High CPU Usage on software raid 0



clive@bluebottle.com
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
Hi,

I set up a software raid 0 on two 80 gig seagate drives a while ago and
everything was going swimmingly, I was getting great transfer rates and
not much CPU usage using the raid.

Recently, I'm not sure exactly when, but the CPU usage needed to
perform file operations on the drives has become very intense.

To read a file now, my CPU shoots up to around 80%.
When i look at the graph, the red graph is just as high as the green
graph, that is, the kernel seems to be doing a lot of work. When i look
at the applications CPU usage, it's still very low and the system idle
process is around the 90% mark.

Has anyone heard of this before, and what solutions are there to
solving this confusing problem?

Could it be a problem with a degraded cable or bent in an bad way?

Hardware
Athlon 2400+
Two Seagate 80gig drives software raid 0
Both using seperate IDE cables (different channels i think is the word
i should use here), they are the only devices on their respective
cables.

using Windows XP SP2, all security patches applied.

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
<clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
news:1119161237.789514.301350@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> I set up a software raid 0 on two 80 gig seagate drives a while ago and
> everything was going swimmingly, I was getting great transfer rates and
> not much CPU usage using the raid.
>
> Recently, I'm not sure exactly when, but the CPU usage needed to
> perform file operations on the drives has become very intense.
>
> To read a file now, my CPU shoots up to around 80%.
> When i look at the graph, the red graph is just as high as the green
> graph, that is, the kernel seems to be doing a lot of work. When i look
> at the applications CPU usage, it's still very low and the system idle
> process is around the 90% mark.
>
> Has anyone heard of this before, and what solutions are there to
> solving this confusing problem?
>
> Could it be a problem with a degraded cable or bent in an bad way?
>
> Hardware
> Athlon 2400+
> Two Seagate 80gig drives software raid 0
> Both using seperate IDE cables (different channels i think is the word
> i should use here), they are the only devices on their respective
> cables.
>
> using Windows XP SP2, all security patches applied.
>

Did you add a new antivirus program?

Kerry

clive@bluebottle.com
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
No I have not, I don't have any antivirus software on here. I did two
days ago however install norton utilities, to get norton disk doctor to
scan the drives to see if there was anything it could pick up.

But after it didn't find anything, I uninstalled that immediately,
norton stuff always clogs up systems.

Richard Urban
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
It is impossible for "system idle" to be at 90% while CPU usage is at 80%.
Simple mathematics tells you that you can not utilize more than the whole.

--
Regards,

Richard Urban

If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!


<clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
news:1119161237.789514.301350@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> I set up a software raid 0 on two 80 gig seagate drives a while ago and
> everything was going swimmingly, I was getting great transfer rates and
> not much CPU usage using the raid.
>
> Recently, I'm not sure exactly when, but the CPU usage needed to
> perform file operations on the drives has become very intense.
>
> To read a file now, my CPU shoots up to around 80%.
> When i look at the graph, the red graph is just as high as the green
> graph, that is, the kernel seems to be doing a lot of work. When i look
> at the applications CPU usage, it's still very low and the system idle
> process is around the 90% mark.
>
> Has anyone heard of this before, and what solutions are there to
> solving this confusing problem?
>
> Could it be a problem with a degraded cable or bent in an bad way?
>
> Hardware
> Athlon 2400+
> Two Seagate 80gig drives software raid 0
> Both using seperate IDE cables (different channels i think is the word
> i should use here), they are the only devices on their respective
> cables.
>
> using Windows XP SP2, all security patches applied.
>

Richard Urban
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
Wow! You have no antivirus and you are wondering why you have problems? Get,
install, update and run a good antivirus program.

--
Regards,

Richard Urban

If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!


<clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
news:1119175057.597253.203520@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> No I have not, I don't have any antivirus software on here. I did two
> days ago however install norton utilities, to get norton disk doctor to
> scan the drives to see if there was anything it could pick up.
>
> But after it didn't find anything, I uninstalled that immediately,
> norton stuff always clogs up systems.
>

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
"Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:uiUGEINdFHA.220@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
> Wow! You have no antivirus and you are wondering why you have problems?
> Get, install, update and run a good antivirus program.
>
> --
> Regards,
>
> Richard Urban
>
> If you knew as much as you think you know,
> You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
>
>
> <clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
> news:1119175057.597253.203520@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> No I have not, I don't have any antivirus software on here. I did two
>> days ago however install norton utilities, to get norton disk doctor to
>> scan the drives to see if there was anything it could pick up.
>>
>> But after it didn't find anything, I uninstalled that immediately,
>> norton stuff always clogs up systems.
>>

I agree with Richard. If you don't have an antivirus program installed you
may be infected with something. Make sure you are spyware and virus free
before looking for a hardware problem.

