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I had Mandrake Linux 9.2 installed. Then I upgraded to version 10. Under both systems whenever I have started Open Office up it takes over 20 minutes and keeps the splash screen on top of all other windows. Somewhat annoying. Any ideas what can slow down the speed that Open Office starts at?
It should not take 20 minutes to open ... maybe 30 seconds.

What are the specs of your computer (processor, speed, memory, etc.)

Are you using KDE or Gnome in Mandrake 10?
I am using a P750 with 256Mb RAM and 40GB hard disk. I always use KDE.
what is the output of the command:

hdparm -v /dev/hda

and then do this 3 times and post the info from the 3rd run:

hdparm -tT /dev/hda
I realise it does something to my hard disk, but what exactly does it do?
If you post the results of the hdparm commands above, we can see if the setup is wrong ... and i can tell you how to change it.

(or there may be a different problem)

First step ... post the results of the hdparm commands in my previous post.
Sorry, I just wan't sure what it did. So:

hdparm -v /dev/hda gave me:
multicount = 8 (on)
IO_support = 1 (on)
unmaskirq = 1 (on)
using_dmg = 1 (on)
keepsettings = 0 (off)
readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 8 (on)
geometry = 4866/255/63, sectors = 78177792, start = 0

Then the third time of running hdparm -tT /dev/hda gave me:

Timingbuffer-cache needs: 592mB in 2.00 secs = 296.00 mB/sec
Timingbufferdisk needs: 62mB in 3.07 secs = 20.20mB/sec

I don't know if it helps, as other apps don't take anywhere as near as long. Although not a fast system, Open Office just takes loads and loads of extra time with the splash screen held over the top. I can run other apps underneath it (with obvious sight difficulty) without affecting the time to load Open Office.
The most imortant parts of your hdparm setup are correct ... (dma is enabled, 32-bit io support is enabled, etc.)

I just tested my laptop (pII-366, 192mb RAM, hdparm xfer rate: 9.2mb/sec) and it takes 28 seconds to open the first time, then 13 seconds to close and reopen xoowriter on my new gentoo install.

On a p-III 800 with Mandrake 10 (768mb RAM, hdparm xfer rate:30.3mb/sec) it take 21 seconds to open the first time and 7 seconds to close and reopen xoowriter.

I'm not sure it is a hd setting problem either ... but you can try this (as the root user in a terminal window) and see if it makes any difference:

hdparm -a256 -m16 -c3 -u1 -d1 /dev/hda

Afterword, do:

hdparm -v /dev/hda

the result should look like this:
# hdparm -v /dev/hda

multcount    = 16 (on)
IO_support  =  3 (32-bit w/sync)
unmaskirq    =  1 (on)
using_dma    =  1 (on)
keepsettings =  0 (off)
readonly    =  0 (off)
readahead    = 256 (on)
geometry    = 4866/255/63, sectors = 78177792, start = 0

(all this assumes your linux is installed on the primary master drive ... that is the one known as hda ... if your linux is on another drive, you need to set that one as well)

If the hdparm -v looks like that, rerun the timing tests and see if there is any benefit ... do this three times:

hdparm -tT /dev/hda

If the transfer rates are about the same, then it is not a hard drive speed issue.
Hello Huston - we have a problem - it wont accept all arguments.

I did the change, but it rejected two changes, with the errors:
BLKRASET failed: Invalid argument
HDIO_SET_MULTCOUNTfailed: Invalid argument.

I retyped exactly as you said, and again the same results. The output ended as multcount=8, IO support=3, unmaskirq=1, using dmg=1, keepsettings=0, readonly=0 and readahead=8. IE all no change except IO_SUPPORT changed from 1 to 3.

I do have the hard disk partitioned with Windows XP on the other part. Windows was here first then Linux installed with the partitioning done as part of the install. HDA is still the Linux part (I think). How do I make sure?
If you only have one hard disk, your linux partition will be on hda. If not, you can always check out your /etc/fstab file to see what device root (/) is mounted on.

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