[Nottingham] Distro reccomendations for older PC

John stellafan at jjsh.org
Wed Aug 2 16:53:19 BST 2006

I've got Kubuntu up and running, but it's running like a one legged dog 
in cement. I needed to keep XP on the Athlon, so I've put another hard 
drive in on the secondary IDE channel.  It's an ATA100 interface on my 
mobo, as the promise ATA133/RAID controller has given me grief in XP 
before, so it's disabled. I've edited the Grub menu to it defaults to 
XP, so as not to upset my house mate who uses this PC. XP runs as normal.

Kubuntu, however, takes an age to load, and once at the desktop, 
anything that appears to use the hard disk is very slow. At boot up, it 
stays at 'Mounting root file system' for over 1:25.

Checking with HDParm, I get the following;

jjsh at ath-ku:~$ sudo hdparm -t -T /dev/hdb

 Timing cached reads:   996 MB in  2.00 seconds = 497.08 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:    8 MB in  3.26 seconds =   2.45 MB/sec
jjsh at ath-ku:~$  

That doesn't look to bad to me, so I rebooted , removing the splash and 
quite switches to see what is going on.

It appears to be taking most time on boot when giving a message such as 
'DMA timeout error : status 0x58' , for each IDE device ( including the 
DVD burner). I've put this as a search string into the KUbubtu forums, 
but can't find anything that appears relevant to my situation, the same 
with Google.

I'll keep plugging away, as the PC works normally otherwise, but are 
these messages logged anywhere in Linux, so that I can look at them in 
more detail?

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