Ubuntu: How to fix Ubuntu 13.10 locking up due to disk IO



Question:

I've been an Ubuntu fan for many years, and have had no issues to speak of so far, but since I've bought a new laptop, I've run into an issue that I can't figure out how to deal with.

After about 2-3 hours of sustained usage, my computer irrevocably locks up completely. It starts running slowly for a few minutes, having some stutter and other issues, and eventually the entire system just freezes.

I've been able to capture a screen of my iotop when the problem is occuring, which seems to be the issue. top is showing nothing out of the ordinary, except a steadily increasing load. Please note that this is the last I saw anything on my screen change, after this it was completely frozen.

iotop

I'm quite out of my depth. Since none of the programs I'm running seem to be the culprit specifically, I can't really uninstall something and be done.

The system in question is a laptop with the following specs:

Intel Core i7 620M 2,66GHz
Quadro FX 880M
4GB DDR3
7200rpm 320GB

How could I fix (or find) this issue?


Solution:1

Apparently psusi was correct, and I was swapping like mad. I managed it by closing chrome tabs as soon as I noticed the symptoms and limiting the memory consumption of some programs I had running (as far as was possible).

Eventually I figured out a better solution. The real culprit was likely that my system did not have any swap partition (for some reason not automatically created during installation). Now that I've created one everything seems to be fine.


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