/.ecryptfs/<user>/.Private/ECRYPTFS_FNEK_ENCRYPTED.<long name>
                                                    13/1              4 KB
    
     Total/best extents				271960/264385
     Average size per extent			421 KB
     Fragmentation score				0
     [0-30 no problem: 31-55 a little bit fragmented: 56- needs defrag]
     This device (/dev/sda1) does not need defragmentation.
     Done.
    Any advice or help is appreciated on this matter. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default

    I know this is pathetic suggestion, but have you checked SMART of that disk?

  3. #3
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    Default

    I haven't actually. I ran the benchmark, said 66Mb/s. Ran the hours long extended test, it says disk is all OK... so I'm not sure still what is the issue. Disk is 1.3 years old.

  4. #4
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    Any weird mount options? Is your RAM maybe gone and you didn't notice so it's swapping all the time?

  5. #5
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    Hmm. The ram is definitely there; htop lists it. I'm not sure about mount options, here is what it says:

    Code:
    <>$ sudo fdisk -l
    [sudo] password for <>: 
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00050318
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *        2048   973127679   486562816   83  Linux
    /dev/sda2       973129726   976771071     1820673    5  Extended
    /dev/sda5       973129728   976771071     1820672   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    Disk /dev/mapper/cryptswap1: 1864 MB, 1864368128 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 226 cylinders, total 3641344 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xb6f0a737
    
    Disk /dev/mapper/cryptswap1 doesn't contain a valid partition table
    <>$ cat /etc/fstab
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
    # for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
    # devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
    proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
    /dev/sda1       /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
    #/dev/sda5       none            swap    sw              0       0
    /dev/mapper/cryptswap1 none swap sw 0 0
    <>$

  6. #6
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    Might be worth backing up /home, wiping everything and installing a different distro to see if it's a software problem.

  7. #7
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    That's a pretty drastic measure to take without proven grounds for me - I don't think I'll do that. Reinstalling even an OS while keeping everything still means a lot of the app settings have to be wiped, nevermind backuping the data and reinstating it is a pain. I'd like to concretely find the problem...

  8. #8
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    Your dmesg states DMA is being used as it should. Run "hdparm -Tt /dev/sda" as root?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadi View Post
    That's a pretty drastic measure to take without proven grounds for me - I don't think I'll do that. Reinstalling even an OS while keeping everything still means a lot of the app settings have to be wiped, nevermind backuping the data and reinstating it is a pain. I'd like to concretely find the problem...
    I specifically mentioned backing up /home. The whole procedure of backup, installing a new distro, and then restoring the previous one takes about 1 hour.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2007
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    There's not exactly a lot of information on the system your trying to diagnose.


    1) Which distribution?

    2) Which kernel? ( also state whether or not it is 64-bit )

    3) What is the model of the laptop are you using? ( It's possible that the issue is truly hardware hardware )

    4) which model if the Intel i3 are you using?

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