One thing to check is the mode your drives are in. It will be under the
properties of the controller in device manager. If Windows detects too many
errors on a drive it will switch from UDMA to PIO mode. One or both of the
drives may have a problem. This is one of the reasons I NEVER use RAID 0. It
is a disaster waiting to happen. If there is a problem with one drive you
loose the data on both drives. The performance gains are negligible unless
you invest in very expensive controllers and drives. With software RAID 0
you unless you have a very fast system you are probably seeing a net loss of
drive throughput.

I would make sure you have your important data backed up before going any
further. Messing with RAID trying to change modes can cause the software
RAID setup to break and you will loose everything.

Kerry

clive@bluebottle.com
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
Look, if this was a virus, I'd say it's showing pretty peculiar
symptoms. I'd be very suprised if you've ever heard of a virus that
describes what I've explained. Only stopping one hard drive from
performing at its regular level.

Thankyou for making me look into the problem further. I've made some
interesting discoveries.

Normally I've got Seti@home running in the background, which makes my
CPU usage at 100% all the time on the Performance tab. Not that all the
CPU is going to seti@home. Looking at the kernel times (the red graph
in the performance tab), it doesn't really do much.

When I close Seti@home everything pretty much goes dead and before
doing any reading or writing on the raid 0, my system is running with
the following processes using 0-2% usage.

Opera.exe
Explorer.exe
javaw.exe (Azureus.exe)

Copying large files between the other hard drives on my computer make
explorer.exe work anywhere from 5-10% of my CPU. Noting here that the
kernel cpu usage can go anywhere between that 5 and 10% depending on
what seems to be random to me.

However when I copy files to or from (do any read or write access) on
my raid 0, one thing always occurs, my CPU & Kernel usage hit the roof,
going to around 80% but can go to 100 or 60.

Then either one of two things occur with the processes using my system.

1. My System Idle reports using most of the CPU anywhere from 50-95%
and the other processes look normal, or

2. All other processes are now using a lot more, and all in equal
amounts.

So where before it would be
Opera 1
Explorer 2
javaw 1

now it's

opera 17
explorer 34
javaw 17

or

opera 50
javaw 25
explorer 12
winamp 12

It seems to be as if the 50 or 25, are actually the 1 and 2 but
multiplied by 25 (or 17 or some arbitrary number)

Those processes are certainly not doing that much work, I've never seen
opera use 50% of my CPU when it's idle.

One thing is very clear though, in the performance graph, the red
kernel graph is always matching my green graph. Normally teh kernel
graph is 0 to 10 under all regular operations, but to see it match the
green graph says to me that the kernel is using up everything.. and
leaving little else for all teh other processes.

I'm making stabs in the dark here when I say that it says to me that
why the other processes show that they are using 50, 25, 12, 17 percent
of the CPU is because that, they are using 50% of what is actually left
after the kernel has been using it all.

I'm going to try doing some of these tests in safe mode and see if it
does the same things

V Green
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
<irrelevant preaching by Math Professor Richard snipped>


>
> <clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
> news:1119161237.789514.301350@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Hi,
> >
> > I set up a software raid 0 on two 80 gig seagate drives a while ago and
> > everything was going swimmingly, I was getting great transfer rates and
> > not much CPU usage using the raid.
> >
> > Recently, I'm not sure exactly when, but the CPU usage needed to
> > perform file operations on the drives has become very intense.
> >
> > To read a file now, my CPU shoots up to around 80%.
> > When i look at the graph, the red graph is just as high as the green
> > graph, that is, the kernel seems to be doing a lot of work. When i look
> > at the applications CPU usage, it's still very low and the system idle
> > process is around the 90% mark.
> >
> > Has anyone heard of this before, and what solutions are there to
> > solving this confusing problem?
> >
> > Could it be a problem with a degraded cable or bent in an bad way?
> >
> > Hardware
> > Athlon 2400+
> > Two Seagate 80gig drives software raid 0
> > Both using seperate IDE cables (different channels i think is the word
> > i should use here), they are the only devices on their respective
> > cables.
> >
> > using Windows XP SP2, all security patches applied.
> >
>
>

To the OP:

I would go after the usual suspect for sudden and strange
system behavior:

Windows Updates.

