Crashes with Promise controller

Christian Baer christian.baer at
Thu Jun 30 18:09:02 UTC 2011

On 18.06.2011 19:52, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:

Hello Jeremy!

Thanks for your long answer! I'm sorry to have kept you waiting but I
was out of town and turned off all my computers while I was away.

> It may be that the kernel is panic'ing and auto-rebooting before he can
> see the message in question.  I would advocate he put the following
> directives in his kernel configuration and rebuild/reinstall kernel and
> wait for it to happen again.
> # Debugging options
> options		KDB			# Enable kernel debugger support
> options		KDB_TRACE		# Print stack trace automatically on panic
> options		DDB			# Support DDB
> options		GDB			# Support remote GDB
> If after doing this the machine literally reboots rather than panics,
> then that would indicate a mainboard having issues, or power-related
> stuff (keep reading).

I always read the full post if someone takes the time to help me out. :-)

Ok, new kernel compiled and installed. System restarted and running. :-)
I'm guessing that a panic won't show up in the log files, but only on
the console. I have set up a monitor for this machine (normally it
doesn't have one).

I'll try to provoke the little problem as of now and I will get back to
you as soon at I have something.

[power issues]

> I have no proof this is Christian's problem, but it's worth
> considering anyway.

You don't need proof to encourage me to start poking around in a certain
area. Hell, it's pretty hard to give someone proof when only aswering to
a post on a mailing list. :-) Don't feel bad. ;-)

I have to admit that I haven't considered this and when running the
numbers it seems pretty unlikely. The computer has 11 HDs running but
even if we allow each HD 15W, that still isn't really all that much -
not much more than a good graphics card. Apart from the CPU the computer
has no real consumers (not even an optical drive).

Apart from that, the problem doesn't seem to apply when reading from the
drives, only when writing to them. I realize that writing uses a bit
more power than reading but the "surge of writing" shouldn't be such a
big deal that it could make the difference in my case. Or could it?

Apart from that, HDs use much more power when spinning up. This doesn't
seem to pose a problem for the power supply. I have seen no troubles
when starting the system.

What got me thinking was that I don't know how many of the drives are
actually connected by a single rail. I didn't really pay much attention
to that when I connected them but they should be spread somewhat just
the same, mainly because the cables are just too short to connect
everything to a single rail without *really* going out of you way to do it.

Once I have a panic screen to show you I will grab a second power supply
and start some tests.

Please keep in mind though that I am not the only person out there with
the same error using the same controller (type). I somehow doubt that
all those hits by Google are all caused by power difficulties and the
common controller is pure coincidence.

Best regards,

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