[SATLUG] Trying to install Fedora 10 on a Dell Dimension 3000

Alan Lesmerises alesmerises at satx.rr.com
Mon Aug 10 20:27:49 CDT 2009

Alan Lesmerises wrote:
> John Pappas wrote:
>> On Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 14:24, Peter Cross <pjcrux at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hello All,
>>> Trying to install F10 on a Dell Dimension 3000. However the install 
>>> process
>>> takes about 5 minutes per page in anaconda. When I boot into windows 
>>> task
>>> manager shows 100% CPU utilization. Any thoughts? Is the processor 
>>> going
>>> bad? Memory? The board? Can't figure this out.
>> This is not very clear.  How are you loading F10 and using the 
>> Windows task
>> manager?  Will assume that you have a dual boot system, and you are 
>> checking
>> CPU right after booting Windows.  Windows takes a bit of time to finish
>> loading, so on a slower PC the CPU could be pegged for a while doing
>> background things.
>> However, you want to diagnose potential hardware problems, so I will aim
>> there:
>> Quick check: BIOS seems to be OK and the system POSTs.  DOes the BIOS
>> reflect proper CPU, CPU speed, Memory installed, etc?
>> I would then check the Power Management settings in the BIOS, as 
>> sometimes
>> the CPU scales back and 100% is actually 100% of 30% of the CPU's 
>> primary Hz
>> capability (even on Desktops).
>> To check memory, I use the MemTest86+ program that is included in 
>> many live
>> CDs, maybe even the install media for Fedora.  I use SysrescueCD for my
>> hardware diagnostics, but GRC's SpinRite does hard drives better.  
>> Both take
>> a long time, so be ready to leave the machine alone for 8-24 hours 
>> depending
>> on level of checks selected.
>> For most linux install processes (Assume FC is the same), there are 
>> other
>> tty's that you can get to with Ctl-Alt-Fx (where x is 1-8, and 7 is 
>> usually
>> the GUI), just like with running linux systems.  Most of the time, basic
>> stuff like `ps` is available, sometimes even `top`.  You could use 
>> that CLI
>> to do some monitoring to see what is processing.  Most install 
>> routines are
>> not CPU conservative, as the theory is that it is running on a fresh, 
>> single
>> system and will only be done once, so do it right, not fast;  thus 
>> install
>> on a slower system is (you guessed it) slower.  Especially during the 
>> YUM
>> routines.
>> Do you have the target drive on the same bus as the install media (CD or
>> DVD)?
>> If the HDD is beginning to fail, things tend to be slow as well (Try 
>> looking
>> at the other tty's, as IIRC a couple of them have log outputs), see 
>> if there
>> are any IDE retries or things of that nature.  It also may need swap 
>> (IIRC
>> the install routine enables swap after the partitioning phase) to "speed
>> up".
>> Once you have collected more detailed info that you can pass on, we 
>> can dig
>> in further.
>> HTH,
>> jp
> Other things to check would be in the Task Manager -- what program is 
> eating up the CPU?
> I've seen systems (mine included) where "svchost.exe" was at 100% CPU 
> utilization for an extended period after boot-up for no apparent 
> reason.  It seemed that it could be because over time the registry has 
> gotten filled up with garbage, bad settings, who knows; the system has 
> been infected with some kind of spyware or virus(es); or the HD may 
> just need some serious housekeeping (defrag, etc.).
> If the program responsible for pegging the CPU is something else, we 
> might need to do some other research on that.
> Al Lesmerises

I also forgot to mention to look for some ill-mannered programs that 
might be hogging the Page File.  I've recently identified Firefox (for 
Windows) as having a memory leak issue, and if it is running with many 
web pages open at once (some sites are worse than others) it will leak 
memory faster and eat up the page file.  When it starts to reach some 
maximum (it probably differs from system to system -- it's about 2 1/2 
GB on my system) the CPU utilization goes to 100% while seemingly doing 
nothing.  I suspect it's trying to manage the Page File as best it can ...

This probably isn't the case in your situation, though, because it takes 
at least a little while after starting Firefox before it gets to that 
point.  But it may shed some light on your situation if your page file 
is growing for no apparent reason.

Al Lesmerises

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