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#1 2013-10-20 05:27:05

corban
Member
Registered: 2013-04-14
Posts: 26

Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

I am having a problem because my computer seems to be constantly doing some kind of IO activity. The harddrive spins up and down every half a minute or so, and the HDD activity light flashes every two seconds. I fear this is placing some undue wear and tear on the drive, I'd like to get it to stop doing that.

When I run `iotop -Po`, I see that a process named kworker keeps bouncing in and out of the list every second. Also, about every 10 seconds processes called jbd2/sda1-8 or jbd2/sda3-8 come on the list. I had changed my fstab to mark sda to be mounted with noatime, (data=ordered if that matters) and commit=99999999. However, this has had no effect.

It has been months, maybe even a year since I installed Arch so I doubt it is the mkfs background formatting thing people have mentioned. The drive is only 1 TB anyway.

Any suggestions?

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#2 2013-10-20 10:42:41

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

How much RAM and swap space do you have?

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#3 2013-10-20 12:36:25

pyther
Member
Registered: 2008-01-21
Posts: 1,395
Website

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Tthe jbd2/sda processes are normal and expected.

The JBD is the journaling block device that sits between the file system and the block device driver. The jbd2 version is for ext4, as you found. If you are seeing a lot of activity when nothing much is running, check if any of the logs are getting a lot of updates. [1]

How much data is being written to the disk? (Total DISK READ/Total DISK WRITE)? You may want to run iostat, that particular value of interest would be "%iowait". The iowait value represents "the percentage of time that the CPU or CPUs were idle during which the system had an outstanding disk I/O request." [2]

Consider running 'iostat -d -x 2'. It can show disk utilization along a plethora of other information. http://shoaibmir.wordpress.com/2010/06/ … -io-loads/

How old is the drive? It is possible it starting to fail, do you have a backup of the data?

[1] http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions … ost3862146
[2] iostat man page


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#4 2013-10-20 16:48:09

corban
Member
Registered: 2013-04-14
Posts: 26

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Thank you both for your help.

My system has 8GB RAM and 16GB swap, so I don't think swapping or anything is an issue. Also this happens when there are no programs running on the computer (in the foreground at least) and I'm not doing anything. It also happens before I start X when I'm just at the TTY login prompt after logging in. Not sure if it happens before I log in, I think I'll try.

My output of iostat was

Linux 3.11.5-1-ARCH (arch) 	10/20/2013 	_x86_64_	(4 CPU)

avg-cpu:  %user   %nice %system %iowait  %steal   %idle
           0.22    0.00    0.11    1.40    0.00   98.26

Device:            tps    kB_read/s    kB_wrtn/s    kB_read    kB_wrtn
sdc               0.11         0.43         0.00       1428          0
sda               5.75       125.82        19.99     419621      66676
sdb               0.12         1.31         0.00       4360          0

And iostat -d -x 2 shows all zeroes until every 10 seconds or so when it shows

Device:         rrqm/s   wrqm/s     r/s     w/s    rkB/s    wkB/s avgrq-sz avgqu-sz   await r_await w_await  svctm  %util
sdc               0.00     0.00    0.00    0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   0.00   0.00
sda               0.00     0.00    0.00    1.00     0.00     4.00     8.00     0.01   13.50    0.00   13.50  13.50   1.35
sdb               0.00     0.00    0.00    0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   0.00   0.00

I'm not sure what number would be helpful there so let me know if there's more info that would help.

The drive is very new, 7200RPM, less than a year old. I don't think it's failing, but yes I have many backups smile

Last edited by corban (2013-10-20 20:01:31)

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#5 2013-10-21 14:55:38

corban
Member
Registered: 2013-04-14
Posts: 26

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Yep, just checked, the 2-second-periodic harddisk IO occurs before I've even logged in. I don't have X start before I log in so X isn't the problem either (I know it can do some weird stuff).

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#6 2013-10-22 01:20:34

corban
Member
Registered: 2013-04-14
Posts: 26

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Hey guys, another update,

I have determined that kworker is writing to the disk all the time. I ran

iotop --delay=.1

to make it update every tenth of a second, and found that every time the kworker process flashed on the screen and back off, every 2 seconds, that's exactly when the HDD light went on.

I have tried disabling barriers and turning journaling to 60 (I had had it at 99999999 before but I thought it might be overflowing or something) but it had no effect.

