6.3 And VIA 8237S Controller - Also USB Drive Problem

Tim Daneliuk tundra at tundraware.com
Fri Mar 14 17:04:36 UTC 2008

Tim Daneliuk wrote:
> I just bought a new MSI P4M900M2 mobo.  It works just fine with both
> Windoze and SUSE Linux.  When I tried booting 6.2 on it, it refused to
> set the drive (ad0 - I tried several different drives) into the
> higher speed UDMA modes.  So, I downloaded 6.3, and it *seemed* to
> be fine.  The drives come up as UDMA 100 or UDMA 133.
> But ... under long disk operations - say untaring a 2G tarball
> stored on a USB drive - I start to see this:

I have resolved this and thought I'd share with the class in case
anyone else runs into the problem.

It occurred to me that this chipset has been around long enough that
it was very likely not a driver problem. I went back and replaced the
IDE cable with another one known to be good and, voila', problem

What's weird about this is that the "bad" cable is a more-or-less new
low profile round IDE cable I got from Tiger Direct a while back. It
is the 20" variety which may be contributing noise to the problem.
Weirder still is that neither Linux nor Windows seemed to have
problems with it, though I did not test as thoroughly with those OSs.
I'd guess that the FBSD driver is perhaps trying to squeeze the last
bit of optimization out of the controller and thus drives the IDE bus
to its limits, hence the problem shows up there.  Either that,
or I just didn't pound on the machine hard enough with Linux
especially to see the problem.

I should have guessed "cable problem" right away, but given the
relative newness of the cable, that seemed unlikely.

In a related note: I also discovered that the FreeBSD install CD Fixit
environment does flakey things when you try to untar a large file from
a USB drive plugged in through an external hub. Plugging the drive
directly into one of the mobo ports made that problem go away.

Tim Daneliuk     tundra at tundraware.com
PGP Key:         http://www.tundraware.com/PGP/

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