Untense HDD I/O disables mouse & keyboard

Sometimes intense HDD I/O renders computer unusable because mouse and keyboard response throttled down.

Mouse movement becomes intermittent and keyboard takesseveral seconds to be echoed. If one types ahead input order gets scrambled, eg ABCD becomes ACBD. When trying to awaken computer from sleep password input timeout expires before I have entered my full password and input line is cleared.for en

Can you enter your PC specs so we can help better.

You need to see what causes the HDD to be used so much that the PC slows down and the keyboard doesn’t repond. You can use iotop -o to see what is happening with the HDD in real time.

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Thank you kiko964 for your suggestion about iotop, It looks to be a very useful program I normally run System Monitor and Logs permanently as the second and third programs that I start, (Navigator is number 1). I have already installed iotop and it looks as if I should start it as number 4.

I now suspect I have a hardware problem as since entering my first question I have observed other symptoms. I have noticed a key bounce problem for some time and yesterday I swapped in a new keyboard but this made no difference. Sometimes I use F11 to swap in or out of full screen mode and the screen swaps one way and then swaps back. This is so ubiqutous that sometimes I have to press F11 5 times before it works. Also ocassionally I get four characters typed instead of one. Another sympom is irregular mouse movement and slow keyboard input even when there is no noise indicating HDD operation.

Maybe the laptop is becoming flakey, it may be old age or it may be something simple like dust in the heatsink. It is out of warranty now so I can open it and clean the heat sink and get rid of dead cockroaches and their droppings. It gives me the creeps every time I see a German cockroach (that is the small type) trying to crawl into the space between the display and the keyboard, time to reapply poison gas.

To answer your question the computer is an Asus Vivobook X540M.

Keep social distancing and wear a mask if you can get one. Masks have an protective effect and the protective effects of mask and social distancing shoukld multiply together. The reason that so many are advising against masks is that there is a shortage and medical staff can’t get a sufficient supply.

Regards, The Evil One.

You might be right, it may be a hardware problem but try running Fedora Live from USB drive and see if the problem is still there, if it is than you might have a failing hardware component, but if the problem goes away then it might be your HDD. Does your HDD make any funny noises when operating?

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For the moment I am putting this problem on the back burner and assembling some unused parts into another more powerful computer. When this is done I will use it to see whether I can evoke the same problems.

One thing that I have noticed is that my preferred browser, Mozilla Seamonkey (The ultimate descendant of Netscape Navigator) sometimes gobbles up memory to the extent that it is over 90% used and then the laptop becomes flakey in some of the ways I have described until I kill the process. On restarting Seamonkey and restoring sessions it uses only a reasonable amount of memory and performance returns to normal. However if I leave the computer unused and even sleeping for some time Seamonkey’s memory usage creeps up to the point that I have to kill it again. Sometimes Seamonkey is also using 20-30% of the CPU when I have left it unused for a long time, Javascript in a loop???

There are a couple of new topics I want to post but I am damned if I can find out how to do it.

Obviously I managed to post this topic but I cannot remember what actions I need to take to do so. There must be a page somewhere where I can select the subtopic I want to use and create the new topic. I find the new ask Fedora much less intuitive than the old version and this is the reason that I didn’t attempt to use it for a long time.

Maybe try #start-here to see if you can find help on that.

I have finally come to the conclusion that swap file thrashing due to excessive memory use by one problem program is the cause.

My browser of choice is Mozilla Seamonkey which is the remote descendant of Netscape Navigator. It has a problem in that its memory usage creeps upward and eventually there is not enough memory for some action in Seamonkey to complete. If I have not used F11 to go full screen I can sometimes get into System Monitor and kill Seamonkey but if I have already gone to full screen mode I have to power the machine off and reboot.

I have 4 GIB on my laptop of which 3.7GiB is available but use of more than 3.0GiB of it always causes slow responses, high HDD activity and intermittent operator control of mouse and keyboard. Sometimes sympoms appear with as low as 2.9GiB used.

Whether this a bug in seamonkey or whether its memory needs would level off if I had more memory available I do not know. As soon as I transfer my home directory to my larger 16GiB computer I will test this.

Now how do I mark this discussion as closed.


You can mark one of the posts as a solution to the problem (the checkbox symbol beneath the post), the topic will then be marked as resolved & automatically closed 1 month after the last repsonse.

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