Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've been using Ubuntu for nearly 2 years (since 12.04), and updated from 12.04 to 12.10, to 13.10, always as a dual-boot option using the Wubi installer. Never had any serious issues or problems.

About 2 weeks ago, I wiped the HD and installed a standalone version of 13.10, all was well for the first week... But now I have mysterious directories appearing in the Home directory, and sometimes the HD appears to go into flurries of constant activity indicated by its activity light, and whilst it is reading/writing constantly it doesn't sound as busy to the ear as a HD being worked to the bone.

I removed the first directory to appear from Home to the Trash bin, and immediately ran into problems where I couldn't access the Trash bin, couldn't Empty, and couldn't Restore. The entire system also slowed to an unusable snail's pace.

Nautilus is unable to access the Trash bin, and pops up a 'Preparing' dialog box which just hangs/doesn't respond.

Bleachbit also hangs/stops responding when run as a regular user, but will run properly when run as root.

I used Terminal to list the contents of the Trash bin, and moved it to the desktop using the mv command in terminal, I then dropped it back into the Home directory where it originally appeared.

Normal service resumed, and problems disappeared.

Except now another mysterious directory has appeared, also in the Home directory, and again I have a constantly active HD and a system which is slowing down once again.

The only change in the last week (when this problem started) has been the installation of XBMC, but I'm not certain that the problem(s) are linked to this installation.

I've tried a search, but not found any other Q's which strictly seem to describe this problem, unfortunately.

Hopefully somebody can help, before I end up with a system which is unusable. :(

Here's an image showing the two directories which have appeared so far, and seem linked to the system slowing down.

Screenshot Showing Strange Folders

Here's the contents/results of trying to access these folders.

I've discovered it's Nautilus is causing the HD activity and system slowdown, but only when left open with the Home folder displayed, click to any other folder except the 2 unidentified ones and it stops accessing the HD and taking up processor time, screenshot below.

share|improve this question
    
Ae you sure it's not malware or something ? have you take a look the command line from system monitor that associate with it ? if you doubt it's a vius or not,try to access your Ubuntu partition from Windows with 3rd software –  Tommy Aria Pradana Jan 14 at 16:43
    
This seems a nice way to try to delete it: askubuntu.com/questions/373242/… –  Presbitero Jan 14 at 17:45
    
@TommyAriaPradana - It is extremely unlikely to be malware. What is in the directories ? Could be hardware failure. –  bodhi.zazen Jan 14 at 18:52
    
When trying to open these directories in Nautilus it'll hang unless I click the X to stop it Loading in the bottom right of the window, the system has slowed to a crawl at this point. I suspect Nautilus can't handle the sheer volume of files present, or can't make sense of what it finds. Likewise using the ls command from terminal will not return anything, and I have to use Ctrl+C to stop it. You'll see from the screenshots below the type of files in eachh folder, each file shows up at 0 bytes. –  del Jan 14 at 19:36

1 Answer 1

To find out what is causing the HDD activity install iotop and check which program is causing it:

sudo apt-get install iotop
sudo iotop

Also check with ps aux for suspicious processes. If you find a process which you think is suspicious of causing the appearance of these directories, run lsof -p PID where PID is the PID of the suspicious process. This will list the open files of that process, check if it has a file open from that directory.

share|improve this answer
    
Cheers, thanks for the help. I've discovered it's Nautilus is causing the HD activity and system slowdown, but only when left open with the Home folder displayed, click to any other folder except the 2 unidentified ones and it stops accessing the HD and taking up processor time, I put a screenshot in the Op Q showing the result. But I still need to figure out what is creating these directories at random. There don't seem to be any rogue processes running, and I can't link these directories to any processes or programs. Frustrating... –  del Jan 14 at 21:38
    
@del Have you tried fsck-ing your file system? I think it is simply a file system corruption then. –  falconer Jan 14 at 21:49
    
I did set it to do a scan at the next boot earlier today by setting the count manually, but I'll try booting from my USB tomorrow and using fsck on the HD. I'll report back what happens. Thanks guys. –  del Jan 14 at 22:18

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.