(dell8200) laptop with disk(hda) and cd(hdb) too busy?

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My dell8200 laptop has often given me problems with disk I/O
speed in both KDE and Gnome when their cd-cgecking deamon was
active. Thus a command like
	hdparm -t /dev/hda
would give me terribly erratic results (1-7 MB/sec) if there was
no CD in the tray. Once mounted, things were better, or normal.
I'd get more like 17-22 MB/s, depending on the disk of course.

At least in rh7 and rh9 i knew how to solve it (they were filed in bugzilla).
I'm sadly returning to this problem with FC3. This time the problem is even
present outside of X. I returned to runlevel 3, but even there i can terrible
I/O. One side-effect of bad disk I/O is that the "startx" command will take
forever to load, and don't even try something like openoffice :-)
So, first of all, i'm looking for soulmates who can confirm that
a dell8200, or any other laptop with hda and hdb populated have the
same problem, and then see how this can be solved. As it stands now,
i cannot use FC3.  I don't know if the problem should occur with two
drives on hda and hdb, since once the CD is either inserted or mounted,
the problem appears to go away.

I should also add i've been running FC3 just fine on a desktop, with 
IDE (a+c) software raid and a SATA disk.

- peter

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