SUMMARY Re: Disk activity on every key press, mouse movement... HELP!

From: Augustine Cano (
Date: Tue Feb 14 1995 - 07:57:14 CST

On Fri, 3 Feb 1995 I asked:

> This is not normal. My 3/160 (SunOs 4.1.1_U1) has 32MB RAM and it seems
> it's only using 4 or 8. At boot time, it reports 32MB, the eeprom setup
> is such that it tests 32MB. Yet, every single key click (from an openwin
> window of from a network login), as well as the slightest mouse movement
> causes disk noises. Is it swapping to death? with 32MB of RAM???

Part of the answer lied in the following:

swap on sd0b fstype spec size 16728K

It turns out that under SunOs 4.1.* a primary swap partition *larger* than
main memory is needed. I had to increase my primary swap partition.
Luckily, I have /usr on another disk, so I could trash and newfs sd0h.
This is how to do it:

Boot from tape, install miniroot and reboot from it. Run suninstall
and tell it to partition sd0, preserving the root partition and increasing
the swap partition. Suninstall is pretty good at asking multiple times
before it does anything destructive. When told to proceed with the
installation, suninstall will repartition sd0b taking space from the
diskhog partition (in my case sd0h) and leave sd0a (/) alone. Then
newfs will be run on sd0h. It is safe to interrupt the installation
once newfs has finished. All you need to do then is reboot and cleanup
the partially installed files in sd0h (which I had told suninstall was /usr).
At this point you have a larger primary swap partition, an intact root
partition and an empty sd0g which will be re-mounted as before according
to /etc/fstab.

Now the machine (a 3/160) runs noticeably faster; however, there is still
a lot of disk I/O on key presses and mouse movements. So this was not
the whole story. Vmstat shows that when moving the mouse, device interrupts
increase dramatically, as it should be, but why does that cause disk
activity? Vmstat also shows that all the memory is recognized and more
than 25MB are free after booting and starting openwin. I now wonder if I
might have a hardware problem that causes mouse/keyboard interrupts to
affect the disks...

BTW, in another posting I asked:

> Is there an equivalent to u386mon for SunOs? ...

Obviously, vmstat does most of what I needed u386mon for.

Thanks to those who responded.

Augustine Cano		INTERNET:
			UUCP:     ...!{ernest,hico2}!shibaya!afc

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