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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    I have an older phone (HTC Desire Z / Vision) which is still usable, but it has been extremely slow lately. When I say slow, I mean that applications take 10-30 seconds to open and I often get "application is not responding, force close / wait" windows pop up. I thought it was slow CPU speed, but after running top I find that the problem is spending too much time in IOWAIT status. CPU is overclocked to 1.5 GHz, I am running Cyanogen 7 (newer won't run on this hardware).

    I tried installing Seeder and it worked - for about two hours. It was glorious for those two hours, my phone worked! But now it's right back to before, laggy as hell and spending most of its time in IOWAIT.

    I ran some benchmarks and got these numbers for disk access speed:

    Internal storage write: 3.18 Mbytes/sec
    Internal storage read: 15.5 Mbytes/sec
    External storage write: 2.69 Mbytes/sec
    External storage read: 16.7 Mbytes/sec

    Is this especially slow? Is it causing the problem? If not, then what else could be causing the problem, and how could I fix it?
  2. #2  
    badblue1__'s Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Try the app Fast Reboot, it kills processes safely and frees up ram.

    Worked great for me. https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...tes.fastreboot
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Well, the problem isn't really RAM. The problem is that the system is spending far too much time in IOWAIT, which means waiting for disk access.
  4. #4  
    badblue1__'s Avatar

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    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Quote Originally Posted by Jankyy View Post
    Well, the problem isn't really RAM. The problem is that the system is spending far too much time in IOWAIT, which means waiting for disk access.
    Understood, but you would be surprised how much this little app (16.00kb) speeds up your phone.

    Almost everyone i work with installed this on their phone, they couldn't believe that it got rid of their lag, but that's up to you, thought it would help.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    You can try Googling how to "clear cache partition" for your phone. That seems to help quite a bit in many cases. There's no downside as far as I know, either.
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Yeah, doing that will wipe the application data that I've saved from my many applications.

    I'm really more interested to find the cause of this problem so I can fix it. Killing background apps, clearing cache...this is all voodoo magic. SOMETHING is causing my phone to use excessive disk access. I can clearly see this while running top, that the system is spending 60-75% CPU in IOWAIT status.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Quote Originally Posted by Jankyy View Post
    Yeah, doing that will wipe the application data that I've saved from my many applications.
    No it doesn't. It clears the partition that stores a bunch of frequently used data, not the source of the data. It will rebuild itself, presumably in a much more effective way (for a while at least), after it's cleared.

    If you want to fix the root of the problem you'll have to upgrade to a newer OS, which will require rooting and finding a stable ROM for your phone. I don't doubt someone on here will be able to answer why wiping the cache partition helps, but it probably has to do with Android not doing a very good job of organizing that partition, especially in earlier versions.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Quote Originally Posted by Jankyy View Post
    Yeah, doing that will wipe the application data that I've saved from my many applications.
    No it doesn't. It just clears the cache partition, not any partition that stores user data. It's a partition that's used for frequently used data to presumably help speed up finding common files. It's not the only place anything is stored, my understanding is it's like an extension of RAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jankyy View Post
    I'm really more interested to find the cause of this problem so I can fix it. Killing background apps, clearing cache...this is all voodoo magic. SOMETHING is causing my phone to use excessive disk access. I can clearly see this while running top, that the system is spending 60-75% CPU in IOWAIT status.
    I'm trying to help narrow it down. If clearing the cache partition helps, then you know that was the problem. If you want to fix that you'll have to upgrade your OS, which will require rooting and finding a stable ROM for your phone.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Well, I wiped the cache as suggested. Now my phone won't boot. It displays HTC logo and then screen goes black...then never goes any further.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Quote Originally Posted by Jankyy View Post
    Well, I wiped the cache as suggested. Now my phone won't boot. It displays HTC logo and then screen goes black...then never goes any further.
    Yikes! Have you tried booting into safe mode?
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: Phone lag almost unusable due to IOWAIT

    Yeah, finally got it to boot. But the lag problem is still there and the CPU still spends most of its time in IOWAIT waiting for disk access.

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