Kris Kennaway kris at obsecurity.org
Tue Feb 28 11:40:48 PST 2006

On Tue, Feb 28, 2006 at 04:16:41PM +0100, pobox at verysmall.org wrote:
> I am running FreeBSD 5.4 in VMware using USB 1.1 external HDD as a disk, 
> which means quite slow I/O. It works fine for my needs, I only get
> swap_pager: indefinite wait buffer: device: da0s1f, blkno: xxx, size: xxx
> when performing heavy operations, such as rsync of a 1 GB database dump 
> file.
> All references to the problem I found point out hardware failure. Could, 
> however, the problem be simply that the I/O does not manage to let the 
> request go through within the 20 seconds wait time and that the hardware 
> is OK (apart from the fact that I/O is slow? And - is this message just 
> a notice, or does it mean that I get data corruption?

Yes, it just means "operation did not complete within the arbitrarily
chosen time period", and by itself it doesn't mean there exists any
further problem.  If the operation didn't complete because the drive
threw it away, has bad blocks, etc, that would be a problem.  In your
case it's likely to just be the slow disk.

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