For some reason, my Ubuntu 12.04 recently became very slow.

My specifications:

  • HP laptop, core 2 duo T6600, 2.20 Ghz x2
  • Ati radeon
  • 2 GB RAM

Symptoms in Unity 3d:

  • Dash takes endless to open
  • Applications take a long time to open
  • Often screen freezes

Symptoms in Unity 2d:

  • Same as above but less frequent

What I already checked:

  • Driver is xserver
  • Tested hardware for 3d compatibility: I get for all positions "yes", for both Unity 3d and Unity 2d

When the problems occur:

  • CPU load for both cpus about 25%, which is not much
  • RAM swappiness = 10 (changing the value not really matters)
  • RAM is almost always on 90%

It is slow on all applications, but most problems occur when I try to open RAW images from an external hard drive.

I am really clueless what could be the reason.

THX for your help Eric


Could be your harddrive. Core 2 Duo T6600 seems to be kind of long in the tooth

apt-get install smartmontools gsmartcontrol smart-notifier 
sudo gsmartcontrol

If you get any errors, please make sure you have a good backup of your data.

  • Hi thx for your reply. Here is what I get after running gsmartcontrol: – user269162 Apr 16 '14 at 10:46
  • Hi thx for your reply. Here is what I get after running gsmartcontrol: <warn> [hz] Warning: exit: SMART status check returned "DISK OK" but we found that some (usage or prefail) Attributes have been less than threshold at some time in the past. <warn> [hz] Warning: exit: Device open failed, or device did not return an IDENTIFY DEVICE structure. <warn> [app] execute_smartctl(): Error while executing smartctl binary. <warn> [app] StorageDevice::execute_device_smartctl(): Error while executing smartctl binary. <warn> [app] SmartctlParser::parse_full(): No ATA sections could be parsed. – user269162 Apr 16 '14 at 10:52
  • Did you run the gsmartcontrol with sudo in front of it? To me, it is sounding as your drive is highly dubious. Replacement drives are not expensive. Specifically which model of HP do you have? The model numbers generally have a hash (#) symbol in the middle of them? Generally the drives are fairly easy to replace. There is the smaller chance that it could be your drive controller, but typically it is the drive that fails. – David Apr 16 '14 at 12:28
  • I ran also Disc Utility which is in Ubuntu 12.04 and it says, that the cpu temperature is also too high (runs at around 63 C). Jep ran with sudo. It is a HP pavillion dv6 core2duo T6600. (at the moment in Africa - drives here 320GB are about 100 US$). But available. – user269162 Apr 16 '14 at 13:11
  • You could try a notebook cooling pad / fan that plugs into your USB. My laptop is running at about 60 C as well. – David Apr 16 '14 at 15:00

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