[ubuntu-uk] Churning hard disk, glacial startup

Paul Webster paulwebbiweb at googlemail.com
Sun Jun 21 20:01:13 BST 2009

Thanks very much for the suggestions. I installed iotop as instructed, but
can't work out what to do with it, since it does not appear in any part of
the applications menu (nor in any other menu, as far as I can see). In
System Monitor, under resources, nothing seems to be using much, except for
the normally harmless (and very useful) Dropbox, which seems to fluctuate
between using 40% and 80% of CPU!

How can that be? Dropbox is normally always available in the cluster of
icons in the top panel. However, I then closed it down, and the hard disk
seems to have calmed down.

A search on Google reveals almost universal praise for Dropbox. One guy,
however, wrote a Tweet saying "Dropbox needs to *not* hog 100% of my effing
CPU when it does its thrice-hourly indexing of my files. Gr."

The bootup time on my slightly aging Celeron M laptop is now close to 2
mins. I thought Jaunty was meant to be quick in this department.

Do computers running Ubuntu gradually get slower and slower like Windows
computers do?


2009/6/21 Lucy <lucybridges at gmail.com>

> 2009/6/21 Matthew Daubney <matt at daubers.co.uk>:
> > On Sun, 2009-06-21 at 08:29 +0100, Paul Webster wrote:
> >> Hi (again)! I'm a relative newcomer to Ubuntu, a refugee from the
> >> Windows Wonderland, and I like it very much. However, lately the hard
> >> disk churns and churns, almost all the time, and startup is very slow.
> >> Even writing this email has taken a long time, because sometimes
> >> everything else comes to a halt.
> >>
> >> Please, somebody, help!
> >>
> >> Paul
> >
> >
> > Hi Paul,
> >
> > There's a couple of places to look to find the rogue process. First have
> > a look in top (open a terminal, type top) and that should give you a
> > list of everything that's eating your resources. If it's HD thats being
> > eaten, install iotop (open a terminal sudo apt-get install iotop) and
> > then run it (in a terminal type iotop) and that will tell you what's
> > using all of your IO.
> >
> > Have a look at those, see if you can identify whats eating your HD, then
> > report back and we'll see what we can do :)
> For a graphical alternative, go to the System menu -> Administration
> -> System Monitor.
> This will obviously be slower to do than running 'top' from the
> command line but may be easier to understand.
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