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Redhat 9 / Fedora Hard Drive Light Flashing

Posted on 2003-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Currently, as my computer sits in Gnome... or even KDE my hard drive light will come on... come off... come on... come off. It is in regular intervals and stays lit for only 1/2 a second, and then waits 2 seconds and comes on again. I have no programs running, and the screensaver is even off. The system monitor shows nothing running, and I have shut down all of my daemons. I had Redhat 9 installed and then switched to Fedora, but I am finding no relief from this problem. These are fresh installs after I installed all of the updates to each of the OSes... has anyone else had this problem... or does anyone know how to fix it?

My computer is:

Motherboard: Asus P4PE
CPU: Pentium-4 2.4ghz 512k cache
Memory: 512 mb pc2700
Hard Drive: 40gb... I think it is 100m/s

Okay, and here is what I have come up with so far. While I am in Gnome or KDE... if I su to root, and run /sbin/init 3 it will take me to a terminal only... and the hard drive light will stop consistently blinking. I think it might by an X-windows deal... not sure though. Oh, when I am in KDE the light blinks like twice as fast... instead of a 2 second interval, it's a 1 second interval.

I am going to list the services I have running, but keep in mind, these services are also running when I am in terminal mode (when the hard drive does not have this problem) I have also shut down each and everyone of these before with the same problem still resulting:

acpid - I didn't have this one running in RH9
anacron
atd
autofs
crond
cups
cups-lpd
gpm
hpoj
ip6tables
ipchains
iptables
irqbalance - I didn't have this one running in RH9
kudzu
mdmonitor
messagebus - I didn't have this one running in RH9
microcode_ctl
network
portmap
privoxy
random
rawdevices
sgi_fam
smartd - I didn't have this one running in RH9
syslog
xinetd
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Question by:karl_herrick
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Expert Comment

by:paullamhkg
ID: 9775940
you post the same TA here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_20801933.html, I will suggest you to send a 0 points request to EE admin and to delete this TA and have a points refund. just post your request here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/ will do.

next time you can try to post a 20 points TA and refer to the other TA, will more better.

For eg.

like you now you have a TA in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_20801933.html, so that post a 20 points TA in linux_setup and post the http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_20801933.html in you question and request other EE to go to there and give a hand, I think this will be better, do you think so :)
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Author Comment

by:karl_herrick
ID: 9779641
I'm not sure about the typical conventions regarding cross posting... but I figured since I have 250 points riding on it... then I will likely get quicker answers... But yeah, you are probably right... I have heard people saying my problem is actually a normal operation of disk caching...

Though that doesn't sound legit...

It only happens in X-Windows... Whether in Gnome or KDE... and when in KDE it blinks faster than in Gnome... Does anyone know if X-Windows has weird disk caching operations going on in the background while I am logged in?
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Author Comment

by:karl_herrick
ID: 9779661
Oh... did I mention, I go to bed with it blinking... and wake up with it still blinking...
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Expert Comment

by:paullamhkg
ID: 9784080
may be is the disk caching, but not all the tiime caching, how big is your swap space? and how big is your /tmp space? you got 512 MB RAM which should good enought for running xwindows, unless the RAM have problem and making the system to look for swap space to use, but it's just guessing.

what's the result of running 'top' what's the memory status?

Mem:   126044k av,  123104k used,    2940k free,       0k shrd,   55572k buff
                     75800k actv,       0k in_d,    1372k in_c
Swap: 1044144k av,   26796k used, 1017348k free                   34260k cached

here is my testing machine memory status, and you can see the memory is only 128MB RAM with almost 1GB swap, and it's only running on console mode (ie no xwinodws) and it did blinking a lot when I try to run the xwindows, it's only because my RAM is fully used, and it's try to use the swap space.
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Author Comment

by:karl_herrick
ID: 10174366
I found my own answer to this question. and I would like a refund of the 250 points I have put up for this.

The problem that causes the flashing light is 3 fold.

1. MagicDev in Gnome
2. AutoRun in KDE
3. The Lite-On CD-RW drive I have.

In KDE, Autorun will keep checking the Lite-on cdrw for cd's, and MagicDev in Gnome will do the same. It causes the Harddrive light to keep flashing. I have heard of other people with Lite-ON cd drives and P4PE motherboards -EVEN IN OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS- such as windows having the same problem.

So I shutdown Magicdev in Gnome, or I shutdown Autorun in KDE... Whalla... or I removed the CD-RW drive. FIXED. And I filed a bug report at Redhat... but I don't think they are going to fix it.
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Expert Comment

by:paullamhkg
ID: 10198617
well since you fixed your problem by yourself please send a 0 point request to EE admin here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/ to PAQ/delete this Q and points refund, EE admin will do the job for you.
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Lunchy earned 0 total points
ID: 10227705
PAQed, with points refunded (250)

Lunchy
Friendly Neighbourhood Community Support Admin
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