Hard drive use on wallet is constant

EthupEthup Member Posts: 5
The ethereum wallet (latest version) is halfway through updating (been going for about 5 days now!) It's up to block ~1.7 million / ~3.7 million.
For the past day or two the hard drive light is practically always on!
I'm using Ubuntu, on a 64 bit 4x2.4Ghz cpu, 8 gig 1333mhz ddr3, 500gb 7200rpm hdd, internet is capable of ~550kbyte/sec download and ~90kbyte/sec upload.

The cpu usage is never any more than about 15% average amongst all 4 cores.
For the last few hours it's only downloading at about 15 to 40kbyte/sec, and uploading at about 10 to 25kbyte/sec.

I really can't get my head around why it's giving the hdd such a hard time (no pun intended!).
When I close the wallet, it stops doing it.

Another thing: the computer is only using half the available ram, so I can comfortably say it's not swapping

(It started downloading from 0 about 5 days ago.)

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