ATA trouble again

Andrea Venturoli ml at
Wed Nov 16 10:17:41 UTC 2011


This is a follow-up of a previous thread, which can be found here:


I finally have two working WD Green drives: they have run severel times 
for more than a few days continuosly and I've run their full diags a few 
times over a span of some weeks, so I think I can be sure of that.
Still I experience lot of troubles; however, trying different boxes, I 
found out that these depend heavily on the controller I use.

A) A-Bit KV7 (featuring a VIA KT600) on 7.3 and 8.2/i386
With only one disk, I get some NID_NOT_FOUND errors, but I could almost 
say they can be ignored.
With two disks, the NID_NOT_FOUND errors come frequently; rsync will 
work, but a "diff" will sooner or later fail.

I tried Linux on this box: it frequently complains about errors and 
resets the ATA channels; this possibly will result in performance 
penalties, but it seems to work.

Since then this box is dead, so I cannot do other tests.

B) BioStar A785G3 with 8.1/i386:
> # pciconf -lv
> atapci0 at pci0:0:17:0:    class=0x010601 card=0x43911002 chip=0x43911002 rev=0x00 hdr=0x00
>     vendor     = 'ATI Technologies Inc. / Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'
>     device     = 'SB700 SATA Controller [AHCI mode]'
>     class      = mass storage
>     subclass   = SATA

This works flawlessly.

C) Intel SC5400BRP with 7.3/i386:
> atapci2 at pci0:0:31:2:    class=0x01018f card=0x34768086 chip=0x26808086 rev=0x09 hdr=0x00
>     vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
>     device     = '631xESB/632xESB/3100 Serial ATA Storage Controller'
>     class      = mass storage
>     subclass   = ATA

No way this will work: using two disk gives gobs of errors, until the 
whole box crashes.
With only one disk it appears to work for a while, but will eventually 
panic over a few day.
This same controller used to work with a single Hitachi drive.
With two Seagates drives, I get READ_DMA48/WRITE_DMA48 timeouts, the 
disks will hang for minutes, but then they will start again; this does 
not happen as soon as I start using them, but will happen every some 
minutes after a few hours of usage.

D) Intel SC5600BRP with 7.3/amd64:
> atapci0 at pci0:0:31:2:    class=0x01018f card=0x34dc8086 chip=0x3a208086 rev=0x00 hdr=0x00
>     vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
>     device     = 'SATA2(4Port2) (ICH10 Family)'
>     class      = mass storage
>     subclass   = ATA
> atapci1 at pci0:0:31:5:    class=0x010185 card=0x34dc8086 chip=0x3a268086 rev=0x00 hdr=0x00
>     vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
>     device     = 'SATA2(2Port2) (ICH10 Family)'
>     class      = mass storage
>     subclass   = ATA

This works flawlessly, with every HD I could try (one or two).

E) Promise PCI controller with 7.3/i386 and /amd64:
> atapci0 at pci0:7:2:0:     class=0x018000 card=0x3d17105a chip=0x3d17105a rev=0x02 hdr=0x00
>     vendor     = 'Promise Technology Inc'
>     device     = 'SATA 300 TX4 Controller (PDC40718-GP)'
>     class      = mass storage

This will give few errors if not none at all; however the box will 
sometimes reboot or just hang (phisical reset required).
This happens on two different box with both WD Green and Seagate drives.

So: altough a bit flaky, WD drives are not the main problem.
I'll still appreciate some help WRT the third box (Intel SC5400BRP with 
Different BIOS settings did not help with WD drives, but I still have to 
test them with Seagate's.
Possibly an OS upgrade would help? 8.x also has an AHCI driver that 7.3 
is missing.
I don't care that much for top of the chart performance, I just want 
this thing to work decently.

  bye & Thanks

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