Long periods of screen inactivity while the HD churns

N. Pauli npauli at st-johns.org.uk
Tue Jan 23 11:43:32 UTC 2007

On Mon, 22 Jan, N. Pauli wrote:
> Dear All,
> I'm running Ubuntu Edgy on an Intel Celeron machine with a 1.3 Ghz processor, 1 Gig of RAM, and a GeForce 6200 card with 256 Mb [Nvidia driver version 1.0-9746]. I'm also running in twin view mode.
> What I'm finding is that I'm using diddly-squat of my CPU or RAM and yet starting apps can be like I'm on a Pentium 90 and launching OO.Org is definitely an opportunity to go away and make a coffee. Just
> starting up Nautilus just now took over 30 secs of the hard drive light burning constantly with nothing to show.
> Does anybody have a clue what can be causing this?
> TIA,
> Nigel

I think I'm in a position to answer my own question. I think it boils down to not having the BusID for my Nvidia Geforce 6200 listed in the "Device" Section of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf. I'd done 'lspci -xxx' and got the following line:
'01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GeForce 6200 (rev a1)'

Unfortunately, I'd tried to include it in xorg.conf as:
BusID   "PCI:01:00.0"
Which had caused xorg to crash so I'd simply commented the line out and things worked again. Later I read somewhere that you strip leading zeros off BusIDs and use only colons to separate - but I didn't bother to apply it. Today I had to re-install my Nvidia driver and in the course of doing that made the change. Lo and behold! End of terrible slowdown.

Maybe someone else can explain why not giving the BusID was a bad idea and why supplying it fixed the problem?


Nigel Pauli
Network Manager
St. John's School, Northwood

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