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I just switched from Win8 to Ubuntu 13.04 as my sole OS and it's pretty nice overall. But as the last time I tried using Linux I see I still have problems simply moving large files around and searches around the web say to try the deadline i/o scheduler which seems to be the default in 13.04 anyways and I've confirmed all my drives are set to deadline.

I have 1 32GB SSD which has my / folder on it, my /home folder is on a ext4 formatted 1TB HDD. I have 2 more 1TB HDD's of which 1 is formatted in NTFS still. I am trying to copy from this NTFS drive to the /home drive.

What strikes me as strange is that the SSD should contain all my programs such as Firefox, so I don't understand why copying between the HDD's would slow down everything else when it shouldn't be under any load. Often my Firefox browser will dim and not let me do anything as if it's crashed, but will come back after a few seconds.

What can I do?

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Just to get it straight, your problem is that Firefox freezes temporarily when you're copying large amounts of files? Could this not be, for example, a RAM issue where your computer is simply busy copying those files? I don't think it's necessarily an Ubuntu issue although it might be in combination with the NTFS drive, though I doubt that. Does this happen often? Also what do you mean by setting drives to "deadline"? – Apr 27 '13 at 16:48
Thanks for the quick reply. No it's not an issue with Firefox, I was merely giving an example of what occurs as the entire system is unresponsive while copying files across other disks. As for the memory, I have 4GB of memory and only 1-1.2GB used while copying, this is a fresh install of ubuntu so I imagine not much else is going on in the background. Deadline is the i/o scheduler I saw some articles mention as being good, Ubuntu apparently used to use the CFQ scheduler but now it's deadline by default. – MachineDuga Apr 27 '13 at 17:06
Ah, ok. Honestly I have no clue about CFQ scheduler, etc but I'm sure that's fine. A very strange problem though. Do you have it when copying any file from the NTFS drive to your /home folder? What about when you use a ext4 USB or any other format? There's a possibility it's an NTFS problem... – Apr 27 '13 at 17:15
The dimming of a program that you mentioned, by the way, is the default way Ubuntu shows a program is temporarily frozen. Most of the time it will come back, but you can force quit it by closing it through system monitor or the X button. (Just an FYI, I wasn't sure if you were aware of this) – Apr 27 '13 at 17:17
Thank you for all the information so far... I don't know what is going on but I managed to fix it by removing some entries from my fstab that I figured I didn't need(I don't mind screwing up my install to learn more) I removed all the swap partitions I had created so now I have no swap assigned. Now copying between NTFS and the etx4 drive doesn't seem to slow everything else down.... color me confused as to why, but it seems to be good now. – MachineDuga Apr 27 '13 at 18:43

Running 12.04 here. hdparm -tT was giving normal speeds, but cp, dd, rsync were slow, 10MB/s max. Caching kept small data transfers from gumming things up, but anything over 100MB would cripple the machine. If it took less than a minute to get to the console or launch a terminal window while it was working, I'd be lucky. An old copy Puppy Linux had no problems, though.

Then, I unplugged the USB flash drive that I've almost always got in and booted Ubuntu, no problems. I plugged in and mounted the flash drive, no problems.

I got the same results from the 10.04 live CD. It this sees that stick at boot time, and it does the wrong thing with it, really wrong, like promoting it file system toll booth operator.

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