If you have them set to download automatically, you may
have picked up a bum one or two. If you have a restore point
to before this stuff started, backup then use it. The last crop,
in particular, seem to have been causing strange issues (search
the NG on "updates" for the last couple weeks).

If that doesn't work, backup your data on the stripe set, break
the set with Disk Manager, download whatever disk utility Seagate
has for checking disks and run it on each disk. If you have a
floppy, try to get a utility that runs from a DOS boot disk.

Also check your BIOS settings, make sure that "32 bit disk
access" or whatever they're calling it did not get turned off.

sastofugi
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
Antivirus has nothing to do with it. On my main machine I do not have an
antivirus installed. and I have my main machines alway running like this
for 15 years. if you have a good firewall and you know what you are
doing you do not need an antivirus. I manage IT for 20 years and only
rookies need antiviruses. (read everybody else).
Anyway the problem IT IS the DMA reverting to PIO. It is a known issue
with software RAID in windows.
Make sure you have the latest windows updates Software Packs, etc.
Then check and uninstall the offending IDE channel (probably the RAIDed
one) from the Harware Device Manager: it will ask you to reboot. When
the system rebooted windows will find the IDE channel and the HD
attached to it and will ask you to reboot again... if you have another
HD on the same channel Click on NO so it can find it at once and you do
not have to reboot a third time, (also sometime the third reboot will
revert the first HD to PIO and then will ask for a fourth reboot and
revert the second HD to PIO because on the same channel).
Cheers
MS


--
sastofugiPosted from http://www.pcreview.co.uk/ newsgroup access

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
"sastofugi" <sastofugi.1qytsm@> wrote in message
news:trWdnWzb3tUJXCrfRVn_vg@giganews.com...
>
> Antivirus has nothing to do with it. On my main machine I do not have an
> antivirus installed. and I have my main machines alway running like this
> for 15 years. if you have a good firewall and you know what you are
> doing you do not need an antivirus. I manage IT for 20 years and only
> rookies need antiviruses. (read everybody else).
> Anyway the problem IT IS the DMA reverting to PIO. It is a known issue
> with software RAID in windows.
> Make sure you have the latest windows updates Software Packs, etc.
> Then check and uninstall the offending IDE channel (probably the RAIDed
> one) from the Harware Device Manager: it will ask you to reboot. When
> the system rebooted windows will find the IDE channel and the HD
> attached to it and will ask you to reboot again... if you have another
> HD on the same channel Click on NO so it can find it at once and you do
> not have to reboot a third time, (also sometime the third reboot will
> revert the first HD to PIO and then will ask for a fourth reboot and
> revert the second HD to PIO because on the same channel).
> Cheers
> MS
>
>
> --
> sastofugiPosted from http://www.pcreview.co.uk/ newsgroup access
>

You have a very inflated opinion of your skills. (i.e. everyone other than
you is a rookie). I feel the pain of the people you manage.

You don't recommend a backup before proceeding with your procedure. It is
possible for the RAID 0 to be broken when doing this procedure in which case
the OP will loose all their data.

Kerry

Treeman
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
Be interesting to find out if he fixes his problems.
"I NEVER use RAID 0. It is a disaster waiting to happen."
So is a single drive if it blows up!
"The performance gains are negligible unless you invest in very
expensive controllers and drives."
Wanna race for pinks?
"You don't recommend a backup before proceeding with your procedure."
BTW, I have an image I create of my raid 0 drives _within_ XP to an
internal Ide drive using Casper XP.
'Casper XP' (http://www.fssdev.com/products/casperxp/)
So I guess for every roadblock to speed, there are solutions. As far as
the OP's problems, he may well work it out.
Treeman


--
Treeman


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Treeman's Profile: http://www.msusenet.com/member.php?userid=1260
View this thread: http://www.msusenet.com/t-1870547818

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:56 AM
"Treeman" <Treeman.1qzm58@no-mx.msusenet.com> wrote in message
news:Treeman.1qzm58@no-mx.msusenet.com...
>
> Be interesting to find out if he fixes his problems.
> "I NEVER use RAID 0. It is a disaster waiting to happen."
> So is a single drive if it blows up!

