MFI Driver Behavior

Erich Weiler weiler at
Tue Mar 8 18:46:30 UTC 2011

This was not resolved, although I tried in vain to get it to be more 
stable for over a month.  The Perc H700 and H800 controllers do not work 
reliably with any version of FreeBSD.  It's an MFI driver issue, such 
that the driver locks the controller temporarily under heavy disk load, 
but there seems to be little interest in fixing it.

I thought at first it was a C-states issue, but then it locked again a 
week later.

I punted and got an Adaptec controller, which is better supported under 
FreeBSD.  Maybe they will make the MFI driver work better with these 
controllers one day, but I don't know when that will happen.  Which is a 
bummer because more and more folks are buying these Perc H700/H800 
controllers from Dell.

On 03/08/11 10:38, Jonathan Stewart wrote:
> [Please CC me I'm not on this list]
> Erich Weiler wrote:
>>> We are testing a new theory.  We believe that the C-states and C1E
>>>  control on this chipset (in the Dell R610), which are
>>> configurable in the BIOS, are affecting the controller in some way.
>>> We are disabling them and trying again.  I'll post results soon.
>> After disabling C-states and CIE in the BIOS on our R610, the Perc
>> H800 controller now appears stable.  My ZFS filesystem appears
>> stable.  Life seems good.
>> I wonder what those items in the BIOS are doing in relation to the
>> kernel to cause this.
> Have you had any further issues with this?  I just updated 2 of my systems to
> FreeBSD ???.net 8.2-STABLE FreeBSD 8.2-STABLE #2 r219138: Tue Mar  1
> 13:42:29 EST 2011     root@???.net:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/SERENITY
> amd64
> from 8-stable sometime around 8 release and just had to have the
> datacenter hit the reset button to bring the machine back.
> I'm reluctant to take this machine to current but if that fixes the problem
> I can do it.  The other option is calling the data center and having them
> change the BIOS settings for me but that is also something I would rather
> not do.
> Thanks,
> Jonathan

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