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LiveCDs and HDDs

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devva231
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LiveCDs and HDDs

#1

Post by devva231 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:32 pm

This will probably be a weird newbie question here, but I expect you guys have had plenty. It's my understanding that running MX Linux in Live CD mode is basically running it via the RAM and DVD burner...that it does not touch the hard disk. So I am wondering what is causing my HDD to go into superspin cycle within about 15 to 30 minutes after I start to surf the web? It only lasts a few minutes, but that is long enough to activate my paranoia mode! As I always raise the firewall as soon as the LiveCD process is complete, and set incoming to either deny or reject, I think my HDD going into hyperdrive could not mean stuff is downloading; but since outgoing is set to accept, it could mean some or all of the HDD contents are being copied and sent over the internet. At least that is my fear. My paranoia is made worse by the off button being disabled while this occurs, so the only way to stop the HDD from spinning is to cut the power.

The HDD going crazy happens with both MX Linux 17.1 and 18.2. It happens with Linux Mint 18.3 Mate. So far it has not happened while using TAILS nor with AntiX, and it does not happen with XP Pro. I had thought it might be browser-based (Mozilla Mothership doing some nefarious trick), so I used Waterfox, but that did not stop it from happening. Maybe the HDD spinning wildly is a normal thing with MX Linux and Linux Mint? Am I being paranoid about nothing?

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masterpeace
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#2

Post by masterpeace » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:57 pm

well technically the power up button do power up your hdd/ssd ...

it's not from technical pov , but here it is : logically live environment exist so it can install whatever linux you're live on to your hdd , the expert and veteran might have different answer

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JayM
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#3

Post by JayM » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:43 pm

From the description of hard drive activity happening from 15 to 30 minutes after booting and beginning to use MX it sounds like a file indexing service running. You can run the process viewer (Task Manager) and sort the columns by hard drive activity (I think) to find what process is likely causing it.

Nothing in MX Live CD is sending anyone's files anywhere over the Internet. If you're paranoid about that I suggest only running the Live CD or USB when the computer isn't connected to the Internet, or using Tails instead.

(Edit: no, you can only sort running processes by name, Process ID number, "RSS" whatever that is, CPU usage and Priority. A task that's causing that much disk activity will probably be using a bunch of CPU cycles too though, so sorting by that should give an idea.)
Last edited by JayM on Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Please read How To Ask For Help and How to Break Your System.
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Adrian
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#4

Post by Adrian » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:49 pm

You can probably install iotop and run it when this happens and see what is using the HDD. However it might be something else, because it's about 15 to 30 min. and it happens for other distros I wonder if it's not something related to actually stopping the HDD.

Also, what do you have on that HDD, do you have a swap partition? MX might be using that. I think you need to start with "noswap" boot parameter to make sure you don't use swap

devva231
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#5

Post by devva231 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:54 am

Adrian wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:49 pm
You can probably install iotop and run it when this happens and see what is using the HDD. However it might be something else, because it's about 15 to 30 min. and it happens for other distros I wonder if it's not something related to actually stopping the HDD.

Also, what do you have on that HDD, do you have a swap partition? MX might be using that. I think you need to start with "noswap" boot parameter to make sure you don't use swap

Yeah, I doubt iotop would do anything useful (https://www.tecmint.com/iotop-monitor-l ... r-process/), as it looks like gibberish to me. To use it, you have to be able to understand what it is showing you.

Only thing on my primary HDD is XP Pro. I have no idea if there is a swap partition. MY used PC was bought from Ebay with XP Pro pre-installed. My secondary HDD is a mobile-rack that I have never installed an HDD in, so it has to be the primary that is whirling. I again tried out AntiX today for a six hour session, and again the HDD remained dead silent. Even though I do not much like AntiX, I may have to rethink installing MX Linux on my secondary HDD....if it can get into my primary HDD as a LiveCD, no telling what it could do once installed on the secondary hard disk.

devva231
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#6

Post by devva231 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:17 am

JayM wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:43 pm
From the description of hard drive activity happening from 15 to 30 minutes after booting and beginning to use MX it sounds like a file indexing service running. You can run the process viewer (Task Manager) and sort the columns by hard drive activity (I think) to find what process is likely causing it.

Nothing in MX Live CD is sending anyone's files anywhere over the Internet. If you're paranoid about that I suggest only running the Live CD or USB when the computer isn't connected to the Internet, or using Tails instead.

(Edit: no, you can only sort running processes by name, Process ID number, "RSS" whatever that is, CPU usage and Priority. A task that's causing that much disk activity will probably be using a bunch of CPU cycles too though, so sorting by that should give an idea.)
Can I get to "process viewer (Task Manager)" without CLI acrobatics? If so, how exactly, and what am I looking for? It's a relief to hear MX Linux is not sending "files anywhere over the Internet". That said, the fact it has entry into my primary HDD (where XP Pro is), and can disable the 'off' button on my PC, is not comforting. Can a "file indexing service" mess up XP Pro? Is it required? Can I stop it?

Everything I ever read on LiveCD mode has said it does not touch the HDD, yet here the HDD is consistently going into superspin cycle. I have to wonder if all the stuff that said LiveCD could not write to the HDD, or make changes to it is also suspect. I'd like to learn Linux, but not at the risk of my XP Pro.

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JayM
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#7

Post by JayM » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:53 am

I think it's time we have your system information to help us to figure out what's going on. Run MX Tools/Quick System Info then simply right-click and paste into a reply. No need to copy/paste. just paste. Quick System Info copies the output to your clipboard for you, already formatted for posting in the forum.
Please read How To Ask For Help and How to Break Your System.
MX User Manual: hold down ALT and press F1. Further information may be found in the MX Wiki.

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Pierre
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Re: LiveCDs and HDDs

#8

Post by Pierre » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:07 am

it may just be swapping out some memory, to your drive,
since this seems to happen after any period of web surfing.

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