Severe instabilities and system lockups

David Jackson djackson452 at
Thu Mar 11 23:03:21 UTC 2010

David Jackson wrote:
> I am still having severe problems with severe system instabilities 
> with FreeBSD and have had these problrms in 7.1 and 8.0. The system 
> randomly locks up, it appears applications lock up when they access 
> the USb disk. Also, when accessing the USB disk, the entire system 
> lockup often for minutes. Performance with accessing USB disks is 
> horrendous,. it took 7 hours to copy a directory that was 200 MB. Any 
> program that accesses the USB disk tend to freeze for minutes, and 
> often the entire system becomes unresponsive for minutes. Overall 
> FreeBSD here is characterized by severe instabilities, ive had better 
> performance from Windows 98 systems. The fact that the entire system 
> freezes up, this should not happen, a well designed system will not 
> lock up the entire OS when accessing disk.
> Are there any diagnostic tools uch as getting a log of tranmissions on 
> USB and probe it, ,or finmd out what code it is lockilng up on ?Has 
> anyone else seen these problems with USB disks?
Thank you for the reply to my concerns. I have been reading through them 

I seem to have also discovered that the lockup problems are not entirely 
due to USB issues. Many of them were being caused by an apparent problem 
with the swap system. I have two swaps, a file backed swap and a 
partition swap on the same disk. Apparently when having two swaps on the 
disk there are severe performance problems. FreeBSD needs to fix 
whatever is causing this thrashing problem. So far the lockups have seem 
to become much less severe since i have disabled the file based swap 
file. I may disable the partition swap but i do not know if it is 
possible to have the system boot with a file based swap only. Perhaps i 
can disable the partition swap after it boots.

I am trying to copy a directory on the USB drive however and it does 
seem to be rather slow still. It started at 5:45 and is still going. I 
will see how long it takes.

Again thanks for the help with these issues

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