Daily Backups Schedule Time / MYSQL Overload

Doug E

Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2005
I have some questions if anybody has the time or patience to answer them. Firstly I would like more than anything a good website for noobs on managing their own servers. More specifically I would like to find good websites for noobs on using putty and SSH commands, Cpanel and MYSQL.

If you dont know any good websites but can offer advice on the following I'd appreciate it :)

1 - Using WHM, how would I go about changing the time of my daily backups? If its not possible through WHM how would I do it with SSH?

2 - Every day at 1:00 am my server craps out. I can load my sites most of the time but anything MYSQL dependant is shot and unusable. During this time when I use top through Putty to monitor the goings on I see pdflush often and then later a lot of rebuild.cgi (I have a few mysql databases on my server). My very ignorant theory is my server can't handle backups and run my mysql processes at the same time. I made it so backups were weekly at one point and didnt have the daily problem I have now. Also, I have always had this nightly problem, but it used to only last 20-30 minutes and now takes 1-2 hours to complete. (log files have grown? would deleting them be a good band-aid fix?)

3 - I have no idea what top is telling me and would love to decipher it. Does anybody know a good website detailing the following?

top - 02:10:35 up 23 days, 23:30, 1 user, load average: 576.89, 531.96, 395.87
Tasks: 2173 total, 1 running, 2161 sleeping, 1 stopped, 10 zombie
Cpu(s): 13.0% us, 12.2% sy, 0.0% ni, 0.0% id, 74.7% wa, 0.2% hi, 0.0% si
Mem: 1034440k total, 907944k used, 126496k free, 9532k buffers
Swap: 1052248k total, 142236k used, 910012k free, 62704k cached

EDIT - Here is a look at it when its running fine...
top - 21:09:29 up 24 days, 18:29, 1 user, load average: 1.47, 2.12, 2.43
Tasks: 131 total, 1 running, 129 sleeping, 0 stopped, 1 zombie
Cpu(s): 2.0% us, 1.4% sy, 0.2% ni, 68.5% id, 27.8% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.0% si
Mem: 1034440k total, 240784k used, 793656k free, 10816k buffers
Swap: 1052248k total, 129888k used, 922360k free, 68864k cached
and another look, load seems better...
top - 21:13:42 up 24 days, 18:33, 1 user, load average: 0.70, 1.45, 2.09
Tasks: 138 total, 1 running, 136 sleeping, 0 stopped, 1 zombie
Cpu(s): 2.3% us, 1.5% sy, 0.0% ni, 46.9% id, 49.2% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.0% si
Mem: 1034440k total, 248080k used, 786360k free, 12608k buffers
Swap: 1052248k total, 129888k used, 922360k free, 72116k cached

4 - I have disabled server stats except for 'latest visitors'. How do I delete all the logs on my server of the different cpanel stats programs? I may wish to turn them back on again and dont want them bogging me down when they update or do whatever it is that can kill a server.

5 - How do I check to be sure Cpanel is properly backing up my server? I had switched to weekly backups a while back and one day I deleted a mysql database. Unfortunately as my admin discovered, the last backup was my monthly and was almost 4 weeks old. The weekly backups were not saving properly. I want to ensure this will not happen again.

6 - Are these SSH commands to stop and restart mysql safe to use?

/etc/rc.d/init.d/mysqld start
/etc/rc.d/init.d/mysqld stop
/etc/rc.d/init.d/mysqld restart

# killall mysqld
Last edited:


Active Member
Jul 5, 2005
Average load on a server is between 0 and 2. The load on your server is 576.89, 531.96 (10 minute avg), 395.87(15 min avg) That is ridiculous. IS this your server of you have this through a hosting company?


Jul 5, 2006
1) Login to your server via ssh as root and run 'crontab -e'. Look for /scripts/cpbackup. It's probably scheduled for 1:00am (0 1 * * *). cPanel will reset this cron entry when it runs upcp, so you might want to change the timezone of your server instead, so that 1:00am coincides with the time you want backups to run.

2) The larger your sites, the longer backups will take. Also daily, weekly, and monthly backups run separately, so backups will last longer when a weekly and/or monthly is taken in addition to the daily.

3) Looks like your server has the infamous iowait problem in recent kernels (74.7% wa). You'll want to make sure you're booted to the latest available kernel. The iowait issue causes a high load when accessing the disk, such as with backups and mysql. I'd bet my sister that you're running an old kernel.

4) Stats are compiled against the domlogs in /usr/local/apache/domlogs/. The stats records are stored in /home/USERNAME/tmp/.

5) Investigate the contents of /backup/cpbackup/. This may be a different path, depending on your "Backup Destination" in WHM under "Configure Backup".

6) Assuming there's nothing inherently wrong with your mysql install, you should be able to start/stop/restart mysql as you please. You can kill it as well. The worst this will do is corrupt your databases, which isn't a huge deal 'cause they can always be repaired.