Harddrive going crazy

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by phjo, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. phjo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I am a proud owner of a 2008 octocore 2.8 mac pro, and there is a thing that is increasingly annoying me... Mostly I let the macpro sleep when I am not using it, and very often, when I get it out of sleep, I have to wait between one and two minutes for it to become usable, time during which the harddrives are, it seems, moving around huge amounts of data...

    Note that the system is built with 16Gb of ram, and almost always has huge amounts of ram available to the system.

    The activity monitor doesn't tell me much about the process that triggers such amount of activity on the harddrive... I suspect some caching with safari 4, but I am not sure...

    Surprisingly, I never noticed the same phenomenom with my white nvidia macbook, which reactivity in those moments is putting the macpro to shame...

    One last information : the leopard partition is a 390Gb partition on a samsung 500Gb 7200rpm hd, and it is 60% empty...

    Apart from buying a SSD (which I am not even sure would be a good solution, as the harddrive operations I am complaining about involve a lot of writing...) what could I do ?

    phjo
     
  2. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    So many people have sleep issues. I have never had an issue but than again I never put the computer to sleep. I turn off the monitor. I know it uses a little more power but in my opinion it is worth the cost not having any issues. You can have an issue with sleep just by having stuff plugged into the USB. The time it saves to trouble shoot it worth more than the cost of hydro. I bought my Mac Pro in Jan. 2008 and the only time it was ever turned off is when I was on 2 weeks holidays...
     
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    Try sleeping it with different apps closed and see if one of them is the cause. I never have sleep issues either tho. I had one once back in 10.4.something but it was Apple's fault and the next system update fixed it. In any case an SSD may make it worse. They're slower at writing than your current HDD is.

    Have you checked the system log? It might tell you something. Also XTools has something called Instruments that might reveal the trouble. Set it up and start it before a sleep and see.

    Here's a link: http://developer.apple.com/technology/tools.html See the Xcode 3 "Free Download"" link.



    .
     
  4. phjo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #4
    I had a look but I couldn't see anything relevant in the logs.

    And I don't really think it is a sleep issue. Waking from sleep is the moment it happens the most consistently, but it happens at other times too... (It is most probably not hardware related...)

    I'll try not to use safari for a day or too to see if it makes any difference...

    (This is my strongest culprit so far...)

    phjo
     
  5. phjo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #5
    Ok, it occurred again this morning...

    I think I have the explanation now, seeing how the processes find/update got involved during this time : it has nothing to do with safari, but is the updatedb process (or its osx equivalent, I was not aware osx had it too, as it seems to duplicate what spotlight does...)

    So the question translates to : how one can prevent the update to occur at the most annoying time ? (the ideal would be in my case to do the update when the computer is put to sleep, provided a certain amount of time has passed...)

    phjo
     
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    You mean: Process Then Sleep on Inactivity?

    That sounds scriptable at least. Do you know Applescript?
     
  7. phjo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #7
    I don't know much of applescript, but in this case I think I'll just be very lazy and get rid of the automatic, periodic update of the locate database. I never use it (since I switched from linux to osx...) and I know of no software that might rely on a up-to-date locate database...

    So a chmod a-x /etc/periodoc/weekly/310.locate will do the trick for now I guess.

    If it is a big misstake, let me know,

    (As it is only a weekly process, I guess after all it is not the only reason I've encountered these moments of harddrive intensive activity and there must be other culprits but I think I know where to look for them now...)

    Thanks,

    phjo
     

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