Software RAID 0 has the potential for many things other than a hardware
failure to cause it to break. Even just accounting for a failed drive you
have doubled your chances that you will loose your data at some point.

> "The performance gains are negligible unless you invest in very
> expensive controllers and drives."
> Wanna race for pinks?

Please point me to some bench marks that show software RAID 0 making a
significant difference in overall drive throughput. I have tested RAID 0 on
several configurations, PATA, SATA, SCSI, software and hardware controlled.
I sometimes use it for a swap file in a server with SCSI drives and a SCSI
RAID controller. This is the only setup I have personally seen that RAID 0
shows a performance increase that is noticable and the risk level is
acceptable. Even then it was a bandaid until they could afford to upgrade
the server.

> "You don't recommend a backup before proceeding with your procedure."
> BTW, I have an image I create of my raid 0 drives _within_ XP to an
> internal Ide drive using Casper XP.

Good for you. The OP didn't mention that he had performed a backup. I always
try to warn people when a procedure I recommend may cause data loss. I had
already recommended earlier in the thread that he check what mode the drives
were operating in. I have seen a software RAID setup break by changing the
IDE driver.

> 'Casper XP' (http://www.fssdev.com/products/casperxp/)
> So I guess for every roadblock to speed, there are solutions. As far as
> the OP's problems, he may well work it out.

Hopefully he will. There have been a lot of good suggestions to point him to
a solution.

Kerry

clive@bluebottle.com
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
Ahh PIO!

This has happened to me before with an older drive where it somehow
reverted back to PIO mode.

Funny thing was, that I think that's one thing I checked before I
posted here. What made it unfortunate, was that I didn't check both IDE
channels! The first one is working with UDMA 5, while the second is
working in PIO.

Polly Wally Crappy!

Unfortunately I don't have enough space to make a backup, so I'll just
move the important data across, and lose stuff I don't cheerish if
things go bad. But Hopefully they won't.

Thanks for this suggestion, it should fix everything when I reboot!

clive@bluebottle.com
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
Ok, before you fellas jump on me why raids are good and bad. The reason
I have the raid is because I'm transferring my childhood home videos
from tape to DVD. I'm doing it first by using a lossless codec to dump
the raw video and audio onto the hard drives.

When I started the project, the drives around that were cheap were 80
gig drives, and I needed about 4 hours of video / tape which is about
160gb give or take.

With the RAID 0, it gave me the write performance I needed, a good
10mb/s solid, guarenteed.

Of course, this PIO mode really screwed that up :)

Secondly, what's OP?

Thirdly, I do agree that with the right firewall (a good ADSL modem)
you don't need virus scanners. :) I've only ever gotten one virus in my
computing years, and that was because I was cleaning out my old files,
saw a .eml file, and thought... what's that.. double click to read..
didn't open anything.. suspicious... damnit.

A few hours later and everything was clean again, it was a fun day.

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
<clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
news:1119446665.341224.148790@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Ok, before you fellas jump on me why raids are good and bad. The reason
> I have the raid is because I'm transferring my childhood home videos
> from tape to DVD. I'm doing it first by using a lossless codec to dump
> the raw video and audio onto the hard drives.
>
> When I started the project, the drives around that were cheap were 80
> gig drives, and I needed about 4 hours of video / tape which is about
> 160gb give or take.
>
> With the RAID 0, it gave me the write performance I needed, a good
> 10mb/s solid, guarenteed.

That's your choice. Personally I've seen too many problems to use it.
Particulary with software RAID 0.

>
> Of course, this PIO mode really screwed that up :)
>
> Secondly, what's OP?

Original Post or Original Poster

>
> Thirdly, I do agree that with the right firewall (a good ADSL modem)
> you don't need virus scanners. :) I've only ever gotten one virus in my
> computing years, and that was because I was cleaning out my old files,
> saw a .eml file, and thought... what's that.. double click to read..
> didn't open anything.. suspicious... damnit.
>
> A few hours later and everything was clean again, it was a fun day.
>

I have seen more than few computers brought in for repair where the person
claimed they didn't need an antivirus program because they were careful and
knew what they were doing. Guess what I found their problem to be? I don't
have autoscanning turned on but I do use an antivirus program to scan my
computer at regular intervals. I have found virii on my system but never to
the point where they have actually been executed. The virus writers seem to
be able to stay one step ahead of Microsoft and lately have taken to
targeting security holes in programs rather than windows. In my opinion no
matter how well protected you are it is only a matter of time before you are
infected. Of course that's only my opinion, everyone has a right to their
own opinion.