What do I do from here? I really don't want this to kill my HDD sad

Last edited by corban (2013-10-22 01:39:40)

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#7 2013-10-22 01:38:57

cfr
Member
From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,670

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

You need to figure out what is causing the writes. Maybe http://askubuntu.com/questions/33640/kw … o-much-cpu or http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1084 … ker-thread will help?


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#8 2014-05-01 06:37:00

aurabindo
Member
Registered: 2012-05-26
Posts: 19

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Hello corban, did you figure out what was causing it? I am also having the same issue, on an intel based system (core i3), after analyzing with perf as mentioned in http://askubuntu.com/questions/33640/kw … o-much-cpu, but I get nothing meaningful. My kworker points to libata code in the linux kernel, but its a generic codebase. So I cant figure out what exactly is happening.

However, on debian wheezy (kernel 3.2.0-4) this kworker didnt show up. This was an amd based desktop which was running on sata_nv kernel driver.

My perf.data (compressed, from intel i3 laptop, ata_piix kernel driver, archlinux, 3.14.1-1) is here https://app.box.com/s/2mayk14vxgiovjze13p6
I dont know to figure out who's the culprit, because I dont find any links to specific programs.

Can someone help me find it?

Last edited by aurabindo (2014-05-01 06:38:09)

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#9 2014-05-21 05:21:25

brc6985
Member
Registered: 2014-01-18
Posts: 3

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

I'm having the same problem with the jbd2 thread constantly writing to the disk. It's sometimes random, though. It might stop for a few seconds, up to a few minutes, but still gets into fits of writing to disk every second or two. I noticed this only yesterday, when I heard the HDD -- I've only had this laptop for a year and have never noticed hearing the HDD before.

I've searched google extensively, just like many others, and have tried all of the generic, easy fixes, such as changing the commit value and using noatime in fstab, limiting the system journal size to 10M, etc. (I noticed several journal files that were in excess of 150M, not sure what the norm is). I found an old thread where the OP said it was Conky causing the issue, and I've been using Conky for months, but after killing Conky the problem still persists. And just like the OP here, problem is happening before staring X. I found a few threads that suggested kernel bugs, but this is a problem that's been happening to people for a few years now.

Seems to me that no one has really been able to effectively find the root cause of this problem. I get the feeling that this is destroying my drive, and one year is way too short a life for an HDD so I've been researching other file systems on which to reinstall Arch. I haven't read many threads on users' experience with arch installed on filesystems other than ext3/4, but I'm thinking of using either btrfs of Reiserfs. Any suggestions??

Last edited by brc6985 (2014-05-21 05:22:22)

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#10 2014-09-01 20:26:08

PhotonX
Member
From: Munich
Registered: 2008-08-10
Posts: 431

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Just wanted to throw in a "me too" here. Never noticed this until I set up a quite old system with a pretty old 250GB IDE drive, which is horribly loud on the slightest access. But now I checked my main system with a very quiet hard disk and observed that although it is not noticeable acoustically, the jbd2 process pops up in iotop every few seconds as well.


Desktop: http://www.sysprofile.de/id15562, Arch Linux    |    Notebook: Thinkpad X200 Tablet, Manjaro

The very worst thing you can do with free software is to download it, see that it doesn't work for some reason, leave it, and tell your friends that it doesn't work.  -  Tuomas Lukka

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#11 2014-11-16 23:13:02

fennectech
Member
From: /home/fennectech/
Registered: 2014-06-04
Posts: 160

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

okay   so this isnt a necrobump   and my 300 gb SATA is doing the same thing  *throws me too*
http://pastebin.com/NS2N11E9 
here is a DMESG messages


[FennecTECH@ArchOS ~]$ cat about_myself
Hello there my name is FennecTECH I am a novice arch user though I am here to learn  I live in central Minnesota where I hangout in the console and make my way into X11. Nice to meet you all! Enjoy my home directory feel free to poke around. There is a solution to every problem, so long as you do not break the laws of physics.
=^_^=
[FennecTECH@ArchOS ~]$

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#12 2014-11-16 23:41:23

fennectech
Member
From: /home/fennectech/
Registered: 2014-06-04
Posts: 160

Re: Help with getting rid of constant harddrive IO

Nevermind   un installing some GDM leftovers fixed it


[FennecTECH@ArchOS ~]$ cat about_myself
Hello there my name is FennecTECH I am a novice arch user though I am here to learn  I live in central Minnesota where I hangout in the console and make my way into X11. Nice to meet you all! Enjoy my home directory feel free to poke around. There is a solution to every problem, so long as you do not break the laws of physics.
=^_^=
[FennecTECH@ArchOS ~]$

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