WRITE_DMA timeouts

Louis LeBlanc FreeBSD at keyslapper.org
Fri Nov 5 10:38:39 PST 2004

On 11/05/04 01:22 PM, Forrest Aldrich sat at the `puter and typed:
> I have a test machine with FreeBSD-5.3 RC2.  It only has 2 drives (ATA). 
>   I am seeing this error (intermittently):
> ad0: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (2 retries left) LBA=3239915
> ad0: FAILURE - WRITE_DMA timed out
> Though the system seems to otherwise be working just fine.
> This used to be a Windows/XP system for a long time, and I never had any 
> trouble.  So I wonder what the above can be indicative of (ie: bad 
> cabling, or?).

&!#@.  I was hoping this was a thing of the past.

I've seen this a lot with 5.2.1, but I usually ended up with a siezed
system.  I don't see how the fact that you had XP on the system could
affect FreeBSD.

Exactly what ATA controller do you have?  I've run into trouble with the
Intel ICH5 SATA controller in a new Dell Dimension 8300.  I received
*lots* of suggestions that the drive was bad (as per the little sniglet
at the bottom), but that isn't the problem - it passed every utility I
was able to put it through.

BTW, my drive is a brand new WD 160 Gig.

After days of googling, I found only a few suggestions that the problem
was the scheduler and/or the HT processor.  I turned HT off in the bios,
and it still locks up - especially when shutting down.  I've put the
hardware through dozens of checks and tests, and there are absolutely no
problems except when running FreeBSD with the disk under load.  Even XP
didn't lock up like this.

I've been holding this new Dell in limbo for nearly 4 months waiting for
this exact problem to get fixed.  I *really* hate to do it, but I'm
going to have to consider Linux if this doesn't get resolved in 5.3.
And it looks like it isn't.  I know I could get the code and work on it
myself, but I'm not a driver engineer, and as much as I'd like to, I
don't have the time to learn it right now.

Good luck.
Louis LeBlanc               FreeBSD at keyslapper.org
Fully Funded Hobbyist, KeySlapper Extrordinaire :)
http://www.keyslapper.org                     Ô¿Ô¬

Default, n.:
  The hardware's, of course.

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