Hard disk grinding a lot.

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

This is a new install of LM19.3 and at times, usually the most inconvenient, the HDD starts grinding away, churning, gnashing, like crazy.

If it were only that it would not bother me so much but during that time the mouse cursor becomes annoyingly jumpy and not responsive so I am better off just leaving and getting myself some coffee while it finishes whatever it is doing.

Is there a known cause? Should I expect this to happen frequently? Is there a way to prevent it or postpone it?
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

User avatar
Kadaitcha Man
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1915
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

GS3 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:40 am
Is there a known cause?
Usually those noises are a drive doing a death spin. Check its SMART status.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:43 am
Usually those noises are a drive doing a death spin. Check its SMART status.
Nope. Drive is good. It seems to me like it is Linux who is doing a lot of shuffling for whatever reason.

I remember this was also an issue with Win 7.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

missmoondog
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by missmoondog »

i have 1 computer that seems to like to get laggy a bit when i think it's creating a time shift back up. not positive on that thinking though! drive doesn't make any noise but mouse acts like you state. usually doesn't last very long so i do as you do, go get a cup of coffee. this usually happens shortly after starting computer up. is that when your computer does it's thing?

kind of odd that this only happens on just the 1 machine of mine as the other 5 computers i have with mint 19.3 xfce on them don't seem to do it.

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

missmoondog wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:37 am
i have 1 computer that seems to like to get laggy a bit when i think it's creating a time shift back up.
Good thinking! It is possible that is the cause. The computer creating a time shift backup.

It could be happening because it is a new install and these days I am still installing software and making configuration changes. Maybe after everything is installed and configured this will stop. It is very annoying. I will have to keep observing to see if it goes away.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

missmoondog
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by missmoondog »

could try disabling time shift for a minute and see if it still does that. don't know why i haven't thought of that myself before now!!

does your machine only do that shortly after starting up, when time shift would probably be doing it's thing?

User avatar
powerwagon75
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 275
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:05 pm
Location: USA

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by powerwagon75 »

Open a terminal screen ( Ctl + Alt + t) and type in top and hit enter. See what's showing up at the top of the list when its happening. (you can press the <q> key to exit top)
Last edited by powerwagon75 on Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
Custom tower w/Mint 18
HP laptop w/Mint 18
Acer w/W10/Mint 18.3
Macbook w/El Capitan/Mint 18.3
Optiplex 960 "Frankenbox" w/Fedora 30/Mint 18.3/Mint 19.2
Acer C720 Chromebook w/GalliumOS
Mac PPC G4 w/Lubuntu

User avatar
wallyUSA
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 735
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:31 pm
Location: Top of Georgia

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by wallyUSA »

Please make sure you have a good backup of anything important (just in case!) :!:
Ulyana 20 Cinnamon 4.6.6 Kernel 5.4.0-40 (64 bit). {Dell XPS 13}
Please, if your query has been resolved, edit your first post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the subject line. This may help others find solutions.

User avatar
lsemmens
Level 10
Level 10
Posts: 3391
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm
Location: Rural South Australia

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by lsemmens »

Sounds like a dying drive to me. Just because SMART does not report anything does not mean much. How old is the drive? Might be a good enough excuse to spring for a SSD.
Fully mint Household
Out of my mind - please leave a message

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

lsemmens wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:00 am
Sounds like a dying drive to me. Just because SMART does not report anything does not mean much. How old is the drive? Might be a good enough excuse to spring for a SSD.
I disagree. Anything is possible but the disk does not read and write on its own and it is the OS who is telling it to read/write.

I remember Win7 had the same problem and many articles were written about it and how to correct it.

The explanation that it is making backups seems more likely to me because I am in the process of installing software and configuring it. I will wait and see if the issue disappears on its own. I don't really mind about the disk grinding as about the jerky mouse cursor.

It is a new install and the system holds no important data yet and, in any case, I always have backups of anything important.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

powerwagon75 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:45 am
Open a terminal screen ( Ctl + Alt + t) and type in top and hit enter. See what's showing up at the top of the list when its happening. (you can press the <q> key to exit top)
You know, I have used this and other useful commands in the past but I just cannot remember them when I need them. I am going to make notes on my desktop Stickynotes and I am going to keep a text file with these things. Maybe make launchers too.

Thanks!
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108


ParaDice
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by ParaDice »

GS3 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:09 am
I will have to keep observing to see if it goes away.
GS3 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:39 am
I will wait and see if the issue disappears on its own.
Instead of waiting for the problem to just magically disappear, why don't you test missmoondog's hypthesis and disable Timeshift? Chances are you've set it to run daily or even hourly. Also, your assumption that this behaviour will disappear if you're not making any more changes to the system is incorrect. How would Timeshift "know" that there are no new changes to be written into the backup if it didn't crawl your system partition, thus causing the disturbing HDD activity?

