Ubuntu Hard disk performance

Asked by Nitish Mittal


Please consider me a newbie to linux

my English is also bad

I am using ubuntu 8.04

My system configuration is a bit older

pentium4 2.26GHz with intel 845g chipset motherboard.

I have an IDE disk of 40 GB

~$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE/PE DRAM Controller/Host-Hub Interface (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-M) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev 82)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL (ICH4/ICH4-L) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801DB (ICH4) IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
01:05.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)

In linux all IDE disk listed as 'hda' and SATA as 'sda'

In my case my IDE disk mapped as SATA

$ sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for nitish:

Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40060403712 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4870 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xb225b225

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 2550 20482843+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda2 2551 4009 11719417+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda3 4010 4799 6345675 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 4800 4870 570307+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

but i have no SATA disk and even no SATA port

Here is the performance of my HDD-

~$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/sda

Timing cached reads: 642 MB in 2.00 seconds = 320.61 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 58 MB in 3.04 seconds = 19.05 MB/sec

Which is not a good answer given by `hdparm`

My hard disk is slow..

also DMA seems to be not working...

$ sudo hdparm /dev/sda

IO_support = 0 (default)
HDIO_GET_UNMASKINTR failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device
HDIO_GET_DMA failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device
HDIO_GET_KEEPSETTINGS failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device
readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 256 (on)
geometry = 4870/255/63, sectors = 78242976, start = 0

I check $lsmod command it shows me that the "libata" modules are loaded and there is no ide-disk and ide-cd


I think "libata" controls SATA disk.

Is my IDE disk is controlled by SATA drivers?

or it is the natural speed of my hard disk?

It may be a Bug. I don't know!

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Benjamin Drung (bdrung) said :

Thank you for taking the time to report this issue and helping to make Ubuntu better. Examining the information you have given us, this does not appear to be a bug report so we are closing it and converting it to a question in the support tracker. We appreciate the difficulties you are facing, but it would make more sense to raise problems you are having in the support tracker at https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu if you are uncertain if they are bugs. For help on reporting bugs, see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs .

Revision history for this message
Nitish Mittal (nitish-nit555) said :

Thank you very much for your response.

I have asked the same issue at ubuntuforums.org.


They say that it may be a bug.

I also does not find any solution for the problem over internet.

so I reported it as a bug.

Revision history for this message
Benjamin Drung (bdrung) said :

In newer kernel versions libata controls SATA and IDE disks. Thats the reason why your IDE disk is listed as "sd?" and not as "hd?".

19 MiB/s for a hdd is slow today (the fastest disk reach 100 MiB/s), but for an 40 GB hard drive it is normal. For comparison: My 250 GB hard drive have an performance between 30 MiB/s and 70 MiB/s against how full it is.

Revision history for this message
Nitish Mittal (nitish-nit555) said :



But on "damn small linux" using virtual box under winXP 'hdparm reprts me the Timing cached reads about 1200 MB in 2 sec. and also disk shows as 'hda' not 'sda' yet "Damn small linux" uses linux kernel 2.4.*.*

Revision history for this message
Benjamin Drung (bdrung) said :

I have reopened the bug report: https://launchpad.net/bugs/257840

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