Kerry

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
<clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
news:1119445600.783518.5910@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Ahh PIO!
>
> This has happened to me before with an older drive where it somehow
> reverted back to PIO mode.
>
> Funny thing was, that I think that's one thing I checked before I
> posted here. What made it unfortunate, was that I didn't check both IDE
> channels! The first one is working with UDMA 5, while the second is
> working in PIO.
>
> Polly Wally Crappy!
>
> Unfortunately I don't have enough space to make a backup, so I'll just
> move the important data across, and lose stuff I don't cheerish if
> things go bad. But Hopefully they won't.
>
> Thanks for this suggestion, it should fix everything when I reboot!
>

You'll probably be OK. I've only seen changing the IDE driver break a
software RAID once. It was RAID 1 so no data was lost. Backups are always a
good idea when the possibility of data loss exists :-)

Kerry

clive@bluebottle.com
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
Don't worry, everything went swimingly.

I've found that Windows seems to be quite intelligent when it comes to
this software raid that I've created. I've moved the drives onto
different IDE channels before and it seemed to have picked it up and
been fine with it.

So I had some level of confidence that there wouldn't be any problems
(probably misguided by the way you fellas talk).

I do agree that it's a good idea to having an AV on, but not running
all the time. I think I used a free one at one time in the past. If you
have a free one that scans everything every now and again, I'll be
happy to give it a go.

What's funny is that since this software raid, I've bought a Silicon
Sil 0680 card, but I can't figure out how to get it to do raid 0 for
me. there doesn't seem to be any online manuals.

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
<clive@bluebottle.com> wrote in message
news:1119488388.991936.158660@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Don't worry, everything went swimingly.
>
> I've found that Windows seems to be quite intelligent when it comes to
> this software raid that I've created. I've moved the drives onto
> different IDE channels before and it seemed to have picked it up and
> been fine with it.
>
> So I had some level of confidence that there wouldn't be any problems
> (probably misguided by the way you fellas talk).
>
> I do agree that it's a good idea to having an AV on, but not running
> all the time. I think I used a free one at one time in the past. If you
> have a free one that scans everything every now and again, I'll be
> happy to give it a go.
>
> What's funny is that since this software raid, I've bought a Silicon
> Sil 0680 card, but I can't figure out how to get it to do raid 0 for
> me. there doesn't seem to be any online manuals.
>

Glad it worked for you. I would still test the drives with the
manufacturer's diagnostic utility. Windows doesn't usually change from UDMA
to PIO unless it records too many errors. Do you see any drive related
errors in the event logs?

AVG http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1and AVAST www.avast.com both offer free
antivirus programs. I'm not sure if autoscanning can be turned off but I
assume so. There is also a good online scanner at www.trendmicro.com

Kerry

toast
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
When I get home, I'll be testing the hard drives with the seagate
utility. I recently downloaded the Ultimate Boot CD and I think that
has the seagate program on there, so it should make things go quite
easily. I'll report back to you guys with how that goes.

AVG is the one I was trying to think of, but I kept typing AVP and knew
it was wrong!

I had AVAST running on a friends' computer and it actually prevented
her from saving her Word, Excel documents. Because the antivirus tried
scanning the temp documents word created. This process made them
read-only for a small while, and Word then reported errors because of
it. It was a hard problem to track down too.

Kerry Brown
07-10-2005, 12:57 AM
"toast" <cliveontoast@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1119494891.540752.248000@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> When I get home, I'll be testing the hard drives with the seagate
> utility. I recently downloaded the Ultimate Boot CD and I think that
> has the seagate program on there, so it should make things go quite
> easily. I'll report back to you guys with how that goes.
>
> AVG is the one I was trying to think of, but I kept typing AVP and knew
> it was wrong!
>
> I had AVAST running on a friends' computer and it actually prevented
> her from saving her Word, Excel documents. Because the antivirus tried
> scanning the temp documents word created. This process made them
> read-only for a small while, and Word then reported errors because of
> it. It was a hard problem to track down too.
>

I haven't heard of that problem with AVAST. It may have been fixed. I have
several customers who use AVAST and MS Office with no problems. In this case
with autoscanning turned off it definitely wouldn't be a problem.

Kerry


High CPU Usage on software raid 0