If Timeshift can be ruled out as the source of the noise, it may be an indexing service of some sort that - again- crawls the whole file system and causing the activity in the process. kukamuumuka has already suggested one, I'll throw in ANGRYsearch as another one. If you're using a different search application, insert name here.
To get help, always post your system configuration. Open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T), type the following command and copy its output: inxi -Fxxxrz. To preserve formatting, please make sure to post it inside [ code] [/ code] block.

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

ParaDice wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:53 am
Instead of waiting for the problem to just magically disappear, why don't you test missmoondog's hypthesis and disable Timeshift?
I will wait because I have many other things going on and I do not want to possibly add one more problem. I am dangerous enough as it is and this is not a problem that requires any urgency. If when things settle down the problem continues enough to be annoying then I will look into it.

As I say, the only real annoying thing is that the mouse curse gets all jumpy-jerky. If it only does it once in a very long while maybe I can live with it.

The guess that it might be backup making seems very possible to me.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

ParaDice
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by ParaDice »

Turning off Timeshift's scheduled backups comes with zero risk if you have at least one good backup to work with. But have it your way, wait it out.

I just wonder why you created this thread in the first place. You've received tons of good tips and now walk away saying the problem isn't serious enough to even lift a finger. That's a waste of people's time. Just sayin'.
To get help, always post your system configuration. Open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T), type the following command and copy its output: inxi -Fxxxrz. To preserve formatting, please make sure to post it inside [ code] [/ code] block.

User avatar
trytip
Level 13
Level 13
Posts: 4739
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by trytip »

EDIT:
Last edited by trytip on Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
Image

User avatar
Kadaitcha Man
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1915
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

GS3 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:04 pm
I will wait because I have many other things going on ...
And we don't? How ungrateful can someone get.

Welcome to my ignore list.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

missmoondog wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:37 am
i have 1 computer that seems to like to get laggy a bit when i think it's creating a time shift back up. not positive on that thinking though! drive doesn't make any noise but mouse acts like you state. usually doesn't last very long so i do as you do, go get a cup of coffee. this usually happens shortly after starting computer up. is that when your computer does it's thing?

kind of odd that this only happens on just the 1 machine of mine as the other 5 computers i have with mint 19.3 xfce on them don't seem to do it.
powerwagon75 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:45 am
Open a terminal screen ( Ctl + Alt + t) and type in top and hit enter. See what's showing up at the top of the list when its happening. (you can press the <q> key to exit top)
Following both your observations I have been observing the machine to see if when the disk activity and jumpy mouse happen it is the Timeshift backup doing its thing. Of course, when you are waiting for things to happen it seems they just don't happen but today it happened it it was, indeed, while Timeshift was doing its thing.

Timeshift is configured to do a daily backup. Since the inconvenience is very minor and very infrequent and because I am making frequent changes to the computer for the time being I am leaving the backup configuration daily, as it is. Maybe in the future I will change it to weekly.

Nevertheless I will keep observing the computer to confirm it is only Timeshift causing this issue. I will remember to do top as soon as I observe the behaviour and confirm it is Timeshift and not any other cause.

If it is only Timeshift, as we suspect, then it happens only once a day for a few minutes and it is not too bad.

Thank you both for pointing me in the right direction.

Everybody else can rest assured that I am giving their posts all the consideration they deserve.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

I am reviving this thread because the issue has not been resolved and it is still bugging me.

It does seem to happen when doing the shift backup but it also happens at other times and I see rsync and nemo running but it is difficult for me to know well because the mouse just freezes.

It seems to me the OS could be copying files but it is not me doing it and I do not know what the OS would be copying if indeed that is what it is doing.

I just came across another thread Swap slows my system way down and it makes me think it may be the same issue or related but I am not knowledgeable enough to have an opinion.

Could it be the same issue?

ETA: After some experimenting and testing I am quite certain the problem is the Swap when I have too many programs running and it would be solved by either running fewer apps or upgrading RAM from 4 to 8 GB.

I will keep testing and report back.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

User avatar
GS3
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am

Re: Hard disk grinding a lot.

Post by GS3 »

Update: In the other thread I mentioned it was said that the slowdown problem happens when copying files in general, not just when making backups, and that it happens with the newer 5.x kernels but not with the older 4.x kernels so for the last few days I have been running with the 4.15.0-96-generic x86_64 kernel and I have not seen the problem reappear.

If further testing and time confirm this then the problem is the new kernels.

I will keep using 4.15.0-96-generic x86_64 for now and maybe after some time of no problems try 5.x again and see.
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya - Kernel 4.4.0-171-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 3.4.4 - Nemo
HP Compaq Elite 8300 CMT - Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia - Kernel 5.3.0-51-generic x86_64 - Cinnamon 4.4.8 - Nvidia GF108

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”