Boot-time hard drive errors

Simon simon at
Sun Feb 24 22:10:50 UTC 2013

Have you tried Pause/Break to see if you could feeze the screen to get the
error message?

I would stress test all three drives to see if they pass with flying colors. One
or more of your drives could be indeed flaky, regardless being new, that means
little. Also, something could be conflicting from time to time, that could also
show up under stress testing.

Make backup if you have important data before stress testing.


On Sun, 24 Feb 2013 13:33:06 -0800, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:

>I have a somewhat eclectic system, currently running (or at any rate,
>trying to run) 9.1-RELEASE.  The system in question contains three
>drives, to wit:

>   <WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 05.01D05> ATA-8 SATA 3.x device
>   <ST3500320AS SD1A> ATA-8 SATA 1.x device
>   <Hitachi HTS541010A9E680 JA0OA480> ATA-8 SATA 3.x device

>Previously, I had the ST3500320AS in this system, along with one other
>entirely different Seagate drive, i.e. one not shown in the list above.
>(Also, I was previously running 8.3-RELEASE and only recently updated
>to 9.1-RELEASE.)

>Since I reconfigured the system to its current state, i.e. with the set
>of three drives listed above, whenever I reboot the system, about 50%
>of the time, when the boot process gets down to the point where it
>would ordinarily be printing out the messages relating to ada0, ada1,
>etc. suddenly I start to get a massive and apparently endless stream
>of error messages, apparently relating to one of the drives listed
>above, but the stream actually alternates between two consecutive
>error messages, both undoubtedly related to each other.

>The boot process never completes, and I am just left staring at a
>screen that's displaying, in very rapid succession, first the one
>error message and then the other, and then the first one again, and
>then the second one again, and on and on like that.

>Unfortunately, the two error messages are being printed on the screen
>so fast (and alternating, as described above) that I cannot even read
>them, but I could just barely make out that they seem to relate to ada2...
>well, anyway, one or another of the hard drives.

>I do not know the proper way to rectify whatever is causing these "flaky"
>errors.  I use the term "flaky" because, as I have said, this boot-time
>problem only seems to occur maybe about 50% of the time, and the rest
>of the time when I boot up there is no problem whatsoever.

>Because I am able to boot up successfully, with no problems whatsoever,
>a significant fraction of the time, I am inclined to think that whatever
>is causing the failure is not actually a hardware fault.  (And by the way,
>the WDC drive and the Hitachi drive are both practically brand new.  That
>doesn't prove anything, of course, but it does make me think that they
>are unlikely to have serious hardware faults.)

>I would report this problem by filing a standard PR, but as I've said
>above, I can't even read the error messages, because they are being
>printed in such rapid succession, so I'm not sure that filing a PR
>would be useful to anybody.  I mean what would it say?  That I'm getting
>some unspecified failure at boot time that seems to relate to the hard
>drives in this system?  That kind of PR would clearly not be very helpful.

>Has anyone else ever encountered symptoms like those I have listed
>above, either with 9.1-RELEASE or with any other version of FreeBSD?

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