WRITE_DMA errors on SATA drive under 5.3-RELEASE

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at toybox.placo.com
Mon Feb 28 10:06:29 GMT 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org]On Behalf Of Anthony
> Atkielski
> Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 2:10 PM
> To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> Subject: Re: WRITE_DMA errors on SATA drive under 5.3-RELEASE
> Mike Tancsa writes:
> > Could be a bad sector on the drive, or bad cable. Hard to say.  Try
> > /usr/ports/sysutils/smartmontools/
> >
> > It can read all sorts of info off the drive and help you narrow down
> > what the problem might be.
> Wow!  That is a very cool tool.  There's even a Windows port so I can
> use it on my XP machine.
> The two SATA drives show no errors.  The older IDE drive
> (which contains
> the filesystem root) shows the stuff below.  There have been over 1000
> read errors over the lifetime of the disk, but the disk had some hard
> times back in December when it was in my overheated old server, so that
> might account for part of that.  The most recent errors look like they
> might correlate with what I saw today (unfortunately, I'm not sure how
> to interpret them):

Rule of thumb on IDE hard drives, if they show more than a few errors
with a
tool like smartmon, they need to be thrown in the garbage.

Heat is the number one enemy of hard drives.  If this drive overheated,
particularly over a long timeperiod, resistance values and semiconductor
values can shift, permanently, in the electronics of the drive.  So even
if the heads and platters are still good, your on borrowed time with the
circuit board.  And since it's the circuit board that's dodgy, the drive
surface isn't failing, so the problems aren't going to register with

Despite S.M.A.R.T., the vast majority of IDE hard drives that fail, fail
without warning.


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