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I have been running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on an IBM thinkpad for around 6 months, since replacing the hard drive after Windows XP died on it. It seemed that my ...
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    Can any genius answer this question?


    I have been running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on an IBM thinkpad for around 6 months, since replacing the hard drive after Windows XP died on it. It seemed that my computer was to old for such a modern operating system, and as such, it would frequently go into a Windows-esq fit and the hard drive would be continuously running flat out. The speediest way out of this problem was to hold down the off switch and then boot back up. One day recently, the mouse froze, and the computer would not find the hard drive upon trying to reboot, which is exactly the symptom I had with the last hard disk failure on XP. I tried multiple times to boot the computer. A week past and I decided to see if I had any kind of OS on a CD, so tried a CD that could have been Windows or Ubuntu; The aim was to confirm I had one then buy a new Hard drive. The CD didn't work, so I ejected it. Upon ejection, Ubuntu loaded. Not only was my seemingly dead hard drive working, Ubuntu is now positively fast, and no longer requires a hard reboot to get out of it's slow, busy hard disk moments. I can't explain it. Does anyone have any ideas? I guess the question should be, why was it slow in the first place? But the one I really would like to know is why it is now completely cured.

    Thanks,

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    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    I've used to work for IBM and have run Linux on many Thinkpads old and new and never had a problem like that. I would say the possible answers to your questions lie in the log files.

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    Thanks; Yes, I'll have to first find out how to access them. I am believe it or not an IT Technician by trade but this is exclusively Windows and Mac. I am new to Ubuntu and love it since it sorted itself out, as if by magic. I am thinking it's more likely a hardware problem that was causing what appeared to be a software problem, because after the seemingly hard disk failure, even the BIOS would not see the HDD.

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    Right - I worked out how to see the event log. While I do not seem to be able to decipher anything meaningful as to how this happened, what is very strange indeed is that the oldest event is on March 23rd, the day my hard disk seemed to fail (according to internet history), and then they begin again on the day it seemed to magically fix itself. Do the event logs only go back this far, or is it likely that this is not a coincidence?

    Thanks

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    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Maybe a drive controller problem.

    Logs should go futher back, they typically get archived and zipped once a week and should be in same directory.

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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    You mention ejecting the cd, was that a live OS cd? If so, if the bios was set to boot from cd first, you may have been running live sessions instead of from the hdd.
    Registered Linux user #526930

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    Quote Originally Posted by MASONTX View Post
    You mention ejecting the cd, was that a live OS cd? If so, if the bios was set to boot from cd first, you may have been running live sessions instead of from the hdd.
    No, it was not a live OS CD. I believe it to be an OS install CD, but it is not labelled as anything. In any case, the computer booted upon ejection of CD, and ran as the HDD OS with same user profile and password, and it has done this repeatedly and without fail ever since. When the computer is first turned on, the HDD LED flickers within about a second of turning on, and during the time that the computer was not working, the LED never flickered at all when turning on, and subsequently when you pressed the button to see the available boot options, the HDD was not showing.

    I am of course pleased that it fixed itself as that saves a lot of time re-installing, and again pleased that it is performing as a quick computer, which is surprising given that it is an Intel 1.3Ghz with only 512MB RAM

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    with only 512MB RAM
    The absolute minimum for your version of Ubuntu. If you go to the Ubuntu site, you will see the recommended RAM is 1GB. I don't see how that would relate to the problems you had with booting. I would expect you to start seeing sluggish behavior so just hope the magic continues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    The absolute minimum for your version of Ubuntu. If you go to the Ubuntu site, you will see the recommended RAM is 1GB. I don't see how that would relate to the problems you had with booting. I would expect you to start seeing sluggish behavior so just hope the magic continues.
    ....it's taken 5 minutes to start typing this. I knew I should not have jynx'd the magic right after I did Then again I have got 7 tabs open. What puzzles me is that the performance comes and goes in waves; You would think that it would be either fast, or slow, all of the time. I don't know what background services may be coming and going, but whenever I check the system monitor, it is never maxed out on memory, only processor (at the time of busy HDD activity)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thinkman View Post
    ....it's taken 5 minutes to start typing this. I knew I should not have jynx'd the magic right after I did Then again I have got 7 tabs open. What puzzles me is that the performance comes and goes in waves; You would think that it would be either fast, or slow, all of the time. I don't know what background services may be coming and going, but whenever I check the system monitor, it is never maxed out on memory, only processor (at the time of busy HDD activity)
    Actually, maybe I am reading it wrong; there is also something called Swap. Without reading up on this I assume it is memory of some sort, and if you add this to the memory figure, it is greater than what the RAM of the PC is.If I were to guess I would say it is the equivalent of Windows Virtual memory and that virtual and physical are shared to prevent max out of physical. I'll read up on it.

    Thanks.

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