CDROM Unknown transfer [phase reboots] system

Wayne Witzke wwitzke at
Sun Oct 9 18:54:16 PDT 2005

Dmitry Mityugov wrote:
> On 10/9/05, Wayne Witzke <wwitzke at> wrote:
>>Hello everybody,
>>I've just installed FreeBSD on my laptop (decided I wanted a more
>>developer-friendly computer).  Aside from what appear to be the standard
>>newbie problems, every thing's gone remarkably well, except for this:
>>I have a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive on my laptop.  As a CDROM it had been
>>working perfectly well since the initial install about a week and a half
>>ago.  It read CDs and DVDs without incident, and did so for hours and
>>hours (which it was forced to do because I've been listening to music
>>pretty much non-stop since I installed the system).  The burner did not
>>work, but after the grueling process of opening up the FreeBSD handbook
>>and actually reading how to make it possible to burn CDs, that started
>>working as well.  That is, I recompiled the kernel with the atapicam
>>module, changed permissions and set up links in the devfs.conf file in
>>/etc, and set the suid on cdrecord and cdrdao.  Worked like a charm.
>>Burned my first CD, and it was beautiful.  Then I think I went home.
>>Yesterday, while not burning any CDs at all, just listening to music
>>using kscd while I wrote perl script, my computer suddenly reboots.
> ...
> This's the last day I am reading these archives. I believe you'll have
> to find a better OS that suits your needs.
> --
> Dmitry Mityugov, St. Petersburg, Russia
> I ignore all messages with confidentiality statements
> "We live less by imagination than despite it" - Rockwell Kent, "N by E"
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Mr. Mityugov,

I am certainly sorry if I've offended you in some way.  It seemed to me 
that I asked a perfectly valid question.  I want to know what caused the 
"unknown transfer phase" on my CDROM and how to prevent it from 
happening again.  I certainly didn't expect that would cause such anger 
that it would warrant a nasty response.

As for whether FreeBSD suits my needs, it most certainly does.  I've 
been an administrator of Unix-like systems for about 7 years, starting 
with Linux systems back in '97 and working my way up to IRIX a few years 
ago.  I've had FreeBSD installed and working on home systems in the 
past, but it's been a while.  Now, my work laptop had crashed (hard disk 
death), and I was tired having to struggle to get Windows to do what I 
wanted it to do and to keep it up and running more then a month at a 
time.  Took 6 months to make Windows work the way I wanted it to, when 
it only took about a week to get FreeBSD working.  In my experience, 
Unix-like systems have *always* been easier to develop on, have always 
been more stable, and are always faster.  The fact that FreeBSD combines 
these properties with the ease of the ports collection plus what I 
thought was a community of involved people willing to help made it the 
obvious choice.

If by "suits your needs" you meant "your need to listen to music", I 
believe that's beside the point.  The fact that acd0 had an unknown 
transfer phase is troubling regardless of the task it was performing at 
the time, especially considering that it was a kernel message.  I will 
almost certainly need to be able to read from my CDROM drive at some 
point in the future for data transfer purposes, and a reboot during such 
a read would at best cause the data transfer to fail, and at worst it 
could corrupt data on the hard drive in an unrecoverable way.

I also apologize that my subject line wasn't 100% accurate.  It should 
have read "CDROM Unknown transfer *phase reboots* system".  The word 
"error" in the subject line was incorrect, and the assertion that it 
caused a crash was just an assumption on my part. I was unable to find a 
memory dump or any information that should have led me to believe it was 
definitely a crash (and I still can't).  Also, it's an assumption on my 
part that the unknown transfer phase rebooted the system, but that was 
the last entry in the log file and I though (and still think) that it's 
the best indicator for what might have gone wrong.  And the word 
"reboot" may be incorrect as well.  The system didn't go through the 
shutdown process at all, it simply dropped to a POST.

If your objection was to the length of the description in my original 
message, I though it would be prudent to provide as much detail as I 
could about the steps I had gone through with my CDRW/DVDROM drive so 
that those who might be interested in helping would have as much detail 
as I could provide.  I apologize if what I was hoping to be a playful 
tone offended you, but since I tend to enjoy working on operating 
systems like FreeBSD I tend to write in a manner that expresses that 
feeling.  I also apologize that part of my message, and my actual 
question, was at the bottom of the message after the dmesg output.  That 
format was, I realize, not conducive to relaying my request in the most 
efficient manner.

I have checked resources online to try and find a resolution to this 
problem, but while I can find a several references to "unknown transfer 
phase" and to the atapicam module, these references are not current and 
apply to versions of FreeBSD that I'm not running   For instance, a very 
promising looking post about several patches to the atapicam module 
referred to, I think, 5.2.1-CURRENT, and was from last year.  I simply 
don't know enough about FreeBSD to know if I should apply this patch, or 
what steps I would have to take to recover from applying this patch if 
it turned out to be a horrible mistake, aside from reinstalling the 
operating system.  Since I do not have the time right now to reinstall 
FreeBSD (I'm working under a deadline at the moment and can only assume 
that it would take at least two days to complete a reinstall), I was 
hoping that somebody on this list would know something related to my 

Now, if somebody out there can help me, I would very much appreciate it.

And, to you, Mr. Mityugov, I would just like to make sure that I'm not 
being unclear.  The apologizing tone of this message, and the subsequent 
detail, is intended in part to correct what I realize may have been 
mistakes that were made in the original message, but also to point out 
that your response, in my opinion, was entirely inappropriate.  If you 
had any real objections to my message you should have pointed them out. 
  If you had no real objections and were simply venting your 
frustrations, I do not feel that it was appropriate to take your 
frustrations out on a self-professed newbie who had only come here 
looking for help, basically with his hat in his hand.


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