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How should I go about investigating seemingly high disk usage?

From time to time the whole system crashes too - I think the high HDD reads/writes might be to blame.

Thanks

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3 Answers 3

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You can monitor what programs are causing how much IO by running iotop.

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Turns out Tweetdeck, Firefox, Gwibber and Thunderbird are causing the most read/writes. I had apt-get remove'd gwibber though - not sure why that's still showing up. –  AFD Apr 29 '11 at 21:04

You might want to too look at the disk utility and take a look at the SMART Data, this gives you a good overall view of how healthy your disk is/isn't. enter image description here

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Thanks. I had done short scans before and it came back fine. Just did a full test and still everything fine. Think it was just too much multitasking. –  AFD Apr 29 '11 at 21:04
    
+1 My disk was showing similar simptoms last several months. Now it is most probably mechanically failing. Archiving!!... –  Vorac Aug 23 '12 at 22:47

Did you skip creating a swap partition when you installed Ubuntu? If you did, add a new swap partition.

In GParted Format a partition as "linux-swap" and then right click swapon.

I had the same problem too, and this helped me.

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