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I'm at spring break so I'm back at my parent's house. I've turned my computer on which has been off since January and its unusably slow. This was not the case when I last used the computer in January.

It is running 10.04,

Memory: 875.5 MB CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+

Available Disk Space: 330.8 GB

I'm not seeing a large usage of either memory or Disk I/O.

If I look at my list of processes there is only a very small amount of CPU usage. However, if I hover over the CPU usage graph that I've on the top bar, I sometimes get really high readings like 100%.

It took a long time to boot, to open firefox, to open a link in firefox. As far as I can tell everything that the computer tries to do is just massively slow.

Right now, I'm apt-get dist-upgrading to install any updates that I will have missed since last time this computer was on.

Any ideas as to what is going on here?

UPDATE:

I thought to check dmesg and it has a lot of entries like this:

[ 1870.142201] ata3.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x7 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
[ 1870.142206] ata3.00: irq_stat 0x40000008
[ 1870.142210] ata3.00: failed command: READ FPDMA QUEUED
[ 1870.142217] ata3.00: cmd 60/08:10:c0:4a:65/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 2 ncq 4096 in
[ 1870.142218]          res 41/40:00:c5:4a:65/00:00:03:00:00/40 Emask 0x409 (media error) <F>
[ 1870.142221] ata3.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[ 1870.142223] ata3.00: error: { UNC }
[ 1870.143981] ata3.00: SB600 AHCI: limiting to 255 sectors per cmd
[ 1870.146758] ata3.00: SB600 AHCI: limiting to 255 sectors per cmd
[ 1870.146761] ata3.00: configured for UDMA/133
[ 1870.146777] ata3: EH complete
[ 1872.092269] ata3.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x7 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
[ 1872.092274] ata3.00: irq_stat 0x40000008
[ 1872.092278] ata3.00: failed command: READ FPDMA QUEUED
[ 1872.092285] ata3.00: cmd 60/08:00:c0:4a:65/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 4096 in
[ 1872.092287]          res 41/40:00:c5:4a:65/00:00:03:00:00/40 Emask 0x409 (media error) <F>
[ 1872.092289] ata3.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[ 1872.092292] ata3.00: error: { UNC }
[ 1872.094050] ata3.00: SB600 AHCI: limiting to 255 sectors per cmd
[ 1872.096795] ata3.00: SB600 AHCI: limiting to 255 sectors per cmd
[ 1872.096798] ata3.00: configured for UDMA/133
[ 1872.096814] ata3: EH complete
[ 1874.042279] ata3.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x7 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
[ 1874.042285] ata3.00: irq_stat 0x40000008
[ 1874.042289] ata3.00: failed command: READ FPDMA QUEUED
[ 1874.042296] ata3.00: cmd 60/08:10:c0:4a:65/00:00:03:00:00/40 tag 2 ncq 4096 in
[ 1874.042297]          res 41/40:00:c5:4a:65/00:00:03:00:00/40 Emask 0x409 (media error) <F>
[ 1874.042300] ata3.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[ 1874.042302] ata3.00: error: { UNC }
[ 1874.044048] ata3.00: SB600 AHCI: limiting to 255 sectors per cmd
[ 1874.046837] ata3.00: SB600 AHCI: limiting to 255 sectors per cmd
[ 1874.046840] ata3.00: configured for UDMA/133
[ 1874.046861] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Unhandled sense code
[ 1874.046863] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[ 1874.046867] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Sense Key : Medium Error [current] [descriptor]
[ 1874.046872] Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
[ 1874.046874]         72 03 11 04 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00 
[ 1874.046883]         03 65 4a c5 
[ 1874.046886] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error - auto reallocate failed
[ 1874.046892] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 03 65 4a c0 00 00 08 00
[ 1874.046900] end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 56969925
[ 1874.046920] ata3: EH complete

I'm not certain, but that looks like my problem may be a failing hard drive. But the drive is less then a year old, it really shouldn't be failing now...

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check your HDD, for examples of how to do it go to e.g. this thread.

BTW statistics show that drives most often fail within the first year or after long years of use :)

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Yeah, that clearly indicates that the drive is dying. :( Fortunately, I'm under warranty. –  Winston Ewert Mar 7 '11 at 22:05

I'd point you to start Disk Utility ans check S.M.A.R.T. status of your drive. If there is something strange there, specially (at least in my past experience with failing drives) reallocated sector count, backup what you need as soon as possible to another drive or network location.

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